Genesee County, Michigan

Coordinates: 43°01′N 83°43′W / 43.02°N 83.71°W / 43.02; -83.71
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Genesee County
Genesee County Courthouse in Flint
Official seal of Genesee County
Official logo of Genesee County
Map of Michigan highlighting Genesee County
Location within the U.S. state of Michigan
Map of the United States highlighting Michigan
Michigan's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 43°01′N 83°43′W / 43.02°N 83.71°W / 43.02; -83.71
Country United States
State Michigan
FoundedMarch 28, 1835 (created)
1836 (organized)
Named forGenesee County, New York
Largest cityFlint
 • Total650 sq mi (1,700 km2)
 • Land637 sq mi (1,650 km2)
 • Water13 sq mi (30 km2)  1.9%
 • Total406,211
 • Density640/sq mi (250/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional districts7th, 8th

Genesee County (/ˈɛnəsi/ JEN-ə-see) is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2020 Census, the population was 406,211,[1] making it the fifth-most populous county in Michigan. The county seat and population center is Flint (birthplace of General Motors).[2] Genesee County is considered to be a part of the greater Mid Michigan area.

The county was named after Genesee County, New York, which in turn comes from the Seneca word Gen-nis'-hee-yo, meaning "Beautiful Valley".[3] Genesee County comprises the Flint, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area. A major attraction for visitors is Crossroads Village, a living history village north of Flint.

Genesee County is noted for having had the fossil of an ancient whale known as Balaenoptera Lacepede[4] unearthed in Thetford Township during quarry work and estimated at 11,000 years old.[5]


Formative period[edit]

Genesee County was created on March 28, 1835, from territory taken from Lapeer, Shiawassee and Saginaw counties. The county was attached to Oakland County for judicial purposes.[6] The only township organized at the time was Grand Blanc, formed in 1833 consisting of additional township areas of the present Fenton, Mundy, Flint, Mount Morris, Genesee, Burton, Atlas and Davison townships. (Atlas and Davision township survey areas were then in Lapeer County.) Flint Township followed in formation by the legislature on March 2, 1836, splitting away from Grand Blanc with the township areas of Burton, Genesee and Mount Morris plus additional township areas of the present day Clayton, Montrose, Flushing, Thetford and Vienna.[7] On April 4, 1836, the county was fully organized.[6] Organized on July 26, 1836, Argentine Township included two township survey areas taking Fenton away from Grand Blanc Township plus the current Argentine area west of Fenton.[7]

In the organizing act of March 11, 1837, two townships (Mundy and Vienna) were organized in the county. Mundy had an additional township area to the west. Vienna consisted of the northern tier of three township areas in the county at the time taking two areas from Flint Township. With this act just a week after Michigan's admission as a state, the county was fully cover with 5 township governments.[7]

The townships of Genesee, Fenton, and Flushing were formed on March 6, 1838. Genesee and Flushing were split off from Flint Township.[7] Fenton was split off from Argentine Township. Genesee included half the survey area to the west. While Flushing included the other half of that survey area (township 8 North range 6 East), the full township area further west (township 8 North range 5 East) then another survey area and half the row below (township 7 North range 5,6 East).[8] Thus Flint Township consisted of one and a half township survey areas.

15 northerly sections of survey area Township No. 7 north of range No. 7 east in Flint Township plus southerly sections of Genesee Township was set off by the Michigan legislature as Kearsley Township in 1839. On March 7, 1843, the legislature abolished this township returning the sections back to Flint and Genesee Townships.[9] Thus Flint Township consisted of approximately one and a half township survey areas.

Two new townships were formed by the state on March 9, 1842. Thetford was the east most survey area split off from Vienna. While Gaines was formed with the western township survey of Mundy.[7]

The county was enlarged on March 9, 1843, by adding a column of townships on its east from Lapeer County. From north to south, the townships were Forest, Richfield, Davison and Atlas.[7]

On March 25, 1846, an additional two townships were formed, Clayton and Pewanagawink. Clayton splitting the southernmost survey area off from Flushing Township. Pewanagawink took the westernmost survey area from Vienna and changed its name to Montrose by act of January 15, 1848.[7]

