About This Place
Big Rapids is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city population was 10,849. It is the county seat of Mecosta County. The city is located within Big Rapids Township, but is politically independent.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.4 square miles (11.4 km²), of which, 4.2 square miles (11.0 km²) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (3.42%) is water. Like most of the central Michigan area, it lies on the ancient sea bed and has a sandy subsoil which lies above an iron ore base. The Muskegon River runs through Big Rapids, passing both Ferris State University and the local middle school on its way to Lake Michigan. Numerous small lakes are within a few miles of the city.
As of the census of 2000, there were 10,849 people, 3,388 households, and 1,473 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,555.5 per square mile (985.6/km²). There were 3,654 housing units at an average density of 860.7 per square mile (332.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 83.57% White, 10.63% Black, 0.73% Native American, 2.24% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.50% from other races, and 2.30% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.83% of the population.