The 1999 demographic data included in this section was compiled by Claritas Express, a national data corporation specializing in demographic research.  This marketing-oriented company performs market-based analysis for almost any geographic area in the United States.  Place level information, or information generated for townships, is generated using Census Bureau population estimates for all government units produced every other year.  Often, Claritas also incorporates information from other sources for quality control, including:


ü       local governments or planning agencies

ü       Donnelly Marketing household database;

ü       Equifax Consumer Marketing database; and

ü       American Community Survey test results.






Brooks Township has experienced continued population growth since 1970, increasing by approximately 78 persons per year.  The township has exceeded the population projections from the 1994 Master Plan and is predicted to continue that trend. 


Population density increases also support strong growth in the township.  Determination of density can be indicated by the number of residents per square mile of township area.  In 1970, the township’s population density was 40 people per square mile.  In 1999, the estimated density increased to 107 people per square mile. 


Compared to Newaygo County as a whole, the township’s population density is increasing at a much faster pace.  Increases in density equate to increases in land development area (e.g. break-up of parcels to support housing development, visual presence of development, etc.)



Recent reports concerning the population have given rise to concern over expansion of development into what have traditionally been regarded as more rural places.  In fact,  Newaygo County is ranked 7th in percentage increase (21%) out of the counties in Michigan, after Ottawa County (23%).  However, the net increase in population for Newaygo was reported as 8,150, which is significantly less than Ottawa County’s increase of 42,493.



The presence of the City of Newaygo at the western boundary of Brooks Township has planning related implications, especially with regard to commercial and industrial development, and thus data for the city is also included periodically in this section. 


Age of Population


The median age of Brooks Township residents is 38, the same as the average age.


Female residents slightly outnumber male residents (51% to 49%).




Household Type

Persons Living In Household Setting

Family (2 or more persons)

3,153 (88% of total population)

Non-Family (1 person only)

426 (12% of total population)

















Almost 39% of the township’s population falls in the empty-nester or retirement age category.


Seasonal Population


Although accurate counts are not available, it is roughly estimated that the township’s seasonal (summer) population increases the resident base by 1,000 to 2,000 people during peak periods (e.g. summer weekends, holidays, etc.).  These numbers include seasonal home owners, vacationers, people using the township’s system of lakes and rivers, and others.  Conversely, during winter months there is a slight drop in population as a segment of the township’s retired residents travel to warmer climates.















Eighty-eight percent of the population resides in a family household (two or more persons).  Twelve percent reside in a non-family home (or one-person) household.  Sixty four (64) percent of households reflect married couples.


Housing Affordability


The typical household in Brooks Township is occupying a home with a value below the household’s affordable limit.  This is based on the commonly used 2.5 multiplier to determine one’s affordable housing cost limit.


·         Based on median household income, the current multiplier is 1.89 ($20,856 less than the affordable limit).

·         Based on median family income, the current multiplier is 1.66 ($32,646 less than the affordable limit).


The following housing-related conditions may be contributing factors:




Ø      presence of older housing stock (the 1990 Census reported almost 50% of the housing stock as older than 20 years and 35% older than 30 years)

Ø      smaller housing stock

Ø      former seasonal units converted to year round use (the 1990 reported approximately 38% of the township’s housing stock as vacant, with a majority of the vacant units classified as seasonal (89%)

Ø      high number of mobile home units




Household Income

Family Household Income

Average Income



Median Income



Per Capita Income




*Amounts have been estimated


Household refers to a single-person, while family household refers to a household with two or more people
























The median family household income is $34,257.


The median family income is $38,973.


Eighty-four percent of all households are above poverty level (e.g. above 50% of the county median income).  Sixteen (16) percent of households are at or below poverty level.






More than half of the workers in the township commute more than 30 minutes to work.  Grand Rapids proximity falls within this commuting time frame.


















Population Age Breakdown




School Age



Post School



Family Forming


Empty Nester



















*Total (%)

278 (8%)





926 (26%)

865 (24%)

550 (15%)

* Percent figures represent percent of the total township population for the specified category.  Percentages have been rounded.