Located in the Midwest, Michigan is the heart of the Great Lakes region. Michigan is divided into two parts, the upper and lower peninsulas, which are separated by the Mackinac Waterway and have no land connection except for a bridge. The Upper Peninsula borders Wisconsin to the southwest, Lake Superior, which borders Canada's Ontario, to the north, and Lake Michigan to the south. The Lower Peninsula has land connections to Ohio and Indiana in the south and is framed by Lake Michigan to the west and Lake Huron and the Detroit River to the east, which form the border with Ontario.

Michigan has many attractions, famous landmarks and scenic national parks and forests. In addition to the Great Lakes, there are also 12,000 inland smaller lakes, 38 deep-water ports, a longer coastline than any US state except Alaska, and more lighthouses than any other state.


Located in the Midwest region of the country, Central Northeast division, it consists of two peninsulas separated from each other and mainly surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes and containing a variety of nearby islands. Both areas have very different characteristics: the Upper Peninsula - which is bordered to the north and east by Lake Superior and the St. Marys River, which separate it from Canada, to the southeast by Lake Huron, to the south by the Straits of Mackinac (which separate it from the Lower Peninsula) and Lake Michigan, and to the southwest by Wisconsin—and the Lower Peninsula, which is shaped like a left mitten, and is bounded to the north by the Straits of Mackinac, to the east by the St. Clair and Detroit rivers , and Lakes Huron, Sainte-Claire and Erie, which separate it from Canada, to the south with Ohio and Indiana, and to the west with Lake Michigan that separates it from Illinois and Wisconsin. With 9,883,640 inhabitants in 2010, it is the eighth most populated state, behind California, Texas, New York, Florida, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Ohio. It was admitted to the Union on January 26, 1837, as the 26th state.

Michigan is one of the national leaders in the manufacturing industry. The national capital of the automobile industry is located in the state's largest city, Detroit. The state is the largest producer of cars and trucks in the United States, and is also the second largest producer of iron ore in the country.

One of Michigan's best-known nicknames is The Great Lakes State. In fact, Michigan borders four of the five North American Great Lakes. Its coastline is 5,292 km long, and is one of the longest in the entire country. No part of the state is located more than 137 km from the Great Lakes coastline. Michigan is divided into two distinct areas, the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula, connected to each other by a single five-mile-long bridge. Another nickname for Michigan is The Wolverine State because during the early days of European settlement of the region, hunters and fur traders hunted and traded large quantities of wolverine pelts with indigenous people of the region.

Its name comes from Lake Michigan, whose name is a French adaptation of the term mishigani from the Ojibwe, meaning 'great lake' or 'great water'. Michigan was initially colonized by the French. French colonization of the region however was limited. France ceded Michigan to the United Kingdom in 1764. In 1783, after the end of the American Revolutionary War, Michigan became part of the Northwest Territory in 1787, an independent territory in 1805, and elevated to statehood. on January 26, 1837, as the 26th American state to enter the Union.



Some of the top tourist destinations in Michigan are:
1 Ann Arbor - University of Michigan.
2 Detroit - largest city, capital of the automobile.
3 Flint - "Birthplace" of General Motors
4 Grand Rapids - Michigan's second largest city.
5 Holland - Beaches and Tulips.
6 Kalamazoo - Headquarters of Western Michigan University.
7 Lansing - State capital.
8 Saginaw - historic logging settlement.
9 Marquette
10 Sault Ste Marie - border town with Canada on the Upper Peninsula.
11 Traverse City - "Cherry Capital of the World".


Other destinations

Big Bay Point Light is located 24 mi (39 km) North- West of Marquette, Upper Peninsula of Michigan. It was constructed in 1896 for guidance across dangerous lake Superior.

Isle Royale National Park is a large expanse of forest and water located in Keweenaw County of the Upper Michigan, USA.

Porcupine State Forest is a wilderness area in the Porcupine mountains, named so by the Ojibwa tribe due to silhouette of the range.

Beaver Island – largest island in Lake Michigan, from 1850 to 1856 a kingdom of the Mormons existed here
Mackinac Island - Island on the Mackinac Strait, the transition from Lake Huron to Lake Michigan
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore - Colorful sandstone landscape on the shores of Lake Superior on the Upper Peninsula with rock arches, waterfalls and sand dunes
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore – 60 km long strip on the east shore of Lake Michigan with sand dunes up to 140 meters high


Getting here

By plane
By far the largest airport in the state is Detroit (DTW), where you can also fly direct from Europe. Gerald R. Ford Airport (GRR) near Grand Rapids (Kent County), Flint (FNT) and Lansing (LAN) airports are only significant for domestic traffic.

