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Battle Creek

City of Battle Creek

  •   State: 
    Calhoun County
    Battle Creek
      County FIPS: 
    42°18′44″N 85°12′15″W
      Area total: 
    43.74 sq mi (113.27 km²)
      Area land: 
    42.59 sq mi (110.30 km²)
      Area water: 
    1.15 sq mi (2.97 km²)
    840 ft (256 m)
    1831; Settled 1831 Incorporation 1859
  •   Latitude: 
      Dman name cbsa: 
    Battle Creek, MI
    Eastern Standard Time (EST) UTC-5:00; Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) UTC-4:00
      ZIP codes: 

    Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, United States

  •   Population: 
      Population density: 
    1,237.96 residents per square mile of area (477.98/km²)
      Household income: 
      Unemployment rate: 
  •   Sales taxes: 
      Income taxes: 

Battle Creek is the principal city of the Battle Creek, Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which encompasses all of Calhoun County. Nicknamed "Cereal City", it is best known as the home of the Kellogg Company and the founding city of Post Consumer Brands. In the antebellum era, the city was a major stop on the Underground Railroad, used by fugitive slaves to escape to freedom in Michigan and Canada. It was the chosen home of noted abolitionist Sojourner Truth after her escape from slavery. World Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson was once arrested here for marrying his White wife and transporting her across state lines. The city was noted for its focus on health reform during the late 1800s and early 1900s. The Battle Creek Sanitarium was founded by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who also funded organizations that promoted eugenics theories at the core of their philosophical agenda. The first school was taught in a small log house about 1833 or 1834. Asa Langley built the first sawmill in 1837. A brick manufacturing plant, called the oldest enterprise in the township, was established in 1840 by Simon Carr and operated until 1903. The township was established by act of the legislature in 1839. A post office was opened in Battle Creek in 1832 under Postmaster Pollodore Hudson. The town was the site of a Protestant church founding convention in 1863. When the hospital and publishing office burned down in 1902, the church elected to decentralize, and most of its institutions were relocated.


Battle Creek is the primary city name, but also Springfield are acceptable city names or spellings. The official name is City of Battle Creek. One local legend says Battle Creek was named after an encounter between a federal government land survey party led by Colonel John Mullett and two Potawatomi in March 1824. Early white settlers called the nearby stream Battle Creek River and the town took its name from that. The Waupakisco or Waupokisco was supposedly a reference to a battle or fight fought between indigenous tribes before the arrival of Europeans. However, Virgil J. Vogel, professor emeritus of history and social science at Harry S. Truman College in Chicago, believes the native name has "nothing to do with blood or battle". He says the town's name is more likely to come from the name of the local river, which was known as WauPakisco by Native Americans. The town is located in the U.S. state of Michigan and was once part of the territory of the Michigan Territory. It is currently home to the University of Michigan, which has a campus of more than 2,000 students. It also has a branch of the College of Arts and Sciences, which is based in the city of Detroit. It was founded in 1788 and is one of the oldest colleges in the United States, along with Michigan State. The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is also home to a college of arts and science, which dates back to the 17th century. The college is now the center of a major Native American Studies program, which offers classes on Native American history and culture.


The Battle Creek Sanitarium was founded by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg. C. W. Post invented Grape-Nuts and founded his own cereal company in the town. World Heavyweight Champion Jack Johnson was once arrested here for marrying his White wife and transporting her across state lines. The city was noted for its focus on health reform during the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was the chosen home of noted abolitionist Sojourner Truth after her escape from slavery. In the turbulent 1960s, Battle Creek was immune to the racial issues of the day. Dr. Martin Luther King spoke here as did Sen. Hubert Humphrey, President L.B. Johnson and Muhammad Ali. No Blacks worked in full force in the school systems, and only a few held mid-level posts in the local government sector. The Black Recondos, a group of young adult council members, formed from the local adult council of the local NAACP, forced the local board of education to hire Black teachers and administrative personnel, under the threat of removal from their public schools. They also forced removing every student from every public schools and forced removing their chief of staff from their local Veterans' Administration Hospital. The group also forced the removal of every student and chief of administrative personnel from the public schools, and forced them to hire a few teachers and administrators from the federal government sector, and less so at the local Federal Administration Center, where they were better at the Federal Veterans' Hospital. It has been nicknamed "the Cereal City".


