These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Michigan

We analyzed over 60 places in Michigan to identify the ones that probably think they’re better than you.

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When it comes to being a snob, there are all types. You’ve got your Wine Snobs, your Book Snobs, and of course, your Clothes Snobs. Then there are the Technology Snobs, Car Snobs, and yes, even City Snobs—as in, I’m better than you because I live in (insert snooty city here).

Now, if you’re reading this from Michigan, you might think that there’s no way you could be a snob. With your mid-western hospitality and attitude, you bask in humble pie.

And while you certainly may be less snooty than the rest of the country, there are always pockets of snobbery in every state and Michigan is no exception.

So without further ado, here are the 10 snobbiest places in The Wolverine State, starting with our winner, Northville:

  1. Northville (Photos)
  2. Rochester (Photos)
  3. Plymouth (Photos)
  4. Royal Oak (Photos)
  5. Traverse City (Photos)
  6. Petoskey (Photos)
  7. Troy (Photos)
  8. Novi (Photos)
  9. Okemos
  10. Saline (Photos)

I bet this list surprised no one from Northville, they are just sitting there nodding their heads in high nosed aloofness.

And to be clear, we didn’t form this list based on our own biases — we relied on the cold hard data. For more on how we ran the numbers, keep on reading. Then we’ll take a closer look at each of our top 10 snobbiest places.

For more Michigan reading, check out:


How We Determined The Snobbiest Places In Michigan

If you’re feeling a bit haughty about these rankings, calm down. See, we relied on facts and figures to create this list not just our opinions of those cities.

We started by making a list of every place in Michigan over 5,000 people based on the 2013 American Community Survey. That left us with 61 places in Michigan.

We then looked at the following snob-tastic criteria for each of the places on the list:

  • Median home price (Higher is snobbier)
  • Median household income (Higher is snobbier)
  • Percent of population with a college degree (Higher is snobbier)
  • Private schools per capita (Higher is snobbier)
  • Theaters per capita (Higher is snobbier)
  • Art galleries per capita (Higher is snobbier)

Next, we ranked each place in each category from one to 61, where the lower the score, the snobbier the place. Finally, we averaged each place’s rankings where the place with the lowest score was crowned ‘The Snobbiest Place In Michigan’.

Now before we start really making fun—or rather, taking a closer look at our top 10 cities, let’s just be clear: this list may be completely scientifically proven and absolutely irrefutable (hah), but, really, it’s all in good fun. These aren’t bad places to live, so don’t get that idea.

If you’d like to see more than these top 10, feel free to head down to the bottom of the post for a look at the full list. Otherwise time to put on your monocle as we examine the snobbiest places in Michigan.


1. Northville

Snobbiest Places In Michigan

Population 5,996
Median Household Income: $88,237
Median Home Price: $219,500

There are snootty places, then there are snobby places, and then there’s Northville. The King of the North has nothing on the self aggrandizing that goes in the uncontested most snobby place to live in Michigan.

The small town combines unparalleled wealth (The highest median household income in Michigan) with expensive homes (2nd highest in Michigan) to create an enclave of snobbery.

It’s probably the kind of place where you need to belong to the right book club and your kids have to go to private school, where it ranks as having the 3rd most per capita in the Great Lake State.

2. Rochester

Snobbiest Places In Michigan

Population 12,647
Median Household Income: $80,747
Median Home Price: $262,100

The second most snobby place in Michigan goes to Rochester.

Like many places on this list, it strategically placed itself close to Detroit , but not close enough to be considered part of Detroit. It boasts the most expensive McMansions in Michigan with a median price of over $262,000 and the fourth most galleries per capita.

It’s the kind of place with an over the top Christmas parade every year and farmers markets every Sunday.

3. Plymouth

Snobbiest Places In Michigan

Population 9,070
Median Household Income: $63,875
Median Home Price: $194,400

Plymouth ranks as the third most snobby place in Michigan.

While it couldn’t compete with the income and home prices of Northville and Rochester, it makes up for it in snobby things to do.

Plymouth is the kind of snobby that calls their ice sculpting festival the ‘Plymouth Ice Spectacular’. And with the second most theatres (yes, they say theatres there) per capita in Michgan, you get events like ‘Music in the Air’ and ‘Art in the Park’.

And if you’re interested, there’s a 7 page history of the small city on Wikipedia.

4. Royal Oak

Snobbiest Places In Michigan

Source: Wikipedia

Population 57,761
Median Household Income: $62,453
Median Home Price: $159,800

There’s a decent size gap between the snob levels of the top three cities on the list and Royal Oak, the fourth snobbiest place in Michigan.

While the median household income for Royal Oak still places it in the top ten of Michigan, it doesn’t quite live up to the royalty in its name.

