Published: April 14th 2007April 14th 2007
With a population of approximately 15,000 people Traverse City is alternately referred to by its inhabitants as a town, or sometimes an very small city. The comparison is understandable when you consider that 150 miles south of it is Grand Rapids whose population is 197,000, and just south but much closer to it, is the city of Cadillac with a population of 10,000. So, Traverse City is a town in comparison to Grand Rapids, but feels a little more city-like than Cadillac. But any city whose major access is provided by highways that run right through it is, in this day and age, a town. Traverse City is part of Grand Traverse county whose population is 81,000. The fact that the biggest city in the county (Traverse) supplies only 12% of its population speaks to the non-metropolitan feel of the area. The median age in Traverse City is 38, has an income of $41,000, and the median household value is $169,000. The occupations favor servicing the tourist and agricultural sectors. The largest occupation for males is in construction, while for females is in health services, but the figures in both these categories is not overwhelming. The people living within the city are primarily white, with migrant labor etc. living out in the rural areas near where they work. The city seeks growth, but there is a battle between quasi-preservationists and those who favor more "sprawl-like" scenarios. The tourism sector would like to see the city become less automobile oriented, having stores near apartments, making the city more walkable facillitating easy access to commercial interests.