Best Small Towns In Michigan For 2020


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Michigan are the best of the best.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. This is our sixth time ranking the best small places to live in Michigan.

You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in Michigan, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Wolverine State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Michigan based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Michigan ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 15, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Michigan for 2020.

What’s the best small town in Michigan? Village of Grosse Pointe Shores is the best small town in Michigan based on the most recent Census data. If you live in one of these small towns like Village of Grosse Pointe Shores, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Wolverine State check out:

The 15 Best Small Towns In Michigan For 2020

Village Of Grosse Pointe Shores, MI

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,860
Median Income: $150,703 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $477,600 (4th Best)
More on Village Of Grosse Pointe Shores: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Pleasant Ridge, MI

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 2,389
Median Income: $116,583 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $332,900 (7th Best)
More on Pleasant Ridge: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 4,667
Median Income: $99,148 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $202,300 (20th Best)
More on Dewitt: Data | Homes For Sale

Bloomfield Hills, MI

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 4,009
Median Income: $174,750 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $856,700 (1st Best)
More on Bloomfield Hills: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Lake Orion, MI

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 3,131
Median Income: $79,861 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $277,700 (8th Best)
More on Lake Orion: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Wolverine Lake, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 4,582
Median Income: $87,857 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $183,800 (25th Best)
More on Wolverine Lake: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 3,789
Median Income: $63,341 (38th Best)
Median Home Value: $148,600 (51st Best)
More on North Muskegon: Data | Homes For Sale

Lathrup Village, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 4,150
Median Income: $95,700 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $184,000 (24th Best)
More on Lathrup Village: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Franklin, MI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 3,332
Median Income: $154,079 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $586,200 (2nd Best)
More on Franklin: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 1,798
Median Income: $79,118 (15th Best)
Median Home Value: $227,300 (15th Best)
More on Sylvan Lake: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 1,101
Median Income: $118,571 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $395,400 (6th Best)
More on Bingham Farms: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,657
Median Income: $75,556 (21st Best)
Median Home Value: $200,600 (21st Best)
More on Caledonia: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,079
Median Income: $50,919 (89th Best)
Median Home Value: $127,300 (69th Best)
More on Stevensville: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,158
Median Income: $77,344 (18th Best)
Median Home Value: $435,300 (5th Best)
More on South Gull Lake: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,563
Median Income: $55,788 (67th Best)
Median Home Value: $149,700 (49th Best)
More on Spring Lake: Data | Homes For Sale

How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Michigan

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2014-2018 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 249 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 249, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Michigan. Top of that list — Village of Grosse Pointe Shores. You can download the data here.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 15 best small towns in Michigan.

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 15 small towns in Michigan are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in Michigan:

  1. Skidway Lake
  2. St. Helen
  3. Mio

For more michigan reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Michigan

