THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Michigan For 2020

We analyzed over 170 places in Michigan to determine the cream of the crop.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to live in Michigan.

Consider yourself lucky if you've ever watched Robert Redfern's version of "Pure Michigan," but you'd be even luckier if you can call one of the best states in America home.

And rightfully so. Michiganders love their state. Michigan has a ton of amazing characteristics that are unique to the only state that borders five Great lakes.

A Michiganders best day would go something like this: fire up the 'ol snowmobile, head to the local party store for some LaBatts, (maybe shovel their roof if they've had too much snow), warm up a pasty (pronounced paw-sty), and head to their deer stand. They're the only state where opening day of deer hunting is considered a holiday.

You heard it here first, folks.

Michigan's long summer days and awesome family friendly cities truly make this state one of the best. We also ranked Michigan as one of the Best States To Raise a Family. No surprise here. Crystal clear lakes, lush pine forests, friendly people aside, MIchigan has a lot to offer. Michigan's strong job market and low cost of living make its beautiful cities extremely desirable. Needless to say, our job of determining the best cities to live in Michigan was quite the feat.

So, grab yourself a cold Labatts, warm yourself a pasty, and read on.

Yes, Michigan is every outdoor enthusiasts dream come true. But Michigan has so many cool cities where commute times, education, and strong economies make it difficult to resist. The trick is to finding it all.

What city is the best place to live in Michigan for 2020? Well according to the US Census and FBI data we crunched, Birmingham is the best place to live in Michigan if you care about home values, low crime, and a high quality of life.

Take a look at the list below. We give you a look into the top ten best places to live in Michigan where, yes, you can have it all.

If you're looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Michigan reading, check out:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Michigan For 2020

Birmingham, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,066
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $488,700 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (7th best)
More on Birmingham: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Birmingham is the best when it comes to overall likeability. According to the data, Birmingham is a little slice of heaven when it comes to Michigan living.

It's residents have the 4th highest income in the state, and according to government data, the skies are clearer in Median than any other place in the state. The 12th lowest crime in Michigan also makes it very appealing.

You can't argue with large bank accounts and sunshine, can you?

Huntington Woods, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,340
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $349,500 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (40th best)
More on Huntington Woods: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Huntington Woods has a really low crime rate (7th lowest) and only 3.9% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($130,417). And that goes a long way.

The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Huntington Woods.

East Grand Rapids, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,642
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $353,700 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (13th best)
More on East Grand Rapids: Real Estate | Data | Photos

East Grand Rapids has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Michigan. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this East Grand Rapids is a real gem.

With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home prices. Additionally, the commute time for East Grand Rapids residents to work is significantly higher than average.

Berkley, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,360
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $188,200 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.0% (3rd best)
More on Berkley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Well, I guess technically 2.0% of Berkley residents who want to have a job can't find one, so not everyone has a job, but it's the 3rd closest of any city in Michigan.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Berkley also ranked well for crime (6th) and median income ($82,095).

Beverly Hills, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 10,440
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $360,400 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (11th best)
More on Beverly Hills: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Who wouldn't want to live in a place where there's low crime and everyone is rich? That's the case with Beverly Hills.

Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 11th lowest in Michigan and the median income comes in at $116,107.

This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

Grosse Pointe Park, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 11,207
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $347,900 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (23rd best)
More on Grosse Pointe Park: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Known for its low unemployment rates and great education, Grosse Pointe Park is a wonderful place to live in this state.

The relatively stable household incomes and below average crime rates don't hurt either!

While it may not be as great as some other places on this list, Grosse Pointe Park still holds its own in in Michigan.

Northville, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 5,971
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $325,900 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.6% (1st best)
More on Northville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Northville is another gem in the Wolverine State. The unemployment rate here is lowest in the entire state at 1.6%. Other factors that make Northville so desirable is the solid education and home prices.

Homes are valued at $325,900, and parents earn a combined $111,169 a year

There's nothing like the American dream.

Grosse Pointe Farms, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,224
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $341,500 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (28th best)
More on Grosse Pointe Farms: Real Estate | Data | Photos

When you're looking at the best places you could live in Michigan, Grosse Pointe Farms came in 8th. Let's see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Grosse Pointe Farms has an impressive history for a place of just over 9,224 people. The median home costs a cool $341,500 and households make $132,853 which is good for 2nd in Michigan.

