Sterling Heights, city (1990 pop. 117,810), Macomb co., SE Mich., on the Clinton River; platted 1835 as Jefferson Township, renamed 1838, inc. 1968. Largely rural until the mid-20th cent., the city grew as a suburb of Detroit, 19 mi (31 km) to the northeast. Transportation equipment, machinery, and plastic and wood products are manufactured. Lakeside, one of the largest shopping centers in the United States, is there.