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Population continues rapid growth

Krystle Wagner • Apr 11, 2018 at 8:00 AM

The county’s population continues to grow, according to a new estimate released by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Ottawa County’s population grew from 283,242 people in 2016 to an estimated 286,383 residents in 2017. Ottawa County is also the eighth-most populated Michigan county, and is the fastest growing, according to the report.

Overall, the county saw growth of about 8.6 percent from 2010 to 2017.

“It’s a really great testament to Ottawa County and the entire West Michigan area,” said Ottawa County spokeswoman Shannon Felgner.

From economic opportunities, beautiful parks and natural features, to great schools and safe neighborhoods, Felgner said the area has a lot to offer, especially considering the distance from Grand Rapids and larger areas like Chicago.

“It’s a really great place to either build a business, raise a family or just enjoy the great outdoors,” she said.

The county’s continued population growth isn’t a surprise, Felgner noted.

Looking back at the population change from 2010 to 2014, and the years following the 2010 census, Felgner said the county was the top growing county in the state those four years, and it has continued that trend.

In previous years, the population growth has been caused by a mix of migration and more births than deaths.

Updated population estimates for local communities will be released in the coming months.

Statewide, the population saw a slight uptick of .29 percent with an overall 9,962,311 residents in 2017.

Although Wayne County has the largest population, it saw a drop of about .17 percent. The county continues to have an estimated 1.7 million residents.

From 2010 to 2017, Wayne County has experienced a decrease of 3.68 percent.

The 10 most-populated counties in Michigan are Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Kent, Genesee, Washtenaw, Ingham, Ottawa, Kalamazoo and Saginaw.

The 10 counties with the fastest growth rate include Ottawa, Kent, Washtenaw, Grand Traverse, Kalamazoo, Livingston, Allegan, Lake, Clinton and Oakland.

Kent and Allegan counties were also among the top fastest growing counties with 7.63 percent and 4.52 percent growth rates, respectively.

Muskegon County’s population was estimated at 173,693 people in 2017, up slightly from 173,408 residents in 2016.

Overall, Muskegon County has experienced an increase of about .9 percent from 2010 to 2017, according to the report.

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