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Village Of Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 2,860 $150,703.0 $477,600.0
2 Pleasant Ridge, MI 2,389 $116,583.0 $332,900.0
3 Dewitt, MI 4,667 $99,148.0 $202,300.0
4 Bloomfield Hills, MI 4,009 $174,750.0 $856,700.0
5 Lake Orion, MI 3,131 $79,861.0 $277,700.0
6 Wolverine Lake, MI 4,582 $87,857.0 $183,800.0
7 North Muskegon, MI 3,789 $63,341.0 $148,600.0
8 Lathrup Village, MI 4,150 $95,700.0 $184,000.0
9 Franklin, MI 3,332 $154,079.0 $586,200.0
10 Sylvan Lake, MI 1,798 $79,118.0 $227,300.0
11 Bingham Farms, MI 1,101 $118,571.0 $395,400.0
12 Caledonia, MI 1,657 $75,556.0 $200,600.0
13 Stevensville, MI 1,079 $50,919.0 $127,300.0
14 South Gull Lake, MI 1,158 $77,344.0 $435,300.0
15 Spring Lake, MI 2,563 $55,788.0 $149,700.0
16 Oxford, MI 3,553 $66,725.0 $192,700.0
17 Trowbridge Park, MI 2,270 $62,736.0 $164,700.0
18 Dimondale, MI 1,266 $72,917.0 $156,300.0
19 Pinckney, MI 2,488 $76,847.0 $168,500.0
20 Edgemont Park, MI 2,287 $60,917.0 $115,000.0
21 West Ishpeming, MI 2,837 $59,933.0 $134,200.0
22 Plainwell, MI 3,802 $55,570.0 $123,000.0
23 Orchard Lake Village, MI 2,456 $171,023.0 $524,800.0
24 Williamston, MI 3,930 $64,853.0 $145,500.0
25 Middleville, MI 3,397 $62,944.0 $119,600.0
26 Fruitport, MI 1,361 $53,203.0 $131,600.0
27 Elk Rapids, MI 1,490 $54,750.0 $230,200.0
28 Rockwood, MI 3,202 $75,114.0 $140,300.0
29 Schoolcraft, MI 1,357 $55,375.0 $115,000.0
30 Lowell, MI 4,060 $65,809.0 $123,900.0
31 Ferrysburg, MI 3,003 $69,613.0 $167,600.0
32 Grass Lake, MI 1,227 $65,000.0 $149,600.0
33 Boyne City, MI 3,750 $54,024.0 $140,900.0
34 Auburn, MI 1,947 $48,750.0 $113,800.0
35 South Haven, MI 4,341 $51,750.0 $206,900.0
36 Belleville, MI 3,898 $50,068.0 $130,300.0
37 Harbor Springs, MI 1,129 $49,000.0 $238,600.0
38 Linden, MI 3,882 $65,556.0 $153,600.0
39 Beechwood, MI 3,450 $55,994.0 $154,000.0
40 Manchester, MI 2,037 $55,893.0 $144,600.0
41 Bath, MI 2,213 $74,417.0 $158,200.0
42 Spring Arbor, MI 2,634 $58,060.0 $163,500.0
43 Goodrich, MI 1,941 $81,500.0 $181,800.0
44 Laurium, MI 2,179 $41,979.0 $75,800.0
45 Fowler, MI 1,357 $54,141.0 $137,600.0
46 Wacousta, MI 1,637 $81,389.0 $183,600.0
47 Chums Corner, MI 1,150 $95,000.0 $222,900.0
48 Pearl Beach, MI 2,996 $68,494.0 $209,200.0
49 Armada, MI 1,796 $60,341.0 $158,100.0
50 Bridgman, MI 2,534 $73,472.0 $167,000.0
51 Otsego, MI 3,976 $45,000.0 $119,500.0
52 Negaunee, MI 4,563 $50,393.0 $115,700.0
53 Laingsburg, MI 1,273 $57,639.0 $117,300.0
54 Argentine, MI 2,478 $77,656.0 $259,300.0
55 Montague, MI 2,493 $56,447.0 $109,900.0
56 Romeo, MI 3,916 $56,731.0 $168,200.0
57 Canadian Lakes, MI 2,925 $59,167.0 $189,600.0
58 Blissfield, MI 3,194 $46,838.0 $114,400.0
59 Reese, MI 1,390 $63,333.0 $112,300.0
60 Quinnesec, MI 1,017 $65,938.0 $85,500.0
61 Portland, MI 3,920 $57,705.0 $116,300.0
62 Pigeon, MI 1,289 $40,000.0 $80,300.0
63 Clinton, MI 2,428 $62,652.0 $115,000.0
64 Wayland, MI 4,190 $45,675.0 $114,600.0
65 Dundee, MI 4,133 $54,861.0 $157,300.0
66 Roosevelt Park, MI 3,806 $46,622.0 $105,500.0
67 Stony Point, MI 1,695 $80,039.0 $114,900.0
68 Carleton, MI 2,399 $57,841.0 $118,800.0
69 Grawn, MI 1,225 $43,000.0 $126,600.0
70 Lake Isabella, MI 2,112 $78,125.0 $163,300.0
71 Detroit Beach, MI 2,021 $58,203.0 $100,300.0
72 Manitou Beach-Devils Lake, MI 1,730 $58,750.0 $203,900.0
73 Whitehall, MI 2,730 $44,462.0 $119,200.0
74 South Rockwood, MI 1,828 $74,950.0 $129,100.0
75 Concord, MI 1,171 $48,098.0 $103,600.0
76 Coopersville, MI 4,386 $54,774.0 $125,500.0
77 Shepherd, MI 1,492 $46,875.0 $108,800.0
78 Gladstone, MI 4,794 $45,956.0 $90,100.0
79 Gibraltar, MI 4,529 $63,063.0 $148,400.0
80 Shorewood-Tower Hills-Harbert, MI 1,638 $68,906.0 $256,400.0
81 Utica, MI 4,945 $53,056.0 $151,600.0
82 Stockbridge, MI 1,349 $46,838.0 $129,800.0
83 New Buffalo, MI 1,634 $50,486.0 $229,700.0
84 Twin Lake, MI 1,751 $75,804.0 $156,000.0
85 Norway, MI 2,786 $45,125.0 $86,000.0
86 Onsted, MI 1,005 $52,946.0 $125,400.0
87 Davison, MI 4,951 $46,278.0 $108,800.0
88 Hancock, MI 4,577 $40,598.0 $111,600.0
89 Frankfort, MI 1,108 $40,000.0 $164,500.0
90 Woodland Beach, MI 2,049 $59,777.0 $111,700.0
91 Burt, MI 1,001 $56,917.0 $111,700.0
92 Cass City, MI 2,495 $47,071.0 $77,000.0
93 Greilickville, MI 1,717 $47,404.0 $244,900.0
94 Petersburg, MI 1,194 $54,800.0 $125,200.0
95 Essexville, MI 3,357 $52,048.0 $87,400.0
96 Birch Run, MI 1,646 $46,019.0 $94,100.0
97 Charlevoix, MI 2,364 $32,398.0 $166,200.0
98 Parchment, MI 1,969 $47,266.0 $113,400.0
99 Perry, MI 2,156 $54,444.0 $95,200.0
100 Fremont, MI 4,060 $35,223.0 $93,200.0

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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