Battle Creek is the third largest city in Michigan by area. It is one of only three incorporated municipalities in the state over 40 sq mi (100 km²) in size. The city's declining population rose by nearly 18,000 new residents, but the city continues to decline in population. Battle Creek is variously considered to be part of Western Michigan or Southern Michigan. The U.S. Census Bureau says the city has a total area of 43.73 square miles (113.26 km²), of which 42.61 sq miles (110.36 km² is land and 1.12sq miles (2.90km²) is water. Of the undeveloped land, 38% is zoned agricultural, 26% isZoned general industrial, 17.5% is residential, 16% is the Fort Custer Army National Guard Base/Industrial Park, and 2. 5% is zone commercial. In 1983, Battle Creek Township merged into the city of Battle Creek, and the city's population increased by nearly 20,000 people. It has a population of about 2,000. The area of the city is about 43.3 square miles. It's one of the only three municipalities in Michigan over 40 square miles in size, and one of just three over 100 sq mi in size (40 sq km² or more) in the entire state. The town of Orchard Park, Michigan, is just over 20 sq miles in area and is the second largest town in Michigan after Detroit.


In 1982, at the insistence of the Kellogg Company, the city annexed Battle Creek Township. Kellogg's even went so far as to threaten to move their headquarters if the annexation failed to occur. As of the census of 2010, there were 52,347 people, 21,118 households, and 12,898 families residing in the city. Battle Creek had the fifth largest Japanese population in the state of Michigan, with 358 residents. Between the 2010 and 2020 censuses, Battle Creek's population grew from 52 to 52,731 residents, giving the city a population density of 1,228.6 per square mile (474.3/km²) In the city, 27.2% of the population was under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 29.5% from 25 to 44, 21.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.9% male and 52.1% female. The median income for a household in theCity was $35,491, and the median income. for a family was $43,564. The per capita income for the City was $18,424. In the City, the median age was 36.3 years. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.04. The Battle Creek 2020 Census is critical for Battle Creek, as falling below the 50,000-resident threshold would mean a change from "urbanized area" to "urbanization".


The City of Battle Creek has a commission-manager form of government. The City Commission makes all policy decisions, including review, revision, and final approval of the annual budget. Residents cast votes for a ward representative, who must live within the area they are representing, as well as for four at-large commissioners. All commissioners serve two-year terms and all terms begin and end at the same election. The city levies an income tax of 1 percent on residents and 0.5 percent on nonresidents. The mayor presides over the commission meetings and appoints commissioners and residents to special committees to explore community challenges or potential policies. The vice mayor stands in if the mayor is unavailable and serves as the city's mayor for the next year if he or she is not available to be voted in as the mayor. In March 2020, Battle Creek residents voted on a proposal that would change how the city selects its mayor position. This proposal (which passed) amended the city charter to allow residents to directly vote for the mayor starting in the November 2020 general election. For confidential support call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or visit For support in the U.S., call the Samaritans on 08457 90 90 90 or visit a local Samaritans branch or click here. For information on how to help in the United States, go to or visit their website.


According to the Battle Creek Unlimited October 2020 update, the thirty largest employers in the city are: the city's banks, restaurants, and retailers. The city's unemployment rate is currently at 4.7%. The city has a population of about 6,000 people. The economy is expected to grow by 2.7 percent in the next five years. The unemployment rate has been at 5.8 percent since the start of the recession in 2007. In the last three years, the economy has grown by 1.9 percent. The town has had a population growth rate of 2.8 per cent since the beginning of the decade. The population has increased by 3.1 per cent in the last five years, according to the city. The largest employers are the city’s banks and restaurants, as well as its retail stores and other businesses. The biggest employers in Battle Creek are the town's restaurants and retailers, with a total of 32.7 per cent of the city workforce. The economic growth rate is 3.7 percentage points since the end of 2007. The U.S. economy is projected to grow at a rate of 3.8 percentage points in the coming years. In 2020, the city will have a population in the region of 6,500 people. This is the highest level of growth since the city was founded in 1967. The growth rate will continue through the next decade, with the city expected to reach 7.5 per cent by 2020. The region's economy will continue to grow in the 2030s and 2050.


