Big Rapids, MI
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Living in Big Rapids


Big Rapids is a somewhat small city located in the state of Michigan. With a population of 10,397 people and six constituent neighborhoods, Big Rapids is the 107th largest community in Michigan.

Unlike some cities where white-collar or blue-collar occupations dominate the local economy, Big Rapids is neither predominantly one nor the other. Instead, it has a mixed workforce of both white- and blue-collar jobs. Overall, Big Rapids is a city of service providers, sales and office workers, and professionals. There are especially a lot of people living in Big Rapids who work in office and administrative support (13.71%), food service (11.94%), and teaching (10.25%).

Big Rapids is a small town with a large college student population. Because of this, there is a real youthful, hip vibe to the place, and much of the life in the town is centered on the college. This has helped Big Rapids to buck the trend of other small towns that have suffered declining populations over the past 20 to 30 years. Spending by students, and faculty and staff jobs, are a big part of the local economy.

Compared to the rest of the country, citizens of Big Rapids spend much less time in their cars: on average, their commute to work is only 15.27 minutes. This also means that noise and pollution levels in the city are less than they would otherwise be.

In terms of college education, Big Rapids is substantially better educated than the typical community in the nation, which has 21.84% of the adults holding a bachelor's degree or graduate degree: 32.24% of adults in Big Rapids have a college degree.

The per capita income in Big Rapids in 2010 was $13,688, which is low income relative to Michigan and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $54,752 for a family of four. However, Big Rapids contains both very wealthy and poor people as well. Big Rapids also has one of the higher rates of people living in poverty in the nation, with 42.84% of its population below the federal poverty line.

Big Rapids is a somewhat ethnically-diverse city. The people who call Big Rapids home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of Big Rapids residents report their race to be White, followed by Black or African-American. Important ancestries of people in Big Rapids include Irish, Polish, Dutch, and English.

The most common language spoken in Big Rapids is English. Other important languages spoken here include Arabic and Spanish.