The only airport worth mentioning on the Upper Peninsula is Sawyer Airport near Marquette (MQT), larger is the airport in the Canadian border town of Sault Ste. Marie (YAM). Otherwise, you can also use Green Bay Airport (GRB) in neighboring Wisconsin.

If your destination is in southwest Michigan, you can also fly into Chicago (ORD, MDW) or South Bend (SBN) airports in Indiana.

By train
Amtrak's Michigan Services connect Chicago with Kalamazoo (3:15 hrs), Ann Arbor (5:25 hrs), Detroit (6:20 hrs), and Pontiac (7:40 hrs) three times daily, as well as once daily each with Grand Rapids (5:10 hrs), Lansing (just under 5 hrs), Flint (6 hrs) and Port Huron (7:40 hrs).

The Capitol Limited (Chicago-Cleveland-Pittsburgh-Washington DC) and Lake Shore Limited (Chicago-Cleveland-Albany-New York/Boston) run daily along the southern state border. Both stop in South Bend and Elkhart, Indiana, and Toledo, Ohio, where there are scheduled Thruway bus services onward to Detroit, Ann Arbor, and Lansing.



Michigan is bordered to the north by Lake Superior, to the east by Lake Huron, to the south by the states of Indiana and Ohio, and to the west by Lake Michigan. The Canadian province of Ontario is located to the north, east, and extreme southeast of Michigan, the states of Wisconsin and Illinois are located to the west, and Minnesota is located in northwest Michigan. Detroit, located north of the Canadian city of Windsor, is the only major American city located north of a major Canadian city.

It has an area of 250,493 km², which, for comparative purposes, corresponds to half that of Spain.

Michigan has a coastline of 5,292 km on the Great Lakes (including nearly a thousand kilometers of coastline made up of islands located in these Great Lakes and by bays and estuaries along the Michigan coastline). Only Alaska, Louisiana and Florida have longer coastlines. The state is located on the edge of all the Great Lakes except Lake Ontario. No part of the state is more than 137 km from the Great Lakes. Michigan also has more than 11,000 lakes. No point in the state is located more than 10 km from a lake. The state's rivers are small, short and shallow, and few are navigable. The main ones include the Au Sable, Thunder Bay, Cheboygan and Saginaw, which flow into Lake Huron; the Ontonagon and the Tahquamenon, which flow into Lake Superior; and the St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Grand, Muskegon, Manistee and Escanaba, which flow into Lake Michigan. Forests cover about half of the state.

Michigan is divided into two large peninsulas, separated by the Straits of Mackinac: the Upper Peninsula is the smaller of the two peninsulas, located in the northwest of the state. Compared to the rest of the state, it is sparsely populated, with only 325,000 inhabitants: and the Lower Peninsula, densely populated, is home to about 97% of the state's population. These peninsulas are only connected to each other by the Straits of Mackinac Bridge.

Michigan can be divided into two distinct geographic regions:
The Upper Plateau covers the northwest corner of the state, or the western Upper Peninsula. This region has very rugged terrain. The highest point in the state, Mount Coorwood, is located in this region, with its 603 meters of altitude. This region is extremely rich in copper and iron.
The Great Lakes Plains occupy most of Michigan. This region is characterized by its low altitude, up to 174 meters on the edge of Lake Erie. This region is rich in swamps, rivers and lakes, and its soil is very fertile.



Michigan is the only US state whose mainland is divided into two parts. Lake Michigan stretches between the parts. Upper Michigan, the northern portion, is sandwiched between Lake Michigan to the south and Lake Superior to the north. The western part is characterized by the Superior Upland, a highland with granitic bedrock. It consists of several mountain ranges running northeast-southwest, extending west into Wisconsin and Minnesota. Individual mountain ranges are the Porcupine Mountains and the Gogebic Range and Copper Range mountain ranges. The Superior Upland has much greater elevation variation than the rest of the state. The highest peak in Michigan is Mount Arvon at 603 m. Isle Royale in Lake Superior is also part of Michigan, although both the Canadian province of Ontario and the US state of Minnesota are significantly closer to the island.

