Last updated on May 17th, 2018
Michigan is the 10th most populous and the 11th most extensive of the United States. It lies in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. The state attained statehood on January 26, 1837, becoming the 26th state to join the union. It has five (5) bordering states including Ohio, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota (water border). See the full list of states and their borders here. Michigan (nicknamed: Great Lake State) has 83 counties. The state’s capital is Lancing. With these facts about Michigan, let us learn more about its geography, history, economy, people etc.
1. Michigan is the only state in the U.S which consists of two peninsulas – the Lower (mainly an industrial area) and Upper Peninsulas (sparsely populated but mineral-rich).[1,5]
2. The state has an estimated 65,000 inland lakes and ponds. This puts any person in the state within a distance of six miles from a natural water source.
3. It is the 26th state to enter the union.
4. The state is also home to the headquarters of three major automobile manufacturing companies (General Motors Corp., Chrysler LLC, and Ford Motor Co.,) in the world.
5. The state also has one of the world’s longest suspension bridges – the Mackinac Bridge. It is five miles long and connects the Upper Peninsula to the other parts of the state.
6. The first factory to assemble cars on a moving assembly line – the Highland Park Ford plant – is in Michigan. In 1978, it became a National Historic Landmark. This place was the second production facility for Henry Ford’s famous Model T. The famous Henry Ford Museum is also situated in the state.[3,4]
7. Michigan also has the nation’s longest freshwater coastline (3,288 miles), and second-longest coastline of any U.S. state, after Alaska.
8. The name of the state is derived from the word michi-gama (a Chippewa word), meaning “large lake.”
9. Michigan has its border with four (Superior, Huron, Michigan, and Erie.) of the five Great Lakes (Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario).
10. The state is also home to Kellogg Company, the world’s leading ready-to-eat cereal producer.
11. Agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism are the major revenue generating industries of the state.
12. The completion of the first railroad in Michigan took place in 1836 and the first air passenger service was flagged off in the state in 1926.
13. Michigan is also known as “Motor City” because it is a hub for car manufacturing since the early 1900s.
14. Mount Arvon, the state’s highest point lies in the Upper Peninsula. More than 40% of the state is covered in water, which is more than any other state.
15. The state is also home to 360 bird species including the rare Kirtland’s warbler.
16. Michigan also has a mail delivery boat—J.W. Westcott II–which delivers mails to ship while they are waterborne. It is the only floating ZIP code in the United States. It is addressed “Vessel Name, Marine Post Office, Detroit, Michigan, 48222.”
17. The state is also home to the world’s largest cement manufacturing plant. The Huron Portland Cement Company, started producing cement production in Alpena in 1908.
18. Grand Rapids, the second largest city in Michigan after Lancing, was rated as one of the 20 best livable cities in the U.S.
19. The state is also the birthplace of “Motown Records”, which is one of the most successful soul music companies.
20. With over 150, Michigan has the most light houses of any U.S. state.
21. In 1846, Michigan became the first English speaking government to abolish the death penalty for all ordinary crimes.
22. Michigan and Oregon are the only two states in the U.S. that offer 10 cents back for recycling a can.
23. Traverse City, a city in Michigan, is known as “the cherry capital of the world.”
24. The Ambassador Bridge, which is a suspension bridge, connects Detroit, Michigan, United States Windsor, Ontario, Canada. The bridge is economically important as it is the busiest international border crossing in North America in terms of trade volume.
25. Michigan also has the world’s largest limestone quarry located near Rogers City. It is operated by Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company.
26. Michigan is the 16th largest chemical producing state in the U.S., generating $2.5 billion in annual payroll. Every light car produced in the U.S. contains more than $3,500 of chemical products.
27. Apples are the largest and most valuable fruit crop in Michigan. The state has 11.3 million apple trees. Michigan is the third largest apple producing state in the U.S.
Michigan State – Quick facts and state symbols