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Grand Traverse County is a county in the U.S. state of Michiganmarker. As of the 2000 census, the population was 77,654, with a July 2007 estimate of 85,497. The county seat is Traverse Citymarker .

Grand Traverse County is part of the Traverse City Micropolitan Statistical Area, which also includes Benziemarker, Kalkaskamarker, and Leelanaumarker counties.


In 1840 it was separated and originally named Omeena County. Grand Traverse County was established by an act of the state legislature on April 7, 1851. See, List of Michigan county name etymologies. The first permanent settlement in the county was the mission now known as Old Missionmarker.

Historical markers

There are eleven recognized Michigan historical markers in the county: They are:


  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 601 square miles (1,557 km²), of which, 465 square miles (1,205 km²) of it is land and 136 square miles (352 km²) of it (22.63%) is water.
  • Grand Traverse County is considered to be part of Northern Michigan.

Adjacent counties


Air Service



As of the census of 2000, there were 77,654 people, 30,396 households, and 20,730 families residing in the county. The population density was 167 people per square mile (64/km²). There were 34,842 housing units at an average density of 75 per square mile (29/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.51% White, 0.40% Black or African American, 0.93% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.54% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. 1.49% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.1% were of German, 11.3% English, 10.7% Irish, 8.4% Americanmarker and 7.4% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 96.4% spoke English and 1.6% Spanish as their first language.

There were 30,396 households out of which 32.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.70% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.80% were non-families. 25.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the county the population was spread out with 25.40% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 29.70% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 95.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $43,169, and the median income for a family was $51,211. Males had a median income of $34,796 versus $24,139 for females. The per capita income for the county was $22,111. About 3.80% of families and 5.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.30% of those under age 18 and 5.90% of those age 65 or over.


The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates themajor local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administerspublic health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare andother social services. The county board of commissioners controls thebudget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most localgovernment functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, streetmaintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

Grand Traverse County elected officials

(information as of November 2008)

Cities, villages, and townships




Other affiliations


  1. Clarke Historical Library, Central, Michigan University, Bibliography for Grand Traverse County.
  2. Michigan Historical Markers
  3. Novotny's Saloon resurrected
  4. Diocese of Gaylord.

External links

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