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Portage is a city in Kalamazoo Countymarker in the U.S. state of Michiganmarker. The population was 44,897 at the 2000 census.

Portage is adjacent to the southern boundary of the City of Kalamazoomarker. The city was incorporated from the entirety of the former Portage Township on December 31, 1963.

There are two public high schools in Portage, Portage Central and Portage Northern. The pharmaceutical company Pfizer also has operations located there, which in recent years has caused much controversy due to layoffs.

Portage is known for its extensive network of historical parks and trails used for cycling, walking, canoeing, and other recreational activities. Since the creation of the Portage Bikeway system in 1989, the trails have expanded to over , over five times as long as the city’s expressways. Portage is also home to the Kalamazoo Air Zoomarker.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.0 square miles (90.7 km²), of which, 32.2 square miles (83.4 km²) of it is land and 2.8 square miles (7.3 km²) of it (8.05%) is water.

Austin Lake is in the southeast part of the city and was named for Moses Austin, who had emigrated to Portage Township from Genesee County, New Yorkmarker in 1833. A settlement grew on the north shore of the lake, known as Austin or Austin Lake. A post office named "Austin's Lake" was established on May 18, 1850, with Moses Austin as postmaster, and operated until August 15, 1853. The place was also a station on the Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad in 1867.

Demographics

As of the census of 2000, there were 44,897 people, 18,138 households, and 12,134 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,394.2 per square mile (538.3/km²). There were 18,880 housing units at an average density of 586.3/sq mi (226.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.75% White, 3.73% African American, 0.30% Native American, 2.64% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.70% from other races, and 1.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.93% of the population.

There were 18,138 households out of which 34.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 27.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 26.4% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 29.9% from 25 to 44, 23.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 92.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $49,410, and the median income for a family was $61,285. Males had a median income of $42,377 versus $29,399 for females. The per capita income for the city was $25,414. About 3.1% of families and 4.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.9% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.

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