Mt. Morris Township was created on February 12, 1855,[7] from a single survey township area with its two halves taken from Flushing and Genesee Townships. Flint Township was split into three parts upon the formation of the City of Flint. The County Board of Supervisors split the remaining township survey area into two with the western area becoming Garland Township (this name only last until the Flint name was restored on February 5, 1856) and the remaining eastern survey area became Burton Township.[6]

Modern era[edit]

Plans for the Genesee Recreation Area was placed in Flint's master plan in 1950. This was present to Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Board of Trustees in 1964 with C.S. Mott getting behind the plan.[10] In 1968, the county park system was started with the purchase of vacant land.[11] with funds from the Mott Foundation, with a stipulation that a parks commission be formed.[12]

Flint Community Junior College was turned into a county-wide institution with a referendum and millage proposal passing the voters in 1969. To reflect this, the college was renamed Genesee Community College on July 5, 1970. In 1973, it was renamed to Charles Stewart Mott Community College after the death of C.S. Mott.[13]

In October 2009, County Commissioners directed County Corporate Counsel to discuss with the County Prosecuting Attorney a possible merger of his office with the County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.[14] As of December 2011, County Counsel Ward Chapman was intending to retire by the end of the year raising the possibility again of a merger.[15] By August 9, 2016, the two offices were merged.[16]

Emergency Management & Homeland Security Department was merged by the County Commission into the Sheriff's Department in June 2010 with the department director position being demoted to a manager level post while eliminating a programming coordinator.[17] In July 2010, the County Board voted to merge the clerk and register of deeds offices, effective January 1, 2013.[18]

On October 26, 2010, Genesee County became a founding member of the Karegnondi Water Authority with Board of Commissioners Chair Jamie W. Curtis representing the County on the Authority Board.[19][20]

On May 30, 2012, it was reported Genesee County has had 45 confirmed tornadoes since 1950 (most notably the 1953 Flint–Beecher tornado), more than any other county in Michigan in that time period.[21]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 650 square miles (1,700 km2), of which 637 square miles (1,650 km2) is land and 13 square miles (34 km2) (1.9%) is water.[22]

Most of the land in the county is very flat, but the southern end is hilly and covered by several lakes.

The county is mostly drained by the Flint River, which is dammed into Mott Lake and the Holloway Reservoir in the northeast corner of the county. The southeast corner and southern end are drained by the Shiawassee River.

Adjacent counties[edit]


Major highways[edit]

  • I-75 - runs north and south through central Genesee County, merges with US 23 in Mundy Township
  • US 23 - runs north and south through central Genesee County, merges with I-75 in Mundy Township
  • I-475 - alternate route of I-75/US23, runs north and south through central Genesee County
  • M-54 - runs north and south through central Genesee County
  • M-13 - runs north and south through western Genesee County, along the borders with Shiawassee County and Saginaw County, terminating north of I-69
  • M-15 - runs north and south through eastern Genesee County
  • I-69 - runs east and west through central Genesee County
  • M-21 - runs east and west through central Genesee County, west of I-475
  • M-57 - runs east and west through northern Genesee County, west of M-15


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[23]
1790–1960[24] 1900–1990[25]
1990–2000[26] 2010–2019[1]

The 2010 United States Census[27] indicates Genesee County had a 2010 population of 425,790. This is a decrease of 10,351 people from the 2000 United States Census. Overall, the county had a -2.4% growth rate during this ten-year period. In 2010 there were 169,202 households and 111,620 families in the county. The population density was 668.5 per square mile (258.1 square kilometers). There were 192,180 housing units at an average density of 301.7 per square mile (116.5 square kilometers). 74.5% of the population were White, 20.7% Black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.5% Native American, 0.7% of some other race and 2.6% of two or more races. 3.0% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). 18.0% were of German, 11.0% Irish, 10.6% English, 5.5% Polish 5.4% American and 4.8% French ancestry.[28] , There were 169,202 households, out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 43.3% were husband and wife families, 17.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 34.0% were non-families, and 28.4% were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the county, 25.0% of the population was under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 24.7% from 25 to 44, 27.6% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% was 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.4 males.

The 2010 American Community Survey 1-year estimate[27] indicates the median income for a household in the county was $38,819 and the median income for a family was $48,979. Males had a median income of $27,269 versus $18,082 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,860. About 16.9% of families and 21.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.0% of those under the age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.

