Location of Walker, Michigan
|o Total||25.47 sq mi (65.96 km2)|
|o Land||24.90 sq mi (64.50 km2)|
|o Water||0.57 sq mi (1.47 km2)|
|Elevation||745 ft (227 m)|
| o Estimate |
|o Density||996.79/sq mi (384.86/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|o Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|GNIS feature ID||1615688|
Before incorporating as a city, it was known as Walker Township. The township was organized on December 30, 1837, the second to be organized in Kent County, and initially comprised all of the land in the county north of the Grand River. The earliest settlers of the township were Canadian immigrants. In 1867, a township hall was built. However, the area where the township hall was annexed into Grand Rapids in 1959.
Walker was established as a city in 1962 to prevent further annexation of the area into Grand Rapids. At the time it was made a city, Walker had a population of 11,000.
On May 22, 2012, nearby Kenowa Hills High School briefly obtained notoriety for having its School Principal Katharine Pennington chastise, then suspend, a group of 64 senior students for the act of riding their bikes to school for Senior Prank day. This was followed by an endorsement of the disciplinary action by the School Superintendent Gerald Hopkins.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 25.48 square miles (65.99 km2), of which, 24.94 square miles (64.59 km2) of it is land and 0.54 square miles (1.40 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 23,537 people, 9,684 households, and 5,923 families residing in the city. The population density was 943.7 inhabitants per square mile (364.4/km2). There were 10,432 housing units at an average density of 418.3 per square mile (161.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 91.3% White, 2.8% African American, 0.5% Native American, 1.9% Asian, 1.4% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.
There were 9,684 households of which 29.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.8% were married couples living together, 9.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.7% had a male householder with no wife present, and 38.8% were non-families. 30.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.40 and the average family size was 3.05.
The median age in the city was 34.6 years. 22.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 26.7% were from 25 to 44; 25.3% were from 45 to 64; and 12.1% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 21,842 people, 8,805 households, and 5,379 families residing in the city. The population density was 868.3 per square mile (335.2/km²). There were 9,201 housing units at an average density of 365.8 per square mile (141.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.51% White, 1.47% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.98% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.09% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.75% of the population.
There were 8,805 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.0% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the city, the population was spread out with 25.9% under the age of 18, 12.4% from 18 to 24, 32.1% from 25 to 44, 19.1% from 45 to 64, and 10.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $44,818, and the median income for a family was $58,912. Males had a median income of $37,438 versus $28,372 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,198. About 3.1% of families and 6.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.0% of those under age 18 and 8.9% of those age 65 or over.
The city of Walker operates with a Council-manager government style government, with seven elected officials serving on a commission plus the hired city manager. Two representatives are sent from the three wards that comprise Walker as well as the mayor who is elected at large. Unlike in the mayor-manager model, the mayor has no special power other than presiding over meetings. The current mayor is Gary L. Carey, Jr.. Commissioners from the First Ward are Steven Gilbert and Dan Kent, Second Ward Carol Glanville and Roxanne Deschaine and Third Ward Melanie Grooters and Elaina Huizenga.
Kenowa Hills schools in the Walker city limits include the Kenowa Hills Early Childhood Center/Day Care & Learning Center, (previously Walker Station Elementary School) Kenowa Hills Central Elementary School, (formerly Kenowa Hills Intermediate School) and Zinser Elementary School. The district previously operated Fairview Elementary School in Walker. Kenowa Hills district residents are zoned to Kenowa Hills Middle School and Kenowa Hills High School in Alpine Township.