The southern portion, Lower Michigan, is sandwiched between Lake Michigan (west) and Lake Huron (east). In terms of area, this is the larger part of the state. The vast majority of the state's population lives in the southernmost third of lower Michigan. All of Lower Michigan and eastern Upper Michigan are part of the Eastern Great Lakes Lowland. This is a flat to hilly lowland and was formed as a result of the glaciers that covered the land during the Ice Age. The average elevation is 900 feet (274 m) and the lowest point is about 550 feet (173 m). As a result, there is hardly any noticeable difference in elevation within Lower Michigan.



The soil in Upper Michigan is greyish-brown and acidic. It emerged from glacial deposits and is in part not very fertile or not at all. Due to this and the climate, there is hardly any agriculture there. In southeastern Michigan, around Saginaw Bay, heavy, loamy soil prevails. Most of Lower Michigan, however, has very fertile soil, which is also used for agriculture.


Rivers and lakes

Michigan shares four of the five Great Lakes. These are Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, Lake Superior and Lake Erie. As a result, it has a total coastline of 5310 km. There are also more than 11,000 smaller lakes, the largest of which is Houghton Lake in northern Lower Michigan.

The longest river in the state is the Grand River. Other important rivers are the Kalamazoo, Manistee, Saint Clair, Detroit and Saint Joseph. Goods can be shipped all over the world through the waterways, because there is a connection to the Atlantic via Lake Erie and the St. Lawrence River. There are a few waterfalls in Upper Michigan, such as Tahquamenon Falls.



Michigan's climate is unique compared to the rest of the United States. This is due to its proximity to the Great Lakes. These give Michigan a milder climate compared to other states of the same latitude. It is humid and continental (a fairly rare combination in the world) and lies in the cool-temperate climate zone. However, the climates of Upper and Lower Michigan should be considered separately.

Upper Michigan is significantly cooler and has a northern climate. The average frost-free period is only 60 to 120 days per year. The winters are very severe and the summers are mild. The average annual temperature in Sault Ste. Marie near the border with Canada in northeastern Upper Michigan is 4.3 °C. The warmest month is July at 18 °C, the coldest are January and February at -10 °C. The average annual precipitation is 869 mm and is spread over the entire year.

The climate in Lower Michigan, on the other hand, is mild. The average frost-free period is 180 to 240 days, which is significantly longer than in Upper Michigan. In Detroit (in south-eastern Lower Michigan), the average temperature is 10°C. The warmest month is July at 24 °C, the coldest January at -5 °C. Temperatures are 5°C warmer overall than Upper Michigan. The temperature difference of 18 °C is small for a continental country. This is due to the influence of the Great Lakes. In summer they cool the air and in winter they store heat and warm the air. However, the temperature difference is still significantly higher than, for example, on sea coasts, which is why the Michigan climate is counted as a continental type, despite the influence of the lakes. Precipitation is also here all year round, but slightly less at 691 mm.



Until 1837

Various Native American tribes and people lived in the region where the state of Michigan is currently located thousands of years before the arrival of the first Europeans. These tribes and peoples included the Chippewa, Menomini, Miami, Ottawa and Potawatomi, indigenous tribes part of the Algonquian Native American family; in addition to the Hurons, who lived where the city of Detroit is currently located. It is estimated that the indigenous population at the time of the arrival of the first Europeans was 15 thousand inhabitants.

The first European explorer of Michigan was the Frenchman Étienne Brûlé, who explored the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in 1620, setting out from Quebec under the command of Samuel de Champlain. Eventually, Michigan became part of the French colonial province of Louisiana, one of the colonial provinces of New France. The first permanent European settlement in Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie, was founded by Jacques Marquette, a French missionary, in 1660.

The French founded various trading settlements, forts, and villages in Michigan in the late 17th century. Among them, the foundation of Fort Pontchartrain, present-day Detroit, founded by Antoine de Lamothe-Cadillac stands out. However, French activities in the region were limited to hunting, commercial exchanges and catechizing of local indigenous people and very limited agriculture. In 1760, Michigan had only a few hundred inhabitants.

Territorial disputes between French and British colonists sparked the French and Indian War, which occurred between 1754 and 1763, which ended in defeat for the French. As part of the Treaty of Paris, the French ceded all French colonies in North America located east of the Mississippi River to the British. Thus, Michigan became controlled by the United Kingdom. In 1774, Michigan became part of Quebec. However, it remained sparsely populated, and population growth in the region continued to be very low, with the British primarily interested in the fur trade and not in the settlement and colonization of the region.

