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Lansing: Recreation


Completed in 1879, Lansing's Capitol was one of the first state edifices built to emulate the nation's Capitol, and this National Historic Landmark is the center of attraction in Lansing's downtown sector. Two blocks southwest of the Capitol is the Michigan Library and Historical Center, a modern facility with an outdoor courtyard. The museum traces the history of Michigan from its remote past to the twenty-first century, including the evolution of the state's economy in agriculture, timber, mining, and manufacturing to the rise and dominance of the automobile. Impression 5 Science Museum stimulates the senses with interactive displays including a "Bubble Room" that was remodeled in 2005. Next to Impression 5 is the R. E. Olds Transportation Museum, a major transportation museum recognizing the contribution of Ransom E. Olds to the automotive industry and the evolution of transportation in Lansing.

Michigan State University (MSU) in neighboring East Lansing provides many sightseeing opportunities beginning with the W.J. Beal Botanical Gardens, the oldest, continuously operated garden of its type in the country, with 5,000 different types of plants. The university's horticultural demonstration gardens cover seven-and-a-half acres. Abrams Planetarium presents programs on space science topics in the 150-seat Digistar sky theater along with an exhibition area and the astronomy-related paintings at the "Blacklight Gallery." The MSU Museum houses displays on cultural and scientific development, and the MSU Dairy Plant and Dairy Store offers daily tours at milking time.

Potter Park Zoo places its 100 species of animals in natural settings, with a special display on Michigan animals. The zoo has been actively expanding to include an Education Center, an Animal Clinic with the zoo's first full-time veterinarian, and the planned construction of a new pool for the otter exhibit in 2005.

At the Rose Lake Wildlife Research Station, 3,000 acres of woods and marsh are accessible via hiking trails; Woldumar Nature Center stresses environmental education and its five miles of trails are open to the public for hiking or cross country skiing. Fenner Arboretum maintains self-guided trails leading to a prairie scene with live bison. Nature trails Red Cedar, Sanford Natural Area, and Baker Woodlot are islands of wilderness on the Michigan State University campus. The Ledges in Grand Ledge, 10 miles west of Lansing, is named for its rock formations, which rise along the Grand River and are over 300 million years old.

Arts and Culture

Many of Lansing's cultural events take place at the Wharton Center for Performing Arts' two theaters on the campus of Michigan State University. Cobb Great Hall seats 2,500 guests and hosts Broadway and variety shows, while the Pasant Theatre has 600 seats for family presentations. Founded in 1929, the Greater Lansing Symphony Orchestra presents a season of classical and pops concerts with an annual attendance of 15,000 for about one dozen performances. Stage and concert operas are put on by the Lansing Lyric Opera. Volunteer singers selected via auditions make up the Greater Lansing Arts Chorale, which presents three concerts per year.

Lansing is particularly strong in theater. The nationally known BoarsHead Theater, a residential professional company based at the Wharton Center, presents a season of modern and classical drama and comedy. Community theater companies are: the Lansing Civic Players Guild, the oldest group in the area, dating back to 1929; Lansing Community College's LCC Theater Program at Dart Auditorium; MSU's Department of Theatre, which features student productions; Riverwalk Theatre, the home to the Community Circle Players; and Spotlight Theatre in nearby Grand Ledge, with several American dramas running from May through early September.

The Greater Lansing Ballet Company is a semi-professional organization that presents classical and contemporary ballets and offers two international exchange programs with companies in Poland and Russia. The Children's Ballet Theatre of Michigan at the Wharton Center puts on holiday and spring shows.

The Lansing Arts Gallery, established in 1964, has two exhibition spaces with different exhibitions every month. At Michigan State University, the Department of Art and Art History displays student art throughout the year at the Kresge Art Museum.

