Oshtemo Charter Township, Michigan

Benton Charter Township, Michigan

Benton Charter Township is a charter township of Berrien County in the U.S. state of Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the township population was 16,404.



The township was established on March 11, 1837 and was named after Thomas Hart Benton, U.S. Senator from Missouri. It remained attached to St. Joseph Township for administrative purposes until 1841.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 32.7 square miles (84.6 km²), of which, 32.6 square miles (84.4 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (0.31%) is water.

The township is in the northwest portion of the county, with Lake Michigan to the west in the north of the township and Benton Harbor to the east in the south of the township. St. Joseph and St. Joseph Charter Township lie to the southwest. Hagar Township is to the north, Coloma Charter Township to the northeast, Bainbridge Township is to the east, Pipestone Township is to the southeast, and Sodus Township to the south.

Interstate 94 traverses the township diagonally from northeast to southwest. The southern terminus of Interstate 196 is at the junction with I-94. U.S. Highway 31 follows the route of I-94 in the south and then follows I-196 in the north. M-139 lies in the southwest of the township and runs from I-94 at the junction with US 31 north to a junction with Business Route I-94 on the east side of Benton Harbor.


Benton Charter Township is served by the Benton Harbor Public Library located in Benton Harbor, Michigan.


As of the census of 2000, there were 16,404 people, 6,485 households, and 4,221 families residing in the township. The population density was 503.6 per square mile (194.5/km²). There were 7,082 housing units at an average density of 217.4/sq mi (84.0/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 44.11% White, 51.86% African American, 0.37% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 1.48% from other races, and 1.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.14% of the population.

There were 6,485 households out of which 32.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.9% were married couples living together, 24.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.9% were non-families. 29.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the township the population was spread out with 30.0% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 88.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.8 males.

The median income for a household in the township was $25,942, and the median income for a family was $30,899. Males had a median income of $31,563 versus $20,484 for females. The per capita income for the township was $14,137. About 22.5% of families and 27.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 42.3% of those under age 18 and 16.6% of those age 65 or over.


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