Grand Rapids, MI

Population: 193,887

Key findings

  • Grand Rapids has a Livability Score of 67/100, which is considered average
  • Grand Rapids crime rates are 45% higher than the Michigan average
  • Cost of living in Grand Rapids is equal to the Michigan average
  • Grand Rapids real estate prices are 11% lower than the Michigan average
  • Rental prices in Grand Rapids are 1% higher than the Michigan average

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      Grand Rapids, MI

      Forbes rated Grand Rapids, Michigan the best city in the United States to raise your family. It's one of the largest cities in the Midwest with a metro area population over one million, and the economy has been growing there because of a large number of people who have been moving there. With a relatively low cost of living compared to other major cities, Grand Rapids is a compelling place to consider for your relocation.

      One of the most attractive things about Grand Rapids is that it's a safe place for families to live. Families who want good schools for their children will be happy with the quality of the schools from kindergarten to high school that are abundant throughout the region. When it comes to large cities, it has one of the lowest crime rates in the nation; However, Grand Rapids does not have a boring atmosphere. It is an interesting city with a diversity of people from various cultural backgrounds.

      Even though the cold and snow in Michigan could limit the outdoor lifestyle to a certain degree, there are many things to enjoy in the outdoors during the warmer months. Grand Rapids has some of the most popular beaches in Michigan, and the park system is great for people who enjoy hiking and bicycle riding. There are more than 1,200 acres of parks in the area where people engage in kickball games and gatherings during the summer.

      Grand Rapids was named "Beer City USA" because it boasts of more craft beer establishments than perhaps any other city on the planet. People who enjoy fine beer will be happy with the many craft brewery establishments in the city's famous "Beer City Ail Trail" where you can visit dozens of establishments that offer tastings and tours.

      Grand Rapids is also known as a thriving community for artists and creatives of different types. The job market in Grand Rapids has been very healthy as it is one of the leading industrial centers for the furniture market. The artistry of the fine furniture is renowned, and art is integral to the identity of the city.

      The world's most radical and rich art competition, "ArtPrize," is hosted in Grand Rapids. The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is another outstanding gem of the city's art culture. People who have a taste for culture can enjoy the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Public Museum. In the evenings, you can enjoy performances of the only professional ballet company in the state of Michigan, the Grand Rapids Ballet.

      If you are an adventurous person and you run out of things to do in Grand Rapids, it is located ideally two hours away from Chicago and Detroit, two of the largest and most lively cities in the country. The safety, thriving economy and fascinating cultural offerings of Grand Rapids make it one of the most attractive places for people who are looking for a new city in which to live.

      Top Rated Schools in Grand Rapids

      Name Grades Students Proficiency
      East Grand Rapids High School9 - 121,01081%
      Lakeside SchoolPK - 543279%
      City Middlehigh School7 - 1287479%
      Northern Hills Middle School7 - 859176%
      Wealthy SchoolPK - 539876%
      Central High School9 - 121,22575%
      Blandford Nature Center6 - 66175%
      Knapp Forest Elementary SchoolPK - 667175%
      See all Grand Rapids schools

      Grand Rapids Reviews

      Write a review about Grand Rapids Tell people what you like or don't like about Grand Rapids…
      Grand Rapids is great! Don't believe the Review Bombs
      Attractions7/10
      Community9/10
      Nightlife7/10
      Dining9/10
      Shopping10/10
      First, please disregard the review bombs.
      Looks like a few people on here have just gone through and hit negative on positive reviews, and positive on negative ones.

      Expect to see the same on this review...
      And in reading the reviews, they seem to be for personal prejudices or personal problems.

      From hating on the city because some people are Christians (I am not particularly religious, but respect those who are) to hating on the city because they were evicted from their home.

      Grand Rapids, MI makes many "Best Places" lists. Especially for those looking to raise a family.
      In the Recent 2020 census our population has seen significant growth. In fact, we are seeing a wave of people fleeing Chicago to come live here. And they are most welcome!

