About the I-69 Thumb Region

We Grow it. We Move it.  We Work it. We Enjoy it!

The I-69 Thumb Region is rich in assets and opportunities.  Covering seven counties in eastern Michigan, the region has a wide range of agricultural richness, manufacturing know-how and transportation resources.  If it’s grown or created in the region or beyond we can transport it via rail, road, air or ship across the country and around the world.

The I-69 Thumb region includes Genesee, Huron, Lapeer, Sanilac, Shiawassee, St. Clair and Tuscola counties.  Each county plays a unique role in making the region one of the most resource rich in the state.  The region offers a low cost of living and an outstanding quality of life, which features miles of beaches, natural waterways, unique cities and towns, recreation and entertainment.

As one of ten Michigan regions, the I-69 Thumb region boasts a population of over 860,000 residents and a workforce of more than 395,000. Nine percent of the state’s population and over eight percent of the state’s workforce live and work in the region.  A strong partnership between the lead economic development organizations from each of the seven counties provides a number of benefits through collaborative planning and implementation.

The Economic development partners collaborate with workforce, transportation, real estate and finance.

Combined Strength, Individual Highlights

The counties that make up the I-69 Thumb Region are rich in resources, opportunity and the benefits businesses look for:

  • Available Skilled Workforce
  • International Border Crossing with Access to Canada
  • Multi-modal Transportation
  • Multi-industry expertise in Manufacturing, Automotive, Agribusiness, Green Technology, Medical Technology and more
  • Strong infrastructure including water, waste treatment, broadband, gas and electric.


  • More than 860,000 residents
  • 390,000+ workers in seven counties and more than 1.1 million additional workers within an hour of the region

County Highlights

Genesee County-at-a-Glance

  • Genesee County is the fifth most populous county in Michigan with more than 450,000 residents.
  • The city of Flint is at the largest municipality with a population of 102,000.
  • Genesee County covers 650 square miles, including land and water.
  • Genesee County’s rich manufacturing legacy continues with growth in automotive, industrial equipment and medical technology.
  • Genesee County is home to Bishop International Airport, I-69, I-75, 23 highways run through the county and the state’s largest county park system.
Shiawassee County-at-a-Glance

  • Shiawassee County is the population center of the State of Michigan.
  • Shiawassee County has a population of more than 68,000.
  • The county ranks fifth in soybean and wheat production in Michigan.
  • Corunna is the county seat.
  • Shiawassee County covers 541 square miles; I-69 and state routes 21, 13, 52 run through the county.
Huron County-at-a-Glance

  • Huron County has the state’s largest total area of farmland covering 440,967 acres.
  • The county is #1 in Michigan for acres of sugarbeets, dry edible beans and wheat.
  • Huron County has a population of more than 32,000.
  • The county seat is Bad Axe.
  • Huron County covers 2,137 square miles.
St. Clair County-at-a-Glance

  • St. Clair County is the 13th most populous county in Michigan with over 160,460 residents.
  • The county borders the St. Clair River.
  • Port Huron is the county seat with a population of 29,684.
  • St. Clair County is home to the Blue Water International Border Crossing and CN double stack rail tunnel.
  • St. Clair covers 837 square miles.
Lapeer County-at-a-Glance

  • Lapeer County has a population of 88,389 residents.
  • The City of Lapeer is the population center with 8,821 residents.
  • Lapeer County covers 668 square miles; I-69, as well as state routes 24,53,90 run through the county.
  • The county ranks second for poultry production in the Michigan.
  • Lapeer County has a rich history with more than 13 historical markers throughout the county.
Tuscola County-at-a-Glance

  • Tuscola County is located in Michigan’s ‘thumb’ region.
  • The county has a population of more than 54,000 residents.
  • Tuscola County is #1 in Michigan for the number of organic farms and acres of organic production.
  • Caro is the county seat.
  • Tuscola County covers 913 square miles.
Sanilac County-at-a-Glance

  • Sanilac County is home to more than 41,000 residents.
  • The county is #1 in Michigan for acres of soybeans.
  • The county is part of Michigan’s ‘thumb’ region.
  • Sandusky is the county seat.
  • Sanilac County covers 1,590 square miles.