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Benton Harbor, Michigan

Benton Harbor is a city located in Berrien County, Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 11,182. It was the scene of racially charged riots in June 2003 after a black man fatally crashed on his motorcycle during a high-speed chase by white police officers attempting to cite him for not having current vehicle plates.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 11.6 km² (4.5 mi²). 11.4 km² (4.4 mi²) of it is land and 0.2 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 1.79% water.


As of the census of 2000, there are 11,182 people, 3,767 households, and 2,557 families residing in the city. The population density is 983.5/km² (2,545.7/mi²). There are 4,492 housing units at an average density of 395.1/km² (1,022.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 5.48% White, 92.40% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.13% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.14% from other races, and 1.65% from two or more races. 0.58% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 3,767 households out of which 42.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 20.8% are married couples living together, 42.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 32.1% are non-families. 26.6% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.91 and the average family size is 3.53.

In the city the population is spread out with 39.6% under the age of 18, 9.8% from 18 to 24, 25.9% from 25 to 44, 16.5% from 45 to 64, and 8.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 25 years. For every 100 females there are 83.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 72.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $17,471, and the median income for a family is $19,250. Males have a median income of $27,154 versus $20,105 for females. The per capita income for the city is $8,965. 42.6% of the population and 39.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 52.5% are under the age of 18 and 29.7% are 65 or older.