But what it lacks in (relative) income, it makes up for in snobby amenities. It has the sixth most theaters per capita and the seventh most art galleries per capita.

And when your city is the setting of Home Improvement, you know that you have royally snobby aspirations.

5. Traverse City

Snobbiest Places In Michigan

Population 14,702
Median Household Income: $44,542
Median Home Price: $174,500

Traverse City isn’t bitter about being the fifth snobbiest place in Michigan, but it might be a little tart. That’s because it’s the largest producer of tart cherries in the US. And in true snob fashion, had to name its festival the ‘National Cherry Festival’ because anything less grandiose wouldn’t be snobby enough.

In other, more measurable levels of snobbiness Traverse City ranks as having the most private schools per capita and the most theatres per capita in Michigan.

6. Petoskey

Snobbiest Places In Michigan

Population 5,710
Median Household Income: $42,056
Median Home Price: $190,800

The sixth snobbiest place ranking goes to Petoskey, which has been described as a ‘Coastal Resort Community’. Because, you know, being just a city isn’t enough.

Petoskey, located in the most northern part of the mitten, didn’t take the stereotypical path to snobbery. It actually has the lowest median household income of any place in the top ten, but it makes up for it with the most galleries per capita and second most private schools per capita.

Not to mention the city named a stone after itself, Petoskey stones, which it (probably) lobbied to make the state stone of Michigan. How snobby can you get?

7. Troy

Snobbiest Places In Michigan

Population 81,307
Median Household Income: $86,465
Median Home Price: $226,200

Troy ranks as the seventh snobbiest place in Michigan and is no stranger to being on lists at RoadSnacks as it also ranked as one of the most boring.

But I guess you don’t need much to do when you can swim around in cash, Troy has the second highest median household income in the Wolverine State and the fourth highest median home price.

So I’m pretty sure the city was oblivious to our ranking them as boring since their noses are so high in the air.

8. Novi

Snobbiest Places In Michigan

Population 55,319
Median Household Income: $78,430
Median Home Price: $242,600

Novi actually tied Troy in terms of their level of snobbishness, but a slightly lower median household income broke the tie and put them into eighth place.

But don’t feel bad for Novi, the median home price ranks as the third highest in Michigan and they have are a ‘major shopping destination’.

9. Okemos

Snobbiest Places In Michigan

Source: Public Domain

Population 20,885
Median Household Income: $71,291
Median Home Price: $195,800

Okemos ranks as the ninth snobbiest place in Michigan and, odds are, the people living there are smarter than you.

Why do I say that? Because Okemos has more college graduates per capita than any other place in Michigan. In fact a staggering 71% of people have graduated from college. Probably has something to do with East Lansing and Michigan State being next door.

The second most educated place in Michigan, Northville, is 13.4 percentage points behind Okemos (71.1% vs 57.7%). So my bet is they don’t even bother with the internet there and only read the Economist and the Harvard Business Review.

10. Saline

Snobbiest Places In Michigan

Population 8,845
Median Household Income: $66,543
Median Home Price: $194,100

And rounding out the Michigan snobbery elite is Saline.

Saline has seventh highest median household income in Michigan and the eighth highest median home price. So the price of admission to this small city is high.

But it’s not quite as snobby as some of the other places on this list because it doesn’t offer the same level of snob-menities, it actually has a below average number of private schools per capita for Michigan.

So of all the places on the list, this one may be the most down to earth like where you live. Maybe.

Summing Up The Humble Pie

Well there you have it, the places in Michigan that needed a piece of humble pie, with Northville in particular being called out as the snobbiest place in Michigan.

And, at the very least, they can all take solace in the fact that they are not the worst places to live in Michigan.

32 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Snobbiest Places In Michigan

  1. So what happened to Bloomfield hills and Birmingham? With medium home price of only 119k…can’t believe that makes Northville the snobbist place in Michigan…I grew up there now live in Arizona and you can nearly buy a shack for 119k

  2. CTRL-F, type “Birmingham.”
    Result: 0 of 0 instances in this story.

    Same goes for “Bloomfield Hills.”

    If you need proof this article is a failure, there you go. Each is far more pretentious than something like Rochester.

  3. Clearly you know nothing about Michigan, let alone, Northville or the Metropolitan Detroit suburbs. The fact that Birmingham, West Bloomfield, Bloomfield Hills and Grosse Pointe are not on this list shows the data is flawed…just ask those snobs….I’m sure they are not happy about not “making” this list.

  4. This entire article shows the problem in our country. Not only has the author judged entire towns, but also said towns people based solely off money. I’ve met rich snobs, poor snobs, and middle class snobs. Money does not define how people act. This character of the individual person does. I have spent many a weekend in Traverse City for soccer tournaments, and every person I have encountered there was kind and helpful. So, as a note to the author, how about you climb out from behind your computer, stretch your legs, and go visit the beautiful towns you have so ridiculously judged based on their demographics? I believe that your tune will change. Don’t judge the world without emersing yourself in its culture, for it will make you hard and cold.

