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Michigan Facts

Michigan is a midwestern state that borders four of the five Great Lakes.

The lakes split the state into two major land masses: the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula.


The state is also known for its contributions to education, the automobile industry, agriculture, and more!

Related: Michigan State History

Quick Facts

  • Capital: Lansing
  • Population: 10 million
  • Nickname: The Wolverine State, Great Lake State
  • Key Cities: Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor
  • Postal Abbreviation: MI
  • Major Industries: Manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, alternative energy
farmer in field

Quick Michigan Facts

  • Michigan is well-known for its education, agriculture, and car industries.
  • The Ojibwe term “Mishigamaa,” which means “big water” or “huge lake,” is where the state of Michigan got its name.
  • Given the state’s abundance of water, it is not surprising that Michigan is a particularly popular destination for anglers.
  • The longest freshwater shoreline in the world, 3,288 miles long, may be found in Michigan.
  • The state of Michigan has woods on around half of its area.
  • The state is home to a variety of trees, including maple, beech, pine, aspen, birch, elm, and maple.
  • In Michigan, it’s against the law to buy or sell an automobile on a Sunday.


How did Michigan get its name: The name Michigan comes from the Ojibwe word “mishigamaa,” which means “large lake” or “large water.”

The name was originally given to Michigan’s Lower Peninsula before being applied to the entire state.

Date admitted to the Union: Thursday, January 26, 1837

Upper Peninsula of Michigan


Size: 96,716 sq. miles

Lowest point: Lake Erie at 571 feet

Highest point: Arvon at 1,979 feet

Counties: 83

Famous locations: Great Lakes, Mackinac Islands, Sleeping Bear Dunes, The Henry Ford, Detroit Institute of Arts, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Famous Michiganders

Christie Brinkley- model/actress

Taylor Lautner- actor

Al Horford- basketball player

Al Horford free throw

Jordan Wieber- Olympic gymnast

Sinbad- comedian/actor

Tony Dungy- football player/coach

Henry Ford looking at engine
Henry Ford longed to provide affordable eight-cylinder power to the common man. In 1932 Ford succeeded with the flathead V-8, a revolutionary design that could be mass-produced cheaply in a single casting. Over the next 21 years, Ford Motor Company would sell more V-8 cars–16,388,762 of them–than all competitors combined.

Fun Facts

Michigan is the only state that’s divided into two peninsulas. (A peninsula is a piece of land that’s almost entirely surrounded by water.)

The Mackinac Bridge, which connects the two peninsulas, is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges.

Mackinac Bridge

It took three years to build and is five miles long. People from the Upper Peninsula sometimes call people in the Lower Peninsula “trolls” because they live “under the bridge.”

If you like water, you’ll love Michigan! It’s the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes.

Stand anywhere in Michigan, and you’re within 85 miles of a Great Lake. Michigan also has more than 11,000 inland lakes and over 36,000 miles of streams.


It has more shoreline than any state other than Alaska.

In 1879, Detroit, Michigan became the first city to have phone numbers. In other cities, calls were still being routed by name alone.

But Detroit’s population had grown so big that numbers were needed too.

wolverine animal

Michigan is nicknamed the “Wolverine State,” but you won’t find wolverines there anymore. In 2004, a wolverine was discovered in Huron County.

It was the first wolverine spotted in over 200 years, but it’s no longer living.

Detroit motor city

Detroit, Michigan is nicknamed “the car capital of the world,” or “Motor City.”

It’s where Henry Ford invented the assembly line, which made it possible to produce many cars very quickly.

It’s also where the first air-conditioned car was invented in 1939.

More US state facts.