Rochester Hills, Michigan

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Rochester Hills, Michigan
City of Rochester Hills
Autumn Sunrise at Spencer Park.
Autumn Sunrise at Spencer Park.
Flag of Rochester Hills, Michigan
Location within Oakland County
Location within Oakland County
Rochester Hills is located in Michigan
Rochester Hills
Rochester Hills
Location within the state of Michigan
Coordinates: 42°39′57″N 83°09′29″W / 42.66583°N 83.15806°W / 42.66583; -83.15806Coordinates: 42°39′57″N 83°09′29″W / 42.66583°N 83.15806°W / 42.66583; -83.15806
CountryUnited States
Organized1835 (Avon Township)
Incorporated1984 (City of Rochester Hills)
 • TypeMayor–council
 • MayorBryan K. Barnett (R)
 • ClerkLeanne Scott
 • City32.90 sq mi (85.22 km2)
 • Land32.80 sq mi (84.96 km2)
 • Water0.10 sq mi (0.25 km2)
820 ft (250 m)
 • City76,300
 • Density2,325.94/sq mi (898.06/km2)
 • Metro
4,296,250 (Metro Detroit)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code(s)
Area code(s)248 and 947
FIPS code26-69035[2]
GNIS feature ID1675440[3]
WebsiteOfficial website

Rochester Hills is a city in Oakland County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 census, the city had a total population of 76,300.[4] It is the 14th-largest city in Michigan.[5]

The area was first occupied by settlers of European descent in 1817, and organized as Avon Township in 1835. The City of Rochester incorporated in 1967, while the remaining area of Avon Township was incorporated and renamed the City of Rochester Hills in 1984. Considered a northern suburb of Metro Detroit, Rochester Hills is about 12 miles (19.3 km) north of Detroit.



Prior to European settlement, the area now known as Rochester Hills was inhabited by Native Americans, namely the Potawatomi.[8] The Potawatomi depended on the area's abundant water sources, such as the Clinton River and Paint Creek, to grow crops, fish, and travel.[8][9] They resided here until the 1807 Treaty of Detroit caused them, along with the Odawa, Wyandot, and Ojibwe peoples, to cede their land in Southeast Michigan.[10][11]

The first European settler was James Graham who arrived in 1817. Graham and his family reached the area by following trails created by the Sauk Native Americans.[12][13] Avon Township was organized in 1835. Rochester incorporated as a village within the township in 1869. The township adopted a charter in 1948 under the Home Rule Act. Also in 1948 a post office was established under the name of Brooklands for the area between Auburn Road and Hamlin Road just to the west of Dequindre Road.[14]

In 1966, village residents voted to become the City of Rochester, effective in February 1967. As a result, Rochester residents no longer had to pay property taxes to the township, as it was now a separate municipality.

In 1967, Avon Township filed a petition to become a city. In January 1968, township voters approved the petition to move forward with seeking city status. Three proposed city charters were voted down by residents, the first in March 1969, the second in May 1970, and the third in September 1971. The city of Rochester then sought to annex all of the township, which was unanimously denied by the Michigan Boundary Commission. In 1972, petitions were filed to consolidate Avon Township and Rochester. In April 1974, the consolidation petition lost by 350 votes in the township, while passing by four votes in Rochester. In May 1974, Rochester's petition to annex 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) of Avon Township was approved by the Michigan Boundary Commission, depriving Avon Township of its largest taxpayer.[15] The township became Avon Charter Township in August 1978. Court challenges to the 1974 annexation continued until November 1981, when the township was ordered to surrender the annexed property. An impending annexation request from the City of Troy, due south, for 300 acres of southeast Avon Township brought the cityhood question to a crisis.[15]

In May 1984, township voters approved a city charter. On November 20, 1984, Avon Township became the City of Rochester Hills. The name of the new city was put to a vote, with the other choice being "Avon Hills." The name "Rochester Hills" won by a landslide with voters, based on the area's historical ties to Rochester and the rolling hills in the area. Township Supervisor Earl E. Borden became the first mayor of Rochester Hills.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 32.91 square miles (85.24 km2), of which 32.82 square miles (85.00 km2) is land and 0.09 square miles (0.23 km2) (0.27%) is water.[16]

Rochester Hills is bordered to the north by Oakland Charter Township along Dutton Road, to the south by the city of Troy along South Boulevard, to the east by Shelby Township in Macomb County along Dequindre Road, and to the west by the city of Auburn Hills along part of Adams Road. Rochester Hills is also partially bordered by the city of Rochester to the east. Elevations in the city range from 690 feet (210 m) above sea level in the southeastern portion of the city to 1,032 feet (315 m) in the northwestern section.


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[17]

2020 census[edit]

As of the 2020 census,[18] there were 76,293 people, in 28,766 households, residing in the city. The population density was 2,359.9 inhabitants per square mile (911.2/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 79.6% White, 12.8% Asian, 3.7% African American, 2.9% from two or more races, and 0.1% Native American. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.6% of the population. 19.8% of the population was foreign-born.[19]

There were 28,766 households, and the median household income was $99,666. 4.2% of persons were living in poverty. 77.4% of residents lived in owner-occupied housing units.

Between 2000 and 2010, the Asian population in Rochester Hills increased to almost 10% of the community's population, a 61% increase from the 2000 figure.[20] It grew to 12.8% in 2020.[19]

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[21] of 2010, there were 70,995 people, 27,578 households, and 19,308 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,163.2 inhabitants per square mile (835.2/km2). There were 29,494 housing units at an average density of 898.7 per square mile (347.0/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 89.1% White, 2.5% African American, 0.2% Native American, 4.5% Asian, 0.7% from other races, and 1.9% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.1% of the population.

