Upper Peninsula of Michigan - Demographics

Demographics

The Upper Peninsula remains a predominantly rural region. As of the 2010 census, the region had a population of 299,184.

According to the 2000 census, only 91,624 people live in the 12 towns of at least 4,000 people, covering 96.5 square miles (250 km²). Only 114,544 people live in the 21 towns and villages of at least 2,000 people, which cover 123.7 square miles (320.4 km²)—less than 1% of the peninsula's land area.

Cities and Villages of the Upper Peninsula
City Population Area (sq mi) Area (km²)
Marquette 19,661 11.4 30
Sault Ste. Marie 16,542 14.8 38
Escanaba 13,140 12.7 33
Menominee 9,131 5.2 13
Iron Mountain 8,154 7.2 19
Houghton 7,134 4.3 11
Ishpeming 6,535 8.7 23
Ironwood 6,293 6.6 17
Kingsford 5,549 4.3 11
Gladstone 5,266 5.0 13
Negaunee 4,576 13.8 36
Hancock 4,323 2.5 6.5
Manistique 3,583 3.2 8.3
Iron River 3,122 3.5 9.1
Norway 2,959 8.8 23
Newberry 2,686 1.0 2.6
St. Ignace 2,678 2.7 7.0
Munising 2,539 5.4 14
Bessemer 2,148 5.5 14
Laurium 2,126 0.7 1.8
L'Anse 2,107 2.6 6.7
Wakefield 2,085 8.0 21
TOTAL 114,544 123.7 320
Upper Peninsula Land Area and Population Density by County
County Population Land Area (sq mi) Land Area (km²) Population Density (per sq mi) Population Density (per km²)
Alger 9,862 918 2,380 10.7 4.1
Baraga 8,735 904 2,340 9.7 3.7
Chippewa 38,413 1,561 4,040 24.7 9.5
Delta 38,520 1,170 3,000 32.9 12.7
Dickinson 27,427 766 1,980 35.8 13.8
Gogebic 17,370 1,102 2,850 15.8 6.1
Houghton 36,016 1,012 2,620 35.6 13.7
Iron 13,138 1,166 3,020 11.3 4.4
Keweenaw 2,301 541 1,400 4.3 1.7
Luce 7,024 903 2,340 7.8 3.0
Mackinac 11,943 1,022 2,650 11.7 4.5
Marquette 64,634 1,821 4,720 35.5 13.7
Menominee 25,109 1,043 2,700 24.3 9.4
Ontonagon 7,818 1,312 3,400 6.0 2.3
Schoolcraft 8,903 1,178 3,050 7.6 2.9
TOTAL 317,258 16,420 42,500 19.3 7.5

The Upper Peninsula is one of the few regions in the United States that experiences population decline. Although not every county in the Upper Peninsula has a declining population, this phenomenon does have a significant impact on the social and economic aspects of many of its communities and citizens. Some of the contributing factors to the Upper Peninsula's shifts in population are the boom and bust cycles of the timber and mining industries, as well as the severity of its winters. Some areas in the Upper Peninsula are more prone to declining population than others, with the six westernmost counties being the most dramatic, going from a 1920 level of 153,674 people (representing 59% of the total population of the entire Upper Peninsula) to a 2000 census level of 85,378 persons (dropping to 29% of the total Upper Peninsula's population). It is quite common to see abandoned buildings and ruins in this area; there are even a number of ghost towns that are slowly succumbing to the ubiquitous forest.

Generally speaking, the population of the Upper Peninsula grew throughout the 19th century, and then leveled off and even experienced decline during the 20th century, as can readily be seen in the tables below. The data for these tables is from the U.S. Census; A "↑" indicates an increase in population from the previous census, and a "↓" indicates a decrease in population from the previous census.