Arts and Culture Information: Arts Council of Greater Lansing, 425 S. Grand Ave., Lansing, MI 48933; telephone (517)372-4636; fax (517)484-2564; email [email protected]

Festivals and Holidays

Greater Lansing hosts dozens of festivals and special events year-round. In late winter and early spring, the East Lansing Film Festival previews over 30 independently-made films worldwide but also challenges local talent (Michigan, Illinois, and Wisconsin) to a competition. The East Lansing Art Fair is held the third weekend in May, followed by the Lansing Festival of Art in the Park the last weekend in June at Ferris Park. Also in May, the Fiesta celebrates the Hispanic community with music, folklore performances, and a "Mexican Marketplace." The Lansing Concert Band gives a performance in Riverfront Park for the Fourth of July holiday with fireworks at dusk. Early August brings the Lansing Jazz Fest for two days of live jazz and music clinics; later in the month, the Great Lakes Folk Festival is three days of various activities including music, dance, and storytelling along with ethnic foods. The holiday season is celebrated in three major events: the MSU (Michigan State University) Holiday Arts & Crafts Show, held at the MSU Union for two days to present the works of about 200 regional artisans and crafters; Silver Bells in the City, which draws 80,000 to its parade and fireworks celebrating the lighting of Michigan's official holiday tree; and Wonderland of Lights at Potter Park, with thousands of lights adorning holiday displays along with carolers and other musical performances.

Sports for the Spectator

The Michigan State Spartans compete in the Big Ten athletic conference and field nationally competitive teams. The football team plays its home games in the 76,000-seat Spartan Stadium that was expanded in 2005 to accommodate 24 new suites and 862 club seats with access to an 18,500-square-foot club. Munn Ice Arena seats 6,470 fans and is the home of the Spartan hockey team. The Jack Breslin Student Events Center has been the home of the MSU basketball program since 1989; it seats 15,085 people.

Lansing's professional minor-league baseball team, the Lugnuts, play an April through September season at Oldsmobile Park. Playing in the western division of the Midwest League, the Lugnuts were previously affiliated with major league's Chicago Cubs but the 2005 season brought a switch to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Spartan Speedway attracts super and hobby stock car racing on Friday nights from midMay through mid-September. Jackson Harness Raceway features seasonal parimutuel racing at night in nearby Jackson.

Sports for the Participant

Golf is particularly popular at about three dozen public and private courses of varying difficulty in the area, and many golf tournaments are held in the summer. East Lansing's Timber Ridge was rated one of the top 50 courses in America by Golf Digest magazine.

Nearly 200 city, county, and state parks, campgrounds, and recreation areas offer several thousand acres of green space and leisure opportunities in the Lansing region. River Trail features a canoeing route that follows the banks of the Grand and Red Cedar rivers through urban and natural environments and the campus of Michigan State University. The Brenke Fish Ladder is stocked with salmon and steelhead for urban fishing. Well supplied with bowling centers and ball fields, the Lansing area also has riding stables, about 300 indoor and outdoor tennis courts, and seven public access sites for boating.

The Summit at The Capital Centre is a modern, 180,000-square-foot facility that offers a wide array of sporting activities including ice hockey, soccer, dodge ball, and lacrosse. It also hosts one of the region's top gymnastics clubs, Geddert's Twisters. Other public ice skating facilities are available at Washington Park and Munn Arena at Michigan State University.

The region is noted for the variety of fish in rivers and lakes full of largemouth bass, northern pike, muskie, bluegill, crappie, and perch. Streams contain smallmouth bass, northern pike, walleye, and panfish. In addition, there are spawning runs of steelhead and Chinook salmon in several locations. Throughout the vicinity, state game lands and wooded areas offer rabbit, squirrel, pheasant, deer, and other game.

Shopping and Dining

The largest shopping center in the region is the Lansing Mall, with over 125 stores and restaurants. An antiques and collectibles store called Pennyless in Paradise opened in 2004. However, one of the state's biggest antiques shops is The Mega Mall with over 300 booths on 40,000 square feet of space. In East Lansing, near the Michigan State University campus, specialty shops that cater to students are clustered among small restaurants, bookstores, and record shops.

The Lansing City Market, at the corner of Cedar Street and Shiawassee since 1909, offers a large selection of fresh fruits and vegetables. The Nokomis Learning Center, next door to Meridian Historic Village, sells beaded jewelry and other items handcrafted by local Native American Artists. Several upscale restaurants are located near the university.

Visitor Information: Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1223 Turner St., Ste. 100, Lansing, MI 48906; telephone (517)487-6800 or (800)252-6746

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Lansing: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

The state government is naturally the most significant employer within the city. Services, wholesale and retail trade, education, and manufacturing (primarily of transportation products) comprise the economic base of the Lansing metropolitan area. Health care accounts for the largest share of the services sector, followed by business services and trade associations. Many insurance companies have corporate or regional offices in Lansing; several are headquartered there. Other important sectors are educationwith nearby Michigan State University having annual revenues of about $1.6 billionalong with transportation and public utilities.

