Grand Rapids is atop yet another list as we move into a very promising 2017 for the city.  The Grand Rapids region, including Kent, Ottawa, Barry, and Montcalm counties, was named the strongest economy in Michigan in 2016.

Grand Rapids beat out Ann Arbor in Bride Magazine's rankings of economic regions due to massive GDP growth in the last year.  Grand Rapids also has seen an increase in average wages over the last 3 years.

The magazine had glowing reviews of the Grand Rapids region, ranking GR 1st in the state in employment growth (21.3%) and 2nd in unemployment (3.7%).

"Far and away the best region in the state, economically, Grand Rapids has been powered by growing manufacturing sector.  It's 1-year GDP growth of 5.3 percent ranks it 32nd out of 381 metro regions in the country."

According to Bride Magazine, Ann Arbor came in a close second ranking 1st in unemployment (3.5%) and 3rd in average wages ($54,985).

"Thirty percent of the region's economy rests with government, no surprise given the dominance of the University of Michigan and other educational institutions in the county.  It's enjoyed the lowest unemployment rate in the state and wages remain high."

The 14 top economic regions in the state produce over 90% of the state's GDP, while only representing 25 of Michigan's 83 counties.  According to the study, the top 5 economic regions in Michigan are:

  1. Grand Rapids
  2. Ann Arbor
  3. Kalamazoo
  4. Detroit
  5. Niles-Benton Harbor

Rounding out the bottom of the list are Bay City and Saginaw, respectively.  To check out the entire list and get a more indepth look at each region, head over to