      I have lived in Grand Rapids most of my life, but a few other places as well. I have also traveled throughout the US.
      Grand Rapids has so much going on for it's size. Maybe if you look at cities 4 times as big they'd have more going on. But cities of a similar size? No way...
      Literally just go downtown any weekend, any season and there's something to see and do.
      From Art Prize, to Ice Skating, to the 4 museums, to the zillions of restaurants, to the festivals and fairs, to the "cons", to the 10 different performance venues, to the amazing parks, trails & lakes (too much to list really). There's even a casino just south of the city of that's your thing:)

      And unlike most Midwest cities, it's growing like crazy. Downtown especially.

      Next, I'd like to address some of the misconceptions I found on here.

      Weather: fortunately or unfortunately, climate change has drastically altered the weather here.
      The winters are significantly lighter, and much less snow. Growing up there would be at least a week where Everything would shut down due to snow. This never happens any more. But we still get snow for sledding and to have a proper holiday season.
      In fact, it's Oct 2nd 2021 and the weather today is a perfect 75 degrees. No idea when fall will come this year (seems later every year), but looking forward to the color change:)
      Summers are hot these days, but thankfully there's plenty of water around. You know, the Great Lakes, where 20% of the world's surface fresh water is... And we have the best side of the best lake (Lake Michigan) 20 minutes away. Holland, Grand Haven and Saugatuck are all must visits in the summer!

      Shopping: Can't believe I saw a complaint about shopping... There's 3 major shopping hubs (Rivertown, Woodland & Alpine) and about a dozen smaller ones flanking the city. There's also a new outdoor mall (Tanger) that was just built a few years ago.
      From high-end to low, to artisan to antique, it's all here in abundance. Anyone who says they had trouble with shopping didn't bother to learn the city...

      Politics: GR is a very mixed city. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. And we get along, Oprah didn't call out "West Michigan Nice" when she was here for no reason!

      The county (Kent) voted Trump in 2016 (you may recall we were his last stop both elections) and then Biden in 2020.
      The city itself is quite liberal. Eastown, like others have said, is basically like a mini Portland. But conservatives can be comfortable in the city too. In fact, Eastown is the Only place in the city that feels political at all.
      The burbs are mixed and the rural areas, and there are some Very nice rural areas, tend to be more conservative. But not always...
      Frankly, unless it's presidential yard signs, Eastown; or the occasional person holding a sign about this or that at Rosa Parks Circle, the city is pretty void of politics.
      To be fair, we did have a two nights of fairly pedestrian protests downtown after George Floyd. Some smashed windows and a dumpster fire, but that was it. For example, the dumpster fire was lit, and once it was a fire, people in the community put it out themselves.

      Crime: seems a good point to talk about this.
      Personally, there's no place in the city I wouldn't feel comfortable walking in. In fact, I've Lived in both the richest and poorest areas of this city (East Grand Rapids vs the poor areas I won't name).
      Yes, there's homeless near the missions and shelters during the day when they are active. Yes, there's a very small tent city on the river near the west side (literally like 6 tents). I know this because sometimes my wife and I bike the trails next to it.
      Yes people have signs asking for money at some intersections.
      Frankly, find me a city of any size that doesn't have these things?
      Like I said, I've never had a problem getting safe, but your mileage may vary.
      In fact, our "projects" are so nice I would be fine living there if I had to.

      Community and Schools:
      Ultimately, no matter what type of environment you like or person you are, you can feel at home here in Grand Rapids. A city with a ton of history and historical neighborhoods, with a modern downtown that is constantly growing. Some of the best health care facilities that exist (didn't even talk about the Medical Mile).
      Solid colleges, universities and trade schools.
      K-12 can be a mixed bag, but there are some great schools here too. There's also a lottery system where you can choose where to send your kids, and if you don't get in you can get every year. Or there's a ton of amazing private institutions.

      Whether you are a conservative, person of faith, or the most progressive liberal, there is a place for you in Grand Rapids. I promise you!
      If you can't tell, I Love this city. I'm lucky enough to see it from my house every day and I appreciate the people who live here very much.

      So when I saw some of the strange things people were saying about it, I just had to write you this book in response:)

      Best wishes!
      Blake
      3 -2
      Meh, it’s alright
      Attractions4/10
      Community5/10
      Nightlife5/10
      Dining7/10
      Shopping5/10
      Been here 20 + years and have had enough. The wife and I are moving out of the state to somewhere sunny and somewhere a little more our style politically.

