Oceana County, Michigan

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Oceana County, Michigan
Seal of Oceana County, Michigan
Map of Michigan highlighting Oceana County
Location in the state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location in the U.S.
Founded 1840 (created)
1855 (organized)[1]
Seat Hart
Largest city Hart
 • Total 1,306 sq mi (3,383 km2)
 • Land 512 sq mi (1,326 km2)
 • Water 794 sq mi (2,056 km2), 61%
 • (2010) 26,570
 • Density 52/sq mi (20/km²)
Congressional district 2nd
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
Website www.co.oceana.mi.us

Oceana County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 26,570.[2] The county seat is Hart.[3] Long known as part of the large Ojibwe territory, the county was founded by European Americans in 1840 and organized in 1855.[1]

Settlers were attracted by access along the White River, which reaches its mouth on Lake Michigan in Muskegon County to the south. Oceana County is thought to be named for Lake Michigan, a freshwater "ocean," which forms its western border.[4] Clarke said it was named for the book Oceana, written by English author James Harrington in 1656.[1]

Oceana County is famous as the "Asparagus Capital of the World" for its high production of asparagus. The annual Asparagus Festival includes a parade and crowning of the Asparagus Queen.


In the 1850s about 1400 Odawa were relocated here from Ionia County, Michigan by the federal government.[5] The county economy was first built on the lumber trade, with logs floated downriver. It later was developed for agriculture. In the 21st century, it is known for its commodity crop of asparagus.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,306 square miles (3,380 km2), of which 512 square miles (1,330 km2) is land and 794 square miles (2,060 km2) (61%) is water.[6] The county is considered to be part of West Michigan. The county's western border is formed by Lake Michigan.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected area[edit]

Major highways[edit]


Graphic showing Oceana County, Michigan, Population by Decades

This rural county reached a peak of population in 2000. It has attracted Hispanic or Latino immigrants who mostly work as farm laborers; in 2010 nearly 14% of the population was Hispanic.

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 496
1850 300 −39.5%
1860 1,816 505.3%
1870 7,222 297.7%
1880 11,699 62.0%
1890 15,698 34.2%
1900 16,644 6.0%
1910 18,379 10.4%
1920 15,601 −15.1%
1930 13,805 −11.5%
1940 14,812 7.3%
1950 16,105 8.7%
1960 16,547 2.7%
1970 17,984 8.7%
1980 22,002 22.3%
1990 22,454 2.1%
2000 26,873 19.7%
2010 26,570 −1.1%
Est. 2014 26,221 [7] −1.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2013[2]

The 2010 United States Census[12] indicates Oceana County had a 2010 population of 26,570. This is a decrease of -303 people from the 2000 United States Census. Overall, the county had a -1.1% growth rate during this ten-year period. In 2010 there were 10,174 households and 7,239 families in the county. The population density was 51.9 per square mile (20.0 square kilometers). There were 15,944 housing units at an average density of 31.1 per square mile (12.0 square kilometers). The racial and ethnic makeup of the county was 83.7% White, 0.4% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 0.2% Asian, 13.7% Hispanic or Latino, 0.1% from other races, and 1.2% from two or more races.

There were 10,174 households out of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.6% were husband and wife families, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 28.8% were non-families, and 24.6% were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.9% under age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 21.5% from 25 to 44, 29.0% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 100.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.3 males.

The 2010 American Community Survey 3-year estimate[12] indicates the median income for a household in the county was $39,043 and the median income for a family was $46,816. Males had a median income of $21,774 versus $14,186 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,065. About 1.9% of families and 19.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.4% of those under the age 18 and 11.3% of those age 65 or over.


Oceana County is part of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids.[13] Its Christian churchgoers include numerous Protestants of various denominations.


The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

Elected officials[edit]

(information as of January 2015)



  • Hart (county seat)


Unincorporated communities[edit]


Oceana County, Michigan, Townships Population Chart
Oceana County, Michigan, Townships - Median Age Chart
Oceana County, Michigan, Townships - High School Graduates or Higher Chart
Oceana County, Michigan, Townships - Total Housing Units Chart
Oceana County, Michigan, Townships - Median House Income Chart
Oceana County Townships - Percent Individuals Under Poverty Level

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Bibliography on Oceana County". Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University. Retrieved January 20, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 29, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Michigan county names per Michigan government.
  5. ^ Walter Romig, Michigan Place Names, p. 122
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  8. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "American Factfinder". United States Census Bureau accessdate=March 11, 2012.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "AmFactFinder" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  13. ^ Diocese of Grand Rapids, Michigan.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 43°40′N 86°32′W / 43.66°N 86.53°W / 43.66; -86.53