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A+ Grand Rapids Amenities Lots of amenities close to this location
B Grand Rapids Cost of Living Cost of living is 1% higher than Michigan
Grand Rapids
8812% less expensive than the US average
8812% less expensive than the US average
United States
100National cost of living index
Grand Rapids cost of living
F Grand Rapids Crime Total crime is 24% higher than Michigan
Total crime
2,7851% higher than the US average
Chance of being a victim
1 in 361% higher than the US average
Year-over-year crime
-10%Year over year crime is down
Grand Rapids crime
D- Grand Rapids Employment Household income is 17% lower than Michigan
Median household income
$42,01924% lower than the US average
Income per capita
$21,73027% lower than the US average
Unemployment rate
6%22% higher than the US average
Grand Rapids employment
B- Grand Rapids Housing Home value is 11% lower than Michigan
Median home value
$113,60038% lower than the US average
Median rent price
$80615% lower than the US average
Home ownership
54%15% lower than the US average
Grand Rapids real estate or Grand Rapids rentals
F Grand Rapids Schools HS graduation rate is 5% lower than Michigan
High school grad. rates
81%2% lower than the US average
School test scores
30%38% lower than the US average
Student teacher ratio
24:149% higher than the US average
Grand Rapids K-12 schools or Grand Rapids colleges

Living in Grand Rapids, MI

Located in the state of Michigan, Grand Rapids is a moderately-sized city with a population of 193,887 inhabitants. Grand Rapids has a population density of 4,362 people per square mile. This would be considered well above the national population density level. At 68%, the majority of the Grand Rapids population is White; this is followed by 20% Black and 2% Asian. The median age of all Grand Rapids residents is 31, which is well below the national average. This is a good indication that this city could be ideal for young singles.

Are you trying to figure out if living in Grand Rapids is the right fit for your lifestyle? To ensure a great experience before relocating to any new city in Michigan, you will probably want to make sure that you check all of the most important boxes. The best areas in Grand Rapids and in surrounding cities are easier to find when you are able to make informed decisions. Using data from cost of living, employment, housing, you will see a detailed breakdown of the most important information as well as comparisons to the Michigan and national averages.

Grand Rapids, MI receives 66 out of 100 for its livability score; this results in a ranking of #382 in Michigan and #16,273 in the USA. If we dig a little deeper into each category within the livability score, we see that Grand Rapids has higher than average rankings for the following: amenities (A+), cost of living (B) and housing (B-). There are some categories that Grand Rapids does not rank well for, including: crime (F), weather (D-), education (F) and employment (D-). It might be worth taking a closer look to figure out why.

Location, location, location - possibly the three most important words in your search for a new place to live. Fortunately, in Grand Rapids, there is no shortage of amazing local amenities and interesting things to do. Some of the notable things to do include: Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park, Gerald R. Ford Museum, and John Ball Zoo.

Unemployment rates can range pretty dramatically from one city to another. Knowing that Grand Rapids has an unemployment rate of 0.88% probably means that there are ample job opportunities for you to consider as it is far below the national average.

Assuming that Grand Rapids meets all of your requirements, the next most important item to examine is the affordability of real estate in Grand Rapids. Everything else becomes a lot less important if it turns out that home prices in Grand Rapids are simply unattainable. The median home price for Grand Rapids homes is $113,600, which is 11.1% lower than the Michigan average. If we take a closer look at the affordability of homes in Grand Rapids, we’ll see that the home price to income ratio is 2.7, which is 8% higher than the Michigan average. Knowing if your home will appreciate on a long term or even a short term basis should be factored into your decision making. An increase in your home’s value can be a good way to generate tax-free equity that can create long term financial security. In the past year, appreciation rates for homes in the Grand Rapids area were 12.5% and 5 year appreciation rates were 12.5%.

Check Your Commute Time

Monthly costs include: fuel, maintenance, tires, insurance, license fees, taxes, depreciation, and financing.
See more Grand Rapids, MI transportation information

Compare Grand Rapids, MI Livability To Other Cities

Best Neighborhoods In & Around Grand Rapids, MI

PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Michgan Oaks, Grand Rapids862.51,776
Ridgemoor, Grand Rapids8342,764
Eastgate, Grand Rapids802.61,783
John Ball Park, Grand Rapids792.53,923
PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Millbrook, Grand Rapids7955,914
Westside Connection, Grand Rapids783.811,538
Creston, Grand Rapids783.225,177
Fulton Heights, Grand Rapids781.21,169

Best Cities Near Grand Rapids, MI

PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
East Grand Rapids, MI862.711,297
Caledonia, MI8313.51,871
Ferrysburg, MI8330.22,979
Forest Hills, MI838.427,667
PlaceLivability scoreScoreMilesPopulationPop.
Grand Haven, MI8329.510,853
Spring Lake, MI8228.32,424
North Muskegon, MI82373,785
Walker, MI825.724,458
See all Michigan cities

How Do You Rate The Livability In Grand Rapids?

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Grand Rapids Reviews

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Meh, it’s alright

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.
  • 1 0
response to last comment about grand rapids

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.
  • 3 0
Everyone who writes in here needs to live in about 10 other cities first

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.
  • 0 -6

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.
  • 7 -1
Run! It's horrible.

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.
  • 8 -1

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.
  • 5 -1
Just plain boring.

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.
  • 5 -1
Not nice place

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
  • 4 -1
A place to build your life

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.
  • 1 -2
not a friendly place

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.
  • 5 -1
Probably Perfect for the Conservative Christian Family

Background: Lived in GR while on clinical rotations during the winter. Maybe my view would be more positive had there been better weather

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

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.

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 -1
Grand Rapids - No Thanks

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.
  • 1 0
Grand Rapids, MI

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.
  • 0 -1
Dangerous if your not from here

all you have to do is google grand rapids and shooting!



  • 1 0
grand rapids

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.
  • 1 0
Grand Rapids, MI - So Far So Good

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.
  • 0 -1
Great City with a Growing Culture!

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!
  • 0 -1
Grand Rapids, MI - An All-Around Great City

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!
  • 0 -1
Reason for reporting
Source: The Grand Rapids, MI data and statistics displayed above are derived from the 2016 United States Census Bureau American Community Survey (ACS).
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