Van Buren County, Michigan

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Van Buren County, Michigan
Pawpawcourthouse.jpg
Van Buren County Courthouse
Seal of Van Buren County, Michigan
Seal
Map of Michigan highlighting Van Buren County
Location within the U.S. state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location within the U.S.
Founded1829 (created)
1837 (organized)[1]
Named forMartin Van Buren
SeatPaw Paw
Largest citySouth Haven
Area
 • Total1,090 sq mi (2,823 km2)
 • Land607 sq mi (1,572 km2)
 • Water482 sq mi (1,248 km2), 44%
Population (est.)
 • (2017)75,353
 • Density124/sq mi (48/km2)
Congressional district6th
Time zoneEastern
Websitewww.vbco.org

Van Buren County is a county located in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2010 census, the population was 76,258.[2] The county seat is Paw Paw.[3] The county was founded in 1829 and organized in 1837.[1]

Van Buren County is included in the Kalamazoo-Portage, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

The county was named for Martin Van Buren before he became president. He was US Secretary of State and later Vice President under President Andrew Jackson, and thus Van Buren is one of Michigan's "Cabinet counties".[1]

The Van Buren County Courthouse was built by Claire Allen, a prominent southern Michigan architect; its cornerstone was laid on September 2, 1901, after a July vote to issue $35,000 in county bonds.[4]

Government[edit]

Van Buren County has usually voted Republican in national elections. Since 1884, the county's voters have selected the Republican Party nominee in 79% (27 of 34) of the national elections through 2016. However, the county has become a swing county as well as a bellwether in recent years, voting for the overall winner in every presidential election from 1980 to the present day.

Presidential election results
Presidential Elections Results[5]
Year Republican Democratic Third Parties
2016 53.8% 17,890 39.8% 13,258 6.4% 2,126
2012 49.2% 16,141 49.6% 16,290 1.2% 406
2008 44.7% 15,534 53.5% 18,588 1.9% 644
2004 51.6% 17,634 47.3% 16,151 1.1% 389
2000 50.2% 14,792 46.8% 13,796 3.0% 894
1996 40.6% 11,347 47.7% 13,355 11.7% 3,273
1992 34.3% 10,357 41.2% 12,466 24.5% 7,414
1988 57.2% 14,522 42.0% 10,668 0.8% 210
1984 64.6% 16,426 34.8% 8,853 0.7% 166
1980 56.0% 14,451 35.8% 9,248 8.2% 2,125
1976 56.0% 13,615 42.7% 10,366 1.3% 321
1972 64.6% 13,903 33.3% 7,159 2.2% 469
1968 51.8% 10,676 35.4% 7,304 12.8% 2,627
1964 41.6% 8,120 58.1% 11,336 0.3% 48
1960 64.2% 12,903 35.2% 7,082 0.6% 111
1956 69.7% 13,291 29.8% 5,678 0.5% 94
1952 70.9% 13,231 28.5% 5,309 0.6% 119
1948 67.9% 9,511 29.2% 4,082 2.9% 411
1944 68.3% 10,951 31.2% 5,002 0.5% 84
1940 66.9% 11,571 32.5% 5,625 0.6% 101
1936 54.7% 9,110 40.4% 6,720 5.0% 825
1932 47.5% 6,954 49.3% 7,223 3.2% 464
1928 77.4% 9,325 21.9% 2,643 0.7% 82
1924 71.6% 7,384 16.0% 1,646 12.5% 1,290
1920 75.1% 6,904 21.6% 1,988 3.3% 300
1916 55.3% 4,302 41.5% 3,225 3.2% 249
1912 29.0% 2,101 27.5% 1,994 43.5% 3,147
1908 62.8% 4,531 32.1% 2,313 5.1% 371
1904 72.7% 5,254 22.6% 1,634 4.7% 342
1900 58.7% 4,892 38.8% 3,235 2.5% 204
1896 52.0% 4,510 45.9% 3,982 2.2% 190
1892 54.1% 3,788 31.1% 2,182 14.8% 1,038
1888 58.1% 4,783 36.2% 2,986 5.7% 471
1884 56.1% 4,219 39.0% 2,933 4.9% 367

Van Buren County operates the County jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, records deeds, mortgages, and vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget and has 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]

  1. Gail Patterson-Gladney (D)
  2. Kurt Doroh (R), Vice-Chairperson
  3. Richard Godfrey (R), Chairperson
  4. Mike Chappell (R)
  5. Randall Peat (R)
  6. Donald A. Hanson (R)
  7. Paul Schincariol (R)

(information correct in February 2019)

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,090 square miles (2,800 km2), of which 607 square miles (1,570 km2) is land and 482 square miles (1,250 km2) (44%) is water.[7]

Much of the county is farmland dotted with small towns. Areas near Kalamazoo County, specifically Antwerp Township and Almena Township, are becoming suburbanized. Many of the inland lakes are ringed with homes, either by people living year-round or cottagers, generally people who live the rest of the time in Chicago. Tourism is a major industry in the areas near Lake Michigan.

Rivers[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Parks, preserves, natural areas[edit]

Paw Paw River in Van Buren County

Transportation[edit]

Highways[edit]

Public transportation[edit]

Railroads[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18305
18401,91038,100.0%
18505,800203.7%
186015,224162.5%
187028,82989.4%
188030,8076.9%
189030,541−0.9%
190033,2748.9%
191033,185−0.3%
192030,715−7.4%
193032,6376.3%
194035,1117.6%
195039,18411.6%
196048,39523.5%
197056,17316.1%
198066,81418.9%
199070,0604.9%
200076,2638.9%
201076,2580.0%
Est. 201775,353[9]−1.2%
US Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2013[2]

The 2010 United States Census[14] indicates Van Buren County had a 2010 population of 76,258. This decrease of -5 people from the 2000 United States Census indicated a nearly-zero population change in the decade. In 2010 there were 28,928 households and 20,434 families in the county. The population density was 125.5 per square mile (48.5 square kilometers). There were 36,785 housing units at an average density of 60.6 per square mile (23.4 square kilometers). The racial and ethnic makeup of the county was 82.7% White, 3.9% Black or African American, 0.7% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 10.2% Hispanic or Latino, 0.1% from other races, and 2.0% from two or more races.

There were 28,928 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.0% were husband and wife families, 12.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.4% were non-families, and 24.0% were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.07.

The county population contained 25.5% under age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 23.7% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96 males.

The 2010 American Community Survey 1-year estimate[14] indicates the median income for a household in the county was $44,242 and the median income for a family was $53,642. Males had a median income of $28,079 versus $18,124 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,495. About 10.0% of families and 14.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.1% of those under the age 18 and 11.8% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

South Haven Light, south pier

Cities[edit]

Villages[edit]

Unincorporated Communities[edit]

Townships[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Clarke, accessed January 29, 2013
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". US Census Bureau. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ O. W. Rowland, A History of Van Buren County, Michigan: A Narrative Account of Its Historical Progress, Its People, and Its Principal Interests. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Co., 1912.
  5. ^ US Election Atlas
  6. ^ (Districts map)
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  8. ^ Van Buren Public Transit website
  9. ^ "American FactFinder". Retrieved March 22, 2018.
  10. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved September 28, 2014.
  14. ^ a b "American Factfinder". US Census Bureau. Retrieved March 11, 2012.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 42°16′N 86°19′W / 42.27°N 86.31°W / 42.27; -86.31