Kellogg Community College, a two-year college founded in 1956, is located in Battle Creek. The Battle Creek Japanese School (Batoru Kurku Hosh Jugy K), a supplementary weekend Japanese school, holds its classes at the Lakeview School District building. The Western Michigan University Center for International Programs developed a program for Japanese expatriate K-12 students that was sponsored by Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU); the classes were held in the company facility at Fort Custer Industrial Park. Battle Creek is home to the Michigan Youth Challenge Academy and the Battle Creek Area Learning Center, which provides career and technical education to primarily 11th and 12th grade students. It is also the home of Battle Creek Central High School, better known as Calhoun Community High School and Lakeview High School Library, which was awarded the 2008 American Library Association award recipient for best high school library. It also has a number of private high schools, including Battle Creek Academy and Bedford Bible Church School. The town is also home to The Kendall Center, a college of aviation, which is located at W.K. Kellogg Airport. It has a population of about 2.5 million people, the majority of whom live in or near the town of Lakeview. The city is located on the banks of the Kalamazoo River, which flows through the town to the city of Grand Rapids. It was the site of the U.S. Civil War Battle Creek, which took place between 1875 and 1881.


The local daily newspapers are The Battle Creek Shopper and the Battle Creek Enquirer. Battle Creek hosts the annual Michigan High School Athletic Association team wrestling, volleyball, softball, and softball. The town receives quarterly boosts to its economy from the fans who flock there to follow their teams to the state championships. The World's Longest Breakfast Table is a free summer music festival held at the Leboretum Music Festival in August. The International Festival of Lights is an air show and balloon event held yearly in Battle Creek. The city is home to the Music Center, which serves South Central Michigan. It is Michigan's longest-running symphony orchestra. It also hosts the Sandy Koufax 13-S World Series for 13-year-old baseball players for the 13th, 13th and 14th years. It was host to the eighth edition of the International HKD Games in August 2010, which was the first time it had been held in Michigan since the mid-1970s. It has been the site of the Michigan State Fair since the late 1970s, and has hosted the World Series since the early 1980s. The U.S. Air Force Museum is located in the town's historic downtown area, and is the home of the National Museum of American History, which is open to the public every year. The museum is also home to a collection of Civil War-era artifacts, including the remains of the USS Battle Creek, which dates back to the 18th century.

Points of interest

Founded in 1917, Camp Custer served over the next decades as a training ground, from World War I until the present. The United States Government still owns the land, under an arrangement by which the state of Michigan administers and manages the property. The part of the base in Battle Creek that is now the industrial park measures 4.69 square miles (12.15 km²) in area, which is approximately 10.6% of the city's area. The adjoining W.K. Kellogg Airport is a joint civilian-Air National Guard facility. The base is still mostly undeveloped, wooded land, and takes up a sizable portion of Battle Creek's land area. It is located in Kalamazoo County, Michigan, but a much larger part of it lies in Michigan's KalamazOO County. The industrial park contains more than 90 different companies. It also includes a zoo, a park, a library, a museum, and a park and beach. It was once home to the HartDoleInouye Federal Center, a Sanitarium and a Seventh-day Adventist Tabernacle. The U.S. Army National Guard still uses the base as part of its training ground for the Michigan National Guard and the Michigan Army Air National Guard. It has also been the site of the Battle Creek Veteran's Hospital, Fort Custer National Cemetery, and Fort Custers Recreation Area. The park and cemetery are now home to more than 100 different businesses.

Air Quality, Water Quality, Superfund Sites & UV Index

The Air Quality index is in Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan = 82. These Air Quality index is based on annual reports from the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The number of ozone alert days is used as an indicator of air quality, as are the amounts of seven pollutants including particulates, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, lead, and volatile organic chemicals. The Water Quality Index is 72. A measure of the quality of an area’s water supply as rated by the EPA. Higher values are better (100=best). The EPA has a complex method of measuring the watershed quality, using 15 indicators such as pollutants, turbidity, sediments, and toxic discharges. The Superfund Sites Index is 10. Higher is better (100=best). Based upon the number and impact of EPA Superfund pollution sites in the county, including spending on the cleanup efforts. The UV Index in Battle Creek = 3.2 and is a measure of an area's exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays. This is most often a combination of sunny weather, altitude, and latitude. The UV Index has been defined by the WHO ( and is uniform worldwide.


