Sterling Heights, Michigan

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Sterling Heights, Michigan
City of Sterling Heights
Sterling Heights City Hall
Sterling Heights City Hall
Motto: To Strive on Behalf of All.
Location of Sterling Heights, Michigan
Location of Sterling Heights, Michigan
Sterling Heights, Michigan is located in USA
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Sterling Heights, Michigan
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 42°34′47″N 83°1′41″W / 42.57972°N 83.02806°W / 42.57972; -83.02806
Country United States
State Michigan
County Macomb
Incorporated 1968
 • Type Council-Manager
 • Mayor Michael C. Taylor
 • City Manager Mark D. Vanderpool
 • Total 36.80 sq mi (95.31 km2)
 • Land 36.51 sq mi (94.56 km2)
 • Water 0.29 sq mi (0.75 km2)
Elevation 614 ft (187 m)
Population (2010)[2]
 • Total 129,699
 • Estimate (2012[3]) 130,410
 • Density 3,552.4/sq mi (1,371.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 48310-48314
Area code(s) 586
FIPS code 26-76460[4]
GNIS feature ID 0638798[5]

Sterling Heights is a city in Macomb County of the U.S. state of Michigan, and one of Detroit's core suburbs. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 129,699.[6] It is the second largest suburb in Metro Detroit, and the fourth largest city in Michigan. Sterling Heights consistently ranks as the safest city in Michigan with population over 100,000.[7]


  • According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 36.80 square miles (95.31 km2), of which 36.51 square miles (94.56 km2) is land and 0.29 square miles (0.75 km2) is water.[1]
  • Sterling Heights is part of the Clinton River watershed, and branches of the river flow through the city.

Sterling Heights is 16 miles (26 km) from Downtown Detroit. The shape of the city is 6 miles (9.7 km) long and 6 miles wide.[8]

In 1991 Murray Dublin of The Baltimore Sun wrote that "it is a city of subdivisions rather than ethnic neighborhoods."[8]


Sterling Heights is well known for several events including:

  • The Memorial Day Parade held on Memorial Day.
  • Sterlingfest: A large event held in July/August each summer. This event is held in Dodge Park, a large park near the city's civic center. During the event, Dodge Park is crowded with food stands and carnival rides. The event also features performances by several artists and groups, some local (like Those Willows), some well known (like Rick Springfield and REO Speedwagon).
  • American-Polish Festival: This festival often has large turnout,[when?] due to the large Polish population in Sterling Heights, and surrounding cities such as Troy and Warren. The event mainly consists of performances by local Polish bands.

Main highways[edit]

Sterling Heights sits on two main thoroughfares:

State highways[edit]

  • M-53 commonly called Van Dyke Avenue or the Van Dyke Freeway (they split in the city, however and rejoin to its north), which lead north into The Thumb and
  • M-59,commonly called Hall Road once the freeway ends—which is the east–west connector from just north of Mount Clemens, through Utica as a surface road, and then becomes a limited access freeway to Pontiac, Michigan, being the main northern connector between Macomb County and Oakland County. In Sterling Heights, large areas are devoted to retail and commercial development (e.g., Lakeside Mall).


Sterling Heights is home to two roundabouts. The most recent, a three-lane roundabout constructed on M-53 at 18 ½ Mile (Van Dyke) Road, completed June 2005,[9] and at the Municipal City Center located and Dodge Park and Utica.[10][11]

Other main roads[edit]

  • Mound Road is an important north-south artery in the city.
  • East-west travel is mainly on the mile roads, those being 14 Mile Road on the south (Warren) border through 20 Mile Road (M-59) on the north border. See Roads and freeways in metropolitan Detroit.
  • 16 Mile Road (known as Metropolitan Parkway to the east, and Big Beaver Road to the west) is a main thoroughfare.
  • Utica Road is an important diagonal connector that criss-crosses the city to northwest, going at the intersection of Dodge Park Road (across from the Sterling Heights city hall, and across the road from Dodge Park) through the first roundabout in Macomb County.
  • Dequindre Road is the border between the city of Sterling Heights and the city of Troy. It is also the border between Macomb County and Oakland counties.
  • Hayes Road is the divider between Clinton Township (Between Utica Road and South of M59) and Fraser (Between Masonic and Moravian).

Neighboring communities[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1940 3,648
1950 6,509 78.4%
1960 14,622 124.6%
1970 61,365 319.7%
1980 108,999 77.6%
1990 117,810 8.1%
2000 124,471 5.7%
2010 129,699 4.2%
Est. 2014 131,741 [12] 1.6%
U.S. Decennial Census
2012 estimate

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 129,699 people, 49,451 households, and 34,515 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,552.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,371.6/km2). There were 52,190 housing units at an average density of 1,429.5 per square mile (551.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.1% White, 5.2% African American, 0.2% Native American, 6.7% Asian, 0.5% from other races, and 2.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

There were 49,451 households of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.0% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 30.2% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.20.

The median age in the city was 40.4 years. 21.7% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.8% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.8% were from 25 to 44; 28.6% were from 45 to 64; and 15.2% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.5% male and 51.5% female.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 124,471 people, 46,319 households, and 33,395 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,397.0 per square mile (1,311.6/km²). There were 47,547 housing units at an average density of 1,297.6 per square mile (501.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 90.70% White, 1.30% African American, 0.21% Native American, 4.92% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 2.50% from two or more races. 1.34% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

Ancestries: Polish (19.0%), German (14.4%), Italian (12.5%), Irish (5.7%), English (5.0), Chaldean (4.8%), American/US (4.0%) and Macedonian(0.0).