During the American Revolutionary War, much of Michigan, inhabited primarily by settlers who supported independence, rebelled against the British. These, with the help of local Indian tribes, constantly attacked rebel settlements in the region, and conquered Detroit. The Spanish, allies of the rebels, captured St. Joseph from the British in 1781, and ceded control of the settlement to the rebels the next day. The War for Independence ended in 1783, and Michigan came under control of the newly formed United States of America. In 1787, the region became part of the Northwest Territory. The British, however, conquered Detroit in 1790, and only definitively ceded the fort in 1796 to the United States.

In 1800, Michigan became part of the Indiana Territory. In 1805, the Territory of Michigan was created, although this territory included only the Lower Peninsula of the present state of Michigan, with Detroit as the seat of government and William Hull appointed governor. In 1812, during the Anglo-American War, the British captured Detroit and Fort Mackinac. American troops recaptured Detroit in 1813, and Fort Mackinac was returned to the Americans at the end of the war in 1815.

Throughout the 1810s and 1820s, the Ojibwe, Ottawa, and Potawatomi Indian tribes began fighting the growing white settler settlement of the region. However, the Indians were defeated, and in 1821, forced to cede all their lands to the American government. Most of these Indians were forced to move to Indian reservations in the far western United States.

During the 1820s, Michigan's population began to grow rapidly, largely due to the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825, which connected the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean, becoming a transportation route between the eastern states. America and the sparsely inhabited territories of the West.

Michigan's growing population began to demand the elevation of the Michigan Territory to statehood. In 1835, the US Congress approved the constitutional amendment that would elevate Michigan to statehood. Territorial disputes with Ohio, over a narrow piece of land, where the city of Toledo is located, postponed the elevation of Michigan to statehood. This narrow strip became part of Ohio, by resolution of Congress, but in compensation Michigan received the Upper Peninsula. On January 26, 1837, Michigan became the twenty-sixth state of the Union, with its current borders.



During the early 1840s, large deposits of copper and iron were found in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, attracting thousands of people from eastern states. The Soo Locks (Soo Locks or Sault Locks in English) were inaugurated in 1855, connecting Lake Superior with the rest of the Great Lakes, to allow the rapid and efficient transfer of minerals extracted in the Upper Peninsula from ports in the north of the state, to the Great Lakes, and, thus, facilitate the transportation of these minerals to the main steel centers of the country, most of them located on the edge of the Great Lakes or in large rivers that flow into them.

Michigan actively participated throughout the American Civil War, on the side of the Union—the United States of America proper—and against the rebellious Confederate States of America. After the war, Michigan's economy began to diversify, and the state prospered economically. During the 1870s, the lumber industry flourished in Michigan. The state became the largest national producer of lumber. Its large forests and its location near the central-western United States helped the occupation of the north-central region of the United States. Between the 1870s and 1890s, agriculture and ranching also developed rapidly in the state. Michigan's population doubled between 1870 and 1890. By the end of the century, the state of Michigan devoted more funds to public education than any other American state.

During the early 20th century, manufacturing became Michigan's primary source of income—largely because of the automobile industry. In 1897, Oldsmobile manufacturing began in Lansing. In 1904 Ford was founded in Detroit, and with the mass production of the Ford T, this city became the world capital of the automobile industry. General Motors is located in Detroit, and Ford is located in a neighboring city. Both companies built large industrial complexes in the metropolitan Detroit region, making Michigan a national industry leader since the 1910s. This industry developed considerably during the First World War, thanks to the demand for military vehicles.

The Great Depression caused a major economic recession in Michigan. Thousands of auto industry workers were laid off, as well as workers in other sectors of the state's economy. The Michigan state government took several steps to try to minimize the negative effects of the Great Depression. The state created more than one hundred Civilian Conservation Corps, an administrative body that began employing thousands of unemployed youth in maintenance and cleaning jobs. The Works Progress Administration was another state body that employed more than 500,000 unemployed people in the construction of large public works such as roads, buildings and dams.

The economic downturn in Michigan was compounded by the fact that the state's copper reserves are located at great depths. With the discovery of other copper reserves in other American states, which are located in shallower layers, copper mining fell drastically in the state, resulting in increased unemployment for hundreds of miners. During the Great Depression, the United Automobile Workers union was founded to represent workers in the automobile industry. This union pressured automobile companies in Michigan to hire only workers who were union members, and to accept negotiations between companies and workers. Ford and General Motors were the union's main targets. General strikes forced both companies to accept the union's demands. Currently, the United Automobile Workers is one of the largest unions in the United States, representing every worker employed in any large automobile company in the United States since 1941.