      The weather is just awful. Seven months of rain and snow and clouds. You can blame Lake Michigan for that. You forget what the warm sun feels like, or even looks like. Southwestern Michigan is one of the cloudiest places (More overcast than Seattle) in the country and it will wear on you, mainly in the spring, fall and winter, summers are usually nice and sunny. Summer doesn’t come until June and is gone by early-mid September. It’s short and sweet. By late April early May you expect it to be nice, warm and sunny but you’re still seeing highs of 50-55 with rain and wind while 100 miles south it’s in the 70’s.

      Grand Rapids has decent housing costs and jobs are easy to get. The short summers are great and Lake Michigan is a fun, family destination.

      Traffic is getting worse. Drivers are aggressive and rude. Roads are horribly beat up.

      Decent public transportation. The downtown area is livable and Has a few nice restaurants and bars. Like most mid-sized cities it thinks a bit too much of itself. It’s basically a nicer version of say, Ft Wayne Indiana.

      The people aren’t all that friendly, they’re nice enough I guess but overall just never came across as all that genuine. Deep cultural center for the Christian Reformed Church. This is like their Salt Lake City. They’re a tight bunch and stick together. They believe in predestination and that if you have nice things in life it’s because you’re loved by God. Lots of Lexuses and Cadillac Escalades in the parking lots on Sunday’s. There are though lots of Polish here too, to help balance things out. The West Side has lots of Polish clubs and fun bars.

      Politically the city itself is center-left. The areas around it is Trump Country. As Trump Country as the pan-handle of Texas. Kent county (Grand Rapid’s county) went for Trump, as did almost every county around it. I’m not digging on Trump supporters, just calling it how I see it.

      Overall it’s ok.

      It’s cons-Getting around, aggressive drivers, bad roads. Weather, just awful.

