Alger County is a county in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the population was 9,862. Its county seat is Munising. The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is located within the county.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 5,049 square miles (13,077 km²), of which, 918 square miles (2,377 km²) of it is land and 4,131 square miles (10,700 km²) of it (81.82%) is water.
As of the 2000 census, there were 9,862 people, 3,785 households, and 2,585 families residing in the county. The population density was 11 people per square mile (4/km²). There were 5,964 housing units at an average density of 6 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 87.81% White, 6.11% Black or African American, 3.30% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.39% from other races, and 2.03% from two or more races. 1.00% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 14.9% were of Finnish, 11.7% German, 9.5% French, 7.5% Polish, 6.5% American, 6.1% English, 5.9% Irish, 5.7% French Canadian and 5.1% Swedish ancestry according to Census 2000. 95.5% spoke English, 2.1% Finnish and 1.7% Spanish as their first language.
There were 3,785 households out of which 27.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.00% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 31.70% were non-families. 26.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.83.
In the county the population was spread out with 20.50% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 28.70% from 25 to 44, 26.30% from 45 to 64, and 17.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 116.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 120.60 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $35,892, and the median income for a family was $42,017. Males had a median income of $37,681 versus $24,492 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,210. About 7.20% of families and 10.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.70% of those under age 18 and 8.10% of those age 65 or over.
The county government operates the jail, maintains rural roads, operates the major local courts, keeps files of deeds and mortgages, maintains vital records, administers public health regulations, and participates with the state in the provision of welfare and other social services. The county board of commissioners controls the budget but has only limited authority to make laws or ordinances. In Michigan, most local government functions — police and fire, building and zoning, tax assessment, street maintenance, etc. — are the responsibility of individual cities and townships.