Demographics Study

Downtown Traverse City is nestled in between two dynamic peninsulas & looks out upon the enchanting Grand Traverse Bay.

Our historic downtown offers residents a unique experience that combines the stateliness of the past with the liveliness of the present. Traverse City is the most populous city in Northern Michigan making it a cultural hub for the region. It is the common meeting place for dining, shopping, employment, events, and recreation.

In 2007, the Downtown Development Authority completed a market analysis focused on retail, office and housing trends in downtown and Grand Traverse County. You can view the full report or the executive summary here.

Another good sources of demographic information is the Networks Northwest.




Trade Area 52,916

% Female 27,748

% Male 24,564

Median Age 43.18


Households 23,490

Owner-Occupied Housing 60%

Renter-Occupied Housing 29.1%

Average Household Income

Average Household Income $63,783


Population Age 25+ 38,058

High School Graduates 21.4%

Some College 25.9%

Associate’s Degree 9.6%

Bachelor’s Degree 21.4%

Graduate Degree 13.5%

Employment Data

% of Pop. in Labor Force 95.1%

% White Collar 62.6%

Traverse City Daytime Pop. 32,768

A Growing County

The 2013 population of Grand Traverse County was 89,987. Between 2000 and 2010, Grand Traverse County was the third fastest growing county in Michigan. Census estimates indicate the county has been averaging an annual population increase of approximately 1,000. Grand Traverse County was the fastest growing county in Michigan in 2013. (U.S. Census)




Highly Educated

On a whole, county residents tend to have a higher than average education compared to the remainder of Michigan. The county is ranked sixth in the state with 93.3% of the population having a high school diploma or more and ranked tenth in the state with 29.6% of the population having a bachelor's degree or more. (U.S. Census)

Lower Unemployment

The unemployment rate in Grand Traverse County is typically lower than the state average for the summer months mainly due to tourism. However, the county typically experiences an increase in unemployment during the winter months. The annual unemployment rate for Grand Traverse County in 2013 was 7.5%. The State annual unemployment rate was 8.9% for 2013. (Michigan Department of Technology, Management, & Budget, & The Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Cherry Capital

Agriculture is another vital industry in the county. Michigan leads the nation in tart cherry production with Grand Traverse County ranking as the fourth highest county in the nation for growing tart cherries and the fifteenth highest county in the nation for growing sweet cherries. (U.S.D.A. Census of Agriculture)

Big in Health Care

Health care and social assistance is the largest employment industry in Grand Traverse County. Over the next 30 years, the county is forecasted to experience employment growth more than 150% higher than the state average. (MDOT-Statewide & Urban Model Travel Analysis Section & U-M Institute for Research on Labor, Employment, and the Economy)

Tourism Region

With a market area accounting for close to 10 percent of the state's travel volume, Grand Traverse County ranks second in Michigan in the number of tourism trips hosted and the highest in annual tourism dollars spent per capita at $7,967 - almost double the second highest county. (2012-2017 Michigan Tourism Strategic Plan)

Economic Impact

An estimated 3.3 million persons annually visit Grand Traverse County. The total economic impact from the visitor industry in Grand Traverse County is $1.2 billion annually