      It’s pros-Good job market. Good housing market. Good bars/restaurants.
      6 0
      response to last comment about grand rapids
      Attractions2/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining2/10
      Shopping1/10
      Actually I have lived in several other states and which have partially formed my negative out look on Michigan because it was so much better else where. I have also been through a lot and seen a lot of crap here that I never saw in the other areas I have lived. I had some circumstances happen that temporarily moved me back, but I am relocating out of here in the next month or so. you had some bad experiences in other areas, and I am sorry for that but don't you think that maybe me and other people have had just as bad but maybe in different way in Michigan as what you had else where. So I don't think you should be sitting there judging others opinions when you don't know anything about the ones you are judging. Despite our differences I do wish you well and hope you find happiness.
      5 -4
      Everyone who writes in here needs to live in about 10 other cities first
      Attractions6/10
      Community9/10
      Nightlife6/10
      Dining6/10
      Shopping6/10
      Born in New York, grew up in Ohio. My father was a sales rep that had Ohio and Michigan as his territories. Really only visited Bloomfield Hills for a horseback camp great friend, but my father traveling all over the state all the time ALWAYS loved Grand Rapids. Going to run out of words. Live in Las Vegas, you have no idea of the unfriendiness. 11 years, not 1 friend that I don't pay.(Beauty stuff) Lived in Arkansas for a year, 7 friends in 3 months that I didn't pay. Try doing something here, it'll cost you a months rent. There's no green anything here, there's no water, I lived in 8 states and 19 cities......rudest and meanist people I've ever met here.
      There's more than "your city doesn't look like Toronto, Canada", to make or break whether it's a good place to live or not. When you've lived all over the country like I have, you'd probably RUN back to Michigan.
      2 -11
      DO NOT COME: READ BELOW
      Attractions1/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining1/10
      Shopping1/10
      DO NOT COME HERE.Here are a list of areas you should NOT want to pass by or live on, around the westside as you call it, which is near downtown and also the SouthWest area. To much crime around that area and gang tagging and shootings just stay out those areas go to the east of Grand Rapids much safer.
      14 -3
      Run! It's horrible.
      Attractions1/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining2/10
      Shopping1/10
      I have lived in the grand rapids area most of my life. I hate it with a passion, even more so after living out of state for a few years and seeing how west Michigan is uniquely snobby. There is a very strong Calvinistic and Christian reformed mentality in the worst kind of way, most of the people here are uptight, irritable, arrogant, self righteous and just plain mean. Also there is nothing to do here that even entertains the possibility of adventure because God forbid it might make their spirits come alive. And for the love of God and all that is good in the world, don't raise your children here, they deserve so much better, and do you really want that mentality running the show down the road? I think NOT! I can't wait to make west Michigan a thing of the past forever, ever and ever.
      11 -4
      IF YOU DON'T HAVE TO COME HERE DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME!!
      Attractions1/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining1/10
      Shopping1/10
      We had to move here for a job and Amen it was for only 6 months! Jobs are plentiful but pay is very low and rent is sky high!! If you want a 2 bedroom 2 bath that is not updated you are looking at at least $1100.00!! Went downtown looking for entertainment found homeless and trash. Very dirty city! Took my dog to the river and all along the river were broken bottles (which surprise me as they force you to recycle here) and other trash! Being forced to recycle tells you one thing....they wouldn't if they weren't forced to and it's quit obvious by how the locals live. Michigan is a no fault state for auto insurance and they drive like it! You'd think they would know how to drive in the snow but they don't. Gas prices can change by .35 cents overnight!! Unless you are into brewing your own beer and tasting others there really isn't much Grand Rapids has to offer. I would not recommend to live here or visit here.
      8 -3
      Just plain boring.
      Attractions1/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining1/10
      Shopping1/10
      I have lived in Grand Rapids almost three years and can truly say I hate it. I'm going to take into account the area where I live. This neighborhood is so old, broken down and so depressing. I drive just a few minutes and can see so much decay looking like people just don't care. I have never seen so many broken down privacy fences these things are just so ugly. On the positive the people here are friendly and helpful which means a lot but unless you are married and have kids or family you feel lost. I can't put my finger on it but there is a sense that Grand Rapids is out of the loop. Driving here for one of the first times I saw of large sign that said Grand Rapids Beer City seriously how tacky. The restaurants are not good or just so so. I grew of in Detroit when it was thriving and the difference is night and day. If your young it may be fun if all you want to do is hang out at bars, bars, and more bars. Hate the weather so cloudy. What can I say I hate this cloudy, dull city.
      6 -3
      Not nice place
      Attractions1/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife1/10
      Dining1/10
      Shopping10/10
      Grand Rapids Michigan is not a friendly city at all the people here are snobby and not open the problem with this city is lacking of program with people with Asperger’s Symdrome and Austim it so hard to find a place to meet. The public transportation in this city sucks. Grand Rapids Mi is lacking entertainment such as a them park, amusement park there no place where trill seeker go and enjoyed them. The attraction here are not interesting I live for 27 year I definitely thinking about movin to California
      6 -4
      A place to build your life
      Attractions10/10
      Community10/10
      Nightlife9/10
      Dining9/10
      Shopping7/10
      I moved here for graduate school in 2014...I had no idea what to expect and came in blind. This place has more than blown me away. After three years i can confidently say I have never lived in a place that has felt more like home. The people here have welcomed me with open arms even as an atheist. The night life and music/art scenes in this town are more than amazing. The economy is booming, breweries everywhere, and so much nature just outside town. Highly recommend to anyone interested in starting professional life.
      5 -5
      not a friendly place
      Attractions4/10
      Community1/10
      Nightlife2/10
      Dining2/10
      Shopping7/10
      I wouldn't recommend this place to anyone who is a decent human being. Most people here are either criminals or snobs ( somewhere between urkle or screech and the Hollywood snob) I have been all over the country and west Michigan is the meanest. nice decent people are rare and far between. People here think that they are so wonderful that everyone should want to be like them, and if youre not, they think you are trash which is how they will treat you. Also they are super paranoid, you say hi to someone just to be friendly and they avoid you or think you are creepy. Also there ain't squat here to do except shopping (not for me.) Also as far as medical people here, doctors are ok. not always real personable and most of the nurses and receptionists are snobs.
      6 -3
      Probably Perfect for the Conservative Christian Family
      Attractions4/10
      Community8/10
      Nightlife3/10
      Dining3/10
      Shopping7/10
      Background: Lived in GR while on clinical rotations during the winter. Maybe my view would be more positive had there been better weather

      Pros:
      1. Excellent hospitals (I know bc I worked at Spectrum). Everyone is very caring, even the surgeons (who are often aloof) would go out of their way in the patient care realm.
      2. The people are welcoming and honest
      3. Didn't run into any crime. Then again, I come from large cities (Phoenix and Chicago) so maybe to small town people this place is treacherous.
      4. Clean
      5. Breweries - Founders, and so many others

      Neutral:
      1. Very religious town - if that is your thing then maybe this is the place for you..if not, either keep that to yourself, or be ready to be proselytized.
      2. There's places to eat but nothing outstanding.

