Dowagiac (/dəˈwɑːdʒæk/ də-WAH-jak) is a city in Cass County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The population was 5,879 at the 2010 census. It is part of the South Bend–Mishawaka, IN-MI, Metropolitan Statistical Area.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.54 square miles (11.76 km), of which 4.46 square miles (11.55 km) is land and 0.08 square miles (0.21 km) is water.
Dowagiac Woods Nature Sanctuary, commonly referred to as Dowagiac Woods, a 235 acres (0.95 km) woods located in Cass, is a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Michigan’s exceptional natural habitats and extraordinary and endangered plants and animals.
The Dowagiac River flows from the stream which rises as the “Dowagiac Drain” in central Decatur Township in southern Van Buren County, Michigan. It is joined first by the “Red Run” and then by the “Lake of the Woods Drain” near the southern edge of Hamilton Township, it becomes the “Dowagiac River” before entering into Wayne Township in Cass County. North of the city of Dowagiac, the river passes through the “Dowagiac Swamp”. Just west of Dowagiac, the river is joined by its principal tributary, the “Dowagiac Creek”.
The city of “Dowagiac” is also mentioned in the 1959 Alfred Hitchcock film, “North by Northwest” at 1:04:15 into the film as a destination read by the overhead announcer in the train station.
The city of “Dowagiac” is phonetically spelled “DOW WAH JAKK” scrolling on the stock ticker in the 2013 Martin Scorcese film, “The Wolf of Wall Street” at 00:01:03 as a list of stocks.
As of the census of 2010, there were 5,879 people, 2,337 households, and 1,463 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,318.2 inhabitants per square mile (509.0/km). There were 2,674 housing units at an average density of 599.6 per square mile (231.5/km). The racial makeup of the city was 73.5% White, 14.3% African American, 3.0% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 2.4% from other races, and 6.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.4% of the population.
There were 2,337 households of which 36.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.6% were married couples living together, 22.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.4% were non-families. 30.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 13% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.14.
The median age in the city was 32 years. 29.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 10.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.5% were from 25 to 44; 22.3% were from 45 to 64; and 12.6% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 47.6% male and 52.4% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,147 people, 2,421 households, and 1,542 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,530.8 per square mile (590.4/km²). There were 2,631 housing units at an average density of 655.2 per square mile (252.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.95% White, 15.63% African American, 2.02% Native American, 0.57% Asian, 1.59% from other races, and 3.24% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.49% of the population.
There were 2,421 households out of which 32.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.1% were married couples living together, 18.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.3% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the city, the population was spread out with 28.1% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 27.4% from 25 to 44, 19.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 85.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $29,926, and the median income for a family was $33,443. Males had a median income of $28,534 versus $22,282 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,659. About 14.3% of families and 17.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 25.6% of those under age 18 and 12.8% of those age 65 or over.
Dowagiac Michigan neighborhoods include: Dowagiac North, Sister Lakes, Twin Lakes, White Pines