The entry of the United States into World War II in 1941 ended Michigan's economic recession. The state was throughout the war one of the largest producers of weapons and military vehicles in the United States. With the end of the war, the automobile and copper mining industries recovered. After the end of World War II, and until the 1980s, large numbers of African Americans settled in Michigan, especially in Detroit. Racial conflicts developed during this period, culminating in the Detroit rebellion in 1967, which lasted 8 days and caused nearly $25 million in damage and 43 deaths.

The Oil Crisis of 1973 caused an economic recession in the United States, severely affecting Michigan's economy. Additionally, United States automobile companies began to encounter increased competition from other multinational companies, especially automobile companies from Japan. As a result, automobile companies in the United States began cutting costs to remain competitive in the domestic market. Unemployment rates rose dramatically in the state.

Throughout the 1970s, Michigan had the highest unemployment rate of any American state. Large budget cuts to education and public health were also made, in an attempt to reduce the state's growing budget deficit. The strengthening of the automobile industry in the 1980s and an increase in the state income tax stabilized Michigan's budget. However, increasing competition from Japanese and South Korean car companies constantly threatens the state's economy, which still relies heavily on the car industry. From the late 1980s onward, the Michigan government has strived to attract new industries to the region, thereby reducing the state's economic dependence on the automobile industry, whose relative importance in the local economy has since 1979 has been reduced from 20% to less than 10%, directly.



Michigan's gross domestic product was $365 billion. The per capita income of the state, for its part, was $31,178, the twentieth in the country. Michigan's unemployment rate is 7.1%, third among American states, behind only Alaska and Oregon.

The primary sector contributes 1% of Michigan's GDP. The state has 52 thousand farms, which occupy about 35% of the state. Agriculture and livestock together account for 0.92% of the state's GDP, and employ approximately 128 thousand people. Michigan is a national leader in the agricultural industry. The main agricultural products produced in the state are wheat, soybeans, apples, corn and cattle—meat and milk. Fishing and the logging industry together account for 0.08% of the state's GDP and employ approximately four thousand people.

The secondary sector accounts for 30% of Michigan's GDP. The total value of products manufactured in the state is $96 billion. The main industrialized products manufactured in the state are cars, trucks, buses, machinery and chemicals. Detroit is one of the largest automobile industry centers in the world, a fact that gave it the nickname The Automobile Capital. The state produces more cars, trucks and buses than any other American state. In this state are the headquarters of the so-called "Big Three of the American automotive industry", which are distributed in the cities of Auburn Hills (FCA US, ex-Chrysler Corporation), Dearborn (Ford Motor Company) and Detroit (General Motors). The manufacturing industry accounts for 26% of the state's GDP, employing approximately one million people. The construction industry accounts for 5% of the state's GDP and employs approximately 300,000 people. Mining accounts for 1% of Michigan's GDP, employing about 14 thousand people. The main natural mining resources extracted in the state are iron, natural gas, oil and copper.

The tertiary sector contributes 69% of Michigan's GDP. About 20% of the state's GDP comes from community and personal services. This sector employs more than a million people. Wholesale and retail trade accounts for 17% of the state's GDP, and employs approximately 1.3 million people. Michigan's commerce is aided by tourism, which became a major source of income in the state beginning in the 1960s. Financial and real estate services account for more than 14% of the state's GDP, employing approximately 375 a thousand people. Government services account for 10% of Michigan's GDP, employing approximately 680,000 people. Transportation, telecommunications and public utilities employ 210 thousand people, and account for 7% of Michigan's GDP.

70% of the electricity generated in the state is produced in coal-fired thermoelectric plants, and most of the rest is produced in natural gas-fired plants or hydroelectric plants.




The Mackinac Bridge is the only means of direct access between the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. This bridge is the third longest suspension bridge in the world, with its eight kilometers in length. The Ambassador Bridge connects Detroit with the Canadian city of Windsor and is one of the main cross-border communication routes in North America.

Detroit is the state's main rail, road, airport and port center. In 2002, Michigan had 5,985 kilometers of railroad tracks. In 2003, the state had 196,697 kilometers of public roads, of which 2,000 kilometers were interstate highways, part of the United States federal highway system.

