Consider yourself lucky if you call one of the best places to live in Michigan home. And rightfully so. Michigan has a ton of exceptional characteristics that are unique to the only state that borders five Great Lakes.
Michigan’s long summer days and fantastic family-friendly atmosphere make the best places in Michigan some of the best you’ll find anywhere. Crystal-clear lakes, lush pine forests, and friendly people aside, Michigan’s top places have a lot to offer.
We ranked the best places in Michigan based on attributes people want when looking to move – a strong job market, low cost of living, and plenty of things to do make these cities extremely desirable. Our job of determining the best cities to live in Michigan was quite the feat.
So, grab a cold Labatts, warm a pasty, and read on for more details on the top places to live in Michigan.
Yes, Michigan is every outdoor enthusiast’s dream come true. But Michigan has many incredible cities where commute times, education, and strong economies make resisting difficult. The trick is to find it all.
What city is the best place to live in Michigan for 2023? According to the US Census and FBI data, Huntington Woods is the best place to live in Michigan if you care about home values, low crime, and high quality of life.
The list below gives you a look into the top ten best places to live in Michigan.
For more Michigan reading, check out:
- Best Counties To Live In Michigan
- Cheapest Places To Live In Michigan
- Best Places To Raise A Family In Michigan
Article Table Of Contents
The 10 best places to live In Michigan for 2023
|Rank Last Year||1|
|Median Home Value||$386,100|
Coming in as The Mitten’s best city is Huntington Woods. Previously ranked first, Huntington Woods is also located just southeast of Detroit and the locals here would tell you that it has a lot to offer. With over 6,382 highly educated residents, the median income in The City of Homes is close to $157,665 and the median home price is $386,100.
The adventures are endless in Huntington Woods. One stop could lead you to learning about the natural world at the Cranbrook Institute of Science; and if you happen to be visiting between Labor Day and Thanksgiving, you could always pick up a snack and experience at Franklin Cider Mill.
Huntington Woods boasts a 10/10 overall SnackAbility. Come for a visit and stay for a while.
|Rank Last Year||4|
|Median Home Value||$238,200|
Where the MI-1 and Eleven Mile meet 25 minutes northeast of Detroit is the 2nd best place to live in Michigan. This must be a Michigan hot spot because it has the youngest population in the state and it’s one of the best cities for singles in The Mitten. If we know anything about today’s young people and millennials, they know where to find the best deals. They have chosen Berkley because it has a manageable cost of living, affordable homes, and low crime.
Yes, the cost of living here is lower than the national average and slightly higher than the state–1.1x in fact. Homes here are the 24th lowest in the state–expect to pay $238,200 for a nice single family home. And, crime? There were only 79 recorded at the time of this report.
|Rank Last Year||2|
|Median Home Value||$580,200|
Moving into first as the #3 best city to live in Michigan is Birmingham. Located southeast of Detroit in Oakland County with over 21,728 residents, “This Walkable Community” has the best of both worlds-activities for the family and adults alike. Birmingham has much to offer throughout the seasons between attending farmer’s markets, enjoying a winter brew at Griffin Claw, or taking the family to check out the The Robot Garage, these are just a few of the many reasons Birmingham has moved into the top spot for best city in Michigan.
Birmingham also scored a 7.5/10 on overall SnackAbility with an emphasis on jobs, safety, and education.
|Rank Last Year||6|
|Median Home Value||$403,100|
“Beverly Hills that’s where I want to be..” This might not be the Beverly Hills that Weezer sings about, but it’s definitely one of the nicest places in Michigan; so much that it’s the 4th best place in the state for 2023.
And this is because it has some of the highest home prices in the state. Now, don’t get it twisted, we’re not saying that a place can only be one of the best if it has fancy homes; generally speaking, however, higher home prices mean higher property taxes which trickles down to better schools and nicer amenities. So, when we looked at Beverly Hills SnackAbility scores, we were not surprised to find the city scored a 9.5/10 for education and an 8.5/10 for amenities. You will be happy to know that the unemployment rate here is the 6th best in the state at 1.9% and that the median income is $148,101/year–so, it is doable.
|Rank Last Year||3|
|Median Home Value||$409,200|
Located just East of Grand Rapids is Michigan’s 5th best city — East Grand Rapids. While it is not the number one best city in Michigan for 2023, it has the 4th highest household income at $145,000 making it also one of the richest places in The Great Lakes State. So, if you are an outdoor enthusiast, that nice income provides a little extra cash to experience the fun, outdoor things that East Grand rapids has to offer. Like, spending the day at Reeds Lake hiking and biking the trails or taking in one of the many yachting regattas at the Grand Rapids Yacht Club. However, if you have some time, a day trip to the Lake Michigan beaches in Grand Haven are a Pure Michigan experience.
The people in East Grand Rapids are great, but that’s not why this city is the 5th best. East Grand Rapids earned this rank because the job opportunities are endless, it has great schools, and the crime rate here is 58% below the national average.
|Rank Last Year||8|
|Median Home Value||$380,900|
On the Michigan Mitten, Grosse Pointe Park is located where the thumb meets the hand and this must be a good spot as this city is the 6th best place to live in the state. It’s also one of the oldest counties in the state, so they’ve had plenty of time to perfect an affordable cost of living and a safe environment for its residents and anyone looking to move to this Detroit suburb. Currently the city holds the 6th best median home price at $380,900 and the people here make a lot of money–like a median income of $123,859/year. This salary helps to offset the slightly higher than the national average cost of living. Just know that if you choose Grosse Pointe Park as your forever home, living expenses like groceries and transportation will be slightly higher–(maybe it’s time to think about dusting off the ‘ol bike….)
|Rank Last Year||7|
|Median Home Value||$364,400|
Yes, Michigan is known as the “Wolverine State,” but you don’t have to worry, there are no longer any wolverines that reside here, but what is still a “thing” is the fact that Grosse Pointe Farms is one of the best places to live in the state. Matter of fact, it’s Michigan’s 7th best of the best.
