Midland, Michigan

Coordinates: 43°36′56″N 84°14′50″W / 43.61556°N 84.24722°W / 43.61556; -84.24722
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Midland, Michigan
Midland County Courthouse in Midland
Flag of Midland, Michigan
Location within Bay County (right) and Midland County (left)
Location within Bay County (right) and Midland County (left)
Midland is located in Michigan
Midland is located in the United States
Coordinates: 43°36′56″N 84°14′50″W / 43.61556°N 84.24722°W / 43.61556; -84.24722
CountryUnited States
CountiesMidland; Bay
 • TypeCouncil–manager
 • City36.34 sq mi (94.12 km2)
 • Land34.37 sq mi (89.02 km2)
 • Water1.97 sq mi (5.11 km2)
 • Urban
30.69 sq mi (79.48 km2)
636 ft (212 m)
 • City42,547
 • Density1,237.91/sq mi (477.96/km2)
 • Urban
 • Metro
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP Codes
48623 (Freeland)
48640–48642, 48667, 48670, 48674, 48686
Area code989
FIPS code26-53780[3]
GNIS feature ID0632282[4]

Midland is a city in and the county seat of Midland County, Michigan, in the United States.[5] The city's population was 42,547 as of the 2020 census.[2] It is the principal city of the Midland Metropolitan Statistical Area, part of the larger Saginaw-Midland-Bay City Combined Statistical Area.


By the late 1820s, Midland was established as a fur trading post of the American Fur Company supervised by the post at Saginaw. Here agents purchased furs from Ojibwe trappers. The Campau family of Detroit operated an independent trading post at this location in the late 1820s.[6]

Dow Chemical Company was founded in Midland in 1897, and its world headquarters are still located there. Through the influence of a Dow Chemical plant opening in Handa, Aichi, Japan, Midland and Handa have become sister cities.[7] Dow Corning was also headquartered in Midland.

In 1969, the city unilaterally defined a Midland Urban Growth Area (MUGA), a two-mile territory around the city limits, in an attempt to control urban sprawl.[8] As the county's only capable drinking water supplier, the city would provide water services to communities outside the MUGA such as the nearby village of Sanford. The city would not provide water services within the MUGA without annexation to the city of Midland. This allowed the city to control most of the growth in the county. Since 1991, the policy has since been revised with a series of Urban Cooperation Act Agreements with surrounding townships. Case-by-case redrawings of the MUGA line now allow Midland to sell water to the surrounding townships without annexation.[8]

On May 19, 2020, the Sanford Dam and Edenville Dam both failed, prompting an evacuation of 10,000 Midland residents.[9] Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency, predicting that parts of Midland and Sanford would be covered in nine feet of water within 12–15 hours. She urged residents to seek shelter with family and friends or at emergency shelters. This major "500 year" flooding event occurred just months after the COVID-19 stay at home order went into effect.[10]


The city lies within eastern Midland County, with a small portion extending east into Bay County. Most of the city's area is incorporated from Midland Township. The city is 24 miles (39 km) northwest of Saginaw and 19 miles (31 km) west of Bay City. It is part of the Flint/Tri-Cities region.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.3 square miles (94.02 km2), of which 34.4 square miles (89.10 km2) are land and 2.0 square miles (5.18 km2), or 5.41%, are water.[1] The city is along the Tittabawassee River, a southeast-flowing tributary of the Saginaw River, leading to Saginaw Bay in Lake Huron.


Midland has a humid continental climate (Dfb) with hot, rainy summers with cool nights and cold, snowy winters with average highs around freezing.

Climate data for Midland, Michigan (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1970–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 60
Mean maximum °F (°C) 48.8
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 29.3
Daily mean °F (°C) 22.9
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 16.6
Mean minimum °F (°C) −1.7
Record low °F (°C) −19
Average precipitation inches (mm) 2.01
Average snowfall inches (cm) 9.1
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 12.0 8.9 9.7 12.3 12.7 10.7 10.3 10.7 9.6 13.2 12.2 11.6 133.9
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 6.1 4.7 2.1 0.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.9 5.6 19.8
Source: NOAA[11][12]


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[13] of 2010, there were 41,863 people, 17,506 households, and 10,766 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,242.2 inhabitants per square mile (479.6/km2). There were 18,578 housing units at an average density of 551.3 per square mile (212.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 92.0% White, 2.0% Black, 0.3% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.5% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.

There were 17,506 households, of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.1% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.5% were non-families. 31.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 2.94.