      Cons
      1. It's just BORING, at least in the winter
      2. For some reason this city thinks that their downtown warrants paid parking. I disagree; I didn't even have to pay for parking in Phoenix, why would I have to pay in tiny little Grand Rapids?!?
      3. I have a penchant for independently owned cozy coffee shops - I was unimpressed by what they had to offer here. I couldn't find a place with nice couches and coffee and sandwiches. (having said that I didn't go to any downtown bc I refuse to pay for parking, see no. 3 of the cons)
      2 -2
      Grand Rapids - No Thanks
      Attractions5/10
      Community5/10
      Nightlife5/10
      Dining5/10
      Shopping6/10
      I use to like Grand Rapids as a kid, I've been gone for 30 yrs. Each visit I see a change and growth, and segregation. All of the things below has happened in Grand Rapids to me and my wife just from this September through November trying to handle business in Grand Rapids.

      We have a rental home in Grand Rapids, during an eviction process, this year, the judge had us return to Grand Rapids (3) times in a 90 day period, over 500 miles each way for proceedings, merely a process designed to keep him working, the last one, the so called trial, lasted all of 16 minutes.

      There was one landlord with (6) people in court the first time we were there stating, their apartments are roach infested, the judge never said anything about a city inspection or closing down the roach trap, this is exploitation of the poor; the courts have the power to do more. This same judge should have to live in that apartment building himself, he allows slum landlords to continue to come in and out of court with the same complaints from new tenants. He doesn't care, Grand Rapids City doesn't' care.

      The same judge, would not allow our property manager to represent us, he said, I didn't care how far you have to drive, that's not my problem, he allows tenants to continue to stay in properties without paying rent for (5) months, knowing they have no means to pay back. Which then requires another trip to court for the us to file liens and more money for the court to process the same request at another level. The worst part was, the judge doesn't read any of the many documents /forms which we had to fill out to the letter, or risk losing the case, and pay for to have submitted.

      Domestic abuse in this city is rampant, young girls are simply on their own in Grand Rapids, getting the crap kicked out them, all such reports should be reported to social services and charges filed against the attacker in a court and followed through, especially when a welfare recipient is involved with kids. But there in Grand Rapids, it's allowed to continue over and over.


      When you call the 61st district court to inquire about court forms, no one knows anything, the computer is slow, After stumbling around for 30 minutes, they then tell you call 616-214-3880, their legal service department. (This outfit doesn't answer a phone, nor have they returned a call back in 4 days). Why can't the people answering the phone line for the courts be TRAINED?

      We stayed on the 28th near interstate- 96, area in one of the area motels, Red Roof Inn, we were given the room next to the laundry, after a long 6 hour drive, 543 miles to be exact, the dryer is dancing on the floor as it spins, the whole time, I can't sleep because its 3p and the lady is doing laundry. The front desk person stated that the floor where the dryer, sat was hollow and that they would not be able to provide any discount or move us but, laundry duties ends at 5pm. But we were given a 10 percent off card for our next visit. Right..

      We go over to Bob Evans, for a meal and the waitresses all just look at us as if they were in shock, they all then go behind the counter, where my spouse and I could still see them huddled together discussing who's going to serve us. Once they came out of their huddle, the waitress came over and did a great job.

      I scheduled a walk through with America Flooring in Wyoming, spoke with an Alec, agreed on a price that he was to lock into the system, till this day, he has never returned my calls. Empire Carpet people came and did a walk through and got the sale.

      We scheduled gas service with DET Gas, they were a no- show, the rep. claimed gas techs did come at 3:36, for a 12-4, schedule appointment, even with the property manager and flooring people there, no TV or radio mind you in a completely empty house. No one heard them at the door, and no door card left. DET Gas reschedules us another week out, while our home has no heat. When I asked DET Gas rep why no one called the property manager, the number was provided, her reply was. "We only provide courtesy calls to the metro area, but not in urban areas. I said, the metro would have covered the entire city and outlining areas. She stated, well, we didn't call. That was like saying; we don't give courtesy calls to customers of color or those who live in certain parts of the city.