Government and politics[edit]

United States presidential election results for Genesee County, Michigan[29]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 98,714 44.51% 119,390 53.84% 3,660 1.65%
2016 84,175 42.59% 102,751 51.99% 10,715 5.42%
2012 71,808 35.24% 128,978 63.30% 2,956 1.45%
2008 72,451 32.86% 143,927 65.27% 4,117 1.87%
2004 83,870 39.23% 128,334 60.03% 1,571 0.73%
2000 66,641 34.92% 119,833 62.78% 4,391 2.30%
1996 49,332 28.34% 106,065 60.94% 18,659 10.72%
1992 47,834 23.92% 105,156 52.58% 47,008 23.50%
1988 70,922 40.10% 104,880 59.30% 1,057 0.60%
1984 92,943 50.68% 89,491 48.80% 953 0.52%
1980 78,572 42.73% 90,393 49.15% 14,935 8.12%
1976 80,004 46.67% 88,967 51.89% 2,467 1.44%
1972 85,747 52.78% 73,896 45.49% 2,806 1.73%
1968 63,948 38.99% 75,174 45.83% 24,891 15.18%
1964 48,311 32.45% 100,346 67.40% 221 0.15%
1960 74,940 50.82% 72,059 48.87% 458 0.31%
1956 75,431 54.47% 62,808 45.36% 235 0.17%
1952 62,220 51.97% 56,753 47.41% 739 0.62%
1948 38,270 44.38% 45,032 52.22% 2,926 3.39%
1944 41,145 43.72% 52,445 55.72% 527 0.56%
1940 38,495 43.12% 50,300 56.34% 488 0.55%
1936 21,097 28.54% 49,891 67.48% 2,943 3.98%
1932 28,231 41.97% 36,860 54.80% 2,176 3.23%
1928 42,743 79.37% 10,910 20.26% 200 0.37%
1924 34,264 83.82% 4,225 10.34% 2,389 5.84%
1920 24,543 74.66% 7,408 22.54% 922 2.80%
1916 9,353 48.42% 9,311 48.21% 651 3.37%
1912 3,426 25.73% 3,005 22.57% 6,882 51.69%
1908 7,211 64.31% 3,234 28.84% 768 6.85%
1904 6,594 68.65% 2,281 23.75% 730 7.60%
1900 6,478 59.43% 3,934 36.09% 489 4.49%
1896 5,638 52.00% 4,915 45.33% 290 2.67%
1892 4,785 50.14% 3,712 38.90% 1,046 10.96%
1888 5,404 53.17% 3,904 38.41% 856 8.42%
1884 4,328 48.14% 3,657 40.68% 1,005 11.18%

Genesee County is a Democratic stronghold. It has only voted for a Republican candidate five times since 1932. The county, however, has shifted to the right in recent elections, with the Democrats carrying it by less than 10 points in both 2016 and 2020. It last voted for a Republican in 1984.

The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations and safeguards public health, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions—police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc.—are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

The Genesee County Road Commission, an independent county government unit, is head of a five-member Road Commission. Road Commissioners are appointed by the County Board of Commissioners with the daily management is handled by a manager-director.

Genesee County, except for the City of Flint, is under the jurisdiction of the 67th District Court of Michigan. District Courts have a limited jurisdiction as charged under state law. The 67th District Court operates in seven divisions, each with a single judge except for the Central Court Division, which is used for jury and felony cases.[30]

Genesee County is a founding member of the Karegnondi Water Authority[19] The "outcounty" area (all but the city of Flint) receives library services from the Genesee District Library.[31] The county equivalent for school is the Genesee Intermediate School District, which consist of school districts considered primarily within Genesee County.[citation needed] Charles Stewart Mott Community College is the local community college[13] serving the same area as the GISD.

