Van Buren County, Michigan


Van Buren County, Michigan

Infobox U.S. County
county = Van Buren County
state = Michigan




map size = 200
founded = 1829
seat = Paw Paw | area_total_sq_mi =1090
area_land_sq_mi =611
area_water_sq_mi =479
area percentage = 43.97%
census yr = 2000
pop = 76263
density_km2 =48
web = www.vbco.org
|

Van Buren County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population was 76,263. It is part of the Kalamazoo-Portage, MI MSA.

History

The county was named for Martin Van Buren before he became president. He was U.S. Secretary of State and later Vice President under President Andrew Jackson, and thus Van Buren is one of Michigan's "Cabinet counties".

Government

The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates themajor local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers
public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare andother social services. The county board of commissioners controls thebudget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most localgovernment functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, streetmaintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

Van Buren County elected officials

* Prosecuting Attorney: Juris Kaps
* Sheriff: Dale R. Gribler
* County Clerk: Tina Leary
* County Treasurer: Karen Makay
* Register of Deeds: Mark A. Smith
* Drain Commissioner: Joe Parman
* County Surveyor: Donald Gilchrist

(information as of October 2006)

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,090 square miles (2,824 km²), of which, 611 square miles (1,582 km²) of it is land and 479 square miles (1,241 km²) of it (43.97%) is water. The county seat is Paw Paw.GR|6

Much of the county is farmland dotted with small towns. Areas near Kalamazoo County are becoming suburbanized. Many of the inland lakes are ringed with homes, either by people living year-round or cottagers, generally people who live the rest of the time in Chicago. Tourism is a major industry in the areas near Lake Michigan.

Geographic features

*Paw Paw River
*Black River

Cities, villages and townships

Cities
*Bangor
*Gobles
*Hartford
*South HavenVillages
*Bloomingdale
*Breedsville
*Decatur
*Lawrence
*Lawton
*Mattawan
*Paw Paw

Townships
*Almena Township
*Antwerp Township
*Arlington Township
*Bangor Township
*Bloomingdale Township
*Columbia Township
*Covert Township
*Decatur Township
*Geneva Township
*Hamilton Township
*Hartford Township
*Keeler Township
*Lawrence Township
*Paw Paw Township
*Pine Grove Township
*Porter Township
*South Haven Charter Township
*Waverly Township

Major highways

Interstates
*
*
*

US Highways
*

Michigan State Trunklines
*
*
*
*Van Buren County Highways
*

Adjacent counties

*Allegan County - northeast
*Kalamazoo County - east
*St. Joseph County - southeast
*Cass County - south
*Berrien County - southwest

Parks, preserves, natural areas

* Dunes Parkway, an 84-acre (340,000 m²) preserve of dunes in Covert Township
* Jeptha Lake Fen Preserve, a 49-acre (200,000 m²) preserve in Columbia Township
* Kal-Haven Trail, a multi-use trail converted from old rail line that runs from Kalamazoo to South Haven
* Keeler State Game Area, 400 acres (1.6 km²) in Keeler Township
* Northpoint land - high dunes on 17 acres on Lake Michigan, north of Van Buren State Park
* Ross Preserve, a 1,449-acre (5.9 km²) preserve of coastal plain marsh in Covert Township owned by The Nature Conservancy
* Van Buren State Park
* Van Buren Trail State Park is adjacent to Kal-Haven Trail

Demographics

As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 76,263 people, 27,982 households, and 20,314 families residing in the county. The population density was 125 people per square mile (48/km²). There were 33,975 housing units at an average density of 56 per square mile (21/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.92% White, 5.25% Black or African American, 0.92% Native American, 0.30% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 3.43% from other races, and 2.17% from two or more races. 7.39% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 20.0% were of German, 10.0% American, 9.2% Irish, 9.0% English, 7.8% Dutch and 5.4% Polish ancestry according to Census 2000. 91.5% spoke English and 7.0% Spanish as their first language.

There were 27,982 households out of which 35.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.70% were married couples living together, 11.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.40% were non-families. 22.50% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.66 and the average family size was 3.10.

In the county the population was spread out with 28.10% under the age of 18, 7.90% from 18 to 24, 28.10% from 25 to 44, 23.70% from 45 to 64, and 12.30% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 98.50 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $39,365, and the median income for a family was $45,824. Males had a median income of $35,317 versus $25,063 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,878. About 7.80% of families and 11.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.20% of those under age 18 and 10.90% of those age 65 or over.

References

Bibliography and further reading

* [http://www.clarke.cmich.edu/localhistory/VanBuren.htm Clarke Historical Library, Central Michigan University, Bibliography on VanBuren County]

External links

* [http://www.vbco.org/government0002.asp Van Buren County Government Information]


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