The median age in the city was 38.3 years. 23.4% of residents were under the age of 18; 11.1% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.8% were from 25 to 44; 26.2% were from 45 to 64; and 15.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.1% male and 51.9% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 41,685 people, 16,743 households, and 11,000 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,254.9 inhabitants per square mile (484.5/km2). There were 17,773 housing units at an average density of 535.0 per square mile (206.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 93.38% White, 1.82% Black, 0.29% Native American, 2.69% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.57% from other races, and 1.19% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.92% of the population.

There were 16,743 households, out of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.4% were married couples living together, 8.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city, the age distribution of the population shows 25.9% under the age of 18, 10.2% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $48,444, and the median income for a family was $64,949. Males had a median income of $53,208 versus $31,098 for females. The per capita income for the city was $26,818. About 5.5% of families and 8.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.5% of those under age 18 and 7.2% of those age 65 or over.



The city's major shopping district is located north of town, on Eastman Avenue near US-10. There are several big-box stores located here, as well as the Midland Mall. Midland's downtown, on Main Street, includes local restaurants, artist co-ops, and local retail.

Arts and culture[edit]

Historical markers[edit]

There are four recognized Michigan historical markers in the city.[14]

Sites of interest[edit]

Midland Center for the Arts

Midland has many cultural opportunities in fields ranging from music and theater to science and the arts. The Midland Center for the Arts delivers hands-on exhibits in science, art and technology, at the Alden B. Dow Museum of Science and Art. The center also provides two state-of-the-art auditoriums for audiences of 400 to 1500 to enjoy everything from the Midland Symphony Orchestra and Center Stage Theatre, to professional programming through MATRIX: Midland.[15]

Midland County Historical Societies Heritage Park provides an opportunity to explore Midland County's history through a variety of avenues. The Herbert D. Doan Midland County History Center houses a research library, gift shop and the interactive Dorothy Dow Arbury Midland County History Gallery, which provides hands on exhibits for exploring Midland County's history. Also located at Heritage Park is the Herbert H. Dow Historical Museum, which explores the history and growth of Dow Chemical Company founded in Midland by Herbert H. Dow. Also located on the campus is the Bradley Home Museum and Carriage House; this 1874 house built by Benjamin F. Bradley allows visitors to see an historic home and furnishings of its time. The Carriage House holds an extensive collection of sleighs and carriages, and it has the largest working blacksmith shop in the Mid-Michigan area.[16]

Midland City parks number 72[17] with over 3,000 acres (1,200 ha) of park land. Seven are classified as Regional Parks, typically larger than 200 acres; seven are considered Community Parks, normally over 15 acres; Neighborhood Parks number 19, usually from five to ten acres in size, located within residential areas; and the 36 Mini-Parks are mostly less than an acre. Other city-owned land includes pathways, undeveloped areas intended for "passive recreation", waterfront areas and protected natural areas.[18]

Skaters of all skill levels use Midland's 107,000-square-foot (9,900 m2) Civic Arena, which has two NHL-sized rinks and one Olympic-sized rink. A BMX track is located in Midland's Stratford park. Winner of a 2005 Michigan Cool Cities grant (a grass-roots, volunteer-based training program to revitalize a downtown area), Downtown Midland offers dining, shopping and entertainment for the whole family.

Walkers, joggers, bikers, and skaters can use the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail, a ribbon of asphalt stretching 30 miles (50 km) to the neighboring city of Clare. Midland County's system of natural pathways continues to expand with the recent addition of the Chippewa Trail, which connects to the Pere Marquette trail. The Chippewa Trail ends at the Chippewa Nature Center. This has a territory of more than 1,000 acres (400 ha) of deciduous and coniferous woods, rivers, ponds, wetlands (marsh, fen, bog, and swamp) and upland fields.[citation needed]

Also in the recreation mix are two golf courses, the Midland Community Center (with multiple swimming pools and exercise facilities), the West Midland Family Center, the North Midland Family Center, the Midland Gymnastics Training Center, the Midland Community Tennis Center and the Midland Curling Center.[citation needed]

Midland's Dow Gardens feature 100-acre (40 ha) of flower and vegetable gardens, plus an arboretum. These were the original gardens of the Herbert H. Dow homestead and are open for tours. In addition, the Alden B. Dow Home and Studio offers tours of this landmark American architect's unique and influential style. Alden B. Dow F.A.I.A designed the Grace A. Dow Memorial Library, Midland's public library named in his mother's honor.[citation needed]

Whiting Forest, home to the longest Canopy Walk in the nation, is connected to Dow Gardens with a series of pedestrian bridges and walks. The canopy walk is suspended up to 40 feet above the ground and is 1,400 feet long. Visitors can walk the trails, play in the children's playground and enjoy drinks and snacks in the cafe.[19]


In the early 1930s, Alden B. Dow F.A.I.A. introduced modern design to Midland, Michigan and created over 130 structures during his 50-year career. His innovative and dynamic structures initiated an architectural heritage that is unprecedented in the United States. Dow's creative concepts inspired dozens of other architects, including Jackson Hallett A.I.A, Glenn Beach A.I.A., Robert Schwartz A.I.A, and Francis “Red” Warner A.I.A. These gifted architects and more, also created beautifully-crafted Mid-Century Modern structures that are an integral part of the over 400 buildings [20] that dominate Midland.