Grosse Pointe Woods, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 15,559
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $227,600 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (29th best)
More on Grosse Pointe Woods: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Grosse Pointe Woods has a long and illustrious history and its ranking in the top ten of our best places to live is just another notch in its belt.\n\Grosse Pointe Woods had the 9th highest household median income adjusted for cost of living at $97,711.

Not to mention that its residents have plenty to do on the weekends.

Plymouth, MI

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 9,054
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $289,500 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (21st best)
More on Plymouth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Plymouth takes 10th place on our list of best places in Michigan for 2020 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (21st overall) and things to do.

Plymouth is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $289,500 at the median.

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Michigan

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Lansing with a population of 116,699 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn't fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities -- Populations over 5,000
  • Towns -- Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
  • Small Towns -- Populations below 1,000

This left us with 145 cities, 257 towns, and 254 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Michigan have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be 'the best'.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Michigan

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in Michigan across a number of criteria from one to 145, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title "Best Place To Live In Michigan".

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Michigan? That would be Birmingham.

If your city or town isn't among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Michigan.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Birmingham at the end of the cul-de-sac.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Michigan

If you're looking at areas in Michigan with the best economic situations, where there's lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Birmingham made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Michigan for 2020.

Best Towns To Live In Michigan

  1. Pleasant Ridge (Pop. 2,562)
  2. Village of Grosse Pointe Shores (Pop. 2,933)
  3. DeWitt (Pop. 4,657)
  4. Franklin (Pop. 3,262)
  5. Frankenmuth (Pop. 4,992)
  6. Caledonia (Pop. 1,871)
  7. Spring Lake (Pop. 2,424)
  8. Lathrup Village (Pop. 4,127)
  9. Fruitport (Pop. 1,374)
  10. Bloomfield Hills (Pop. 3,984)

Best Small Towns To Live In Michigan

  1. Shoreham (Pop. 918)
  2. Eagle (Pop. 104)
  3. Barton Hills (Pop. 293)
  4. Lake Leelanau (Pop. 206)
  5. Richland (Pop. 858)
  6. Michiana (Pop. 187)
  7. Westphalia (Pop. 995)
  8. Village of Clarkston (Pop. 902)
  9. Lake Angelus (Pop. 260)
  10. Suttons Bay (Pop. 540)

If you're curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Michigan according to the data:

  1. Detroit (Pop. 677,155)
  2. River Rouge (Pop. 7,536)
  3. Highland Park (Pop. 10,915)

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Michigan?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Birmingham 21,066 2.7% $488,700
2 Huntington Woods 6,340 3.9% $349,500
3 East Grand Rapids 11,642 2.9% $353,700
4 Berkley 15,360 2.0% $188,200
5 Beverly Hills 10,440 2.8% $360,400
6 Grosse Pointe Park 11,207 3.3% $347,900
7 Northville 5,971 1.6% $325,900
8 Grosse Pointe Farms 9,224 3.5% $341,500
9 Grosse Pointe Woods 15,559 3.5% $227,600
10 Plymouth 9,054 3.3% $289,500

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.

5 thoughts on “THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Michigan For 2020

  1. hi. looking at relocating to Detroit with a senior high school student. Which best public and private schools would you recommend close by? How would Bloomfield rate as an area to live?

  2. this entire list is gentrified. that tells us that you are really not interested in what Michigan has to offer.

  3. I think this is an East or West coast idea of how a Michigander lives. The majority of the state does not get on a snowmobile and hunt, and I have never had to shovel snow off my roof, especially this year. Also, Michigan only borders four Great Lakes. It shouldn’t be too hard to find a writer from our state. We are actually literate.

  4. Thank you Ironwood, for correcting the ‘pasty’ pronunciation! Where did they get ‘pawsty’? I’ve heard the mispronunciation (from tourists) ‘pay-stee”🙄 too many times. So right, PAST-TEE it is. Like, ‘Past’, over, done, you ate it, and ‘Tea’, that you drank with it. By the way, if you’ve ever seen us in the True North, we Yoopers really do ‘rake’ our roofs (and shovel them) because of heavy snow. Had 5 ft of snow in our yard for months up here. We are a hearty bunch☃️

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