The Lansing region is an important notch in the Midwest manufacturing belt. Despite the 2004 departure of the historic Oldsmobile plant, the city received a huge boost by the 2001 opening of the new General Motors (GM) plant. Industrial leaders such as GM adapt progressive manufacturing processes and new technology. Many firms are following GM's lead to institute advanced materials-handling techniques and to encourage participatory management, with the goal of improving product quality and increasing competitiveness. A variety of high-technology firms spawned at Michigan State University has pushed for rapid growth in that industry.

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Companies

Local programs

Promoting the local economy and providing assistance to businesses is the Lansing Economic Development Corporation. The Lansing Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (LBRA) is operated by the city and provides many tax relief benefits to redevelopers. Partnering with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the LBRA assists in finding sites for businesses to locate and has also received two grants from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency that it awards. Technology-based business growth in the area is encouraged by the MEDC and the Lansing Regional SmartZone program.

State programs

The creation of new jobs that feed into a prosperous economy is the purpose behind the Michigan Economic Growth Authority. Fiscally-responsible companies in the fields of manufacturing, research and development, wholesale trade, or office operations can make use of Small Business Tax credits. The Lansing area has two designated Renaissance Zones that, if a business locates inside the zone, allows for waiving a variety of taxes such as the single business tax, local real property tax, and utility users tax.

Michigan communities can abate up to 50 percent of local property taxes for up to 12 years. State law also exempts inventory, pollution control equipment, and certain tools, dies, jigs, and fixtures from local property taxes. State law also allows the city of Lansing to abate all new personal property taxes in certain geographic areas to spur economic development. Abatements include all millage, state and local. Eligible projects include manufacturing, mining, research and development, wholesale and trade, and office operations, but not retail businesses.

Michigan has created a system of financial institutions called BIDCOs (Business and Industrial Development Corporations). These semiprivate, independent operations are chartered and partially capitalized by the state and are designed to provide mezzanine-level financing. This is for capital of higher risk than traditional banks will consider and of lower return than venture-capital companies demand.

Job training programs

Michigan offers a coordinated job training system called "Michigan Works!" using federal, state, and local resources to provide a highly productive and trained workforce. The federal Workforce Investment Act and the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Growth provide funding for the grants that assist in increasing worker productivity. The training itself is done through the institution of the company's choice. Free recruitment and screening services are available for new and expanding employers through the Michigan Employment Security Administration's job service and also through several local school districts.

Development Projects

Lansing's downtown area continues to undergo a facelift that began in the late 1990s. Loft development is bolstered by grant monies if certain criteria are met. One such project that is scheduled for completion in late 2006 is the $7 million conversion of the downtown Plaza One building into offices, retail stores, and about 50 apartments.

In 2001 General Motors (GM) built its first new assembly plant in the United States since 1986, an innovative 1.9 million-square-foot, $585 million Lansing factory whose 11,000 workers produce three different types of Cadillac automobiles. Nearby Delta Township witnessed the opening of a GM stamping plant in 2003 and another new assembly plant is expected to start operations in 2006.

A $67.5 million bond approved in 2003 has allowed for the building of a 175,000-square-foot middle school that represents the first new school in the Lansing School District in 30 years.

Economic Development Information: Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, 300 E. Michigan Ave., Ste. 300, PO Box 14030, Lansing, MI 48901; telephone (517)487-6340; fax (517)484-6910

Commercial Shipping

The CN North America, CSX, and Norfolk Southern rail freight lines serve Lansing. More than 30 motor freight carriers transport goods from the city to markets throughout the country. About 24 million pounds of air cargo is handled by several companies at Capital City Airport. Four interstate highways connect the area to all major North American markets, including Canada.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

Lansing area employers draw from a large, stable pool of highly skilled, educated, professional workers. Michigan State University's thousands of graduates add to the pool; 31 percent of the labor force that is 25 years old and older has at least an undergraduate degree; 39 percent has a graduate or professional degree.

