Michigan Facts

Michigan is the 26th state of the United States. The demonym of this state is Michigander or Michiganian. Michigan achieved statehood on January 26, 1837 and became the 26th state of the country. Its capital is Lansing and Detroit is the largest city. The state of MI covers a total area of 96,716 sq miles, and it ranks as the 11th biggest state in the country. Know its tallest point, the state motto, official bird, and other fascinating facts and trivia.
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Quick Facts
Official NameMichigan
Area96,716 sq mi (250,493 km2)
Largest CityDetroit
Official LanguagesNone (English, de facto) ( Spoken : English 91.11% Spanish 2.93% Arabic 1.04%Other 4.92% )
Time ZoneEastern: UTC -5/-4 / Central: UTC -6/-5
GovernorRick Snyder
Lt. GovernorBrian Calley
U.S. SenatorDebbie Stabenow, Gary Peters
AbbreviationMI, Mich. US-MI
Joined the UnionJanuary 26, 1837 (26th)
NicknameThe Great Lakes State
Highest PointMount Arvon
Lowest PointLake Erie
Official Websitehttp://www.michigan.gov/

Where is Michigan?
Michigan is a state located in the eastern north-central United States in the Great Lakes Region. The state is divided into two areas: the upper peninsula and the lower peninsula. The upper peninsula is bordered by Lake Superior to the north, Wisconsin to the west, and Lake Michigan and Lake Huron to the south. The lower peninsula is bordered on the west by Lake Michigan and on the east by Lake Huron and Lake Erie. On the south, it borders Indiana and Ohio. The geographic center of the state is in Wexford County.

Michigan Infographic

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Michigan is bounded on several sides by four of the five Great Lakes, giving it the longest freshwater boundary of any administrative entity in the world. It consists of two gigantic peninsulas on either side of Lake Michigan. In addition, its landscape is known for its many smaller lakes and waterways.

Story Behind the Name
The name “Michigan” is a French adaptation of a Native American phrase that meant “large lake,” almost certainly referring to one of the nearby Great Lakes.

History and Colonization:
In the seventeenth century, as part of their exploration efforts in the northern half of the North American continent, French explorers came to modern-day Michigan and began to trade with the many native tribes that lived there. Unlike what happened in some other areas of what would later become the American Midwest, the French set up several forts in the area to ensure control over water trade routes around the Great Lakes. Still, European settlement of the region remained very low. France eventually lost its claim on the land to the British in 1763, following the Seven Years War.

The British, in turn, lost most of Michigan’s territory to the United States at the close of the American Revolution. Some of the northern parts of Michigan, however, remained in British hands for several more decades. Wanting to establish control in the area in opposition to British interests, the United States founded several forts there. The local Native Americans resisted, as they had good relations with the Europeans due to their years of trading. Many bloody battles were fought there between American, British, and Native American forces during the War of 1812. The United States, who were ultimately the victors, permanently pushed out the British and, over time, the natives as well.

Settlers flocked to Michigan, which was rich in natural resources. There was a brief disagreement over a strip of land that ended up becoming a part of the state of Ohio, but Michigan was given the northern peninsula as a consolation before it was admitted as a state in 1837. This turned out to be a good bargain in the long term, as that part of the peninsula turned out to have deep mineral deposits. Mining was a key industry in nineteenth-century Michigan, in addition to logging and water shipping on the Great Lakes.

The twentieth century brought a new industry for which Michigan is now the most recognized: the invention of the automobile. This created a huge boom in manufacturing jobs that carried on for decades, making the state a center of population and commerce in the Midwest. The blue-collar culture that this created became an active part of the Labor Movement, and remains so to this day. Michigan was hit hard as the automotive industry began to decline in the 1980s and onwards, but it has expanded into the agricultural and tourist industries in an attempt to offset this effect.

What is the capital of Michigan?
Lansing is the capital of Michigan located mostly in Ingham County. It is the fifth-most populous city in the state, with a population of 114,297 as per the 2010 census. Referred to as "Mid-Michigan", the Lansing Metropolitan Area is an important center for educational, cultural, governmental, business, and high-tech manufacturing. The area also has two medical schools, one veterinary school, and two nursing schools. The city is called "The Heart of Michigan."

What is the largest city of Michigan?
Detroit is the largest city in the state of Michigan and the seat of Wayne County. The city was founded on July 24, 1701 by the French explorer Antoine de la Mothe, sieur de Cadillac. In 2010, the city had a population of 713,777, making it the eighteenth-most populated city in the state. It is known as the world’s traditional automotive center. The name "Detroit" refers to the automobile industry and the Metro Detroit area, a sprawling region in the state.