To be one of the best, a city needs to protect its residents, provide an affordable cost of living for its residents, as well as provide job opportunities to keep its residents happy, healthy, and employed. And, folks, that’s just what Grosse Pointe Farms has done. The crime rate here is below the state average–there were only 72 crimes recorded at the time of this report. The unemployment rate is 2.2% and most residents make $146,667/year.
|Rank Last Year||5|
|Median Home Value||$347,500|
Grosse Pointe, Michigan, is a famously wealthy suburb of Detroit – the perfect home town for professional athletes (including baseball’s Miguel Cabrera) and big-shot auto executives. It’s no surprise, then, that the affluent community rates as the number 8 top place in the state to put down roots.
Cementing its reputation as a haven for rich execs, the median income in Grosse Pointe sits at a lofty $125,909. That represent the 7th highest in Michigan. The median home value hovers at $347,500, the state’s 11th highest figure. With all that property-tax money to support them, the schools in the area are excellent. They get a ranking of 8/10 from Great Schools.
Crime in the town of 5,597 residents is well below the national average. The cost of living is a little higher than the standard for the U.S. as a whole.
Sitting on the coast of Lake St. Clair, within site of the Canadian border, Grosse Pointe provides excellent access to downtown Detroit, just 20 minutes away. The community also has its own amenities, including shopping at The Village or a stroll through Neff Park.
|Rank Last Year||15|
|Median Home Value||$362,000|
Much like Plymouth Rock, Michigan’s 9th best place to live Plymouth stands for freedom. However, in Plymouth’s case, it’s freedom from high prices and boredom. Yes, Plymouth scored a 7/10 on our SnackAbility scale and quality of life indicators like affordability, safety, and amenities were among the city’s best attributes.
Folks, the median home price here is the 10th best in the state–you can get a quality single family home for $362,000. To put the city’s crime rate in perspective, there were only 58 crimes reported at the time we pulled Plymouth’s numbers making this small town of 9,308 residents one of the safest in the state. And when it’s time to blow off some steam from the work week, Kellogg Park and the https://plymouthhistory.org/”>Plymouth History Museum should do the trick.
|Rank Last Year||10|
|Median Home Value||$249,900|
Royal Oak, Michigan, forms part of the extended urban sprawl radiating from Detroit. But the community is no mere suburb. It ranks as the number 10 best home town in the state.
Despite its proximity to Detroit, which has a reputation as a dangerous city, the crime rate in Royal Oak is extremely low. At the same time, the city of 58,368 people has top-notch schools, with a score of 8/10 from Great Schools.
In terms of economics, the area sports a median income of $87,316 and a median home value of $249,900. The unemployment rate hovers at 3.0%. The cost of living sits right at the national average.
With just a 20-minute drive to downtown Detroit, Royal Oak offers access to everything a major city has to offer. At the same time, it has its own selling points. Want a nice summer stroll? Head to the local Huntington Woods. Or take a walk through the Detroit Zoo, which extends into Royal Oak.
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Michigan
Best Places To Live In Michigan Size Requirement
Before we even started to collect data on the best places to live in Michigan, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Lansing with a population of 113,592 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke the best places to live into three tiers:
- Cities — Populations over 5,000
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 151 cities, 257 towns, and 254 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Michigan have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see the results of those best place rankings at the end of the article.
Methodology: How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In Michigan
Now that we had our set of the best possible cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Michigan across a number of criteria from one to 151, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Michigan”.
The criteria we looked to determine the best places were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Michigan? That would be Huntington Woods.
If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Michigan.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Huntington Woods at the end of the cul-de-sac.
Summary: The Best Places In Michigan
If you’re looking at areas in Michigan with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Huntington Woods made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in Michigan for 2023.
Best Towns To Live In Michigan
- Pleasant Ridge (Pop. 2,562)
- Village of Grosse Pointe Shores (Pop. 2,933)
- DeWitt (Pop. 4,657)
- Franklin (Pop. 3,262)
- Frankenmuth (Pop. 4,992)
- Caledonia (Pop. 1,871)
- Spring Lake (Pop. 2,424)
- Lathrup Village (Pop. 4,127)
- Fruitport (Pop. 1,374)
- Bloomfield Hills (Pop. 3,984)
Best Small Towns To Live In Michigan
- Shoreham (Pop. 918)
- Eagle (Pop. 104)
- Barton Hills (Pop. 293)
- Lake Leelanau (Pop. 206)
- Richland (Pop. 858)
- Michiana (Pop. 187)
- Westphalia (Pop. 995)
- Village of Clarkston (Pop. 902)
- Lake Angelus (Pop. 260)
- Suttons Bay (Pop. 540)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Michigan according to the data:
- Detroit (Pop. 645,658)
- Highland Park (Pop. 9,304)
- Dowagiac (Pop. 5,731)
For more Michigan reading, check out:
- Best Places To Retire In Michigan
- Richest Cities In Michigan
- Safest Places In Michigan
- Worst Places To Live In Michigan
Best Places To Live In Michigan
|5||East Grand Rapids||11,381|
|6||Grosse Pointe Park||11,529|
|7||Grosse Pointe Farms||10,018|
|17||Grosse Pointe Woods||16,353|
|48||St. Clair Shores||59,046|