These Are The 10 Best Grand Rapids Suburbs For 2019

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 2019. This is our fourth 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…

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.

Or feel free to check out some more reading about Michigan:

Editor’s Note: If you see a slight difference between the best in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it’s because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

How We Determined The Best Suburbs Around Grand Rapids for 2019

Figuring out the best ‘burbs 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 (2013-2017) 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.

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.

East Grand Rapids, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,493
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $125,180
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%
Poverty Rate: 1.9%
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 $125,180 a year, which is the 1st highest in the Grand Rapids region. And only 3.9% are out of work. Homes average more than $325,500 each.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 2,449
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $54,474
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%
Poverty Rate: 5.2%
More on Spring Lake: Real Estate | Data

Spring Lake is the second best ‘burb we looked at near Grand Rapids for 2019.

It ranks 7th for incomes in the area and only 3.1% of residents lack insurance, good for 2nd best.

Review Of Spring Lake by Oaklynn Bersonnet

i live in a city a few miles away from Muskegon Hights, its called Spring Lake and its ranked top 2% in the nation, i hate how people think Michigan is all bad.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,132
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $61,097
Unemployment Rate: 3.3%
Poverty Rate: 14.4%
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.

Grandville, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,902
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Income: $56,765
Unemployment Rate: 2.6%
Poverty Rate: 6.6%
More on Grandville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Grandville ranks as the 4th best suburb of Grand Rapids for 2019.

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

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 24,618
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $55,781
Unemployment Rate: 3.4%
Poverty Rate: 9.8%
More on Walker: Real Estate | Data

Coming in as the fifth best is Walker.

Walker gets kudos for having the 3rd most expensive homes in the Grand Rapids area, where houses sell for an average of $157,900. However, the cost of living here is among the highest in the area.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,335
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Income: $59,412
Unemployment Rate: 6.6%
Poverty Rate: 8.9%
More on Hudsonville: Real Estate | Data

Hudsonville 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 6.6% which is 16th best in the area.

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

Grand Haven, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,929
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 4)
Median Income: $51,639
Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
Poverty Rate: 9.0%
More on Grand Haven: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The 7th best suburb on our list goes to Grand Haven.

Grand Haven 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 29.4 miles to downtown, which is a good thing.

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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,362
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 3)
Median Income: $50,714
Unemployment Rate: 4.9%
Poverty Rate: 5.8%
More on Middleville: Real Estate | Data

Middleville 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 4.6% of people lack insurance, good for 4th in the area.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 3,996
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Income: $61,813
Unemployment Rate: 6.0%
Poverty Rate: 4.4%
More on Lowell: Real Estate | Data

Is ‘Everything Better In Lowell?’


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.

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 4,158
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $52,831
Unemployment Rate: 1.4%
Poverty Rate: 12.5%
More on Wayland: Real Estate | Data

And rounding out the top ten for 2019 is Wayland.

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.

Welcome to the Best Grand Rapids ‘Burbs of 2019

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 11,493 $125,180
2 Spring Lake 2,449 $54,474
3 Rockford 6,132 $61,097
4 Grandville 15,902 $56,765
5 Walker 24,618 $55,781
6 Hudsonville 7,335 $59,412
7 Grand Haven 10,929 $51,639
8 Middleville 3,362 $50,714
9 Lowell 3,996 $61,813
10 Wayland 4,158 $52,831
11 Zeeland 5,584 $43,136
12 Holland 33,488 $53,781
13 Kentwood 51,154 $50,689
14 Lake Odessa 2,083 $41,587
15 Sparta 4,308 $41,024
16 Coopersville 4,376 $52,583
17 Wyoming 75,124 $50,971
18 Hastings 7,289 $48,114
19 Ionia 11,253 $40,208
20 Cedar Springs 3,620 $44,781
21 Belding 5,730 $40,905
22 Greenville 8,385 $33,623

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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