About Houghton County
This project will focus on Houghton County located in the northwest corner of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Houghton County has a population of 35,684 individuals spread across 1,502 square miles. This region is rural and remote with only 36 people/square mile in Houghton County. Located nearly 500 miles from Lansing, Michigan's state capitol, it is an area that boasts of an average of 225 inches (almost19 feet) of snowfall, annually. Geographical isolation, rugged terrain, limited transportation systems, harsh winter weather and significant travel times for specialty medical care and shopping centers makes this region truly rural.
This area along with neighboring counties is often referred to as the "Copper Country," which reflects the mining of native copper that provided its economic base from the 1850s until 1968. As area mines closed and private investment retreated, residents faced unemployment, under-employment and a failing regional economy. The geography presents breathtaking, expansive lakeside views and provides residents and visitors plentiful opportunities for outdoor recreation and wildlife exploration. The presence of Lake Superior, combined with the area's northern latitude and short daylight hours, creates long winters.