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Wayne County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population was 2,061,162 with an estimated population of 1,985,101 as of July 1, 2007, making it the 13th most populous county in the United States. The county seat is Detroit, the largest city in Michigan.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 672 square miles (1,741 km²)—614 square miles (1,591 km²) of it is land and 58 square miles (150 km²) of it (8.64%) is water (including parts of the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair).

Wayne County borders on Oakland County and Macomb County to the north, Washtenaw County to the west, and Monroe County to the south.

The eastern and southern boundary is a water boundary in the Detroit River and Lake St. Clair with Essex County, Ontario, Canada. Automotive traffic crosses this boundary at the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel and the Ambassador Bridge. Due to the change in direction of the river, this portion of Ontario actually lies south of Wayne County. Due to the direction ambiguity, the southern communities of the county are usually referred to as "Downriver".

Grosse Ile is the largest island in Wayne County and is connected to the mainland by the Wayne County Bridge.

Adjacent countiesEdit

National protected areaEdit

Government Edit

Wayne County is Michigan's only "charter county", with a home rule charter setting up its structures within limits set in state law and constitution. All other Michigan county governments are structured according to state law, without a locally adopted charter.

The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records for all areas except Detroit, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. Most other local government functions – police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc. – are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.

Wayne County Elected officialsEdit

(information as of February 2006)


Presidential Election Results 1960-2004
Year Democrat Republican
2004 69.39% 600,047 29.81% 257,750
2000 69.01% 530,414 29.02% 223,021
1996 68.95% 504,466 24.04% 175,886
1992 60.39% 508,464 26.96% 227,002
1988 60.18% 450,222 39.03% 291,996
1984 57.19% 496,632 42.31% 367,391
1980 58.60% 522,024 35.42% 315,532
1976 60.11% 548,767 38.18% 348,588
1972 53.26% 514,913 45.08% 435,877
1968 63.25% 654,157 26.16% 270,566
1964 75.97% 831,674 23.83% 260,901
1960 65.99% 773,327 33.66% 394,485

History Edit

Wayne County was one of the first counties formed when the Northwest Territory was organized. It was named for the American general "Mad Anthony" Wayne. It originally encompassed the entire area of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, as well as small sections that are now part of northern Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. By proclamation of the Territorial Secretary and Acting Governor, Winthrop Sargent, on August 15, 1796, the boundaries of Wayne County were declared to begin at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River then west to Fort Wayne, then to the southernmost point of Lake Michigan and along the western shore north to the territorial boundary in Lake Superior and then along the territorial boundary through Lake Huron, Lake St. Clair, and Lake Erie back to the starting point. [1]

On January 14, 1803, the Governor of Indiana Territory, William Henry Harrison, issued a similar proclamation defining the boundaries as beginning at a point where an east and west line passing through the southernmost extreme of Lake Michigan would intersect a north and south line, passing through the westernmost extreme of the lake, then north to the territorial boundary, then along said boundary line to a point where an east and west line passing through the southerly extreme of Lake Michigan would intersect the same, then along this last mentioned line to the place of beginning. This boundary would include Chicago, Illinois and a sizable strip of Wisconsin along Lake Michigan. [2]

These boundaries would be adjusted as Indiana and Illinois became states and as other counties were formed within Michigan Territory.

Cities, villages, and townships Edit



  • Grosse Pointe Shores (most, with the remainder in Macomb County; residents voted to incorporate as a city in 2008)



External linksEdit

Wayne County
County seat: Detroit — Founded: 1796; Organized: 1796 — Population: 1,985,101 (2007 est.)
Allen Park · Belleville · Dearborn Heights · Dearborn · Detroit · Ecorse · Flat Rock · Garden City · Gibraltar
Grosse Pointe Farms · Grosse Pointe Park · Grosse Pointe Woods · Grosse Pointe
Hamtramck · Harper Woods · Highland Park · Inkster · Lincoln Park · Livonia · Melvindale · Northville (partial) · Plymouth
River Rouge · Riverview · Rockwood · Romulus · Southgate · Taylor · Trenton · Wayne · Westland · Woodhaven · Wyandotte
Grosse Pointe Shores (partial, becomes city in 2009)
Charter townships
Brownstown · Canton · Huron · Northville · Plymouth · Redford · Sumpter · Van Buren
Civil townships
Grosse Ile · Grosse Pointe (defunct as of 2009)
Other communities
Cherry Hill · New Boston · Sheldon · Waltz · Willow
Neighboring counties
Macomb County (north), Monroe County (south), Oakland County (north), Washtenaw County (west);
Essex County, Ontario (southeast)
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