5 Best Reasons to live in West Michigan

By Rachel Gray September 26, 2023
Crowds of people enjoy Muskegon Duck Lake State Park Beach on a sunny day.

Photo by Michigan Economic Development Corporation

West Michigan has a distinct culture, lifestyle, and economy. Read on to see why West Michigan is a great place to live and work.

Thriving, Diversified Economy: We have some of the country’s fastest growing industries, including tech, advanced manufacturing, and health sciences. We have more than 90 international companies here, including 4 of Forbes largest privately held companies.

Low Cost of Living: Besides having great jobs, West Michigan has a low cost of living, which makes it a great place to start a career, raise a family, or retire. You get more bang for your buck in West Michigan. Depending on where you relocate from, you’ll notice a different in housing costs, healthcare, transportation, and groceries.


Grand Rapids Cost of Living Data.


Geographic Beauty and Diversity: What do you want to see outside of your kitchen window? The West Michigan region has a diverse set of geographies catering to everyone, including urban city, small towns, lakefront living, or rural areas—all with a 22-minute average commute. West Michigan is home to Grand Rapids, the second largest city in Michigan. Known as a “little big city,” downtown Grand Rapids offers the amenities of big city living, but a smaller price tag. The West Michigan region spans to Holland, Grand Haven, and Muskegon on the shores of Lake Michigan. These lakeshore communities don’t shudder after Labor Day—they’re thriving communities with deep histories in design and manufacturing and each have their unique flavor to experience.

Abundant outdoor recreation: In Michigan, you’re never more than 85 miles from a body of water. If you’ve never seen a Great Lake, think “ocean,” but without the salt, sharks, or seaweed. With all of this, comes a lot of opportunity for outdoor recreation both on water and land. We have over 130 miles of trails in the region. The headquarters of the North Country National Scenic Trail is right here in Lowell, MI.

Arts and Culture: With a deep history in commercial design, West Michigan has a thriving arts and culture community, not something people expect from the Midwest. Grand Rapids is home to ArtPrize, an art competition with the largest prize in the world. The region is home to not just one, but two professional symphonies, the state’s only professional ballet, and Fredrik Meijer Gardens, ranked as the number 1 sculpture park in the U.S. by USA Today’s Readers’ Choice 10Best awards.