Live, Work

Regional Figures & Facts


A Brief Profile...Our County History

MapOrganized in 1857 and blessed with an abundance of water resources, Bay County is located on the eastern shoreline of Michigan's lower peninsula, which borders the Saginaw Bay, an inlet of Lake Huron. Multiple streams and creeks, along with two main rivers, the Kawkawlin and Saginaw, run through the County. With 30 miles of shoreline, Bay County continues to have a steady stream of industry — and pleasure-seekers — ready to take advantage of all the area has to offer.

Originally settled by the Sauk Indians around 1736, Bay County became home to fur traders and lumberjacks. By the late 1800s, a flourshing lumber trade quickly made Bay City a boomtown. With 50 active mills, it was known as the "Lumber Capitol of the World." Shipbuilding followed the lumber era, continuing industry along the Saginaw River. Today, many businesses and industries still operate along its banks.

Once divided as two separate cities by the Saginaw River, Bay City celebrated its 100th anniversary as one city in 2005. Residents and tourists alike can appreciate how the county and city has changed and grown over the years.

POPULATION (estimate)
Bay County 109, 672
Bay City 35,428
Saginaw/Bay/Midland MSA 401,449
State of Michigan 10,120,860
Source: US Census Bureau and Michigan


Bay County’s workforce is characterized by high productivity and a strong work ethic. By the very nature of Bay County’s economic base, the skilled workforce is at the very cutting edge of technological development.

LABOR FORCE (estimate)
Bay Regional Labor Force 53,100
Total Bay County Employment 48,900

Bay Regional Medical Center 1,756
Dow Corning Corporation 1,200
Bay City Public Schools 1,203
General Motors Powertrain 976
Delta College 920
Michigan Sugar Company 770
Meijer, Inc. 736
Bay County 584
Consumers Energy Co. 495
S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. 456
City of Bay City 419


Location, Location, Location

childrenBay County is located 100 miles north of Detroit, at the south end of Saginaw Bay on Lake Huron and is an integral part of the Mid-Michigan area of the lower peninsula of Michigan close to the city, the country, the woods and the lakes. Two hours north are world-class skiing and resort sports while two hours south you can see "The Birdcage" at the Fisher Theater or yell for the Detroit Pistons who inhabit the Palace. An excellent choice either direction. Whether running a business, raising children, or planning to retire, Bay County beckons with a relaxed, water-oriented lifestyle where a little business travelin’ music goes a long, long way.

Schools --Primary & Secondary Edudcation

Bay Area Schools have taken a leadership role in bringing new technology and techniques to the classroom to ensure superior quality in public and private elementary and secondary education. The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce Business & Education Partnership ensures the participation of the business community in helping to provide world-class opportunities for all area students. Six public and private school systems provide 48 elementary and middle schools and six senior high schools. Student to teacher ratios average 19.7 to 1. The high school graduation rate is 88%. An average of 60.4% of high school students take the ACT or SAT college aptitude tests, consistently scoring above the national average.


Images from the campus of Saginaw Valley State University.

Higher Education

Higher Education There are eight higher education institutions, colleges and universities within 50 miles offering excellent undergraduate and graduate programs.

delta  sage

Delta College (part of campus pictured above left), a community college with 16,000 students, Saginaw Valley State University, at 9,550 students, Davenport University, 360 students and Northwood University, 2,300 students, are accessible locally. The county also boasts an extensive library system — Sage Library in Bay City is pictured above.

Vocational Education

The Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District Career Center offers 21 vocational/technical training programs to high school and post-high school students to meet local industry needs.

building  hospittal

Health Care Services
Full-service hospitals serve the Bay Area. Bay City’s own 400-bed Bay Regional Medical Center features several specialty services including cardiology, and is located on three campuses. In late 2006, Bay Regional Medical Center’s West Campus opened with its new 33,000-square-foot building, the West Side Medical Mall. Services provided include state-of-the-art imaging services, including x-ray, CT scanning, MRI and ultrasound. Covenant HealthCare and St. Mary’s of Michigan, located in nearby Saginaw, offers a variety of specialty health care services. Covenant HealthCare also has satellite services in Bay County.

Bay County utility rates are consistently below regional, statewide and national averages.

Consumers Energy Company provides gas and electric service to most areas outside the City of Bay City. The company also produces steam, hydroelectric, pumped storage and nuclear power. Bay City Electric Light and Power Company contracts with Consumers Energy Company to provide inexpensive energy to the City of Bay City and a few areas outside the community.

Bay County Metropolitan Water Plant has a rated capacity of 40 mgpd (million gallons per day) and presently averages an output of 10 mgpd. Bay City Wastewater Treatment Plant has a maximum capacity of 18.5 mgpd and a current average daily flow of 10 mgpd. West Bay County Wastewater System averages a daily flow of 4.35 mgpd from its 10.8 mgpd-capacity facility.