The most recent city population of 52,721 individuals with a median age of 36.4 age the population dropped by -2.87% in Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan population since 2000 and are distributed over a density of 1,237.96 residents per square mile of area (477.98/km²). There are average 2.41 people per household in the 20,802 households with an average household income of $37,968 a year. The unemployment rate in Alabama is 13.90% of the available work force and has dropped -7.65% over the most recent 12-month period and the projected change in job supply over the next decade based on migration patterns, economic growth, and other factors will increase by 10.80%. The number of physicians in Battle Creek per 100,000 population = 154.8.


The annual rainfall in Battle Creek = 34.7 inches and the annual snowfall = 51 inches. The annual number of days with measurable precipitation (over .01 inch) = 134. The average number of days per year that are predominantly sunny = 166. 83 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily high temperature for the month of July and 15.7 degrees Fahrenheit is the average daily low temperature for the month of January. The Comfort Index (higher=better) is 48, where higher values mean a more pleasant climate. The Comfort Index measure recognizes that humidity by itself isn't the problem. (Have you noticed nobody ever complains about the weather being 'cold and humid?) It's in the summertime that we notice the humidity the most, when it's hot and muggy. Our Comfort Index uses a combination of afternoon summer temperature and humidity to closely predict the effect that the humidity will have on people.

Median Home Cost

The percentage of housing units in Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan which are owned by the occupant = 57.97%. A housing unit is a house, apartment, mobile home, or room occupied as separate living quarters. The average age of homes = 52 years with median home cost = $68,710 and home appreciation of -5.05%. This is the value of the years most recent home sales data. Its important to note that this is not the average (or arithmetic mean). The median home price is the middle value when you arrange all the sales prices of homes from lowest to highest. This is a better indicator than the average, because the median is not changed as much by a few unusually high or low values. The property tax rate of $14.36 shown here is the rate per $1,000 of home value. If for simplification for example the tax rate is $14.00 and the home value is $250,000, the property tax would be $14.00 x ($250,000/1000), or $3500. This is the 'effective' tax rate.


The local school district spends $5,099 per student. There are 17.8 students for each teacher in the school, 1982 students for each Librarian and 606 students for each Counselor. 8.11% of the area’s population over the age of 25 with an Associate Degree or other 2-year college degree, 11.96% with a master’s degree, Ph.D. or other advanced college degree and 5.92% with high school diplomas or high school equivalency degrees (GEDs).

  • Battle Creek's population in Calhoun County, Michigan of 18,563 residents in 1900 has increased 2,84-fold to 52,721 residents after 120 years, according to the official 2020 census.

    Approximately 51.80% female residents and 48.20% male residents live in Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan.

    As of 2020 in Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan are married and the remaining 49.61% are single population.

  • 19.6 minutes is the average time that residents in Battle Creek require for a one-way commute to work. A long commute can have different effects on health. A Gallup poll in the US found that in terms of mental health, long haul commuters are up to 12 percent more likely to experience worry, and ten percent less likely to feel well rested. The Gallup poll also found that of people who commute 61­–90 minutes each day, a whopping one third complained of neck and back pain, compared to less than a quarter of people who only spend ten minutes getting to work.

    82.28% of the working population which commute to work alone in their car, 11.16% of the working population which commutes to work in a carpool, 1.55% of the population that commutes using mass transit, including bus, light rail, subway, and ferry. 2.20% of the population that has their home as their principal place of work.

  • Of the total residential buildings in Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan, 57.97% are owner-occupied homes, another 30.20% are rented apartments, and the remaining 11.83% are vacant.

  • The 31.73% of the population in Battle Creek, Calhoun County, Michigan who identify themselves as belonging to a religion are distributed among the following most diverse religions.

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