Ottawa County, MI

Coordinates: 42°55′N 86°14′W
Country  United States
State  Michigan
Founded 1831 (authorized)
1837 (organized)1
Named for Ottawa Nation
Seat Grand Haven
Largest city Holland

 • Total 1,631 sq mi (4,220 km2)
 • Land 563 sq mi (1,460 km2)
 • Water 1,068 sq mi (2,770 km2)  65%%

 • Estimate

 • Density 509/sq mi (197/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Congressional district 2nd

Ottawa County is a county in the state of Michigan in the United States. The population was 263,801 according to the 2010 United States Census. Grand Haven is the county seat. The Ottawa Nation is honored in the county’s name. It began in 1831 and was formally organized in 1837.

The Grand Rapids-Kentwood, MI Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Ottawa County.


Ottawa County administers public health regulations, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, records deeds, mortgages, and vital records, and collaborates with the state to provide social services. The county board of commissioners is in charge of the budget and has limited legislative authority. Most local government functions in Michigan are handled by individual cities and townships, including police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, and street maintenance.

Policies at the Local Level

County Administrator Alan Vanderberg and the Board of Commissioners began implementing the “Four Cs” Initiative in 2012, which included “Cultural Intelligence.” Vanderberg claimed at the time that “Discrimination is not only alive and well, but it will have a negative impact on Ottawa County’s and West Michigan’s future prosperity if it is not addressed. I’ve heard CEOs of some of West Michigan’s most successful companies say that access to global talent is a critical factor in their company’s success.

Some of these same executives admitted that in the future, an inability to form diverse teams could lead to the relocation of corporate headquarters or company divisions to larger, more diverse areas… In some cases, talent can be found locally, but there is currently and will continue to be a competition to attract global talent. West Michigan’s future prosperity is dependent on pursuing and welcoming diversity.” In 2017, the county rebranded in order to establish a high-quality visual identity that better matched Ottawa County’s high-quality organization.

The slogan “Where you Belong” was also adopted by the County. The slogan, according to Vanderberg, is meant to let everyone know that they are welcome in Ottawa County, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, or any other qualifier.


  1.  Clarke (accessed January 29, 2013)
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  13. ^ “The Association of Religion Data Archives – Maps & Reports”
  14. ^ “Worship With Us”, 2020. Retrieved on 26 March 2020.
  15. ^ “miOttawa – Ottawa County Board of Commissioners”
  16. ^ “Cultural Intelligence Committee – Ottawa County MI”
  17. ^ “Administrator touts Ottawa County’s attributes in annual address” January 26, 2018.
  18. ^ Leip, David. “Dave Leip’s Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections”
  19. ^ “Presidential election of 1864 – Map by counties”
  20. ^ “Ferry, Thomas White,” Biographical Directory of the United States Congress, retrieved February 28, 2021.
  21. ^ Bayh, Birch; Feerick, John D. (March 1967). “From Failing Hands: The Story of Presidential Succession”Political Science Quarterly82 (1): 118. doi:10.2307/2147319ISSN 0032-3195.

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