Michigan flag

Capital: Lansing

State abbreviation/Postal code: Mich./MI

Governor: Rick Snyder, R (to Jan. 2019)

Lieut. Governor: Brian Calley, R (to Jan. 2019)

Senators: Gary Peters, D to Jan. 2021); Debbie A. Stabenow, D (to Jan. 2019)

U.S. Representatives: 14

Historical biographies of Congressional members

Secy. of State: Ruth Johnson, R (to Jan. 2019)

Atty. General: Bill Schuette, R (to Jan. 2019)

Treasurer: Nick Khouri (apptd. by governor)

Organized as territory: Jan. 11, 1805

Entered Union (rank): Jan. 26, 1837 (26)

Present constitution adopted: April 1, 1963 (effective Jan. 1, 1964)

Motto: Si quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspice (If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look around you)

State symbols:

flowerapple blossom (1897)
birdrobin (1931)
mammalwhite-tailed deer (1997)
fishestrout (1965), brook trout (1988)
gemisle royal greenstone (chlorastrolite) (1972)
stonepetoskey stone (1965)
treewhite pine (1955)
soilkalkaska soil series (1990)
reptilepainted turtle (1995)
flag“Blue charged with the arms of the state” (1911)
wildflowerDwarf Lake iris (1998)

Nickname: Wolverine State

Origin of name: From Indian word “Michigana” meaning “great or large lake”

10 largest cities (2012): Detroit, 701,475; Grand Rapids, 190,411; Warren, 134,141; Sterling Heights, 130,410; Ann Arbor, 116,121; Lansing, 113,996; Flint, 100,515; Dearborn, 96,474; Livonia, 95,586; Westland, 82,883

Land area: 56,804 sq mi. (147,122 sq km)

Geographic center: In Wexford Co., 5 mi. NNW of Cadillac

Number of counties: 83

Largest county by population and area: Wayne, 1,820,584 (2010); Marquette, 1,821 sq mi.

State parks and recreation areas: 97

Residents: Michigander, Michiganian, Michiganite

2015 resident population: 9,922,576

2010 resident census population (rank): 9,883,640 (8). Male: 4,848,114; Female: 5,035,526. White: 7,803,120 (78.9%); Black: 1,400,362 (14.2%); American Indian: 62,007 (0.6%); Asian: 238,199 (2.4%); Other race: 147,029 (1.5%); Two or more races: 230,319 (2.3%); Hispanic/Latino: 436,358 (4.4%). 2010 population 18 and over: 7,539,572; 65 and over: 1,361,530; median age: 38.5.

See additional census data

Area codes

Tourism office

Indian tribes were living in the Michigan region when the first European, Étienne Brulé of France, arrived in 1618. Other French explorers, including Jacques Marquette, Louis Joliet, and Sieur de la Salle, followed, and the first permanent settlement was established in 1668 at Sault Ste. Marie. France was ousted from the territory by Great Britain in 1763, following the French and Indian Wars.

After the Revolutionary War, the U.S. acquired most of the region, which remained the scene of constant conflict between the British and U.S. forces and their respective Indian allies through the War of 1812.

Bordering on four of the five Great Lakes, Michigan is divided into Upper and Lower peninsulas by the Straits of Mackinac, which link lakes Michigan and Huron. The two parts of the state are connected by the Mackinac Bridge, one of the world's longest suspension bridges. To the north, connecting lakes Superior and Huron, are the busy Sault Ste. Marie Canals.

While Michigan ranks first among the states in production of motor vehicles and parts, it is also a leader in many other manufacturing and processing lines, including prepared cereals, machine tools, airplane parts, refrigerators, hardware, and furniture.

The state produces important amounts of iron, copper, iodine, gypsum, bromine, salt, lime, gravel, and cement. Michigan's farms grow apples, cherries, beans, pears, grapes, potatoes, and sugar beets. Michigan's forests contribute significantly to the state's economy, supporting thousands of jobs in the wood-product, tourism, and recreation industries. With 10,083 inland lakes and 3,288 mi of Great Lakes shoreline, Michigan is a prime area for both commercial and sport fishing.

Points of interest are the automobile plants in Dearborn, Detroit, Flint, Lansing, and Pontiac; Mackinac Island; Pictured Rocks and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshores; Greenfield Village in Dearborn; and the many summer resorts along both the inland lakes and Great Lakes.

See more on Michigan:
Encyclopedia: Michigan
Encyclopedia: Geography
Encyclopedia: Economy
Encyclopedia: Government
Encyclopedia: History
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Selected famous natives and residents:

See also: