Night skyline and bridge view of Grand Rapids MI

Courtesy of Experience Grand Rapids

Best Places to Live in the US in 2022 Sponsored by: eXp RealtyeXp Realty

Grand Rapids, MI is the #47 Best City to Live in the USA

Nighttime view of downtown Grand Rapids, MI
iStock/Sean Pavone
Grand Rapids, MI
Quality of Life
Liv Score

619
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 31
Demographics 63
Economy 56
Education 65
Health 62
Housing 60
Infrastructure 51
Amenities 70

Why Grand Rapids is one of the best cities to live in

Life in Grand Rapids, MI, is, indeed, grand! The nearly 198,000 residents who call Grand Rapids home have easy access to golf courses, fishing streams, beaches and an airport. Plus, the downtown is hopping, with more than 200 restaurants, shops, performance venues and cultural sites.

Once known as America’s Furniture Capital because of the residential furniture that was made here, today, this Michigan city is considered an epicenter of office furniture manufacturing. The strong economy is among the many reasons Grand Rapids is one of the best places to live in the U.S., with big companies like grocery store chain Meijer’s choosing the city for its headquarters and remote workers drawn by the affordable housing and finding additional perks. A buzzy craft brewery scene and cool concepts such as the Grand Rapids Downtown Market, which hosts 20-plus restaurants and gourmet food vendors under a greenhouse-covered roof, also add to the allure. Many colleges and an impressive collection of museums add to the liveliness of Grand Rapids, too. 

What are Grand Rapids major industries and employers?

Health care and manufacturing are major titans of industry here, but Grand Rapids’ economy is diverse, and opportunities are abundant. 

What are the major colleges and universities in Grand Rapids?

Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan have Grand Rapids campuses, plus Grand Rapids Community College and Davenport University.

What is the weather like in Grand Rapids? 

Warm summers and cold, snowy winters. Grand Rapids gets 64 inches of snow each year. 

What is there to do outside in Grand Rapids?

The Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park is a 158-acre botanical oasis with public art, pretty gardens, a summer concert series and a cute storytelling garden where kids can watch puppet and theater shows.

Grand Rapids, MI is Remote-Ready

What makes Grand Rapids a great place for remote workers?

Ranked as one of our best remote-ready cities, Grand Rapids is an ideal spot for those seeing a job outside a traditional office setting. There are tons of resources and programs available to residents to help them hone their leadership and career development skills. When looking for a change of scenery, there are also plenty of coworking spaces to choose from, including The Factory, which is located in the downtown area and houses an on-site podcast studio, room booths, conference rooms and more. 

What Locals Love in Grand Rapids, MI

What is the best local bookstore in Grand Rapids?

Books & Mortar is a locally owned, community-minded shop with cool book clubs, like one for young adults and another for sci-fi fans.

How do you spend a weekend in Grand Rapids?

Take your pick of museums! Grand Rapids is home to several, including the Grand Rapids Public Museum, the Grand Rapids African American Museum and Archives, the Grand Rapids Art Museum and the Grand Rapids Children’s Museum.

What can you do for free in Grand Rapids?

During the summer, Lake Michigan’s beaches are just 45 minutes away. Make a day trip to Grand Haven City Beach and unfurl your towel on the soft-sand beaches. Stick around for the Grand Haven Musical Fountain, which puts on water and light shows synchronized to music.

Whats the best way to spend happy hour in Grand Rapids?

Escargot and an IPA? Housed in a former chapel, Brewery Vivant surprises with craft beer and French fare.

Whats something only locals know about Grand Rapids?

Former President Gerald Ford was raised in Grand Rapids. Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum is located in town. 

Is Grand Rapids, MI a good place to live?

A strong economy, affordable housing, and a top-notch food and brewery scene make Grand Rapids a best place to live in Michigan.

Thinking of Moving to Grand Rapids?

What is the Grand Rapids, MI real estate market like?

Hugging the banks of the Grand River, Grand Rapids real estate boasts a variety of homes to meet everyone’s needs and wants. The Creston / Riverside Park area catches the eyes of many for its location along the river and stunning historical architecture. A sweet spot in the city is Alger Heights, with homes for sale in Grand Rapids that have deemed the neighborhood as one of the best in the country. A local favorite is Heritage Hills, a fine collection of turn-of-the-century homes showcased in just about every American architecture you can imagine. We’ve only touched on a few of the best neighborhoods in the city, but there are several real estate agents in Grand Rapids willing to help you find the perfect home.

Quick Facts About Grand Rapids, MI

Average Commute
19.7
Median Home Value
$265,785
Med. Household Income
$51,333
Total Population
197,416
Walk Score
48
Median Property Tax
$2,040

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