The Mitten is one of the most beautiful states in America. They are home to the Great Lakes, hundreds of camping and hiking spots, and breweries galore, all wrapped up in Midwestern hospitality.
But what is living in Michigan’s capital city and the surrounding areas like?
Read on to find out about some of the best Lansing suburbs for black singles, families, and young professionals.
The three best Lansing Suburbs for Black families are Okemos, Waverly, and East Lansing.
Okemos is a quiet community located in Meridian Charter Township east of downtown Lansing. This is a great area for black families to set down roots and raise their children.
The town has over 21,000 residents, 5.1 percent of which are black. It is a decently affordable place to live, with the average rent coming to $989 a month. It also has a large population of college professors and teachers who commute to nearby colleges.
There are eight different public elementary, and middle schools and one public high school with approximately 1,423 enrolled students. Okemos High School ranks 16th in the state of Michigan for Math and Reading Proficiency and 18th on the College Readiness Index.
Nine specialty grocery stores offer hard-to-find and authentic food items. In addition, Okemos is home to the Meridian Mall, which is full of well-known clothing stores for children like the Children’s Place, Claire’s, and Justice.
In the summer months, families can enjoy a day out on Lake Lansing or take a trip to the Harris Nature Center to enjoy the local wildlife. Parents can take advantage of the numerous golf clubs or enjoy a night out at any of the 30 eateries in town.
Waverly sits west of Lansing, a growing suburban community with an abundance of 3-4 bedroom single-family homes, good schools, and safe neighborhoods with community spirit.
About 23,925 people are living in Waverly, the average age of which is 40 years old.
It is made up predominantly of white people, with 14.5 percent black people and 8.9 percent Hispanic or Latino.
The large majority of Waverly residents own their own home, the value of which is around $172,000. Over 55 percent of households are family households, while black homeowners in the area have a median income of $91,258.
There are excellent entertainment options for families with children, including amusement centers like Zap Zone or Springz. Waverly residents are also a short drive from Potter Park Zoo.
The restaurant scene has various family favorites like Red Robin and Chick-fil-A mixed with trendier, more local options like Nola Bistro or SPUDS Restaurant and Greek Pastry Shop.
Overall, people who live in Waverly enjoy the quality parks and bike trails, the ease of travel from location to location, and the family-friendly atmosphere everywhere you go.
Home of the Michigan State Spartans, the people here bleed green and white.
There are around 48,145 residents in addition to the MSU students. It has a younger demographic, with the average age being 21.7 years old and a 6.5 percent black population. However, the cost of living here is much lower than the U.S. average, with monthly rent expected to be around $946.
There are 2,572 family households with married couples with children and 770 single-parent households. The average owner-occupied house has 3-4 bedrooms and costs $192,800.
It is a college town, so there are many bars in the area frequented by the college-aged crowd, particularly on Grand River Avenue right off-campus. However, there are several family dining establishments that both parents and kids can enjoy, including Leo’s Coney Island, Hopcat, or Pizza House.
Families with pets can enjoy the Northern Trail Dog Park or any of the outdoor recreation trails and parks available throughout the city. Come football season, Saturdays can be spent at Spartan Stadium cheering the Spartans to victory or tailgating with family friends. It is also a great place to experience art or take in a musical or play at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts.
There are several community events to participate in and enjoy as well, including the annual Art Festival and The Summer Solstice Jazz Festival.
Black singles and young professionals will find themselves at home in Lansing’s Downtown, Old Town, and Westside neighborhoods.
In the heart of Lansing lies the downtown neighborhood, perfect for black singles and young professionals who want to be amid sports, fine dining, and political happenings.
48 percent of the residents in Lansing are renters, with an average rent hovering around $797 per month.
Here, black singles and young professionals will be able to enjoy fun nights out at places like Nuthouse Sports Grill located near the Lansing Lugnuts stadium, Troppo, or the Downtown Smoking Club. There are also a variety of coffee shops and chain restaurants for quick meals.
Lansing’s historic Old Town district is the place to be for singles and young professionals with a creative spirit looking to be a part of history.
Old Town has a lot of Victorian-style homes and apartments to choose from. Renters usually spend between $750-1850 a month. It is located on the CATA bus line if public transportation is needed. However, the majority of residents walk or drive to local places.
The possibilities for fun and entertainment are endless. Enjoy the best southern barbeque in town at MEAT, or enjoy tacos and tequila at Punk Taco. Follow it up with some ice cream at Scoops in Old Town for a true Old Town dining experience. We recommend taking your date to The Grid Arcade & Bar for some drinks and a couple of rounds of classic arcade games or spend a day out shopping with friends at any of the boutiques or antique stores available in the area.
Another historic Lansing neighborhood that black singles and young professionals will enjoy is the Westside neighborhood.
It is a small neighborhood, with about 6,907 residents, 17.6 percent of which are black.
Westside homes have character and were mostly built between the late 1800s and the 1960s. It is fairly expensive to call one of these historic houses home, with most rent falling somewhere between $858 to $1,499, and the average for sale price is $132,400.
The people who live in Westside are largely employed by the state capital, MSU, and General Motors. The neighborhood is largely made up of people in their early-to-mid-thirties, and their household incomes average $54,314. 13.3 percent of females are single, compared with 27.9 percent of males.
Lansing is a big city that experiences violent crime fairly often. In 2019, there were a total of 1,313 victims of violent crime per 100,000 individuals. However, the overall crime rate has been dropping steadily since 2010.
There are 1.68 police officers per 1,000 residents to counteract the crime rate.
Lansing is home to 118,210 people, 23.3 percent of whom are black or African American, 55.5 percent white, 12.6 percent Hispanic, and 6.2 percent Asian.
It is a younger city where the average age is 33.3 years old. Males make up 49.5 percent of the population compared with 50.5 percent of females.
The best Lansing neighborhoods for black families, singles, and young professionals are Downtown Lansing, Old Town, and Westside. These neighborhoods are full of historic charm, modern dining and entertainment, and solid housing options.
When considering which neighborhood will fit your needs best, make sure it has a good balance of places to eat, things to do for fun, and health and wellness.
Lansing, Michigan, and its surrounding suburbs are excellent places for black parents to raise their families and black singles and young professionals to meet people and start their careers. No matter where you end up, you’ll be glad to call that place home.