Best Grand Rapids Suburbs To Live For 2020


We analyzed over 22 places around Grand Rapids to identify the most in demand places to live.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best Grand Rapids suburbs.

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Big city living isn't for everyone--but at the same time, urban areas certainly have their perks.

There's the culture, the food, the arts, the food, the energy, and you know, the food. But there are drawbacks. There's traffic, expensive parking, expensive housing--pretty much, expensive everything, depending on which big city you're looking at.

But that's where the suburbs come in--they have all of the benefits of being near big cities, without actually having to be big cities.

Of course, not all suburbs of Grand Rapids are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones. So without further ado...

What's the best suburb of Grand Rapids? East Grand Rapids ranks as the best suburb of Grand Rapids for 2020 based on the most recent Census and FBI data. If you happen to be a resident of East Grand Rapids, you're probably not too surprised to find it on the top our list.

We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 Grand Rapids 'burbs better than the rest--but first, a bit about our methodology.

Note: This result may differ from our state wide data as we did not include commute times and crime for this analysis to allow for a larger selection of suburbs.
Or feel free to check out some more reading about Michigan:

The 10 Best Grand Rapids Suburbs To Live For 2020

East Grand Rapids, MI

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 11,642
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $133,982
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%
Poverty Rate: 2.1%
More on East Grand Rapids: Real Estate | Data | Photos

East Grand Rapids is always mentioned as one of the best suburbs in the Grand Rapids area. We'll tell you the good about "Awesome East Grand Rapids."

Everyone here is rich; families average $133,982 a year, which is the 1st highest in the Grand Rapids region. And only 2.86% are out of work. Homes average more than $353,700 each.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,344
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 4)
Median Income: $62,500
Unemployment Rate: 5.0%
Poverty Rate: 5.3%
More on Hudsonville: Real Estate | Data

Hudsonville is the second best 'burb we looked at near Grand Rapids for 2020.

It ranks 4th for incomes in the area and only 2.7% of residents lack insurance, good for 4th best.

Review Of Hudsonville by HomeSnacks User

The schools are awesome

Everything very friendly to live one of the best suburbs to live in

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,186
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Income: $62,404
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Poverty Rate: 14.6%
More on Rockford: Real Estate | Data

Here in Rockford, it's really safe, and residents are just about as rich as you'll see in the Grand Rapids metro area.

The bad side? Schools are more crowded, and the cost of living puts a large part of the city out of reach for most families.

But price is based on demand and a lot of people want to live in Rockford.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,563
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Income: $55,788
Unemployment Rate: 7.9%
Poverty Rate: 6.3%
More on Spring Lake: Real Estate | Data

Spring Lake ranks as the 4th best suburb of Grand Rapids for 2020.

You won't find many better places to raise your kids in the region than in Spring Lake and the schools are some of the best around.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,397
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 3)
Median Income: $62,944
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Poverty Rate: 5.2%
More on Middleville: Real Estate | Data

Coming in as the fifth best is Middleville.

Middleville gets kudos for having the 13th most expensive homes in the Grand Rapids area, where houses sell for an average of $119,600. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Grandville, MI

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 15,952
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Median Income: $58,675
Unemployment Rate: 2.7%
Poverty Rate: 7.6%
More on Grandville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Grandville is proud of its 6th place finish on this list. And here's why.

Most residents have great jobs and the unemployment rate sits at 2.68% which is 1st best in the area.

According to online reports, Grandville is quickly becoming one of the more affluent suburbs in the Grand Rapids area, meaning you need to get in soon.

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 24,768
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $62,456
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 8.8%
More on Walker: Real Estate | Data

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Walker.

Walker schools are some of the best in the region, and crime is really low. The cost of living makes it a lot more desirable for many families, especially first-time home buyers.

And, it's only 5.6 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,060
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Income: $65,809
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 5.9%
More on Lowell: Real Estate | Data

Lowell is growing quickly, and for a good reason. Crime is far below average, and most residents are gainfully employed. Even the cost of living is reasonable.

A solid 5.62% of people lack insurance, good for 12th in the area.

Grand Haven, MI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 10,974
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Income: $55,636
Unemployment Rate: 5.4%
Poverty Rate: 9.3%
More on Grand Haven: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Is 'Everything Better In Grand Haven?'

Almost.

It placed 9th on our list thanks to the fact that it's really expensive to live here, but the schools are great, so you get what you pay for in that regard.

Review Of Grand Haven by HomeSnacks User

It is such a nice little beach town on Lake Michigan. Only a 2, 2.5 hour drive from Metro Detroit and makes you feel like you're on vacation.

The nice beach, water and little downtown. The only bad thing was that it was really crowded.

Zeeland, MI

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,581
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $48,421
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 9.3%
More on Zeeland: Real Estate | Data | Photos

And rounding out the top ten for 2020 is Zeeland.

This city is far above average in every category, and the best part? It's far more affordable than the other cities listed above. So, you get a big bang for your buck here.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Grand Rapids for 2020

Figuring out the best suburbs around Grand Rapids was pretty simple; we just needed to list several things that people like, and then find out which cities have the most of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Low unemployment rate
  • High Median household incomes
  • Population density (lots of things to do)
  • High home values
  • A lot of college educated people
  • Low poverty
  • High rate of insured families

Then we used the newest American Community Survey data for 2014-2018 to research each suburb.

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Grand Rapids.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 22 suburbs to evaluate around Grand Rapids.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 22 in each category, where 1 was the "best.

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the best quality of life index the "Best Suburb near Grand Rapids." We're lookin' at you, East Grand Rapids. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the best of the best. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from best to worst.

Welcome to the Best Grand Rapids 'Burbs of 2020

We said it once and we'll say it again--life in the big city isn't for everyone. At least not all the time.

So if you're hankering for some of the amenities of a larger city like Grand Rapids, but don't want to deal with the drawbacks, one of these suburbs might just be for you.

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Grand Rapids Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income
1 East Grand Rapids, MI 11,642 $133,982
2 Hudsonville, MI 7,344 $62,500
3 Rockford, MI 6,186 $62,404
4 Spring Lake, MI 2,563 $55,788
5 Middleville, MI 3,397 $62,944
6 Grandville, MI 15,952 $58,675
7 Walker, MI 24,768 $62,456
8 Lowell, MI 4,060 $65,809
9 Grand Haven, MI 10,974 $55,636
10 Zeeland, MI 5,581 $48,421
11 Kentwood, MI 51,525 $52,516
12 Holland, MI 33,503 $55,769
13 Coopersville, MI 4,386 $54,774
14 Wayland, MI 4,190 $45,675
15 Wyoming, MI 75,532 $51,971
16 Sparta, MI 4,332 $45,169
17 Hastings, MI 7,284 $50,378
18 Lake Odessa, MI 2,154 $40,294
19 Ionia, MI 11,187 $45,693
20 Cedar Springs, MI 3,651 $46,413
21 Greenville, MI 8,394 $35,583
22 Belding, MI 5,737 $42,813

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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