19th Century Population by Census Year of the Upper Peninsula by County
County 1830 1840 1850 1860 1870 1880 1890 1900
Alger 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 01238 !1,238↑ 05868 !5,868↑
Baraga 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 01804 !1,804↑ 03036 !3,036↑ 04320 !4,320↑
Chippewa 00626 !626↑ 00534 !534↓ 00898 !898↑ 01603 !1,603↑ 01689 !1,689↑ 05248 !5,248↑ 12018 !12,018↑ 21338 !21,338↑
Delta 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 01172 !1,172↑ 02542 !2,542↑ 06812 !6,812↑ 15330 !15,330↑ 23881 !23,881↑
Dickinson 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 17890 !17,890↑
Gogebic 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 13166 !13,166↑ 16738 !16,738↑
Houghton 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00708 !708↑ 09234 !9,234↑ 13879 !13,879↑ 22473 !22,473↑ 35389 !35,389↑ 66063 !66,063↑
Iron 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 04432 !4,432↑ 08990 !8,990↑
Keweenaw 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 04205 !4,205↑ 04270 !4,270↑ 02894 !2,894↓ 03217 !3,217↑
Luce 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 02455 !2,455↑ 02983 !2,983↑
Mackinac 00877 !877↑ 00923 !923↑ 03598 !3,598↑ 01938 !1,938↓ 01716 !1,716↓ 02902 !2,902↑ 07830 !7,830↑ 07703 !7,703↓
Marquette 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00136 !136↑ 02821 !2,821↑ 15033 !15,033↑ 25394 !25,394↑ 39521 !39,521↑ 41239 !41,239↑
Menominee 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 01791 !1,791↑ 11987 !11,987↑ 33639 !33,639↑ 27046 !27,046↓
Ontonagon 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00389 !389↑ 04568 !4,568↑ 02845 !2,845↓ 02565 !2,565↓ 03756 !3,756↑ 06197 !6,197↑
Schoolcraft 00000 !N/A 00000 !N/A 00016 !16↑ 00078 !78↑ 00000 !N/A 01575 !1,575↑ 05818 !5,818↑ 07889 !7,889↑
TOTAL 1,503↑ 1,457↓ 5,037↑ 12,180↑ 29,821↑ 62,557↑ 145,133↑ 195,299↑
20th and 21st Centuries Population by Census Year of the Upper Peninsula by County
County 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 1960 1970 1980 1990 2000 2010
Alger 07675 !7,675↑ 09983 !9,983↑ 09327 !9,327↓ 10167 !10,167↑ 10007 !10,007↓ 09250 !9,250↓ 08568 !8,568↓ 09225 !9,225↑ 08972 !8,972↓ 09862 !9,862↑ 09601 !9,601↓
Baraga 06125 !6,125↑ 07662 !7,662↑ 09168 !9,168↑ 09356 !9,356↑ 08037 !8,037↓ 07151 !7,151↓ 07789 !7,789↑ 08494 !8,484↑ 07954 !7,954↓ 08735 !8,735↑ 08864 !8,860↑
Chippewa 24472 !24,472↑ 24818 !24,818↑ 25047 !25,047↑ 27807 !27,807↑ 29206 !29,206↑ 32655 !32,655↑ 32412 !32,412↓ 29029 !29,029↓ 34604 !34,604↑ 38413 !38,413↑ 38520 !38,520↑
Delta 30108 !30,108↑ 30909 !30,909↑ 32280 !32,280↑ 34037 !34,037↑ 32913 !32,913↓ 34298 !34,298↑ 35924 !35,924↑ 38947 !38,947↑ 37780 !37,780↓ 38510 !38,520↑ 37069 !37,069↓
Dickinson 20524 !20,524↑ 19456 !19,456↓ 29941 !29,941↑ 28731 !28,731↓ 24844 !24,844↓ 23917 !23,917↓ 23753 !23,753↓ 25341 !25,341↑ 26831 !26,831↑ 27427 !27,427↑ 26168 !26,168↓
Gogebic 23333 !23,333↑ 33225 !33,225↑ 31577 !31,577↓ 31797 !31,797↑ 27053 !27,053↓ 24730 !24,370↓ 20676 !20,676↓ 19686 !19,686↓ 18052 !18,052↓ 17370 !17,370↓ 16427 !16,427↓
Houghton 88098 !88,098↑ 71930 !71,930↓ 52851 !52,851↓ 47631 !47,631↓ 39771 !39,771↓ 34654 !34,654↓ 34652 !34,652↓ 37872 !37,872↓ 35446 !35,446↓ 36016 !36,016↑ 36268 !36,268↑
Iron 15164 !15,164↑ 22107 !22,107↑ 20805 !20,805↓ 20243 !20,243↓ 17692 !17,692↓ 17184 !17,184↓ 13813 !13,813↓ 13635 !13,635↓ 13175 !13,175↓ 13138 !13,138↓ 11817 !11,817↓
Keweenaw 07156 !7,156↑ 06322 !6,322↓ 05076 !5,076↓ 04004 !4,004↓ 02918 !2,918↓ 02417 !2,417↓ 02264 !2,264↓ 01963 !1,963↓ 01701 !1,701↓ 02301 !2,301↑ 02156 !2,156↓
Luce 04004 !4,004↑ 06149 !6,149↑ 06528 !6,528↑ 07423 !7,423↑ 08147 !8,147↑ 07827 !7,827↓ 06789 !6,789↓ 06659 !6,659↓ 05763 !5,763↓ 07024 !7,024↑ 06631 !6,631↓
Mackinac 09249 !9,249↑ 08026 !8,026↓ 08783 !8,783↑ 09438 !9,438↑ !09287 10853 !10,853↑ 09660 !9,660↓ 10178 !10,178↑ 10674 !10,674↑ 11943 !11,943↑ 11113 !11,113↓
Marquette 46739 !46,739↑ 45786 !45,786↓ 44076 !44,076↓ 47144 !47,144↑ 47654 !47,654↑ 56154 !56,154↑ 64686 !64,686↑ 74101 !74,101↑ 70887 !70,887↓ 64634 !64,634↓ 67077 !67,077↑
Menominee 25648 !25,648↓ 23778 !23,778↓ 23652 !23,652↓ 24883 !24,883↑ 25299 !25,299↑ 24685 !24,685↓ 24587 !24,587↓ 26201 !26,201↑ 24920 !24,920↓ 25109 !25,109↑ 24029 !24,029↓
Ontonagon 08650 !8,650↑ 12428 !12,428↑ 11114 !11,114↓ 11359 !11,359↑ 10282 !10,282↓ 10584 !10,584↑ 10548 !10,548↓ 09861 !9,861↓ 08854 !8,854↓ 07818 !7,818↓ 06780 !6,780↓
Schoolcraft 08681 !8,681↑ 09977 !9,977↑ 08451 !8,451↓ 09524 !9,524↑ 09148 !9,148↓ 08953 !8,953↓ 08226 !8,226↓ 08575 !8,575↑ 08302 !8,302↓ 08903 !8,903↑ 08485 !8,485↓
TOTAL 237,528↑ 260,626↑ 265,825↑ 275,913↑ 262,487↓ 304,952↑ 304,347↓ 319,757↑ 313,915↓ 317,213↑ 299,184↓

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