Michigan (/ˈmɪʃɪɡən/ (listen)) is a state in the Great Lakes and Midwestern regions of the United States. Its name originates from the Ojibwe word mishigamaa, meaning “large water” or “large lake”. With a population of about 10 million, Michigan is the tenth most populous of the 50 United States, with the 11th most extensive total area, and is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River. Its capital is Lansing, and its largest city is Detroit. Metro Detroit is among the nation’s most populous and largest metropolitan economies.
Michigan consists of two peninsulas that lie between 82°30′ to about 90°30′ west longitude, and are separated by the Straits of Mackinac. The 45th parallel north runs through the state—marked by highway signs and the Polar-Equator Trail—along a line including Mission Point Light near Traverse City, the towns of Gaylord and Alpena in the Lower Peninsula and Menominee in the Upper Peninsula. With the exception of two small areas that are drained by the Mississippi River by way of the Wisconsin River in the Upper Peninsula and by way of the Kankakee-Illinois River in the Lower Peninsula, Michigan is drained by the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence watershed and is the only state with the majority of its land thus drained.
The Great Lakes that border Michigan from east to west are Lake Erie, Lake Huron, Lake Michigan and Lake Superior. It has more public golf courses, registered boats, and lighthouses than any other state. The state is bounded on the south by the states of Ohio and Indiana, sharing land and water boundaries with both. Michigan’s western boundaries are almost entirely water boundaries, from south to north, with Illinois and Wisconsin in Lake Michigan; then a land boundary with Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula, that is principally demarcated by the Menominee and Montreal Rivers; then water boundaries again, in Lake Superior, with Wisconsin and Minnesota to the west, capped around by the Canadian province of Ontario to the north and east.
The heavily forested Upper Peninsula is relatively mountainous in the west. The Porcupine Mountains, which are part of one of the oldest mountain chains in the world, rise to an altitude of almost 2,000 feet (610 m) above sea level and form the watershed between the streams flowing into Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. The surface on either side of this range is rugged. The state’s highest point, in the Huron Mountains northwest of Marquette, is Mount Arvon at 1,979 feet (603 m). The peninsula is as large as Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, and Rhode Island combined but has fewer than 330,000 inhabitants. They are sometimes called “Yoopers” (from “U.P.’ers”), and their speech (the “Yooper dialect”) has been heavily influenced by the numerous Scandinavian and Canadian immigrants who settled the area during the lumbering and mining boom of the late 19th century.
The Lower Peninsula is shaped like a mitten and many residents hold up a hand to depict where they are from. It is 277 miles (446 km) long from north to south and 195 miles (314 km) from east to west and occupies nearly two-thirds of the state’s land area. The surface of the peninsula is generally level, broken by conical hills and glacial moraines usually not more than a few hundred feet tall. It is divided by a low water divide running north and south. The larger portion of the state is on the west of this and gradually slopes toward Lake Michigan. The highest point in the Lower Peninsula is either Briar Hill at 1,705 feet (520 m), or one of several points nearby in the vicinity of Cadillac. The lowest point is the surface of Lake Erie at 571 feet (174 m).
The geographic orientation of Michigan’s peninsulas makes for a long distance between the ends of the state. Ironwood, in the far western Upper Peninsula, lies 630 miles (1,010 kilometers) by highway from Lambertville in the Lower Peninsula’s southeastern corner. The geographic isolation of the Upper Peninsula from Michigan’s political and population centers makes the U.P. culturally and economically distinct. Occasionally U.P. residents have called for secession from Michigan and establishment as a new state to be called “Superior”.
A feature of Michigan that gives it the distinct shape of a mitten is the Thumb. This peninsula projects out into Lake Huron and the Saginaw Bay. The geography of the Thumb is mainly flat with a few rolling hills. Other peninsulas of Michigan include the Keweenaw Peninsula, making up the Copper Country region of the state. The Leelanau Peninsula lies in the Northern Lower Michigan region. See Also Michigan Regions
Numerous lakes and marshes mark both peninsulas, and the coast is much indented. Keweenaw Bay, Whitefish Bay, and the Big and Little Bays De Noc are the principal indentations on the Upper Peninsula. The Grand and Little Traverse, Thunder, and Saginaw bays indent the Lower Peninsula. Michigan has the second longest shoreline of any state—3,288 miles (5,292 km), including 1,056 miles (1,699 km) of island shoreline.
The state has numerous large islands, the principal ones being the North Manitou and South Manitou, Beaver, and Fox groups in Lake Michigan; Isle Royale and Grande Isle in Lake Superior; Marquette, Bois Blanc, and Mackinac islands in Lake Huron; and Neebish, Sugar, and Drummond islands in St. Mary’s River. Michigan has about 150 lighthouses, the most of any U.S. state. 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 passenger ships and freighters traveling the Great Lakes. See Lighthouses in the United States.
