Grand Rapids population grows almost 3% over three years

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A new report from looked at affordable metropolitan areas most people are moving to and found Grand Rapids had a net population growth of 30,822 people between 2015 and 2018.

Among 31 large-sized metros in the report, Grand Rapids-Wyoming came in at No. 18 with a three-year net population growth of 2.97%. Comparatively, Austin-Round Rock, Texas, saw the greatest population growth over the same period with 8.37% and 167,456 new residents.

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, appeared to be the least popular large metro with a three-year net population growth of .02% and only 366 new residents.

Summary of data for the Grand Rapids-Wyoming metro area:

  • Three-year net population growth: 2.97% (1.79% nationally)
  • Three-year net population growth: 30,822 (5,748,618 nationally)
  • Cost of living compared to national average: -7.8%
  • Median home price: $227,246 ($251,598)
  • Average 2-bedroom rent: $962 per month ($1,204 nationally)


Population statistics in the report are from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey 1-Year Estimates. Cost-of-living statistics are from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Price Parities dataset. Rental statistics are from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Fair Market Rents survey. Home prices are from the Zillow Home Price Index.

To find the most affordable metropolitan areas that people are moving to, identified locations with the largest population increases between 2015 and 2018. Metropolitan areas with a negative or no change in population were filtered out. Additionally, metropolitan areas with a cost of living that exceeds the national average by more than 3% were also filtered out. Only locations with 100,000 residents or more were included.

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