Michigan (State)

State of Michigan
Coordinates 44°20’24″NB, 85°34’48″WL
Surface 250.941 km²
(41,3% water)
Residents 9.876.187
(67,1 inhabitants/km²)
Capital city Lansing
Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D)
Time zone −5 / −6
Joined 26 januari 1837
Nickname The Great Lakes State
The Wolverine State
The Automotive State
Water-Winter Wonderland
The Lady of Lake
The Auto State
Website michigan.gov

Michigan (IPA: mɪʃɨgən) is a state that is located in both the Great Lakes region and the midwestern United States of America. The name Michigan is the French-language form of the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, which means “great water” or “great lake”. Michigan is the tenth most populous state of the fifty US states and ranks eleventh in area (the largest east of the Mississippi). Lansing is the capital, while Detroitthe largest city. The standard abbreviation for the “The Great Lakes State”, as it is nicknamed, is MI.

According to JIBIN123.COM, Michigan is the only state that consists of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula, which the name Michigan originally referred to, is more or less shaped like a rigging. The Upper Peninsula is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Strait of Mackinac, an 8 km wide gorge connecting Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The two peninsulas are connected by road via the Mackinac Bridge. Bordering four of the five Great Lakes and Lake Saint Clair, the state has the longest freshwater coastlineof any political subdivision in the world. As a result, it is one of the absolute leaders in the country in the field of pleasure boating. Michigan also has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds. Nowhere on the territory is therefore more than 10 km from surface water or 137 km from a Great Lakes coastline.

What is now Michigan was first settled by various Native American peoples before the French colonized it in the 17th century and made it part of New France. After France lost in the French and Indian wars in 1762, the region came under British rule, until it was finally added to the fledgling United States after the British defeat in the American Revolutionary War. The area was part of the greater Northwest Territory until 1800, when western Michigan became part of the Indiana Territory. Michigan Territory was finally created in 1805, which lasted until January 26, 1837, when it joined the Union as the 26th state. The state of Michigan quickly grew into an industrial and trade center in the Great Lakes region, as well as a popular destination for immigrants.

Although Michigan developed a diverse economy, it is widely known as the center of the American auto industry. It is home to the nation’s three largest automotive companies (General Motors, Ford and Chrysler), all of which are headquartered in the Detroit metropolitan region. Although sparsely populated, the Upper Peninsula is also economically important due to its status as a tourist destination and its abundance of natural resources, while the Lower Peninsula is a center for manufacturing, services and high-tech industry.


Frenchman Étienne Brûlé explored the area for France in 1620, making it one of the first Europeans to discover the area. The present-day Michigan territory was under the control of France as part of New France, the entirety of French possessions in North America, before it passed definitively into British hands in 1763. French names such as Detroit and Bois Blanc Island still remind us of this.

In 1805, Michigan was formed as a separate territory from what was then the Northwest Territory. In 1835, a boundary dispute with Ohio played out, the Toledo War, in which Ohio obtained the city of Toledo and Michigan’s “Toledo strip.” In the same year, Michigan gained the Upper Peninsula (see below), which previously belonged to Wisconsin, as compensation. Michigan became the 26th state of the United States on January 26, 1837. During the American Civil War, she belonged to the Union side.


Detroit from the water

The state of Michigan covers 250,941 km², of which 147,255 km² is land.

Michigan is located on four of the five Great Lakes, namely Lake Huron, Lake Superior, Lake Michigan and Lake Erie. The state borders Canada to the north, Wisconsin to the northwest, and Indiana and Ohio to the south. The Isle Royale in Lake Upper also belongs to Michigan.

The highest point in the state is the peak of Mount Arvon (603 m).

Most of the state is in the Eastern time zone, but a small portion of the Upper Peninsula is in the Central time zone.


Map showing the origin of the inhabitants

Fifteen largest population groups (2013)
Origin Percentage
German 20,6%
Irish 11,0%
Engels 9,0%
Pools 8,4%
Americans 6,0%
French or French Canadian 5,9%
Dutch 4,6%
Italian 4,6%
Scots 2,1%
Arabic 1,8%
Swedish / Finnish 1,4%
Hungarian 0,9%
Norwegian 0,8%
Russian 0,8%
Scotch-Irish 0,7%

Michigan had 9,938,444 inhabitants (40 per km²) of which more than 70% live in an urban area. The main cities are Detroit, which is by far the largest, the capital Lansing and Grand Rapids.

Some Michigan counties are populated by large groups of Dutch immigrants, especially farmers, who in some counties even form an ethnic minority majority. Many Dutch-Americans live in Grand Rapids and Holland.

Administrative division

According to COUNTRYAAH, Michigan is divided into 83 counties.