The forecast for occupational categories in the Lansing/East Lansing area by the Michigan Department of Labor & Economic Growth projects a 10 percent increase in all occupations by 2012. Professions such as healthcare, computer and mathematical, and personal care and service lead with gains of at least 20 percent.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Lansing-East Lansing metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual average:

Size of non-agricultural labor force: 230,500

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 9,300

manufacturing: 22,600

trade, transportation, and utilities: 37,000

information: 3,200

financial activities: 15,600

professional and business services: 21,100

educational and health services: 25,800

leisure and hospitality: 19,800

other services: 10,900

government: 65,400

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $25.03

Unemployment rate: 6.4% (February 2005)

Largest employers Number of employees
State of Michigan 14,041
General Motors 11,000
Michigan State University 10,000
Sparrow Health System 8,000
Lansing School District 3,500
Ingham Regional Medical Center 2,450
Lansing Community College 2,200
Meijer Inc. 2,175
Jackson National Life 1,385
City of Lansing 1,292

Cost of Living

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Lansing area.

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

State income tax rate: 3.9%

State sales tax rate: 6.0%

Local income tax rate: 1.0% resident, 0.5% non-resident

Local sales tax rate: None

Property tax rate: Varies widely from 34.7 to 52.7 mills per $1,000 assessed value

Economic Information: Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce, 300 E. Michigan Ave., Ste. 300, PO Box 14030, Lansing, MI 48901; telephone (517)487-6340; fax (517)484-6910

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Lansing: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Lansing School District, one of the largest in the state of Michigan, is administered by an elected nine-member, non-partisan board of education that appoints a superintendent. Board members serve six-year terms and receive no salary for their positions. In 2002, Superintendent Dr. E. Sharon Banks was recognized by the Michigan Association of School Administrators as "Superintendent of the Year." The district has witnessed steady improvements in the students' standardized test scores since Banks assumed office in 2000.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Lansing public schools as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 16,939

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 29

middle schools: 6

senior high schools: 3

other: 4

Teacher salaries

average: $54,020 (state)

Funding per pupil: $5,887

In addition to the public system, church-affiliated schools provide K-12 education, and independent private schools and charter schools offer elementary education. Ingham, Eaton, and Clinton counties have 25 private and parochial schools with an enrollment of approximately 3,500 students; denominations include Roman Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, and Seventh Day Adventist. There are also five non-religious private schools, and charter schools enroll about 1,700 students.

Public Schools Information: Lansing School District, 519 W. Kalamazoo St., Lansing, MI 48933; telephone (517)325-6200

Colleges and Universities

Michigan State University (MSU) in East Lansing is the largest institution of higher learning in the area, with an enrollment of 44,836 students as of the fall of 2004. It maintains 660 buildings on about 5,200 acres of land for its diverse curriculum of more than 200 programs. According to a 2005 survey by U.S. News & World Report, MSU ranks 71st among the nation's top schools. The university has gained an international reputation for research and its sponsored funding topped $300 million in the 20032004 school year.

Cooley Law School in Lansing serves working professionals with a program leading to a Juris Law degree. Great Lakes Christian College offers undergraduate programs in theology, fine arts, and interdisciplinary studies. Lansing Community College in downtown Lansing provides vocational and technical curricula as well as training programs in more than 300 areas of study for its 40,000 annual students. Other schools in the three-county region are Olivet College, Davenport University, Capital Area Career Center, and Harry Hill Vocational Center.

Libraries and Research Centers

About 25 libraries located in Lansing are maintained by educational institutions, government agencies, and hospitals. The Lansing Library and Information Center is part of the Capital Area District Library. The Lansing branch houses about 400,000 items for patron usage including books, periodical titles, microfilm, audio and video tapes, maps, and art reproductions. Materials pertaining to local history are among the special collections; the district library operates 13 branches and a bookmobile. Michigan State University maintains a main library and nine branches on campus with a collection of 28,000 periodicals, 200,000 maps, and 40,000 sound recordings.

Established in 1928, the Library of Michigan maintains holdings of well over five million volumes and special collections in such fields as Michigan local and family history and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century periodicals. The library also provides Braille and large-type books and serves as a depository for federal and state documents. Thomas M. Cooley Law School, Lansing Community College, and Great Lakes Christian College also maintain campus libraries.

