Sterling Heights is a city in Macomb County of the U.S. state of Michigan, and one of Detroit’s core suburbs. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 129,699. It is the second largest suburb in Metro Detroit, and the fourth largest city in Michigan. Sterling Heights consistently ranks as the safest city in Michigan with population over 100,000.
Sterling Heights was incorporated as a city in 1968. It was until the 1950s an agricultural area largely devoted to growing rhubarb and other crops sold in Detroit. Prior to 1968 Sterling Heights was known as Sterling Township. It had from 1836 until 1838 been known as Jefferson Township.
Dobry Road on the northern city limits is named after him. Gerald Donovan became the first mayor of the city. F. James Dunlop became the first mayor pro-tem. There was already a small village named Sterling in Arenac County, so the word “Heights” was added to the township name to satisfy a state law that prevents incorporated municipalities from having the same name. “Moravian” was another name under consideration for the new city.
Lakeside Mall opened in Sterling Heights in 1976.
By 1991 the city had received many people of ethnic European origins, including ethnic Albanians, Bosnians, Croatians, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Serbians, and Slovenians. They moved from Detroit and Hamtramck. In the 1990s, ethnic Macedonians in Sterling Heights, together with ethnic Serbs, had the nickname “Yugos.” The ethnic Albanians had the nickname the “Albos.” The two groups often had conflicts in the 1990s. As of 1991 many residents worked in automobile plants operated by Chrysler and Ford, and that year, Murray Dublin of The Baltimore Sun described Sterling Heights as “blue collar.”
The August 2006 issue of Money magazine listed Sterling Heights as No. 19 on its list of the 90 “Best Small Cities” to live in.