  • Flint Area Narcotics Group is a Genesee County area anti-drug units head by the Michigan State Police consisting of 17 local members, some of whom loan police officers and resources to the group.[32]
  • Genesee Auto-Theft Investigation Network (GAIN) is a Genesee County Sheriff Department led anti-auto theft task forces with local government members.[33]

Elected officials[edit]

Executive offices Officer Party
Prosecuting Attorney
& County Counsel
David Leyton Democratic
Sheriff Christopher R. Swanson
County Clerk/Register of Deeds: Domonique D. Clemons
County Treasurer Deborah Cherry
Drain Commissioner,
County Water Agent & KWA CEO
Jeffrey Wright
County Surveyor Kim R. Carlson


Office District Officeholder Political party[37]
U.S. Representative 7th Elissa Slotkin Democratic
8th Dan Kildee
State Senator 22nd Lana Theis Republican
24th Ruth Johnson
26th Kevin Daley
27th John D. Cherry Democratic
State Representative 67th Phil Green Republican
68th David Martin
69th Jasper Martus Democratic
70th Cynthia Neeley
71st Brian BeGole Republican
72nd Mike Mueller
97th Matthew Bierlein


The county has a park system headed by a Parks and Recreation Commission and a director appointed by the county board of commissioners recommended by the parks commission. Commission president is Joe Krapohl with Barry June as acting director.[38]

In 1968, the county park system was started with the purchase of vacant land[11] with funds from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, with a stipulation that a parks commission be formed.[12]

In January 2018, Genesee County Parks & Recreation purchased land along the Kearsley Creek for $700,000 from the Poulos family, owners of the White Horse Tavern in Flint, with assistance from a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant. The new Atlas County Park opened on April 29, 2018.[38]

Parks and other venues in the county system totaling 11,500 acres are:[39]

  • Buell Lake Park, Thetford Township, fishing site, picnic area, playground, ball diamond, picnic pavilions to rent, snowmobile area and radio-controlled model airplane field
  • Davison Roadside Park, Burton, picnic area and beginner sledding hill
  • Flushing County Park, Flushing Township, picnic pavilions, ball diamond, playgrounds, tennis courts, cross country ski trails
  • Holloway Reservoir Regional Park, Richfield and Oregon townships, 5,500 acres, canoe launch below Holloway Reservoir Dam, Walleye Pike Boat Launch
    • Buttercup Beach
    • Elba Equestrian Complex
    • Hogback Hills, snowmobile area and sledding/tobogganing
    • Wolverine Campground
  • Linden County Park, Fenton Township, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, ball diamond, snowmobile area, intermediate sledding, toboggan hill and walking trails
    • Clover Beach on Byram Lake
  • Richfield County Park, Richfield Township, ball diamonds, bicycle-motocross track, canoe-launching site, cross-country ski trails, picnic pavilions, playgrounds, snowmobile area, tennis courts and walking trails
  • Goldenrod Disc Golf Course, Richfield Township, 18-basket disc golf course.
  • Genesee Recreation Area on Mott Lake, Township
    • Bluebell Beach and Splash Pad
  • For-Mar Nature Preserve and Arboretum, Burton
  • Atlas County Park, Hegel Road in Atlas Township[38]
  • Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad
  • Stepping Stones Falls - has a trail that connects to the Flint River Trail[11]

Genesee County is the only one in Michigan without a state park.[40]


U.S. Census data map showing local municipal boundaries within Genesee County. Shaded areas represent incorporated cities.



Charter townships[edit]

Civil townships[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]


Public school districts include:[41]

There is a state-operated school: Michigan School for the Deaf (MSD).