In 2000 there were more people in Sterling Heights born in Iraq than any other foreign country. In that year there were 5,059 people in Sterling Heights born in Iraq. The next three largest nations of foreign birth were India at 1,723, Italy at 1,442 and Poland at 1,427.[13]

There were 46,319 households out of which 32.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.4% were married couples living together, 8.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.9% were non-families. 24.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.1% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 30.4% from 25 to 44, 25.2% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 96.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $60,494, and the median income for a family was $70,140. Males had a median income of $51,207 versus $31,489 for females. The per capita income for the city was $24,958. About 4.0% of families and 5.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.6% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.

Law and government[edit]


Sterling Heights experienced its first-ever mayoral primary in 2009. David Magliulo and Teresa Bil, signaled[how?] intentions to run against incumbent Mayor Richard J. Notte, who ultimately won another term. .[14]


Sterling Heights was incorporated as a city in 1968. It was until the 1950s an agricultural area largely devoted to growing rhubarb and other crops sold in Detroit.[15] Prior to 1968 Sterling Heights was known as Sterling Township. It had from 1836 until 1838 been known as Jefferson Township.

William Valusek was the last Sterling Township supervisor. Anthony Dobry served on the first city council and later served as mayor for eight years.[16] Dobry Road on the northern city limits is named after him. Gerald Donovan became the first mayor of the city. F. James Dunlop became the first mayor pro-tem. There was already a small village named Sterling in Arenac County, so the word "Heights" was added to the township name to satisfy a state law that prevents incorporated municipalities from having the same name. "Moravian" was another name under consideration for the new city.[17]

Lakeside Mall opened in Sterling Heights in 1976.

By 1991 the city had received many people of ethnic European origins, including ethnic Albanians, Bosnians, Croatians, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbians, and Slovenians. They moved from Detroit and Hamtramck. In the 1990s, ethnic Macedonians in Sterling Heights, together with ethnic Serbs, had the nickname "Yugos." The ethnic Albanians had the nickname the "Albos." The two groups often had conflicts in the 1990s. As of 1991 many residents worked in automobile plants operated by Chrysler and Ford, and that year, Murray Dublin of The Baltimore Sun described Sterling Heights as "blue collar."[8]

In November 1999, the AMC Theaters Forum 30 megaplex theater opened at the Fourm at Gateways Shopping Center at M-59 and Mound Road along the northern border of Sterling Heights and immediately became the largest movie theater in Michigan, a distinction it still holds. It has since become one of two megaplex movie theaters in Sterling Heights after MJR Theatres opened the Marketplace Digital Cinema 20 in the south end of Sterling Heights in 2005.

The August 2006 issue of Money magazine listed Sterling Heights as No. 19 on its list of the 90 "Best Small Cities" to live in.

Sterling Heights was ranked the sixth safest city in the U.S. with a population between 100,000—499,999, according to Morgan Quitno's 2006 analysis of crime rates.


Sterling Heights is served by two public school districts, Utica Community Schools and Warren Consolidated Schools. Henry Ford II High School and Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Sterling Heights and Utica High School in Utica are operated by the Utica district. Sterling Heights High School is operated by the Warren district.

Parkway Christian School is also located in Sterling Heights Michigan.

Sterling Heights is also served by the Macomb Intermediate School District.


The city of Sterling Heights has three local newspapers, the Macomb Daily. Daily and Sunday delivery. (owned by, the Journal Register Company), the Sterling Heights Sentry (owned by C and G Newspapers, and the Sterling Heights Source (owned by Advisor & Source Newspapers), the last two are delivered to city residences free of charge. The city also has two local channels. SHTV is run by the city's community relations department and usually features locally-produced programming (including City Council meetings) and community announcements. Another channel is used for the Sterling Heights Public Library, which usually features educational programs as well as library announcements. You can find SHTV locally on Comcast channel 5, on Wide Open West channel 10 and online at [1]. The public library channel is found on Comcast channel 12 and WOW channel 20. The city's official radio station is AM 1700. The city also releases a seasonal magazine and a city calendar free of charge to each city household and business. The city's official website is

WUFL, affiliated with Family Life Radio, is also based in Sterling Heights.

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "US Gazetteer files 2010". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  2. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-11-25. 
  3. ^ "Population Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2013-06-03. 
  4. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  5. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Sterling Heights, Michigan
  6. ^ United States Census Bureau
  7. ^ "Sterling Heights ranks well in safety, report says". C&G Newspapers. April 10, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b c Murray, Dublin. "Teen-age strife in Detroit suburb reflects ethnic conflicts of Yugoslavia's civil war." Baltimore Sun. December 22, 1991. p. 1. (Archive). Retrieved on September 28, 2014.
  9. ^ "Department of Roads - Home". 
  10. ^ "Google Image Result for". 
  11. ^ Image, M-53 (Van Dyke) Roundabout
  12. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  13. ^ PCT18. ANCESTRY (TOTAL CATEGORIES TALLIED) FOR PEOPLE WITH ONE OR MORE ANCESTRY CATEGORIES REPORTED [109] - Universe: Total ancestry categories tallied for people with one or more ancestry categories reported, U.S. Census Bureau, 2000 census
  14. ^ "Sterling may see first-ever mayoral primary". C&G Newspapers. 
  15. ^ Seven Miles From Home
  16. ^ "Sterling Heights' Notte faces competition". 
  17. ^ Pre-City History, The Official Site of the City of Sterling Heights
  18. ^ Hinds, Julie (2013-02-02). "'Grosse Pointe Blank' writer Tom Jankiewicz found a place in film history". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2013-02-04. 
  19. ^ a b "Jim McCauley". 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°34′49″N 83°1′49″W / 42.58028°N 83.03028°W / 42.58028; -83.03028