Counties and Regions:
Michigan has 83 counties, and is most easily divisible into the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula. The Upper Peninsula is generally distinguished into two regions, the Copper County region and the Keweenaw Peninsula. The Lower Peninsula can be subdivided as follows:

  • Central Michigan
  • Detroit Metropolitan Area (Southeast Michigan)
  • Flint/Tri-Cities Area
  • Northern Michigan (technically south of the Upper Peninsula)
  • Southern Michigan
  • West Michigan

What is the nickname of Michigan?
Michigan is nicknamed "The Wolverine State". It is believed that the name was given by the people of Ohio around 1835 during a dispute over the Toledo strip, a piece of land along the border between the two states. The people of Michigan at the time were considered to be vicious and bloodthirsty as wolverines, and this led to a dispute known as the Toledo War.Michigan is also called the "Great Lake State, " as its shores touch four of the five Great Lakes.

How big is Michigan?
Michigan is the eleventh-largest state in the United States, with a total area of 96,716 square miles.

What is the population of Michigan?
Michigan is the eighth-most populous state of the United States. According to the 2010 US census bureau, the population of the state is estimated to be 9,883,640.

Who are the political leaders of Michigan?
Michigan has three branches of government: the executive, the legislative and the judicial. The executive consists of the governor of Michigan and the other independently elected constitutional officers; the legislative comprises the House of Representatives and Senate; and the judicial branch is made up of the one court of justice.

Governor: Rick Snyder
Lieutenant Governor: Brian Calley

When did Michigan achieve statehood?
Michigan is the twenty-sixth state of the United States; it was admitted to the Union on January 26, 1837. The state was originally part of the northwest territory and in 1805 it had been set aside as a separate region. However, there were many disputes regarding the administration of the many boundaries. By 1833, the state had enough population to grant it statehood. In 1835, in the Toledo War Michigan defeated the forces of Ohio and became a separate state.

What are the languages spoken in Michigan?
English is the official language of the state. Spanish or Spanish Creole, German, Italian, Chinese, Polish, French, Arabic, Russian, Albanian, Gaelic, Lithuanian, Rumanian, Vietnamese, Japanese and Greek are the other common languages spoken in Michigan.

What are the religions practiced in Michigan?
Roman Catholicism is the official state religion of Michigan. Lutheranism is the second-largest religious denomination in the state. There are also a number of adherents of Islam as well as Judaism. Temple Beth El was the first Jewish synagogue in the state; it was founded in Detroit in 1850.

What is the economy of Michigan like?
The major industries in Michigan include automobiles, information technology, aerospace, military equipment, transportation and manufacturing. The state is a leading producer of peat, bromine, calcium-magnesium chloride, gypsum, and magnesium compounds. Hunting, fishing and tourism are the other significant industries in the state. The gross state product of Michigan in 2010 stood at $384.1 billion.

What are the famous places in Michigan?
Michigan has some world-famous attractions that draw millions of tourists to the state every year. The Henry Ford, the Detroit Institute of Arts, and the Detroit Zoo, Detroit Historical Museum, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, and the Arab American National Museum are some of the most famous places. Lake Erie and Lake Michigan are a must-visit. There are a number of casinos in the metropolitan area of Detroit.

What are the state symbols of Michigan?

State Flower: Apple blossom is the official state flower of Michigan; it was designated in 1897.
State Bird: The robin redbreast was designated the official state bird of Michigan in 1931. The decision was taken after an election held by the Michigan Audubon Society. It is also the state bird of Connecticut and Wisconsin.
State Tree: The Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobes) was designated the official state tree in 1955.
State Flag: The official flag of Michigan was adopted by the state legislature in 1911. The flag consists of the arms of the state that appear on both sides of the flag. The animal moose and elk represent Michigan, and the bald eagle signifies the United States.

More Michigan Facts & Trivia

1) The nicknames of Michigan are "The Wolverine State" and "The Great Lakes State".

2) The state of MI encompasses a total area of 96,716 sq miles, which makes it the 11th biggest state in the U.S.

3) The capital city of Michigan is Lansing. However, the biggest city is Detroit.

4) The tallest point in the state is Mount Arvon and its elevation is 1,979 feet. With an altitude of 571 feet, Lake Erie is the lowest point of the state.

5) Michigan was included into the Union on January 26, 1837 and became the 26th state of the country.

6)The official mammal is the White-Tailed Deer.

7) The official bird is the American Robin.

8) The official flower is the Apple Blossom.

9) The official motto is "If You Seek a Pleasant Peninsula, Look About You".

10) The official tree is the White Pine.

11) The highest temperature recorded in the state was at Mio at 112 degree F on July 13, 1936. On February 9, 1934, the lowest temperature in the history of the state was recorded at -51 degree F at Vanderbilt.

12) Famous natives of the state of Michigan include Francis Ford Coppola, Tom Selleck, Lily Tomlin, Gerald Ford, Diana Ross, and Stevie Wonder.

13) Due to its extensive coastline, the state is nicknamed the Water Wonderland.

14) The state shares its borders with Canada, Wisconsin, Ohio, and Indiana.

15) The official anthem is "My Michigan".

16) The official fish is the Brook Trout.

17) The official reptile is the Painted Turtle.

18) The state has abundant natural and mineral resources such as gypsum, copper, sandstone, salt, iron ore, wood, and fish.

19) The official animal is the Wolverine.

20) The official gemstone is the Isle Royale Greenstone.

Last Updated on: August 2nd, 2017