Alpena is part of Alpena County and is considered to be part of Northern Michigan. The area was shaped by the logging era of the 1800’s. Alpena is known for its limestone quarry, which is the largest in the world. It is also the headquarters for Besser Company which manufactures concrete block machines. The area is known as the “Sunrise Side” because of its location on the east shoreline of Michigan. It is considered to be part of the Northern Michigan and Traverse City cultural hub. Alpena’s population is 10,490 people which has shown an increase of 5.90 percent since the 2000 census. The median age is 39 years and the median household income is $31,932. The median home cost is $85,420 and like the rest of the country has not had much growth in the last year or so.
Alpena’s cost of living is $26.75 lower than the U.S. average. Alpena, along with the rest of Alpena County and portions of Presque Isle County is served by Alpena Public Schools. The district has one high school, a junior high, eight elementary schools and an alternative/adult high school. The school district spends $5,561 per student and there are about 18 students per teacher. Alpena also has its own Community College.