The state’s rivers are generally small, short and shallow, and few are navigable. The principal ones include the Detroit River, St. Marys River, and St. Clair River which connect the Great Lakes; the Au Sable, Cheboygan, and Saginaw, which flow into Lake Huron; the Ontonagon, and Tahquamenon, which flow into Lake Superior; and the St. Joseph, Kalamazoo, Grand, Muskegon, Manistee, and Escanaba, which flow into Lake Michigan. The state has 11,037 inland lakes—totaling 1,305 square miles (3,380 km) of inland water—in addition to 38,575 square miles (99,910 km) of Great Lakes waters. No point in Michigan is more than six miles (9.7 km) from an inland lake or more than 85 miles (137 km) from one of the Great Lakes.
The state is home to several areas maintained by the National Park Service including: Isle Royale National Park, in Lake Superior, about 30 miles (48 km) southeast of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Other national protected areas in the state include: Keweenaw National Historical Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Huron National Forest, Manistee National Forest, Hiawatha National Forest, Ottawa National Forest and Father Marquette National Memorial. The largest section of the North Country National Scenic Trail passes through Michigan.
With 78 state parks, 19 state recreation areas, and 6 state forests, Michigan has the largest state park and state forest system of any state. These parks and forests include Holland State Park, Mackinac Island State Park, Au Sable State Forest, and Mackinaw State Forest.
The United States Census Bureau estimates the population of Michigan was 9,995,915 on July 1, 2018, an increase of 1.14% from 9,883,635 recorded at the 2010 United States Census.
The center of population of Michigan is in Shiawassee County, in the southeastern corner of the civil township of Bennington, which is northwest of the village of Morrice.
As of the 2010 American Community Survey for the U.S. Census, the state had a foreign-born population of 592,212, or 6.0% of the total. Michigan has the largest Dutch, Finnish, and Macedonian populations in the United States.
The 2010 Census reported:
In the same year Hispanics or Latinos (of any race) made up 4.4% of the population.
The large majority of Michigan’s population is Caucasian. Americans of European descent live throughout Michigan and most of Metro Detroit. Large European American groups include those of German, British, Irish, Polish and Belgian ancestry. People of Scandinavian descent, and those of Finnish ancestry, have a notable presence in the Upper Peninsula. Western Michigan is known for the Dutch heritage of many residents (the highest concentration of any state), especially in Holland and metropolitan Grand Rapids.
African-Americans, who came to Detroit and other northern cities in the Great Migration of the early 20th century, form a majority of the population of the city of Detroit and of other cities, including Flint and Benton Harbor.
As of 2007 about 300,000 people in Southeastern Michigan trace their descent from the Middle East. Dearborn has a sizeable Arab community, with many Assyrian/Chaldean/Syriac, and Lebanese who immigrated for jobs in the auto industry in the 1920s along with more recent Yemenis and Iraqis.
As of 2007, almost 8,000 Hmong people lived in the State of Michigan, about double their 1999 presence in the state. As of 2007 most lived in northeastern Detroit, but they had been increasingly moving to Pontiac and Warren. By 2015 the number of Hmong in the Detroit city limits had significantly declined. Lansing hosts a statewide Hmong New Year Festival. The Hmong community also had a prominent portrayal in the 2008 film Gran Torino, which was set in Detroit.
As of 2015, 80% of Michigan’s Japanese population lived in the counties of Macomb, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne in the Detroit and Ann Arbor areas. As of April 2013, the largest Japanese national population is in Novi, with 2,666 Japanese residents, and the next largest populations are respectively in Ann Arbor, West Bloomfield Township, Farmington Hills, and Battle Creek. The state has 481 Japanese employment facilities providing 35,554 local jobs. 391 of them are in Southeast Michigan, providing 20,816 jobs, and the 90 in other regions in the state provide 14,738 jobs. The Japanese Direct Investment Survey of the Consulate-General of Japan, Detroit stated over 2,208 additional Japanese residents were employed in the State of Michigan as of 1 October 2012, than in 2011. During the 1990s the Japanese population of Michigan experienced an increase, and many Japanese people with children moved to particular areas for their proximity to Japanese grocery stores and high-performing schools.
A person from Michigan is called a Michigander or Michiganian; also at times, but rarely, a “Michiganite”. Residents of the Upper Peninsula are sometimes referred to as “Yoopers” (a phonetic pronunciation of “U.P.ers”), and they sometimes refer to those from the Lower Peninsula as “trolls” because they live below the bridge (see Three Billy Goats Gruff).
As of 2011, 34.3% of Michigan’s children under the age of one belonged to racial or ethnic minority groups, meaning they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white.
Note: Percentages in the table can exceed 100% as Hispanics are counted both by their ethnicity and by their race.
As of 2010, 91.11% (8,507,947) of Michigan residents age five and older spoke only English at home, while 2.93% (273,981) spoke Spanish, 1.04% (97,559) Arabic, 0.44% (41,189) German, 0.36% (33,648) Chinese (which includes Mandarin), 0.31% (28,891) French, 0.29% (27,019) Polish, and Syriac languages (such as Modern Aramaic and Northeastern Neo-Aramaic) was spoken as a main language by 0.25% (23,420) of the population over the age of five. In total, 8.89% (830,281) of Michigan’s population age 5 and older spoke a mother language other than English.
The Roman Catholic Church has six dioceses and one archdiocese in Michigan; Gaylord, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Marquette, Saginaw and Detroit. The Roman Catholic Church is the largest denomination by number of adherents, according to the Association of Religion Data Archives (ARDA) 2010 survey, with 1,717,296 adherents. The Roman Catholic Church was the only organized religion in Michigan until the 19th century, reflecting the territory’s French colonial roots. Detroit’s Saint Anne’s parish, established in 1701 by Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac, is the second-oldest Roman Catholic parish in the United States. On March 8, 1833, the Holy See formally established a diocese in the Michigan territory, which included all of Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and the Dakotas east of the Mississippi River. When Michigan became a state in 1837, the boundary of the Diocese of Detroit was redrawn to coincide with that of the State; the other dioceses were later carved out from the Diocese of Detroit but remain part of the Ecclesiastical Province of Detroit.
In 2010, the largest Protestant denominations were the United Methodist Church with 228,521 adherents; followed by the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod with 219,618, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 120,598 adherents. The Christian Reformed Church in North America had almost 100,000 members and over 230 congregations in Michigan. The Reformed Church in America had 76,000 members and 154 congregations in the state. In the same survey, Jewish adherents in the state of Michigan were estimated at 44,382, and Muslims at 120,351. The Lutheran Church was introduced by German and Scandinavian immigrants; Lutheranism is the second largest religious denomination in the state. The first Jewish synagogue in the state was Temple Beth El, founded by twelve German Jewish families in Detroit in 1850. In West Michigan, Dutch immigrants fled from the specter of religious persecution and famine in the Netherlands around 1850 and settled in and around what is now Holland, Michigan, establishing a “colony” on American soil that fervently held onto Calvinist doctrine that established a significant presence of Reformed churches. Islam was introduced by immigrants from the Near East during the 20th century. Michigan is home to the largest mosque in North America, the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn. Battle Creek, Michigan is also the birthplace of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, which was founded on May 21, 1863.
Zip Code Map
Michigan neighborhoods include: Ada, Addison, Adrian, Afton, Alanson, Albion, Alger, Algonac, Allegan, Allen, Allendale, Allen Park, Allenton, Almont, Alpena, Alto, Ann Arbor, Armada, Athens, Atlas, Attica, Auburn Hills, Augusta, Avoca, Azalia, Bad Axe, Bailey, Bancroft, Bangor, Bannister, Bath, Battle Creek, Bay City, Bay Port, Beaver Island, Beaverton, Belding, Belleville, Bellevue, Belmont, Bentley, Benton Harbor, Berkley, Berlin, Berrien Center, Berville, Beverly Hills, Big Rapids, Bingham Farms, Birch Run, Birmingham, Bitely, Blanchard, Blissfield, Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Village, Bloomingdale, Boyne City, Boyne Falls, Brant, Breckenridge, Bridgeport, Brighton, Britton, Brockway, Bronson, Brooklyn, Brown City, Brownstown, Brownstown Twp, Bruce Twp, Brutus, Buckley, Burlington, Burr Oak, Burt, Burtchville, Burt Lake, Burton, Byron, Byron Center, Caledonia, Camden, Canton, Capac, Carleton, Carp Lake, Carson City, Casco, Caseville, Casnovia, Cass City, Cassopolis, Cedar, Cedar Springs, Cement City, Center