      Because of the Mike Brown killing going on here in St. Louis, races are coming together in record numbers across the world, teaching the world that racism is wrong. We all are here on this earth to live together. Certain groups of people have been beaten into silence in Grand Rapids and take any kind of treatment now with a word.

      The last straw with me and Grand Rapids was when my 21 yr. son was murdered in Grand Rapids in 2003, A writer, named Keller, with the Grand Rapids Post, indicated every little petty negative thing they could find to put in the paper about my son, the victim, like driving w/o a license, underage drinking, etc. none which had a thing to do with his murder. This all was very insensitive and unnecessary, especially days before Christmas for our family. At my son's funeral the hearse left half of the family /friends to find the Ionia cemetery on our own, the attendant from Brown Funeral Home, drove up to speeds of 90 mph. When I arrived, the hearse was leaving the cemetery going back to Grand Rapids, the graveside services had already been held.

      Anyone coming to Grand Rapids will be able to see Grand Rapids is fake and that almost every other person you know or meet has motive here. Even a lot people you thought you knew have changed because of the way they have to live and be treated here, cold, unconcerning and very ignorant.
      2 -1
      Grand Rapids, MI
      Attractions7/10
      Community9/10
      Nightlife5/10
      Dining5/10
      Shopping5/10
      I have lived in Grand Rapids for about three years. While I have been here, I have found that there is a lot of history in the homes and the buildings. I live on the outskirts of the city, and there is something much different here than there is in the city limits. The homes are much larger than any I have seen in the other cities I have lived, and the town truly cares about the appearance of the area. Many of the people I have met are friendly, and they will speak to you for simply driving past them on the road.

      One of the things that I don't like is that there aren't many shopping centers. Most of the places I have found to shop at are smaller businesses, which I don't mind, but I do enjoy getting the name brand items at larger stores. During the summer, the Grand Rapids Symphony performs some of the best music I have ever heard. The outdoor event continues until it starts getting cooler, and then you can see holiday performances in the theaters. This is something else that I like about Grand Rapids. Home owners, including myself, go all out for holidays. There are lights on the windows and porches for Christmas, and Easter looks like a giant basket filled with eggs. Millennium Park is another favorite place to visit. There festivals through the year and plenty of room to run or play. This is a town where you can raise a family and know that you won't be bothered by someone who plays loud music or doesn't respect the town.
      1 -3
      Dangerous if your not from here
      Attractions5/10
      Community3/10
      Nightlife4/10
      Dining4/10
      Shopping8/10
      all you have to do is google grand rapids and shooting!
      STAY DOWNTOWN PEOPLE PLEASE DONT HANGOUT ON DIVISION AND ONLY GO TO RIVERTOWN MALL WOODLAND AND CENTERPOINTE MALL ARE GHETTO!

      IF YOU WANNA FEEL SAFE JUST STAY DIRECTLY DOWNTOWN LOTS OF COPS AROUND FOR A REASON, DONT BOTHER
      HELPING ANYBODY OUT ON THE STREET 90 PERCENT ITS A SCAM TO ROB YOU OR LEAD YOU SOMEWHERE UNSAFE!

      DONT LEAVE DOWNTOWN! IF YOU WANT SAFE GO TO THE GOLD COAST (HOLLAND - GRAND HAVEN - SAUGATUCK)
      THE CITIES ARE SAFE AND NOT FULL OF DRUNK IDIOTS! AND THE BEACHES ARE AMAZING! HOLLAND STATE PARK THE BEST!

      JUST AVOID DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS ON WEEKEND NIGHTS! LOTS OF GUN FIRE AND FIGHTS!
      2 -1
      grand rapids
      Attractions7/10
      Community5/10
      Nightlife5/10
      Dining5/10
      Shopping6/10
      I don't care for grand rapids. I have lived here most of my life. The population has exploded which makes renting here at a reasonable rate virtually impossible. They also are very picky about pets and not just corporations. people don't know how to drive. They generally are either maniacs or go 5mi. an hr. because their main focus is their phone. I don't believe the crime rates are as low as people want to believe. I hear about violent crimes and drugs all the time. I went to the schools in the G.r. area and they are horrible. Not a place you want to raise a family or retire. The outskirts I have generally liked they tend to be more family oriented for the most part. It's just hard to find a church if you want any kind or heart message. That tends to be in G.R. and the outskirts.
      2 -1
      Grand Rapids, MI - So Far So Good
      Attractions8/10
      Community7/10
      Nightlife9/10
      Dining9/10
      Shopping9/10
      I moved here in the Summer of 2010, and while I'm not sure if I'm here to stay, I can say that there are many things that I like about Grand Rapids.

