Estimates released by the US Census Bureau shows the metropolitan Grand Rapids area is growing at a steady rate, while Allendale, to no one's surprise, is the area's fastest growing suburb.

Anyone who has driven along the Lake Michigan Drive corridor in the past few years would not be surprised to learn that Allendale Township in  Ottawa County is the fastest growing community in the West Michigan area.

Allendale Township, home of Grand Valley State University, has grown at a rate of 6.6 percent in statistics released Thursday by the United States Census Bureau, gaining 1561 new residents from July 2015 to July 2016, the time frame the latest stats are based on. Allendale Township's population is listed at 25,323.

Allendale was the second fastest growing community in the state behind Hancock Township in Houghton County in the UP, which grew at a 10.2 percent rate.

Newaygo also had a high growth rate at 4.1 percent.

The Grand Rapids metropolitan area as a whole is showing a steady growth rate of about .7 percent overall.

The City of Grand Rapids gained 1351 residents from 2015 to 2016 to remain Michigan's second largest city at 196,455 residents. That was an increase of just .7 percent over 2015.

Rockford was the fastest growing city in Kent County with a growth rate of 1.6 percent, while Bowne Township, just east of Caledonia, earned the title of the fastest growing community in Kent County, moving to 3382 residents, a gain of 2.4 percent.

Also growing considerably in the past year were Algoma and Courtland Townships, located either side of the city of Rockford, both growing at a 2.3 percent rate.

Outside of Allendale, the growth rate seems to declining in Ottawa County, with the cities of Holland, Hudsonville, Grand Haven and Zeeland all reporting slight declines.

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