Notable places[edit]

More than 100 places of worship county-wide represent a variety of denominations and architectural styles, earning Midland the nickname "City of Beautiful Churches".[25] Midland's Volunteer Center recruits upwards of 2,000 volunteers each year, and the United Way of Midland County supports 25 community organizations.


Midland is home to many recreational sporting facilities and organizations. These include the civic ice arena which hosts 2 NHL and one Olympic-sized rinks, a skate park downtown, and the Midland Community Tennis Center and its 32 courts. The tennis center also hosts a USTA Pro Circuit event and was part of the USTA award to Midland as America's Best Tennis Town 2009.[26]

Midland is also host to the following professional sports teams.

Club Sport League Venue Logo
Great Lakes Loons Baseball Midwest League Dow Diamond
Tri City Barbarians Rugby Michigan Rugby Football Union St. Charles Park


Midland uses the council–manager form of government. The council consists of five members elected from geographic wards. Council members serve a two-year term, and the full council is elected during even years. The mayor and the mayor pro tem are chosen from the elected council by a vote of the council, who also appoint the city manager and city attorney, who serve at the pleasure of the council.[27] Federally, Midland is located in Michigan's 8th congressional district, represented by Democrat Dan Kildee.



Midland Community Television Network is the City of Midland's public, government, and education access cable television channel group.[29]

Midland is the city of license of two FM radio stations serving the Tri-Cities (Saginaw/Bay City/Midland) area. WKQZ ("Z93") is an active rock station owned by Citadel Broadcasting and broadcasting at 93.3 FM. WUGN is a non-commercial station at 99.7 FM owned by Family Life Communications, broadcasting adult-contemporary Christian music and teaching.

WMPX (1490 AM) is Midland's "hometown" locally owned radio station, owned by Steel Broadcasting and airing an adult standards ("Timeless Classics") format satellite-fed from ABC Radio. WMPX has an FM simulcast station in Beaverton, Michigan, WMRX (97.7 FM), which airs a small amount of local weekend programming separate from the AM. Other area stations include WEJC (88.3 FM) in White Star, Michigan, which airs contemporary Christian music and is affiliated with the Lansing-based "Smile FM" network; WPRJ (101.7 FM) in Coleman, Michigan, a Christian CHR station known as "The Fuse"; and country music station WGDN (103.1 FM) in nearby Gladwin, Michigan.

Midland is also served by radio and television stations from Saginaw, Bay City, Flint, Mount Pleasant, and Houghton Lake.

Midland's main newspaper is the Midland Daily News.



Scheduled airline service is available from MBS International Airport[30] near Freeland and Flint's Bishop International Airport.[31] The Jack Barstow Municipal Airport, dedicated May 30, 1936, is a general aviation airport operated by the city and available for general aviation aircraft.[32]

There is no regularly scheduled public transportation. Residents can call in advance to schedule pickup or return transport by one government sponsored agency, "Dial-A-Ride", offering transport within the city only. Then there is "County Connection" a private run public transport for those outside the city of Midland but still within Midland County both for a nominal fee. Both also offer reduced fare rides for elderly and youth.[33]


In 1967, Dow Chemical attained criticality on a 100 kW nuclear research reactor at the Midland facility, primarily as a neutron source and to irradiate samples.[34] The reactor continues to operate.[35]

In 1968, Consumers Power (now Consumers Energy) began construction of a nuclear power plant in Midland, primarily for Dow Chemical Company. The project's budget was $257 million, with completion anticipated in 1972. Extreme construction problems caused years of delays and costs soared. The Three Mile Island accident in 1979 resulted in a massive change in nuclear regulatory requirements and system redesign. When it was revealed that the containment buildings were settling and foundation cracks were discovered, Dow canceled their contract with Consumers Power, and the project was abandoned in 1984. The $4.1 billion investment nearly bankrupted Consumers Power. However, in 1985, Consumers Power formed a partnership with eight other companies to convert Midland's abandoned nuclear plant into a gas-fired power plant. Transformation of the plant began in 1986 and was completed at a cost of $500 million. The Midland Cogeneration Venture began producing power in 1991 and that success restored faith in Consumers Power.[36][37] The facility now produces 10% of the power consumption for the lower peninsula of Michigan.[38]

