Monroe is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan located on the western shore of Lake Erie. It is the county seat and largest city of Monroe County. Monroe had a population of 20,733 in the 2010 census. The city is bordered on the south by Monroe Charter Township, but both are politically independent. Monroe is located approximately 14 miles (23 km) north of Toledo, Ohio, and 25 miles (40 km) south of Detroit. The United States Census Bureau lists Monroe as the core city in the Monroe Metropolitan Area, which had a population of 152,021 in 2010. Monroe is officially part of the Detroit-Ann Arbor-Flint combined statistical area, and the city is sometimes unofficially included as a northerly extension of the Toledo Metropolitan Area. The Monroe area saw several military conflicts during the War of 1812 with Great Britain and is best remembered for the Battle of Frenchtown. In 1817, portions of the Frenchtown settlement along the River Raisin were platted and renamed Monroe after then-president James Monroe. When Michigan became a state in 1837, Monroe was incorporated as a city. Monroe is known as the childhood residence of George Armstrong Custer and other members of his family, including his brother Boston Custer and wife Elizabeth Bacon. Several structures are named after Custer, including Custer Airport. The city also contains numerous other historic structures. In 1928, La-Z-Boy was founded in Monroe; this continues to be the company's world headquarters.
As of the census of 2010, there were 20,733 people, 8,238 households, and 5,277 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,261.0 inhabitants per square mile (873.0/km²). There were 9,158 housing units at an average density of 998.7 per square mile (385.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.4% White, 6.2% African American, 0.4% Native American, 0.7% Asian, 1.2% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.1% of the population.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 10.19 square miles (26.39 km²), of which 9.17 square miles (23.75 km²) is land and 1.02 square miles (2.64 km²) is water. Monroe sits at the lowest elevation in state of Michigan, which is the shores of Lake Erie at 571 feet (174 meters). The average elevation of the city of Monroe is 594 feet (182 meters). The Port of Monroe is the only Michigan port on Lake Erie, and Sterling State Park is the only of Michigan's 98 state parks located on or near Lake Erie. The River Raisin and Sandy Creek travel through Monroe; they are non-navigable because of the several dams and other obstructions.
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