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State of Michigan
Flag of Michigan State seal of Michigan
Flag of Michigan Seal
Nickname(s): The Wolverine State,
The Great Lakes State,
The Automotives State,
Water Wonderland (former)

Motto(s): Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice

(If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you)
Map of the United States with Michigan highlighted
Official language None (English, de-facto)
Capital Lansing
Largest city Detroit
Area Ranked 11th
 - Total 97,990 sq mi
(253,793 km2)
 - Width 239 miles (385 km)
 - Length 491 miles (790 km)
 - % water 41.5
 - Latitude 41°41'N to 47°30'N
 - Longitude 82°26'W to 90°31'W
Number of people Ranked 8th
 - Total 9,883,640[1]
 - Density 174.8/sq mi  (38.9/km2)
Ranked 19th
 - Average income $44,627 (21st)
Height above sea level
 - Highest point Mount Arvon[2]
1,979 ft (603 m)
 - Average 902 ft  (275 m)
 - Lowest point Lake Erie[2]
571 ft (174 m)
Became part of the U.S. January 26, 1837 (26th)
Governor Rick Snyder (R)
U.S. Senators Carl Levin (D)
Debbie Stabenow (D)
Time zones  
 - most of state Eastern: UTC-5/-4
 - 4 U.P. counties Central: UTC-6/-5
Abbreviations MI, US-MI

Michigan is the 11th largest state in the United States. It is made up of two peninsulas (connected by the Mackinac Bridge). It borders the U.S. states of Wisconsin, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. Its border with Illinois is only by water. It also borders Canada by water. It was the 26th state to join the union on January 26, 1837. In 1847, Michigan became the first U.S. state to abolish the death penalty.[3]


Michigan is noted as the place where many automobiles were made, and it still shows today. Michigan is 50% forest, which makes it very useful to the lumber industry. It also borders four of the Great Lakes, which are some of the largest reservoirs of fresh water in the world. Lake Superior is the largest body of freshwater in the world.

Culture and weather

The state experiences four seasons, with the winter being predominant and severe in the north, while the south has more mild, equally long seasons. The northern areas are very popular for skiing in the winter. The National Ski Hall of Fame can be found in Ishpeming in the Upper Peninsula. It is surrounded by four of the five great lakes. It is also home to the largest mosque in north America, the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

Due to the large amount of water surrounding the state, boating is very popular in the warmer months. There are more private boats registered in Michigan than in any other state.

Famous Michiganders

Many famous people have come from Michigan. They include the singer Madonna, the comedian Andy Richter, singer Stevie Wonder, Anthony Kiedis, former president Gerald Ford, singer Kid Rock, rapper Eminem, the former Reverend Jim Bakker, basketball legend Magic Johnson, American Idol Contestant Matt Giraud, Diana Ross, and Aretha Franklin. Also it was the home of Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company.


The capital city of Michigan is Lansing, and large cities include Detroit, Ann Arbor, Flint, Grand Rapids, and Saginaw. Marquette is the largest city in the Upper Peninsula.


Michigan has several state universities including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University.[4] The state also has many private colleges.


The current governor is Rick Snyder, a Republican who took office in January 2011, and its two national senators are Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin, both Democrats.

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