Notable people[edit]

Sister cities[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2023 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Michigan". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  2. ^ a b "P1. Race – Midland city, Michigan: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved October 17, 2023.
  3. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "Midland". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  6. ^ History of Saginaw County, Michigan (Chicago: Charles C. Chapman & Co., 1881) p. 126
  7. ^ "Sister City Relationships – Handa, Japan". City of Midland, Michigan. Archived from the original on 2008-12-04. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  8. ^ a b "Midland Urban Growth Area". midland-mi.org. Retrieved 3 April 2017.
  9. ^ Rob Frehse; Kristina Sgueglia; Christina Maxouris (20 May 2020). "Thousands evacuate area in Michigan after two dams fail and governor warns one city could see 9 feet of water". CNN. Retrieved 2020-05-20.
  10. ^ "Governor Whitmer Signs". www.michigan.gov. Retrieved 2023-01-30.
  11. ^ "NowData - NOAA Online Weather Data". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  12. ^ "Station: Midland, MI". U.S. Climate Normals 2020: U.S. Monthly Climate Normals (1991-2020). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Retrieved September 3, 2021.
  13. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  14. ^ "Michigan Historical Markers". Archived from the original on 2010-03-15. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  15. ^ "MIDLAND CENTER FOR THE ARTS". gogreat.com. Great Lakes Bay Regional Convention & Visitors Bureau. Retrieved 20 May 2023.
  16. ^ Vannette, Jennifer (May 9, 2019). "Midland on the move: Bradley Home sets foundation for Heritage Park". Midland Daily News. Retrieved 20 May 2023.
  17. ^ "Parks Division homepage". City of Midland, Michigan. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  18. ^ "Parks & Recreation Master Plan 2010–2015" (PDF). 2010. City of Midland, Michigan. Archived from the original (PDF) on 30 November 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
  19. ^ Trautman, Sherry (December 29, 2020). Travel-Mi.com .travel-mi.com.
  20. ^ "Mid-Century Modern Midland – The Mid-Century Modern Architectural Heritage of Midland, Michigan". midcenturymidland.org. Retrieved 2020-08-21.
  21. ^ "MCFTA Get Involved". Archived from the original on 2010-04-25. Retrieved 2010-04-07.
  22. ^ "USTA Outstanding Facility Awards, showing history of past recipients". United States Tennis Association. Archived from the original on September 6, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  23. ^ "RCW Trainers – Midwest Section". United States Tennis Association. Retrieved 2008-09-11., Midland Community Tennis Center was awarded Midwest USTA Organization of the Year in 2005
  24. ^ "Satellite photo". Google Maps. Retrieved 2008-09-11.
  25. ^ Maddex, Diane. Alden B. Dow: Midwestern Modern (Midland, Michigan: Alden B. Dow Home and Studio, 2007) p. 22, 80. ISBN 0-393-73248-7; ISBN 978-0-393-73248-1
  26. ^ 2009 Best Tennis Town Retrieved 2010-5-18
  27. ^ "City Council Your Elected Representatives". City of Midland, Michigan. Archived from the original on 22 June 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012.
  28. ^ "Our School". 10 January 2014.
  29. ^ "MCTV Network | Midland, MI - Official Website".
  30. ^ "MBS International Airport". www.mbsairport.org. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  31. ^ "Flint Bishop Airport – Home". www.bishopairport.org. Retrieved 10 October 2018.
  32. ^ "Jack Barstow Municipal Airport" Archived 2010-09-03 at the Wayback Machine City of Midland, City Engineering Department
  33. ^ Dial-A-Ride homepage Archived 2009-02-10 at the Wayback Machine
  34. ^ Safety Evaluation Report related to the renewal of the facility license for the research reactor at the Dow Chemical Company U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, April 1989
  35. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  36. ^ Hylton, Richard D.: "Market Place; Nuclear Write-Off To Success Story" New York Times, September 25, 1989
  37. ^ Lascari, Tony: "Former Midlander, ‘Pioneer for the Environment’, dies at 92" Midland Daily News, January 15, 2011
  38. ^ "Midland Cogeneration Venture" EQT Private Equity Funds, Investments
  39. ^ "CAMP, David Lee, (1953–)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved October 14, 2012.
  40. ^ "A Tribute to Joseph P. Overton". SPN.org. State Policy Network. Archived from the original on 16 December 2013. Retrieved 13 February 2022.
  41. ^ "Midland High School Chemic yearbook (Class of 1955)". e-yearbook.com. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  42. ^ Kelly, Fred (September 2, 2018). "Andrew Wylie's NFL dream has come true". OurMidland.com. Midland Daily News. Retrieved November 29, 2018.

External links[edit]