World-class research is conducted at Michigan State University (MSU) in diverse disciplines related to communications, packaging, food science, and environmental engineering. MSU is home to the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL), the Composite Materials and Structures Center, the Crop and Food Bioprocessing Center, the Digital Learning Center for Microbial Ecology, and WKAR, a top public broadcasting center. Adjacent to MSU, the University Corporate Research Park is comprised of building sites on four to 40 acres. Resident companies, including Montell's Research Headquarters for North America, enjoy access to MSU's scientific and technical facilities (laboratories, libraries, computerized data and research networks, closed circuit TV, and satellite systems).

The Composite Materials and Structure Center is a research partner with the Michigan Molecular Institute, the National Science Foundation, the Ford Motor Company, and the U.S. Department of Defense. The Pesticide Research Center works with pesticides and pest control. The Michigan Bio-technology Institute, a non-profit corporation, applies recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid, plant tissue culture, and immobilized enzymes to the commercialization of biotechnology in the state of Michigan.

Public Library Information: Lansing Library and Information Center, 401 S. Capitol Ave., PO Box 40719, Lansing, MI 48901-7919; telephone (517)367-7919; fax (517)367-6363

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Lansing: History

Wilderness Site Chosen for State Capital

The original settlers of Lansing arrived at the junction of the Grand and Red Cedar rivers expecting to find New Settlement, a city that turned out to exist only on paper. Most of the pioneers were from the village of Lansing, New York, and some decided to settle the area, deciding to call it Lansing Township in honor of their former home. James Seymour, another resident of New York State, migrated to Detroit in the mid-1830s and acquired land holdings in the Michigan interior for purposes of speculation. Seymour was aware that the Michigan constitution of 1835 specified that a permanent site be found by 1847 for the state capital, which was then temporarily located in Detroit. The legislators feared Detroit's proximity to Canada would make it susceptible to foreign invasion, as had been the case in the War of 1812 when it fell under British rule. Since no mutually agreed-upon township could be found, Seymour pressed the idea of Lansing as the site, but his suggestion initially evoked laughter from the legislators. Seymour's persistence finally prevailed and Lansing, a wilderness spot with one log house and a sawmill, became the new center of Michigan's government.

By December 1847, a frame capitol building had been built, and the creation of a business district had begun at the point where Main Street and Washington Avenue now meet. Lansing was incorporated with a population of 1,500 inhabitants in 1849. Five years later a new brick capitol was constructed. Small agricultural implement industries began to introduce mechanical farming techniques to combat the manpower shortage caused by the Civil War. Development, however, was slowed by lack of transportation and the uncertainty of retaining the state capital at Lansing. But the arrival of the railroad boosted the economy by linking Lansing with the rest of the state. The legislature appropriated funding for a new capitol, which was completed in 1878 on a 10-acre park near the Grand River in the center of the city at a cost of more than $1.4 million.

Industry and Education Join Government

Automotive innovator Ransom E. Olds, who used gasoline power instead of steam, founded the Olds Motor Vehicle Company in 1897. Olds is credited with building the first practical automobile, and by the turn of the century his company was the world's largest car manufacturer and had earned a reputation for high quality. Olds's company lived on as the Oldsmobile Division of General Motors until its discontinuation in 2004. By 1904 Lansing was the base of more than 200 manufacturing businesses and a world leader in the production of agricultural implements, automobiles, and gasoline engines.

Farmers had created the Michigan Agricultural Society in 1850 as a means to be heard in the state legislature. Many of the settlers from the East placed high value on education and culture; they petitioned the state legislature through the Agricultural Society for a college of agriculture to be founded separately from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. The nation's oldest land-grant institution, created as part of Michigan's state constitution of 1850, was thus granted authorization in 1855. The Michigan Agricultural College was founded on 676 acres in the woods three miles east of Lansing in present-day East Lansing, which was granted a city charter in 1907. The name of the college was changed to Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences in 1923, and became a university upon its centennial celebration in 1955. Finally, in 1964, the name was shortened to Michigan State University.