      Grand rapids is the second largest city in Michigan, and it is not crowded at all. People can be too religious and conservative for my taste, and the different ethnic groups are practically segregated, but overall, people are pleasant to deal with. I'm sure with more time, things will change.

      Coming from a much milder climate, winter and summer are something I have not gotten used to. Spring is very nice, and when it's warm enough you can enjoy going to the lakes. Fall is just amazing! I love the deep tones of trees' leaves, the crisp air and cloudy sky.

      The cost of living in Grand Rapids is really good. I have been able to save money since I've been here. There is a strong middle class here, which is good considering I have lived in places where there is a huge gap between people with money and people without. I got tired of the snobs and sense of entitlement. You don't find that in Grand Rapids.

      As far as jobs, it might be difficult to find a job in this economy, but if you can do contract work or be self-employed, you will do well here. Grand Rapids was chosen as one of the best cities for telecommuters. I telecommute, and have no complaints as far as the infrastructure I use to do my job. There are developing what they call a "medical mile" which will help this area a lot, so things are promising.

      Also, there are many art exhibits and shows, kind of like in big cities, so it's a good place if you are looking to get out of the rat race and be in a place where it's not so crowded.
      1 -2
      Great City with a Growing Culture!
      Attractions6/10
      Community8/10
      Nightlife8/10
      Dining8/10
      Shopping6/10
      Having spend most of my life in and around Grand Rapids, I can say that it's a great place to live and full of interesting people. Over the past few years, Grand Rapids has really taken it upon itself to increase its share of culture and appreciation for the arts. The now-annual ArtPrize, started in 2009, has really put Grand Rapids on the map as a haven for creativity, design, and attractions. As a direct result of ArtPrize and other initiatives, downtown Grand Rapids has seen an influx of great restaurants, pubs, bars, breweries, and other great attractions. HopCat is one of my personal favorites, and has been rated the #3 beer-bar in the world. While I haven't tried out the top two, I can say that the combination of knowledgeable, fun staff, outstanding beer selection, and great food make it a great place. Additionally, Stella's, The Viceroy, Bar Divani, and a bunch of other great places make downtown a really fun place to go.

      Also, the recently completed Grand Rapids Art Museum, which happens to be the world's first LEED certified Art Museum, maintains some great selections worth viewing and manages to bring in some outstanding words from around the world.

      Grand Rapids is a great city. It's just the right size, where you always have plenty to do, but don't have to deal with the inconveniences of a big city, like traffic, high crime rates, and the like. If you're just visiting or considering Grand Rapids as a potential home, it's a great choice!
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      Grand Rapids, MI - An All-Around Great City
      Attractions9/10
      Community7/10
      Nightlife10/10
      Dining10/10
      Shopping8/10
      For a state with many economic problems, I can attest as a Michigan resident for 21 years that Grand Rapids is truly a thriving, excellent city to live in. Grand Rapids tends to lean on the conservative side of politics, which only helps business and a thriving city economy in my opinion. The city is also home to a great state University- Grand Valley State University. This University was created by Dick Devos, a man who ran for governor of Michigan in 2000 as a Republican candidate.

      Having gone to Grand Rapids multiples times to visit a sibling at Grand Valley, I can not reiterate enough how impressed I truly am with the city. The city itself is very clean and overall safe. It seems like a great place for families to raise kids within one of the surrounding suburbs. That being said, Grand Rapids is also a great city for young professionals and college graduates (as well as students at Grand Valley) to have fun and really enjoy what the city has to offer. There are some awesome bars and restaurants in the main part of the city. Some great restaurants are Bistro Vella Vita and San Chez. A great bar is Bar Divani.

      Overall, I really enjoyed my time in Grand Rapids, and think you will too!
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      Source: The Grand Rapids, MI data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).