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Grand Rapids metro saw highest state population growth in 2015

Downtown Grand Rapids

The Grand Rapids metropolitan area experienced the highest population growth in the state last year. 

New U.S. Census data released Thursday shows the Grand Rapids metropolitan area grew in population by 0.9 percent from 2014 to 2015. That’s 15 times higher than overall state growth.

Ottawa and Kent are also the top two fastest-growing Michigan counties respectively. The two together added almost 50,000 people from 2010 to 2015.

About a third of Michigan counties experienced growth last year, including much of greater west Michigan and the four-county Grand Rapids metropolitan area of Barry, Kent, Montcalm and Ottawa counties.

Census data is calculated through births minus deaths, plus moves.

About two-thirds of the overall Grand Rapids metropolitan increase was attributed to higher births than deaths, which could signal more people starting or growing their families.

Kent County in particular saw a recent boon in international residents – 92 percent of those moving into the county last year came from another country.

International residents made up about two-thirds of overall migration growth in Kent County from 2010 to 2015.

Hilary is a General Assignment and Enterprise reporter for WGVU Public Media. She joined WGVU in September 2014 after several years of experience as a local news reporter, anchor and photojournalist in Midland, Saginaw and Bay counties. She's also worked as a financial and business reporter and audio field producer.
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