Today, Lansing is a community where government, industry, education, and culture thrive. Although the city itself has witnessed a population decrease of 6.4 percent, the metropolitan area has increased by 3.5 percent. Residents enjoy the area for its economic stability and variety of activities. The business climate is active and was recognized by Entrepreneur magazine in 2003 as number seven on its list of "Best Cities for Entrepreneurs: Top Midsize Cities in the Midwest." The nearby residence of Michigan State University fosters an academia-minded atmosphere that contributed to the area's seventh place ranking in Richard Florida's bestselling book "Rise of the Creative Class" in 2002 as one of the "Top Ten Most Creative Small Cities."

Historical Information: Library of Michigan, 702 W. Kalamazoo St., Lansing, MI 48909-7507; telephone (517)373-1580; fax (517)373-4480

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Lansing: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

The major daily newspaper in Lansing is the morning Lansing State Journal. A number of trade publications originate in Lansing, aimed at farmers, florists, grocers, and small business owners. Other Lansing publications include Michigan History Magazine and The State News, a daily published by Michigan State University.

Television and Radio

Two commercial television stations are based in Lansing, where cable television service is also available. Lansing radio listeners receive broadcasts from eight AM and FM radio stations in the city and several additional stations in neighboring communities. Musical programming includes country, classical, rock and roll, religious, top 40, and easy listening.

Media Information: Lansing State Journal, 120 E. Lenawee, Lansing, MI 48919; telephone (517)377-1000

Lansing Online

Arts Council of Greater Lansing. Available

City of Lansing home page. Available

Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau. Available

Lansing Regional Chamber of Commerce. Available

Lansing School District. Available

Lansing State Journal. Available

Library of Michigan. Available

Michigan Historical Center. Available

Selected Bibliography

Celizic, Mike, The Biggest Game of Them All: Notre Dame, Michigan State, and the Fall of '66 (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1992)

Lansing State Journal, One Shining Season: The Amazing Story of Michigan State University's 199899 Men's Basketball Team (Sports Publishing, Inc., 1999)

Seale, William, Michigan's Capitol: Construction & Restoration (University of Michigan Press, 1995)

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Lansing: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 420,000

1990: 432,684

2000: 447,728

Percent change, 19902000: 3.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 81st

U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported

U.S. rank in 2000: 92nd

City Residents

1980: 130,414

1990: 127,321

2000: 119,128

2003 estimate: 118,379

Percent change, 19902000: -6.4%

U.S. rank in 1980: 122nd

U.S. rank in 1990: 142nd

U.S. rank in 2000: 204th (State rank: 6th)

Density: 3,399.0 people per square mile (2000)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 77,766

Black or African American: 26,095 American Indian and Alaska Native: 953 Asian: 3,367 Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 62 Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 11,886 Other: 5,410

Percent of residents born in state: 72.8% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 9,725

Population 5 to 9 years old: 9,247

Population 10 to 14 years old: 8,235

Population 15 to 19 years old: 7,828

Population 20 to 24 years old: 10,492

Population 25 to 34 years old: 20,931

Population 35 to 44 years old: 18,055

Population 45 to 54 years old: 14,772

Population 55 to 59 years old: 4,770

Population 60 to 64 years old: 3,468

Population 65 to 74 years old: 6,210

Population 75 to 84 years old: 4,121

Population 85 years and over: 1,274

Median age: 31.4 years

Births (2003)

Total number: 2,365

Deaths (2003)

Total number: 947 (of which, 18 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $17,924

Median household income: $34,833

Total households: 49,458

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 2,240

$10,000 to $14,999: 1,620

$15,000 to $24,999: 3,766

$25,000 to $34,999: 4,322

$35,000 to $49,999: 5,287

$50,000 to $74,999: 6,552

$75,000 to $99,999: 2,983

$100,000 to $149,999: 1,366

$150,000 to $199,999: 220

$200,000 or more: 194

Percent of families below poverty level: 13.2% (48.4% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 6,601

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Lansing: Introduction
Lansing: Geography and Climate
Lansing: History
Lansing: Population Profile
Lansing: Municipal Government
Lansing: Economy
Lansing: Education and Research
Lansing: Health Care
Lansing: Recreation
Lansing: Convention Facilities
Lansing: Transportation
Lansing: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1837 (incorporated, 1849)

Head Official: Mayor Tony Benavides (NP) (since 2003)