  5. Settle down everyone. Geez! He clearly stated “it’s all in good fun” in the beginning of the article…get a sense of humor or at least read the whole article!

    1. “It’s all in good fun” should have been changed to “This article is a bunch a nonsense, so you shouldn’t waste your time reading it”.

      If all it takes to justify publishing stupid, misleading, and laughingly inaccurate articles in the hedge language of “it’s all in good fun” then every article should start of that way (as well as every political speech).

  6. The author of this article doesn’t realize the difference between a private school (think Cranbrook or Detroit Country Day) and a parochial school (Brother Rice, St. Anything, etc.) Huge HUGE difference between the two types of school.

  7. Definitely flawed, Grosse Pointe, Bloomfield, Lake Orion, nothing is on list, not even in the raw data. Consider even wikipedia for the small cities like Orchard Lake Village – they sore on these benchmarks, but have no mention in the table. Lathrup Village actually has the highest household income, I believe. Far more than Taylor. I wonder if the author is disqualifying cities that don’t have Art Galleries, Theaters, etc. It’s possible that Bloomfield and Grosse Pointe doesn’t have some of the stuff. I do think Birmingham has it all. Private schools as well.

  8. I live in Saline and read this list while eating left over steak from Chop House and deciding what size sterling silver cup to purchase for my 2 year old

  9. This survey is definitely flawed. Birmingham wasn’t on the list. None of the five Grosse Pointed were on the list.

  10. Where are some of the major cities in the data set? Is something else missing in what is listed as the criteria for excluding cities like Birmingham, Ann Arbor, Grand Rapids, etc…? This seems either majorly flawed or biased. Also the median income you have listed for Northville in the article doesn’t match the data set. Is the survey you pulled the data from incomplete?

  11. LMAO. Notice a pattern here? People are not complaing about being on this list, but rather are complaining about being LEFT OFF this list. How telling! YOU ARE THE TRUE SNOBS!

  12. I love living in Northville. Our home cost us less than $150K for 4 beds and 2 baths in a great neighborhood close to downtown. This article didn’t mention that the things we enjoy, like theaters and art houses rely on donations and volunteers. We just happen to take pride in our community. That’s not snobbery.

    1. Not so fast Northville. All we have to do is light up another 2 blocks in either direction downtown for Xmas and BAM, we win next year. Environmental impact, environmental shmimpact, we’re gonna do it anyway. Northville, we’ll get you my pretties, and your little dogs too!!!!

      1. Be careful, Wicked Witch of the Northeast Suburbs, or we will purchase more Flying Monkeys (Capuchin, of course, because they’re so CUTE), dress them in the best Victorian-era clothing money can buy (from Victorian’s Secret, where else), and have them drop 590 Dubuar St. ( on you in order to preserve our top ranking! #abovethelaw #winatallcosts #monkeys

        1. We were just about to take your threat seriously until you added the hashtags. #sooooyesterday. In any case, thanks for the heads up on the Victorian-era clothing from Victoria’s Secret! We plan to purchase several for our daughter’s pre, pre-engagement gala at the Royal Park.

          BTW, we have TWO Victoria’s Secrets up here. How many for you? #snicker

          1. Sorry for the delay, I was meeting with community leaders over triple nonfat mocha carmaletto delight latte chai Frappucino ™ at Starbucks to set up the new Highbrow Committee, the charter of which is to increase our Snob Index to a point that has never been seen before. We will enjoy watching you disappear in the rear-view mirrors of our Benzes as we drive off with the #1 ranking in 2016!

            ps. #1 is not a hashtag.

  13. Aside from the lame research and results, thus article was only published to rile people and get comments. More importantly, I am tired of hearing that parks, arts, theaters, libraries, community events are the basis of snobbery instead of offering a community things to do. As an above commenter similarly noted, country clubs, 3rd generation wealth and exclusivity are what contribute to snobbery. The evidence and order of your “results” are not accurate or sociologically sound.

  14. Snobbiest? Or most educated? According to your research, that is what this article is based on. I was not aware that being educated, and in turn earning more, equated to snobby.

  15. Does the author work for Thrillist? They do the same bullsh*t. Take data from places they’ve never been to, make up lists, and then pretend to actually know what they’re talking about- and they almost NEVER do.

    Chris Kolmar should work for the National Enquirer.

  16. Not sure I’d agree all of these places are snobby just because they are economically and educationally healthy. I do think all of these places are boring in the diversity sense (they are very white waspy), and would do well to become more diverse socially, racially and ethnically. I wish them well. They’re smart enough to figure it out.

  17. Is “snobbishness” a direct result of higher education, well maintained homes, and the arts?

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