In 1994 the Michigan School for the Blind moved back to Flint with MSD when the blind school's Lansing campus closed.[42]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 15, 2021.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Clarke Historical Library. "Bibliography on Genesee County". Central Michigan University. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved January 19, 2013.
  4. ^ "Fossilworks: Balaenoptera". Archived from the original on October 16, 2012.
  5. ^ "The Paleobiology Database". Archived from the original on October 16, 2012. Retrieved December 18, 2009. Paleobiology Database: Thetford Center
  6. ^ a b c Bates, William R. (1907). "The Development of Flint". Historical Collections. Michigan State Historical Society, Michigan Historical Commission. p. 362.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Wood, Edwin O. (1916). History of Genesee County, Michigan, Her People, Industries and Institutions. Michigan Historical Commission. Archived from the original on October 6, 2006.
  8. ^ Ellis, Franklin (1879). History of Genesee County, Michigan: With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of Its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Philadelphia: Everts & Abbott. pp. 199, 269, 328. Archived from the original on May 11, 2018. Retrieved November 14, 2017 – via University of Michigan Libraries.
  9. ^ Ellis (1879), p. 345.
  10. ^ Terry, Tanya (May 24, 2018). "Genesee County Parks celebrates 50 years". Davison Index. Retrieved August 22, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c Terry, Tanya (May 31, 2018). "Genesee County Parks turns 50 years". Swartz Creek View. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  12. ^ a b Gifford, Paul. "Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission Records summary". University of Michigan-Flint. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  13. ^ a b "Mott Community College". Flint Timeline Project. Archived from the original on May 30, 2008. Retrieved April 18, 2008.
  14. ^ Fonger, Ron (October 2, 2009). "Genesee County prosecutor, corporation counsel offices talk about merger". The Flint Journal. Archived from the original on November 16, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  15. ^ Fonger, Ron (December 10, 2011). "Ward Chapman, Genesee County's top civil attorney for three decades, files retirement papers". The Flint Journal. Archived from the original on November 16, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  16. ^ Young, Molly (August 9, 2016). "County and Genesee Health System locked in battle over $10 million". The Flint Journal. Archived from the original on November 16, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  17. ^ Fonger, Ron (June 29, 2010). "Genesee County folds Emergency Management & Homeland Security Department". The Flint Journal. Archived from the original on November 16, 2017. Retrieved November 15, 2017.
  18. ^ Fonger, Ron (July 24, 2010). "Genesee County commissioners vote to merge clerk, register of deeds offices". Flint Journal. Archived from the original on August 9, 2010. Retrieved April 7, 2011.
  19. ^ a b Thorne, Blake (October 27, 2010). "Karegnondi Water Authority sets course for cutting ties with Detroit water". Flint Journal. Archived from the original on April 1, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  20. ^ Fonger, Ron (October 23, 2010). "Years in the making, Karegnondi Water Authority is ready to set new course for water". Flint Journal. Archived from the original on September 17, 2011. Retrieved December 6, 2011.
  21. ^ "Tornado Alley of Michigan is Genesee County, with more than any other since 1950". The Flint Journal. May 30, 2013. Archived from the original on June 11, 2013.
  22. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on November 13, 2013. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  23. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  24. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Archived from the original on August 11, 2012. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  25. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 15, 2015. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  26. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved September 21, 2014.
  27. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 11, 2012.
  28. ^ Data Access and Dissemination Systems (DADS). "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau.
  29. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Archived from the original on March 23, 2018.
  30. ^ "About 67th". County of Genesee. Archived from the original on February 3, 2007. Retrieved January 17, 2007.
  31. ^ Thorne, Blake (May 4, 2011). "Voters support new tax for Genesee District Library". The Flint Journal. Archived from the original on October 9, 2016. Retrieved September 7, 2016.
  32. ^ Martindale, Mike (August 1, 2018). "MSP investigates drug unit over office drinking". Detroit News. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  33. ^ Bohn, Dean (December 25, 2009). "Genesee County auto theft unit reorganized, gaining members - again". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  34. ^ a b c d Averill, Andrew (November 7, 2012). "Genesee County election 2012 results so far". Flint Journal. Archived from the original on December 27, 2012. Retrieved January 14, 2013.
  35. ^ Fonger, Ron (January 6, 2021). "Two campaigning to lead Genesee County commissioners in 2021". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  36. ^ Ahmad, Zahra (November 7, 2018). "Live Genesee County election results for November 2018 midterm". Retrieved February 27, 2019.
  37. ^ "Genesee County, Michigan - Cumulative Results" (PDF). Genesee County, Michigan. November 22, 2022. Retrieved May 9, 2023.
  38. ^ a b c Acosta, Roberto (April 17, 2018). "Genesee County parks director to step down after nearly 20 years". Flint Journal. MLive Media Group. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  39. ^ "Genesee County parks directory". MLive. Booth Newspapers. April 10, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  40. ^ Fonger, Ron (December 25, 2019). "Governor says DNR working to establish state park in Flint". MLive. Booth Newspapers. Retrieved December 25, 2019.
  41. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Genesee County, MI" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 20, 2022. Retrieved July 20, 2022. - Text list
  42. ^ Leach, Hugh (December 11, 2005). "School for the Blind sale debated". Lansing State Journal. pp. 1B, 4B. - Clipping of first and of second page at

External links[edit]

43°01′N 83°43′W / 43.02°N 83.71°W / 43.02; -83.71