The busiest port in the state is Detroit. Another important port center is Sault Ste. Marie. These ports are important for transporting minerals mined in the interior and Upper Peninsula of Michigan, as well as cars, trucks and vehicles produced in the Detroit metropolitan region, to other regions. The Soo Locks connect Lake Superior to the rest of the Great Lakes. Six railway companies provide freight transportation service, and two offer passenger transportation service between the main cities of the state. Michigan's busiest airport is Detroit International Airport.



The first newspaper published in Michigan was the Detroit Gazette, first published in Detroit in 1817. About 660 newspapers are currently published in the state, of which approximately 80 are daily newspapers. About 250 newspapers are printed.

Michigan's first radio station was founded in 1920, and the state's first television station was founded in 1947, both in Detroit. Currently, Michigan has about 280 radio stations and approximately 85 television stations.


Administration and politics

The current Michigan Constitution was adopted in 1963. Older constitutions were approved in 1835, 1850, and 1908. Amendments to the Constitution are proposed by the Michigan Legislature, and to be approved, they need to receive at least 51% of the vote. favorable votes from the state Senate and House of Representatives, and then at least two-thirds of the votes of Michigan's voting population, in a referendum. The population of the State can also propose amendments to the Constitution by collecting an adequate number of signatories. When this petition of the signatories is accepted by the government, to be approved it needs to receive the approval of at least a quarter of the members of both chambers of the Legislative Branch of Michigan, and then at least 51% of the votes of the electoral population . Amendments can also be proposed and introduced by constitutional conventions, which need to receive at least 51% of the votes of both chambers of the Legislative Branch and two-thirds of the votes of the electoral population, in a referendum.

The chief executive branch official in Michigan is the governor. He is elected by the state's voters for terms of up to four years. A person can serve as governor only twice. Other executive officers who are chosen by the governor—Treasurer, Secretary of State, Lieutenant Governor (lieutenant governor)—also serve terms of at most four years. Like the governor, they can serve in office only twice.

The Legislative Branch of Michigan is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate has a total of 38 members, while the House of Representatives has a total of 110 members. Michigan is divided into 38 senatorial districts and 110 representative districts. The voters of each district elect a senator/representative, who will represent each district in the Senate/House of Representatives. The term of office of senators is four years and that of representatives is two years.

The highest court of the Michigan Judicial Branch is the Michigan Supreme Court. The eight justices of the Michigan Supreme Court are elected by the people of the state for terms of up to eight years in length. The second largest court in Michigan is the Court of Appeals, made up of seven judges, four district courts and 57 regional courts.

Michigan is divided into 83 counties. These counties, for their part, are divided into municipalities (townships). More than half of Michigan's budget is generated by state taxes. The rest comes from budgets received from the national government. In 2002, the state government spent 49 billion dollars, having generated 44 billion dollars. Michigan's public debt is $22 billion. The debt per capita is $2,185, the value of state taxes per capita is $2,177, and the value of government expenditures per capita is $4,897.

The Republican Party dominated Michigan until the Great Depression. In the 1912 election, Michigan was one of six states that supported progressive Republican and third party candidate Theodore Roosevelt for president after he lost the Republican nomination to William Howard Taft. In recent years, the state has tilted toward the Democratic Party in national elections. Michigan supported Democrats in the last four presidential elections. In 2004, John Kerry won the state against George W. Bush, winning Michigan's 17 electoral votes with 51.2% of the vote. Democrats have won the last three, and nine of the last ten US Senate elections in Michigan. Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, a Democrat, recently won election to a second term, defeating Republican candidate Dick DeVos. Republican strength is greatest in the western, northern and rural parts of the state, especially in the Grand Rapids area. Democrats are strongest in the east, especially in Detroit, Ann Arbor, Flint and Saginaw.

Michigan was home to Gerald Ford, the 38th president of the United States. He was born in Nebraska and moved as a child to Michigan, where he grew up.



According to the 2000 census of the United States Census Bureau, the population of Michigan in that year was 9,938,444, a growth of 6.5% relative to the state's 1990 population of 9,328. ,784 inhabitants. The 2010 United States Census put the state's population at 9,983,640, 0.6% less than the population in 2000. Michigan was the only American state to decrease its population between census years. 2000 and 2010. The population of the state according to the 2020 census was 10,077,331 inhabitants.​

The natural growth of the population of Michigan between 2000 and 2005 was 182,380 inhabitants (691,897 births and 456,137 deaths) the population growth caused by immigration was 122,901 inhabitants, while interstate migration resulted in a decrease of 165,084 inhabitants. Between 2000 and 2005, Michigan's population grew by 182,380 inhabitants, and between 2004 and 2005, by 16,654 inhabitants.