County Inhabitants
1 July, 2007
County Seat Inhabitants
1 July, 2007
Alcona 11.538 Harrisville 491
Alger 9612 Munising 2350
Allegan 112.761 Allegan 4835
Alpena 29.707 Alpena 10.490
Antrim 24.299 Bellaire 1134
Arenac 16.608 Standish 1954
Baraga 8544 L’Anse 1888
Barry 59.188 Hastings 6935
Bay 107.517 Bay City 34.026
Benzie 17.510 Beulah 389
Berrien 159.589 St. Joseph 8489
Branch 46.194 Coldwater 10.612
Calhoun 136.615 Marshall 7182
Cass 50.551 Cassopolis 1860
Charlevoix 26.181 Charlevoix 2689
Cheboygan 26.768 Cheboygan 5027
Chippewa 38.922 Sault Ste. Marie 14.005
Clare 30.697 Harrison 2017
Clinton 69.755 St. Johns 7313
Crawford 14.550 Grayling 1850
Delta 37.367 Escanaba 12.297
Dickinson 26.937 Iron Mountain 7816
Eaton 107.390 Charlotte 9026
Emmet 33.393 Petoskey 6017
Genesee 434.715 Flint 114.662
Gladwin 26.287 Gladwin 2935
Gogebic 16.287 Bessemer 1877
Grand Traverse 85.479 Traverse City 14.339
Gratiot 42.141 Ithaca 3031
Hillsdale 46.781 Hillsdale 7886
Houghton 35.201 Houghton 6924
Huron 33.290 Bad Axe 3116
Ingham 279.295 Mason 8145
Ionia 64.053 Ionia 12.553
Iosco 26.255 Tawas City 1896
Iron 12.151 Crystal Falls 1616
Isabella 66.693 Mount Pleasant 26.488
Jackson 163.006 Jackson 34.022
Kalamazoo 245.333 Kalamazoo 72.637
Kalkaska 17.188 Kalkaska 2189
Kent 604.330 Grand Rapids 193.627
Keweenaw 2151 Eagle River
Lake 11.153 Baldwin 1182
Lapeer 92.012 Lapeer 9142
Leelanau 21.898 Leland
Lenawee 101.243 Adrian 21.354
Livingston 183.194 Howell 9777
Luce 6728 Newberry 1553
Mackinac 10.877 St. Ignace 2384
Macomb 831.077 Mount Clemens 16.848
Manistee 24.803 Manistee 6517
Marquette 65.216 Marquette 20.780
Mason 28.750 Ludington 8333
Mecosta 42.090 Big Rapids 10.596
Menominee 24.249 Menominee 8397
Midland 82.818 Midland 41.054
Missaukee 14.976 Lake City 918
Monroe 153.608 Monroe 21.528
Montcalm 62.950 Stanton 1487
Montmorency 10.327 Atlanta 757
Muskegon 174.386 Muskegon 39.402
Newaygo 49.171 White Cloud 1399
Oakland 1.206.089 Pontiac 66.512
Oceana 27.800 Hart 1926
Ogemaw 21.338 West Branch 1846
Ontonagon 6977 Ontonagon 1544
Osceola 23.148 Reed City 2353
Oscoda 8938 Mio 2016
Otsego 24.223 Gaylord 3664
Ottawa 259.206 Grand Haven 10.559
Presque Isle 13.852 Rogers City 3081
Roscommon 25.517 Roscommon 1078
Saginaw 202.268 Saginaw 56.263
Sanilac 43.640 Sandusky 2645
Schoolcraft 8518 Manistique 3368
Shiawassee 71.753 Corunna 3323
St. Clair 170.119 Port Huron 31.083
St. Joseph 62.449 Centreville 1530
Tuscola 56.805 Caro 4068
Van Buren 77.931 Paw Paw 3239
Washtenaw 350.003 Ann Arbor 115.092
Wayne 1.985.101 Detroit 916.952
Wexford 31.792 Cadillac 10.313


The executive branch of the state is headed by a governor, who is directly elected by the voters in the state. The 2018 gubernatorial election was won by Democratic Party Gretchen Whitmer. She took office as governor of Michigan in January 2019.

The legislature consists of the Michigan House of Representatives (Michigan House of Representatives) with 110 members and the Michigan Senate (Michigan Senate) with 38 members.


Michigan has two university systems: the University of Michigan and Michigan State University. There are also Calvin College and Hope College, two liberal arts colleges, which are comparable to a university. Part of it is the School of Music, Theater & Dance, which preserves the Stearns Collection of Musical Instruments, with 2,500 historical and modern musical instruments from around the world.


In addition to The Wolverine State, nicknames such as The Great Lakes State, The Automotive State, and Water-Winter Wonderland are also used.

Flag of Michigan