East Lansing, MI
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Living in East Lansing


East Lansing is a medium-sized city located in the state of Michigan. With a population of 48,471 people and 21 constituent neighborhoods, East Lansing is the 31st largest community in Michigan.

East Lansing is a decidedly white-collar city, with fully 93.10% of the workforce employed in white-collar jobs, well above the national average. Overall, East Lansing is a city of professionals, service providers, and sales and office workers. There are especially a lot of people living in East Lansing who work in food service (16.25%), teaching (15.66%), and office and administrative support (12.60%).

In addition, East Lansing is a major college town that has a very high percentage of its residents over 18 years old who are college students. Naturally, collegiate life has a major influence on local East Lansing culture, lifestyle and entertainment options. East Lansing really pulses to the beat of the academic calendar. In East Lansing every fall, returning students reinvigorate the community, who you will notice are all over town, buying groceries, out with friends, and getting acquainted or re-acquainted with each other and East Lansing. One of the beneficial effects that colleges provide is that they tend to be lasting institutions that deliver direct economic benefits to the local economy in the form of such things as jobs for faculty and staff, and spending by students. East Lansing benefits directly from this.

Compared to the rest of the country, citizens of East Lansing spend much less time in their cars: on average, their commute to work is only 17.40 minutes. This also means that noise and pollution levels in the city are less than they would otherwise be.

Many people in East Lansing take advantage of public transportation to get around. In fact, for the size of the city, the number of people who use the bus to commute to work is quite high. This helps to fill a need among East Lansing citizens for affordable transportation.

If knowledge is power, East Lansing is a pretty powerful place. 70.12% of the adults in East Lansing have earned a 4-year college degree, masters degree, MD, law degree, or even PhD. Compare that to the national average of 21.84% for all cities and towns.

The per capita income in East Lansing in 2010 was $20,181, which is lower middle income relative to Michigan and the nation. This equates to an annual income of $80,724 for a family of four. However, East Lansing contains both very wealthy and poor people as well. East Lansing also has one of the higher rates of people living in poverty in the nation, with 43.58% of its population below the federal poverty line.

East Lansing is a very ethnically-diverse city. The people who call East Lansing home describe themselves as belonging to a variety of racial and ethnic groups. The greatest number of East Lansing residents report their race to be White, followed by Asian. Important ancestries of people in East Lansing include Irish, English, Polish, and Italian.

Foreign born people are also an important part of East Lansing's cultural character, accounting for 15.09% of the city’s population.

The most common language spoken in East Lansing is English. Other important languages spoken here include Chinese and Spanish.