About 82% of Michigan's population lives in 9 different metropolitan regions: Ann Arbor, Benton Harbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids-Muskegon-Holland, Jackson, Kalamazoo-Battle Creek, Lansing-East Lansing and Saginaw-Bay City- Midland.

Most of the population lives in the state's Lower Peninsula. The average population density of the state is 40.21 inhabitants/km² inhabitants per square kilometer. However, in the Lower Peninsula, this average is 230. In the Upper Peninsula the average density is only 8 inhabitants/km². In total, the Upper Peninsula has about 300 thousand inhabitants.



The first schools in Michigan were founded by French Catholic missionaries during the 17th century, with the intention of converting the indigenous people of the region to Catholicism and assimilating the Native Americans into Western culture. The first public schools created primarily to offer a basic level of education were founded in 1798. In 1827, the state passed a law making the creation of a public school system mandatory in every municipality in the state. Initially, these school systems were funded exclusively by city councils. Beginning in 1837, the state began regularly contributing budgets to these public school systems.

Currently, all educational institutions in Michigan need to follow rules and standards dictated by the Michigan State Board of Education. This board directly controls the state's public school system, which is divided into different school districts. In cities, the responsibility for managing schools lies with the municipal school district, while in less densely populated regions, this responsibility lies with school districts operating throughout the county at large. These school districts manage the schools located within the district, and receive budgets primarily through city or county tax collection and state government budgets. Each city, municipality or county administers its own school districts. Michigan allows the operation of charter schools — independent public schools that are not managed by school districts, but that depend on public budgets for their operation. School attendance is mandatory for all children and adolescents over six years of age, until the completion of secondary education or up to sixteen years of age.

In 1999, the state's public schools served about 1.73 million students, employing approximately 96.6 thousand teachers. Private schools served about 179.6 thousand students, employing approximately 11.8 thousand teachers. The state's public school system invested about $12.785 billion, and public school spending was approximately $8.1 billion per student. About 87.6% of the state's inhabitants over 25 years of age have a high school diploma.

Michigan's first public library was founded in 1828, in Detroit. Currently, the state has 381 public library systems, which annually move an average of 5.2 books per inhabitant. Michigan's first institution of higher education—the Catholepistemiad, which later became the present-day University System of Michigan—was founded in 1817 in Detroit. Currently, Michigan has 109 higher education institutions, of which 44 are public and 65 are private. The state's three major public higher education centers are the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University.



In the state of Michigan there is the Detroit Institute of Arts and the Detroit Public Library. Culturally relevant figures such as Francis Ford Coppola, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Iggy Pop, Michael Moore, Madonna, Eminem, Tyler Oakley, etc. have emerged from the state of Michigan.



Michigan is represented in the four major professional leagues by a Detroit team: the Detroit Tigers of Major League Baseball, the Detroit Lions of the National Football League, the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, and the Detroit Pistons of the National Basketball Association.

The state's two major college sports teams are the Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans, winners of national titles in football and basketball, and bitter rivals in the Big Ten Conference.

The Detroit street circuit has hosted Formula 1, CART, IndyCar Series, American Le Mans Series, Rolex Sports Car Series and United SportsCar Championship events. For its part, the Michigan International Speedway is a superspeedway where the CART and the NASCAR Cup have raced.

Oakland Hills has hosted numerous editions of the US Open and the PGA Championship.


State symbols

Flower: Apple Blossom (Pyrus coronaria), since 1897.
Bird: Migratory thrush (Turdus migratorius), since 1931.
Rock: Hexagonaria pericarnata (petrified coral found north of the Lower Peninsula), since 1965.
Fish: Since 1965 it has been trout, and the Michigan legislature specified in 1988 that it was specifically Salvelinus fontinalis.
Reptile: Painted turtle (Chrysemys picta) (since 1995).
Fossil: American mastodon (Mammut americanum), since 2002.
Tree: Pinus strobus, since 1955.
Gem: Chlorastrolite (since 1972).
Wild flower: Lake iris (Iris lacustris), since 1998.
Mammal: White-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus), since 1997, and, traditionally, the wolverine (Gulo gulo)