U.S. Census data shows this county's population grew nearly twelve times faster than the rest of the state of Michigan from 2010-2020.

The decade of the 2010's was not a good one for Michigan, as the overall population grew a scant .84% (don't miss that decimal). More than 50 Michigan counties lost citizens, while only 30 showed population growth. Ottawa County flourished during the same period of 2010-2020, with an 11.7% increase, making it the fastest-growing county in the state.

Located on the Lake Michigan shoreline, Holland is the biggest city in Ottawa County, with Grand Haven, Zeeland, Hudsonville, Coopersville and Ferrysburg making up the other cities in the area. Spring Lake is the only designated village in the county and there are almost 75 other townships, unincorporated communities and Census-designated places.

As you might expect, the rush to the West coast of the state has pushed Ottawa County up in other categories as well. Ottawa County is now the 7th most populated county in Michigan, with a 2020 population of 294,635. This is the first time since 2010 that Ottawa has ranked above 8th. The growth is nearly even between natural increase (47%) and positive net migration (53%). Natural increase means more people were born than died, and positive net migration means more people moved into than out of the county.

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Ten Fastest-Growing Counties in Michigan  | 2010-2020

  1. Ottawa County +11.69%
  2. Kent County +9.31%
  3. Grand Traverse County +7.59%
  4. Allegan County +6.75
  5. Washtenaw County +6.29%
  6. Livingston County +6.28
  7. Kalamazoo County +6.25%
  8. Clinton County  +5.80%
  9. Kalkaska County +4.96%
  10. Barry County +4.88%

They say, "if you ain't Dutch, you ain't much," and they may be right.

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