There were 27,578 households of which 33.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.2% were married couples living together, 8.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.8% had a male householder with no wife present, and 30.0% were non-families. 25.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.08.

The median age in the city was 40.9 years. 23.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.6% were from 25 to 44; 30.3% were from 45 to 64; and 13.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.


Rochester Hills Public Library, Rochester, Michigan.

Rochester Hills has a mayor-council government. The Rochester Hills City Council consists of seven Council Members: four district members and three at-large members. They are elected to four-year terms and, due to term limiting, can serve no more than two terms for a maximum of eight years. However, there are no limits on how many times the mayor can run for re-election as a write-in candidate.

Rochester Hills does not have a police department, so the city's police services are provided by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office. The 52nd District Court Division Three is also located in Rochester Hills.

In the 2020 United States presidential election in Michigan, 23,173 (50.67%) votes went to Joseph Biden and 21,680 (47.4%) votes were cast for Donald Trump.[22]

Federally, Rochester Hills is gerrymandered between Michigan's 8th congressional district, represented by Democrat Elissa Slotkin, and Michigan's 11th congressional district, represented by Democrat Haley Stevens. However, as of 2023, Rochester Hills will be appended to the Macomb County-centered Michigan's 10th congressional district.[23]


Rochester Community Schools serve most of the city. Rochester Adams High School, Rochester High School, and Stoney Creek High School are in Rochester Hills. The city also hosts college and graduate-level programs in various disciplines at Oakland University and Rochester University.

Some portions of the city, however, are in the Avondale School District. Much of the ASD portion of Rochester Hills is zoned to Deerfield Elementary School, also within the city. Other portions are zoned to Auburn Elementary School in Auburn Hills and Woodland Elementary School in Troy. All ASD residents are zoned to Avondale Middle School in Rochester Hills and Avondale High School in Auburn Hills. The Meadows School, Avondale Academy, and the ASD transportation department are all in Rochester Hills.[24]

City services include Rochester Hills Public Library. (The neighboring City of Rochester and Oakland Township contract with the City of Rochester Hills to permit their residents' use of the library.)

The Japanese School of Detroit, a supplementary school for Japanese citizens of school age, at one time had its administrative offices in the former Oakland Steiner School in Rochester Hills.[25]

Notable people[edit]

This list includes people from Rochester and Rochester Hills:



  1. ^ "2020 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 21, 2022.
  2. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "Rochester Hills". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey, United States Department of the Interior.
  4. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Rochester Hills city, Michigan". Retrieved 2022-07-20.
  5. ^ "Cities in Michigan by Population (2022)".
  6. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Stony Creek
  7. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Yates, Michigan & GNIS in Google Map
  8. ^ a b "Native Americans of the Clinton River Watershed". Clinton River Watershed Council. Clinton River Watershed Council. Retrieved 23 November 2016.
  9. ^ De Vaudreuil, M. "General Memoir Respecting the Indians between Lake Erie and the Mississippi, with Remarks upon Their Territory, Manners, Habits, Etc." In Documents Relative to the Colonial History of the State of New York, edited by E. B. O'Callaghan, MD, compiled by John Romeyn Brodhead, Esq, 887-90. Vol. IX. Albany, NY: Weed, Parsons and Company Printers, 1855.
  10. ^ Duval, Roger. "Potawatomi Native Americans Fish and Hunt at Bald Eagle Lake". History of Bald Eagle Lake. Bald Eagle Lake Property Owner's Association. Retrieved 26 November 2016.
  11. ^ Hull, William. "Treaty with the Ottawa, Etc., 1807". Indian Affairs: Laws and treaties. Oklahoma State University. Retrieved 25 November 2016.
  12. ^ "Our Community's History." Rochester Hills, MI Official Website.
  13. ^ "Saginaw Trail Historic Marker." Detroit: The History and Future of the Motor City. July 2009.
  14. ^ Romig 1986, p. 80.
  15. ^ a b "The Battle for Avon Township, Rochester and Rochester Hills, A Tale of Two Cities".
  16. ^ "Michigan: 2010 Population and Housing Unit Counts 2010 Census of Population and Housing" (PDF). 2010 United States Census. United States Census Bureau. September 2012. p. 37 Michigan. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2012-10-19. Retrieved May 1, 2020.
  17. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  18. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau.
  19. ^ a b "Search Results".
  20. ^ Steele, Micki. "Asian-Americans settle in Metro Detroit enclaves." The Detroit News. April 19, 2011. Retrieved on September 9, 2013.
  21. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25.
  22. ^ "How Detroit's Oakland County suburbs voted in 2020 presidential election". 10 November 2020.
  23. ^[bare URL PDF]
  24. ^ "District Map Archived 2015-06-20 at WebCite" (Archive). Avondale School District. Retrieved on June 20, 2015.
  25. ^ "JSD History" (Archive). Japanese School of Detroit. May 2, 2001. Retrieved on April 16, 2015. "(1999)  事務局移転(インターナショナル・アカデミー校→旧オークランド・シュタイナー校) "
  26. ^ "Amy Frazier Enjoys Her Anonymity". Associated Press.
  27. ^ "Jay Gibbons Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 21, 2012.
  28. ^ "Dita von Teese". IMDb.
  29. ^ "Peter Vanderkaay".
  30. ^ "Rochester's Famous Scientist". 23 October 2009.


  • Romig, Walter (October 1, 1986) [1973]. Michigan Place Names: The History of the Founding and the Naming of More Than Five Thousand Past and Present Michigan Communities. Great Lakes Books Series (Paperback). Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 978-0-8143-1838-6.

External links[edit]