Where are the best places in the state of Michigan?
To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Wolverine State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.
However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Michigan.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.
After analyzing 145 places in Michigan, we came up with this list of the best places:
- East Grand Rapids (Photos)
- Huntington Woods (Photos)
- Birmingham (Photos)
- Beverly Hills (Photos)
- Berkley (Photos)
- Plymouth (Photos)
- Grosse Pointe Woods (Photos)
- Northville (Photos)
- Farmington (Photos)
- Grosse Pointe Farms (Photos)
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best 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 114,773 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 5,100
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,100
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 145 cities, 257 towns, and 261 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,100 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Place 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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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 East Grand Rapids at the end of the cul-de-sac.
1. East Grand Rapids
Population: 11,297Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Home Values: $303,400 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (3rd best)
East Grand Rapids has a really low crime rate (12th lowest) and only 3.4% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($118,393). 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 East Grand Rapids.
2. Huntington Woods
Population: 6,330Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Values: $298,800 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (10th best)
Huntington Woods is a cute little city where crime is far below the state average, and where it’s affordable. The schools are also solidly rated.
Home prices clock in at $298,800 and households earn a median salary of $121,528. One could get used to that.
Population: 20,653Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Home Values: $439,000 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (5th best)
There’s two types of people who live in Birmingham. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $439,000 home there.
Either way, you’re set. Your kids go to great schools, there’s a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Birmingham is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.
4. Beverly Hills
Population: 10,450Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Values: $320,200 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (1st best)
Beverly Hills is by far one of the best places to live in Michigan: the math proves it! This city has the 2nd lowest unemployment rate and the 5th highest median income in all of Michigan.
Plus, the median home values are the 2nd highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 7th lowest in the state, making Beverly Hills a safe and great place to live.
Population: 15,239Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Home Values: $159,400 (31st best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (15th best)
There’s two types of people who live in Berkley. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $159,400 home there.
Either way, you’re set. Your kids go to great schools, there’s a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Berkley is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.
Population: 8,956Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 1)
Home Values: $240,200 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (5th best)
Well, I guess technically 3.6% of Plymouth residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 5th 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, Plymouth also ranked well for crime (18th) and median income ($78,254).
7. Grosse Pointe Woods
Population: 15,785Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Values: $197,600 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (47th best)
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there’s low crime and everyone is rich? That’s the case with Grosse Pointe Woods.
Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 48th lowest in Michigan and the median income comes in at $93,404.
This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
Population: 5,986Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Values: $298,900 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (35th best)
The Town of Northville might be a bit of a surprise to some in terms of how well it ranks according to science.
The crime rate in Northville isn’t amazing, but it’s far below the state average. The homes are valued at $298,900 here, and the schools get some of the most funding in Michigan.
If Northville can get some more of their residents to work, things will look even rosier here. The unemployment rate (5.5% is the 35th highest in the state.
Population: 10,526Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 3)
Home Values: $165,800 (27th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (25th best)
Farmington has it made. In fact, according to science, it’s one of the best places to live in the state of Michigan.
The unemployment rate is the 25th lowest in the state at 4.8%, and residents make a pretty penny. Median incomes are $64,388, and the average cost of a home is $165,800. Which is an indication that lots of people want to live here.
We wouldn’t be surprised if more and more publications call Farmington one of America’s gems.
10. Grosse Pointe Farms
Population: 9,265Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 5)
Home Values: $287,100 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (22nd best)
At an umeployment rate of 4.7%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Grosse Pointe Farms. And the residents command high salaries ($119,500 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($287,100 each).
We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in Michigan. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best 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.
East Grand Rapids made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.
Best Towns To Live In Michigan
- Pleasant Ridge (Pop. 2,562)
- Village of Grosse Pointe Shores (Pop. 2,933)
- DeWitt (Pop. 4,657)
- Franklin (Pop. 3,262)
- Frankenmuth (Pop. 4,992)
- Caledonia (Pop. 1,871)
- Spring Lake (Pop. 2,424)
- Lathrup Village (Pop. 4,127)
- Fruitport (Pop. 1,374)
- Bloomfield Hills (Pop. 3,984)
Best Small Towns To Live In Michigan
- Shoreham (Pop. 918)
- Eagle (Pop. 104)
- Barton Hills (Pop. 293)
- Lake Leelanau (Pop. 206)
- Richland (Pop. 858)
- Michiana (Pop. 187)
- Westphalia (Pop. 995)
- Village of Clarkston (Pop. 902)
- Lake Angelus (Pop. 260)
- Suttons Bay (Pop. 540)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Michigan:
- Highland Park (Pop. 10,978)
- Detroit (Pop. 683,443)
- River Rouge (Pop. 7,609)
For more Michigan reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Most Redneck Cities In Michigan
- These Are The 10 Most Boring Places In Michigan
- These Are The 10 Happiest Cities In Michigan
Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Michigan
|East Grand Rapids||1||2|
|Grosse Pointe Woods||7||6|
|Grosse Pointe Farms||10||5|
|Grosse Pointe Park||14||14|
|St. Clair Shores||42||47|