Kalamazoo is located in Southwestern Michigan and is equal distance from Chicago and Detroit, each less than 150 miles away. Founded in 1831, the city is the county seat and is easily accessible from both I-94 and U.S. 131, which cross the state from east to west and north to south, respectively. It is located just 45 minutes east of Lake Michigan. Kalamazoo has a population of approximately 75,000 and is the major city in the metropolitan statistical area, which has a population of more than 325,000.Kalamazoo is home to Western Michigan University, a large public university; Kalamazoo College, a private liberal arts college; and Kalamazoo Valley Community College, a two-year community college. It has two nationally recognized healthcare systems, diverse and affordable housing, and many parks, lakes, and golf courses.
A wide variety of industries and businesses call Kalamazoo home, including major players in the pharmaceutical, medical science, and craft beer industries. The city also offers an array of cultural attractions including professional theaters, dance troupes, an award-winning community theater, a major keyboard festival, museums, visual arts, and more.