City Population

1980: 130,414

1990: 127,321

2000: 119,128

2003 estimate: 118,379

Percent change, 19902000: -6.4%

U.S. rank in 1980: 122nd

U.S. rank in 1990: 142nd

U.S. rank in 2000: 204th

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 420,000

1990: 432,684

2000: 447,728

Percent change, 19902000: 3.5%

U.S. rank in 1980: 81st

U.S. rank in 1990: Not reported

U.S. rank in 2000: 92nd

Area: 35.24 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 880 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 48° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 30.8 inches of rain, 48.9 inches of snow

Major Economic Sectors: Government, trade, services, manufacturing

Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (February 2005)

Per Capita Income: $17,924 (1999)

2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported

2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 6,601

Major Colleges and Universities: Michigan State University (in East Lansing), Lansing Community College

Daily Newspaper: Lansing State Journal

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Lansing: Transportation

Approaching the City

Seven commercial airlines schedule regular daily flights into Capital City Airport, located 15 minutes from downtown Lansing. The airport has experienced increasing passenger numbers since 2003; in March 2005 more than 54,000 traveled on its airlines. Daily rail service to East Lansing from Chicago and Toronto is provided by Amtrak; Greyhound Bus Lines has terminals in Lansing and East Lansing.

An efficient highway system facilitates access to Lansing and its environs. Part of a beltway circling the southern half of the city, I-96 is intersected by several major and secondary routes; east-west I-69 completes the beltway around the northern sector. I-496 bisects the downtown area westward from north-south U.S. 127 in East Lansing. Other principal highways are U.S. 27 and M 99, both running north-south, and east-west M 43.

Traveling in the City

Downtown Lansing streets are laid out on a strict grid system with the Capitol Complex as the center of orientation; the web of one-way streets can be confusing. Public bus transportation is provided by Capital Area Transportation Authority (CATA), which operates seven days a week in Lansing and East Lansing as well as to points throughout the metropolitan region. CATA's shuttle service to downtown Lansing and the Capital Loop reduces rush-hour traffic and parking congestion in central city areas. Special service for elderly, handicapped, commuting, and rural patrons is available.

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Lansing: Convention Facilities

Meeting and convention planners can choose among several facilities in the Lansing area. The Lansing Center is situated downtown on the Grand River and Riverwalk near the Capitol Complex. It adjoins the Radisson Hotel and a 1,600-car parking area via an enclosed walkway. Accommodating up to 5,600 people and 71,000 square feet of exhibition space, the exhibit halls and meeting rooms function as separate units or in multiple combinations. In downtown Lansing, the Center for the Arts adjoins an art gallery and provides barrier-free space for functions with up to 240 participants.

The Breslin Center on the campus of Michigan State University (MSU) is a 254,000-square-foot facility offering 17,500 square feet of exhibition space, 30,000 maximum square feet of concourse area for product display, and state-of-the-art sound and lighting systems. MSU's Pavilion Agriculture and Livestock Education Center offers over 77,000 square feet in its facilities for trade shows, exhibitions, demonstrations, and livestock auctions.

Lansing-area hotels and motels, containing about 4,000 rooms for lodgings, also offer banquet and meeting rooms. One example is the Sheraton Lansing Hotel, with seven ballrooms and several rooms and suites that can handle from 10 to 1,500 guests in spaces varying from 480 to 8,600 square feet.

Convention Information: Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau, 1223 Turner St., Ste. 100, Lansing, MI 48906; telephone (517)487-6800 or (800)252-6746

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Lansing:1 Village (1990 pop. 28,086), Cook co., NE Ill., a suburb of Chicago, near the Ind. line; inc. 1893. Among the city's industries are meatpacking, food processing, and the manufacture of metal products. 2 City (1990 pop. 127,321), state capital, Clinton, Eaton, and Ingham counties, S Mich., on the Grand River at its confluence with the Red Cedar River; inc. 1859. Lansing is a trade and processing center for its surrounding agricultural area. Paper, metal, and plastic products; machinery; medical equipment; and building materials are manufactured. The city grew after it was made state capital (1847), and industrial development came with the railroads (1870s) and the automobile industry (1897). The state capitol houses a museum, and the state office building contains the state library and historical office. Lansing has the Michigan School for the Blind. American author Ray Baker was born in the city. The adjacent suburb of East Lansing is the seat of Michigan State Univ.