Line, Ceresco, Champion, Charlevoix, Charlotte, Cheboygan, Chelsea, Chesaning, Chesterfield, China, Clarklake, Clarkston, Clarksville, Clawson, Clay, Clayton, Clifford, Climax, Clinton, Clinton Township, Clio, Clyde, Coldwater, Coleman, Coloma, Colon, Columbiaville, Columbus, Commerce Township, Comstock Park, Concord, Conklin, Constantine, Coopersville, Coral, Corunna, Cottrellville, Covert, Crystal, Crystal Falls, Dansville, Davisburg, Davison, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Decatur, Deerfield, Delton, Detroit, Dewitt, Dexter, Dimondale, Dorr, Dowagiac, Dowling, Dryden, Dundee, Durand, Dutton, Eagle, East China, East Grand Rapids, East Jordan, East Lansing, East Leroy, Eastpointe, Eaton Rapids, Eau Claire, Ecorse, Edmore, Edwardsburg, Elkton, Ellsworth, Elmira, Elsie, Emmett, Empire, Erie, Fair Haven, Fargo, Farmington, Farmington Hills, Fennville, Fenton, Fenwick, Ferndale, Fife Lake, Filion, Flat Rock, Flint, Flushing, Fort Gratiot, Fostoria, Fowler, 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Iron River, Ironwood, Ishpeming, Jackson, Jasper, Jeddo, Jenison, Jerome, Jones, Jonesville, Kalamazoo, Keego Harbor, Kenockee, Kent City, Kentwood, Kimball, Kinde, Kingsley, Lachine, Laingsburg, Lake Angelus, Lake Ann, Lake Leelanau, Lake Odessa, Lake Orion, Lakeport, Lakeview, Lambertville, Lansing, Lapeer, La Salle, Lathrup Village, Lawrence, Lawton, Leland, Lennon, Lenox, Leonard, Leslie, Levering, Lincoln Park, Linden, Litchfield, Little Lake, Livonia, Lowell, Luna Pier, Lynn, Mackinaw City, Macomb, Madison Heights, Manchester, Manitou Beach, Maple City, Marcellus, Marenisco, Marine City, Marlette, Marne, Marquette, Marshall, Martin, Marysville, Mason, Mattawan, Maybee, Mayville, Mears, Melvindale, Memphis, Mendon, Merrill, Metamora, Michigamme, Michigan Center, Middleville, Midland, Milan, Milford, Millersburg, Millington, Minden City, Monroe, Montague, Montgomery, Montrose, Morenci, Morley, Morrice, Mount Clemens, Mount Morris, Mount Pleasant, Mulliken, Munith, Muskegon, Mussey, Nashville, Negaunee, Newaygo, New Baltimore, New Boston, New Buffalo, New Era, New Haven, New Hudson, New Lothrop, Newport, Niles, North Adams, North Branch, Northport, North Street, Northville, Norton Shores, Novi, Nunica, Oakland, Oakland Township, Oakley, Oak Park, Okemos, Olivet, Onaway, Onondaga, Onsted, Orchard Lake, Orion, Ortonville, Osseo, Ossineke, Otisville, Otsego, Ottawa Lake, Otter Lake, Ovid, Owendale, Owosso, Oxford, Palmyra, Paris, Parma, Paw Paw, Pellston, Pentwater, Perry, Petersburg, Petoskey, Pewamo, Pierson, Pigeon, Pinckney, Pittsford, Plainwell, Pleasant Lake, Pleasant Ridge, Plymouth, Pontiac, Portage, Port Austin, Port Hope, Port Huron, Portland, Posen, Potterville, Presque Isle, Pullman, Quincy, Ravenna, Ray, Reading, Redford, Reed City, Reese, Republic, Rhodes, Richland, Richmond, Riga, Riley, Riverdale, River Rouge, Riverview, Rives Junction, Rochester, Rochester Hills, Rock, Rockford, Rockwood, Rogers City, Romeo, Romulus, Roseville, Rothbury, Royal Oak, Ruby, Russell Island, Ruth, Saginaw, Saint Charles, Saint Clair, Saint Clair Shores, Saint Johns, Saint Joseph, Saint Louis, Saline, Sand Creek, Sand Lake, Sanford, Saugatuck, Schoolcraft, Scotts, Sebewaing, Selfridge Angb, Shelby, Shelby Township, Shelbyville, Shepherd, Sheridan, Sherwood, Sidney, Silverwood, Six Lakes, Skandia, Smiths Creek, Southfield, Southgate, South Haven, South Lyon, South Rockwood, Sparta, Spring Arbor, Springfield, Spring Lake, Springport, Spruce, Stanton, Stanwood, Sterling Heights, Stockbridge, Sumner, Sunfield, Suttons Bay, Swartz Creek, Sylvan Lake, Taylor, Tecumseh, Tekonsha, Temperance, Thompsonville, Three Rivers, Tipton, Tower, Traverse City, Trenton, Troy, Trufant, Twin Lake, Ubly, Union, Union City, Unionville, Utica, Vandalia, Vanderbilt, Vermontville, Vestaburg, Vicksburg, Wakefield, Waldron, Wales, Walker, Walkerville, Walled Lake, Warren, Washington, Waterford, Watervliet, Wayland, Wayne, Webberville, West Bloomfield, West Branch, Westland, West Olive, Westphalia, Wheeler, White Cloud, Whitehall, White Lake, White Pigeon, Whitmore Lake, Williamsburg, Williamston, Willis, Wixom, Wolverine, Wolverine Lake, Woodhaven, Woodland, Wyandotte, Wyoming, Yale, Ypsilanti, Zeeland
For more information, see Michigan wiki