Michigan Facts

Michigan is a midwestern state that borders four of the five Great Lakes. The lakes split the state into two major land masses: the Upper Peninsula and the Lower Peninsula.

The state is also known for its contributions to education, the automobile industry, agriculture, and more!


Quick Facts

  • Capital: Lansing
  • Population: 10 million
  • Nickname: The Wolverine State, Great Lake State
  • Key Cities: Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, Ann Arbor
  • Postal Abbreviation: MI
  • Major Industries: Manufacturing, tourism, agriculture, alternative energy


  • How did Michigan get its name: The name Michigan comes from the Ojibwe word “mishigamaa,” which means “large lake” or “large water.” The name was originally given to Michigan’s Lower Peninsula before being applied to the entire state.
  • Date admitted to the Union: Thursday, January 26, 1837


  • Size: 96,716 sq. miles
  • Lowest point: Lake Erie at 571 feet
  • Highest point: Arvon at 1,979 feet
  • Counties: 83
  • Famous locations: Great Lakes, Mackinac Islands, Sleeping Bear Dunes, The Henry Ford, Detroit Institute of Arts, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Famous Michiganders

  • Christie Brinkley- model/actress
  • Taylor Lautner- actor
  • Al Horford- basketball player
  • Jordan Wieber- Olympic gymnast
  • Sinbad- comedian/actor
  • Tony Dungy- football player/coach

Fun Facts

  • Michigan is the only state that’s divided into two peninsulas. (A peninsula is a piece of land that’s almost entirely surrounded by water.)
  • The Mackinac Bridge, which connects the two peninsulas, is one of the world’s longest suspension bridges. It took three years to build and is five miles long. People from the Upper Peninsula sometimes call people in the Lower Peninsula “trolls” because they live “under the bridge.”
  • If you like water, you’ll love Michigan! It’s the only state that touches four of the five Great Lakes. Stand anywhere in Michigan, and you’re within 85 miles of a Great Lake. Michigan also has more than 11,000 inland lakes and over 36,000 miles of streams. It has more shoreline than any state other than Alaska.
  • In 1879, Detroit, Michigan became the first city to have phone numbers. In other cities, calls were still being routed by name alone. But Detroit’s population had grown so big that numbers were needed too.


  • Michigan is nicknamed the “Wolverine State,” but you won’t find wolverines there anymore. In 2004, a wolverine was discovered in Huron County. It was the first wolverine spotted in over 200 years, but it’s no longer living.
  • Detroit, Michigan is nicknamed “the car capital of the world,” or “Motor City.” It’s where Henry Ford invented the assembly line, which made it possible to produce many cars very quickly. It’s also where the first air-conditioned car was invented in 1939.

More US state facts.