(In Detail) (Full size)
State nickname: Wolverine State

Other U.S. States
Capital Lansing
Largest City Detroit
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 11th
250,941 km2
147,255 km2
103,687 km2
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 8th
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date

January 26, 1837
Time zone Eastern: UTC-5/-4
41°41'N to 47°30'N
82°26'W to 90°31'W
385 km
790 km
603 meters
275 meters
174 meters
ISO 3166-2:US-MI

Michigan is a state in the United States. Its U.S. postal abbreviation is MI.

The state is known as the birthplace of the automotive industry. However, it also has a large tourist industry. Destinations like Traverse City, Mackinac Island, and the entire Upper Peninsula draw vacationers, hunters, and nature lovers from all over the U.S and Canada. Michigan has the longest coastline of any state except Alaska and more recreational boats than any other state.

USS Michigan was named in honor of this state.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Law and Government
3 Geography
4 Economy
5 Demographics
6 Important Cities and Towns
7 Education
8 Professional sports teams
9 Miscellaneous Information
10 External Links


Once a thriving lumber capital and supplier of iron and copper minerals, Michigan's declining natural resources gave way at the turn of the twentieth century. The birth of the automotive industry with Henry Ford's first plant in the Highland Park suburb of Detroit, marked the beginning of a new era in personal transportation that permanently changed the socio-economic climate of America. Many automotive manufacturing plants remain, however, Detroit lost its grandeur after World War II, as automotive companies abandoned huge industrial parks in the area for the cheaper labor found in Southern U.S. and offshore plants.

Early European History

U.S. History

  • 1805 Michigan Territory was created, with Detroit designated as the seat of government. William Hull appointed as governor. Detroit was destroyed by fire.
  • 1828 Territorial Capitol was built at Detroit at a cost of $24,500.
  • 1835 First Constitutional Convention. Stevens T. Mason inaugurated as the first Governor. Stevens T. Mason started a minor conflict with Ohio over the city of Toledo, (now Toledo, Ohio) known as the Toledo War the same year: Ohio was awarded Toledo but Michigan was given a majority of Michigan's upper peninsula.
  • Admitted as a free state into the union in 1837 (the 26th state), it was admitted with the slave state of Arkansas

Major Historical Events

Law and Government

List of Michigan Governors

  • Capital: Lansing
  • Law/Government of state
    • governor -- current, previous governors
    • legislature -- bicameral
      • House of Representatives
      • Senate
    • structure of state judicary
    • state constitution

  • Referendum and Voter Initiative: Michigan's constitution provides for voter initiative and referendum (Article II, § 9 [[1] ), defined as "the power to propose laws and to enact and reject laws, called the initiative, and the power to approve or reject laws enacted by the legislature, called the referendum. The power of initiative extends only to laws which the legislature may enact under this constitution."


See:List of Michigan counties
 Islands of Michigan

Michigan borders Indiana. Ohio, and Illinois to the south, Minnesota and Wisconsin to the southwest of the Upper Peninsula. It consists of two peninsulas:

The Lower Peninsula is shaped like a mitten and its 277 miles long from north to south and 195 miles from east to west. The Upper Peninsula (usually called simply "The U.P.") is as big as Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island combined, but has less than 320,000 inhabitants, who are known as "Yoopers" and whose speech has been heavily influenced by the large number of Scandinavian and Canadian immigrants who settled the area during the mining boom of the late 1800's.

These two sections are connected only by the Mackinac Bridge -- the third longest suspension bridge in the world. The two peninsulas are surrounded by an extensive Great Lakes shoreline. Other than Alaska, Michigan has the longest shoreline of any state -- 2,242 miles (and another 879 miles if islands are included). This equals the length of the Atlantic Coast, from Maine to Florida. The Great Lakes which touch the two peninsulas of Michigan are Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. No point in Michigan is more than 6 miles from an inland lake or more than 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes, and the state has more than 11,000 inland lakes and more than 36,000 miles of rivers and streams.

National parks



  • Michigan Resident Population (2000 Census): 9,938,444
  • racial/ethnic makeup of state
  • religious makeup of state

Mercator projection: public domain Online Map Creation

Important Cities and Towns

See: List of cities in Michigan


Colleges and Universities

Professional sports teams

Miscellaneous Information

Michigan has 116 lighthouses. The first lighthouses in Michigan were built between 1818 and 1822. They were built to project light at night and to serve as a landmark during the day to safely guide the freighters traveling the Great Lakes.

Michigan has most registered boats (over 1 million) in the United States.

Quick Trivia

Related articles

External Links