The 10 Best Small Towns In Michigan For 2022


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Michigan are the best of the best.

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You've seen these lists before: Best places to live in Michigan, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Wolverine State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that's all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Michigan based on numbers--not opinions or hearsay.

We'll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Michigan ranked the based--you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 15, here's a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Michigan for 2022.

What's the best small town in Michigan? Village of Grosse Pointe Shores is the best small town in Michigan based on the most recent Census data. If you live in one of these small towns like Village of Grosse Pointe Shores, chances are, you're not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you--keep reading and we'll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Wolverine State check out:

The 15 Best Small Towns In Michigan For 2022

Village Of Grosse Pointe Shores, MI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 2,791
Median Income: $172,250 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $559,700 (4th Best)
More on Village Of Grosse Pointe Shores: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Franklin, MI

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 2,877
Median Income: $158,958 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $595,400 (3rd Best)
More on Franklin: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 3,795
Median Income: $81,042 (19th Best)
Median Home Value: $170,900 (40th Best)
More on North Muskegon: Data | Homes For Sale

Bloomfield Hills, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 3,995
Median Income: $177,614 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $833,100 (1st Best)
More on Bloomfield Hills: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 1,799
Median Income: $92,500 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $248,100 (12th Best)
More on Sylvan Lake: Data | Homes For Sale

Wolverine Lake, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 4,712
Median Income: $86,148 (11th Best)
Median Home Value: $210,700 (22nd Best)
More on Wolverine Lake: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,442
Median Income: $80,938 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $222,500 (19th Best)
More on Caledonia: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 4,743
Median Income: $92,652 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $217,000 (20th Best)
More on Dewitt: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,477
Median Income: $62,857 (51st Best)
Median Home Value: $196,900 (25th Best)
More on Spring Lake: Data | Homes For Sale

Lake Orion, MI

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 3,143
Median Income: $95,854 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $275,500 (10th Best)
More on Lake Orion: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,698
Median Income: $85,833 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $212,900 (21st Best)
More on Wacousta: Data | Homes For Sale

Pleasant Ridge, MI

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 2,589
Median Income: $122,422 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $354,100 (6th Best)
More on Pleasant Ridge: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 1,531
Median Income: $60,000 (67th Best)
Median Home Value: $242,700 (15th Best)
More on Elk Rapids: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,588
Median Income: $85,089 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $162,900 (49th Best)
More on Dimondale: Data | Homes For Sale

Orchard Lake Village, MI

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,489
Median Income: $208,750 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $686,400 (2nd Best)
More on Orchard Lake Village: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Methodology: How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Michigan

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census's 2016-2020 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot - 243 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 243, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Michigan. Top of that list -- Village of Grosse Pointe Shores. You can download the data here.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 15 best small towns in Michigan.

Summary: Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we'll say it again -- this list: it's just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 15 small towns in Michigan are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you're curious, here are the worst small towns in Michigan:

  1. Skidway Lake
  2. St. Helen
  3. Harrison

For more Michigan reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Michigan

