Niles is a city located in Berrien County in the U.S. state of Michigan. The city has also annexed a small portion of land in Cass County. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 12,204.
Niles is located at the site of the French Fort St. Joseph, first established in 1691. After 1761, it was held by the British and was captured on May 25, 1763, by Native Americans during Pontiac's Rebellion. The British retook the fort but it was not regarrisoned and served as a trading post. During the American Revolutionary War, the fort was held for a short time by a Spanish force. The presence of these four European powers in the area is how Niles came to be known as The City of Four Flags.
The town was named after Hezekiah Niles (editor of the Niles Register, a Baltimore newspaper.).
The city is situated on the St. Joseph River and is located mostly within the boundaries of Niles Township.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.3 km2 (5.9 mi2). 15.0 km2 (5.8 mi2) of it is land and 0.4 km2 (0.1 mi2) of it is water. The total area is 2.36% water.
As of the census2 of 2000, there are 12,204 people, 5,096 households, and 3,052 families residing in the city. The population density is 813.8/km2 (2,109.5/mi2). There are 5,531 housing units at an average density of 368.8/km2 (956.0/mi2). The racial makeup of the city is 82.19% White, 12.36% African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.52% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 1.26% from other races, and 2.93% from two or more races. 3.97% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 5,096 households out of which 30.8% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.2% are married couples living together, 16.3% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.1% are non-families. 34.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.35 and the average family size is 3.02.
In the city the population is spread out with 26.9% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 28.1% from 25 to 44, 20.8% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 87.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 80.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $31,208, and the median income for a family is $38,870. Males have a median income of $31,395 versus $22,991 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,584. 13.6% of the population and 9.9% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 17.8% of those under the age of 18 and 7.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.