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Village Of Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 2,791 $172,250.0 $559,700.0
2 Franklin, MI 2,877 $158,958.0 $595,400.0
3 North Muskegon, MI 3,795 $81,042.0 $170,900.0
4 Bloomfield Hills, MI 3,995 $177,614.0 $833,100.0
5 Sylvan Lake, MI 1,799 $92,500.0 $248,100.0
6 Wolverine Lake, MI 4,712 $86,148.0 $210,700.0
7 Caledonia, MI 1,442 $80,938.0 $222,500.0
8 Dewitt, MI 4,743 $92,652.0 $217,000.0
9 Spring Lake, MI 2,477 $62,857.0 $196,900.0
10 Lake Orion, MI 3,143 $95,854.0 $275,500.0
11 Wacousta, MI 1,698 $85,833.0 $212,900.0
12 Pleasant Ridge, MI 2,589 $122,422.0 $354,100.0
13 Elk Rapids, MI 1,531 $60,000.0 $242,700.0
14 Dimondale, MI 1,588 $85,089.0 $162,900.0
15 Orchard Lake Village, MI 2,489 $208,750.0 $686,400.0
16 Armada, MI 2,179 $83,750.0 $189,400.0
17 Lathrup Village, MI 4,109 $97,083.0 $208,500.0
18 Schoolcraft, MI 1,212 $64,115.0 $131,800.0
19 Spring Arbor, MI 2,204 $61,655.0 $190,400.0
20 Stevensville, MI 1,074 $59,605.0 $124,500.0
21 Auburn, MI 1,990 $49,861.0 $123,700.0
22 Fruitport, MI 1,222 $65,625.0 $142,200.0
23 Manchester, MI 2,170 $63,600.0 $164,500.0
24 Edgemont Park, MI 2,413 $55,132.0 $121,300.0
25 Essexville, MI 3,294 $59,961.0 $94,200.0
26 Quinnesec, MI 1,203 $74,375.0 $103,100.0
27 Plainwell, MI 3,799 $58,776.0 $135,900.0
28 Trowbridge Park, MI 2,190 $60,625.0 $166,800.0
29 Bingham Farms, MI 1,539 $169,091.0 $434,200.0
30 Shepherd, MI 1,380 $56,563.0 $125,000.0
31 Williamston, MI 3,939 $75,862.0 $171,900.0
32 South Haven, MI 4,340 $54,771.0 $274,000.0
33 Rockwood, MI 3,177 $82,969.0 $147,400.0
34 Keego Harbor, MI 3,323 $60,813.0 $188,400.0
35 Manitou Beach-Devils Lake, MI 1,923 $81,602.0 $229,700.0
36 Lowell, MI 4,136 $64,492.0 $162,100.0
37 Grass Lake, MI 1,331 $60,833.0 $165,900.0
38 West Ishpeming, MI 2,790 $64,306.0 $143,400.0
39 Oxford, MI 3,542 $67,130.0 $233,600.0
40 Fowler, MI 1,559 $61,782.0 $156,000.0
41 Harvey, MI 3,637 $64,417.0 $183,500.0
42 Romeo, MI 3,908 $51,672.0 $204,700.0
43 Montague, MI 2,801 $62,839.0 $127,900.0
44 Shorewood-Tower Hills-Harbert, MI 1,501 $68,333.0 $193,800.0
45 Pinckney, MI 2,132 $77,143.0 $187,200.0
46 Stony Point, MI 1,624 $73,083.0 $137,900.0
47 Portland, MI 3,931 $61,002.0 $125,000.0
48 Kingsford, MI 4,983 $47,313.0 $94,200.0
49 Middleville, MI 3,447 $60,521.0 $143,000.0
50 Lexington, MI 1,180 $39,615.0 $151,700.0
51 Negaunee, MI 4,537 $53,734.0 $123,000.0
52 Whitehall, MI 2,789 $49,185.0 $148,800.0
53 Douglas, MI 1,107 $53,125.0 $303,700.0
54 Gibraltar, MI 4,546 $74,919.0 $167,000.0
55 Linden, MI 3,922 $64,511.0 $161,100.0
56 Michigan Center, MI 4,879 $59,326.0 $126,400.0
57 Chums Corner, MI 1,117 $60,625.0 $243,600.0
58 Harbor Springs, MI 1,107 $51,050.0 $243,600.0
59 Bridgman, MI 2,416 $71,133.0 $180,000.0
60 Wayland, MI 4,227 $61,071.0 $136,900.0
61 Saranac, MI 1,599 $54,583.0 $122,000.0
62 Roosevelt Park, MI 3,792 $55,083.0 $124,700.0
63 Argentine, MI 2,409 $79,219.0 $283,900.0
64 Lake Isabella, MI 1,676 $71,167.0 $170,600.0
65 Paw Paw Lake, MI 3,520 $55,122.0 $150,500.0
66 Concord, MI 1,153 $58,482.0 $93,800.0
67 Clinton, MI 2,885 $69,118.0 $138,400.0
68 Buchanan, MI 4,270 $43,668.0 $117,600.0
69 Reese, MI 1,365 $71,429.0 $124,700.0
70 Belleville, MI 3,879 $52,810.0 $143,900.0
71 Twin Lake, MI 1,764 $83,669.0 $160,400.0
72 Parchment, MI 1,887 $52,386.0 $134,300.0
73 Canadian Lakes, MI 2,760 $62,328.0 $194,800.0
74 Boyne City, MI 3,721 $55,357.0 $155,700.0
75 New Buffalo, MI 1,613 $54,421.0 $223,800.0
76 South Rockwood, MI 1,903 $75,685.0 $161,400.0
77 Burt, MI 1,365 $60,250.0 $137,700.0
78 Goodrich, MI 1,930 $85,667.0 $193,800.0
79 Petersburg, MI 1,178 $58,641.0 $130,800.0
80 Pigeon, MI 1,143 $45,982.0 $82,100.0
81 Bath, MI 3,110 $47,067.0 $183,900.0
82 Coopersville, MI 4,388 $56,824.0 $145,200.0
83 Ravenna, MI 1,405 $51,567.0 $124,100.0
84 Laingsburg, MI 1,586 $61,250.0 $156,100.0
85 Kingsley, MI 1,933 $44,694.0 $174,100.0
86 Laurium, MI 1,922 $38,833.0 $82,400.0
87 Otsego, MI 3,980 $52,899.0 $125,100.0
88 Three Oaks, MI 1,347 $56,000.0 $127,000.0
89 Sparta, MI 4,390 $47,958.0 $134,000.0
90 Hancock, MI 4,526 $39,886.0 $110,500.0
91 Vicksburg, MI 3,425 $56,450.0 $150,300.0
92 Onsted, MI 1,249 $54,318.0 $137,300.0
93 Blissfield, MI 3,447 $52,044.0 $128,600.0
94 Gwinn, MI 1,741 $64,767.0 $104,600.0
95 Hemlock, MI 1,042 $53,281.0 $108,800.0
96 Dundee, MI 4,405 $62,868.0 $178,100.0
97 Davison, MI 4,896 $47,277.0 $122,400.0
98 Berrien Springs, MI 1,652 $50,139.0 $117,800.0
99 Potterville, MI 2,731 $54,792.0 $94,200.0
100 Centreville, MI 1,159 $53,839.0 $97,700.0

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. This is our ninth time ranking the best small places to live in Michigan.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.