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Michigan, abbreviated MI and Mich., Is a state of the United
States bordering Canada (Ontario) in the north and east, encompassing the
peninsula between Lake Superior and Lake Michigan (Upper Peninsula) and the
peninsula between Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Eries (Lower Peninsula).
The state has an area of 250,466 km2 with 9,962,311 residents
(US Census, 2017). The capital is Lansing.
Michigan is also known as The Wolverine State, the "Wolf State."
The Upper Peninsula belongs to the hilly, mineral-rich Superior
Highlands. Highest points are Mount Arvon (603.2 meters) and Mount Curwood
(602.9 meters). The Lower Peninsula, which belongs to the "Central Lowland", is
fairly flat. The soil consists mostly of glacial deposits, with clay
soil furthest to the south.
The inland climate is moderated by the Great Lakes. Detroit in the southeast
has −4 °C average temperature in January and 22 °C in July; Sault Sainte
Marie furthest northwest –11 °C and 17 °C respectively. The rainfall is about
The colonization of Michigan lasted around 1840 and lasted until the 1930s,
with large groups of immigrants from Italy and Poland, among others. The western
part of the Lower Peninsula also received a significant number of Dutch
immigrants, while many finds settled in the Upper Peninsula.
In the 1940s, 1950s and partly also in the 1960s, the Detroit auto industry
attracted many foreigners from other parts of the United States, especially
blacks from the Southern States. However, from 1980 to 1986, the population
dropped by 117,000, primarily due to the crisis in the automotive industry and
relocation to the rest of the United States. From the latter part of the 1980s
the population showed a slight increase. In the period 1990–2000 the population
increased by 6.9 per cent (against the national average of 13.1 per cent).
79.4 percent are considered white and 14.1 percent black
(1910: 0.6 percent) (US Census, 2017). About 75 percent of the population lives
in cities or urban areas. Major cities are Detroit, Grand Rapids, Flint and the
Michigan sends two senators and 14 representatives to Congress in Washington
The industry forms the backbone of the state's economy. Michigan still has
the bulk of the United States automotive industry, and the three largest
automakers in the United States - General Motors, Ford Motor Company and Fiat
Chrysler Automobiles - all have headquarters in the Detroit area. Other
industries include major iron and steel plants in the Detroit region, wood
products (Grand Rapids), metallurgical industries (Upper Peninsula) and chemical
and petrochemicals (Detroit, Bay City). In the Upper Peninsula there are rich
deposits of copper and iron ore, and the mining industry is a leading industry
Agriculture is of particular importance to the Lower Peninsula. The main
products are maize, oats, wheat, sugar beets, potatoes, soybeans and fodder
crops. In the southwest, along Lake Michigan, a lot of fruit is grown. Large
animal husbandry (dairy cows, chickens and turkeys).
There are more than 90 universities and colleges in the state, including the
University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, founded in 1817, Michigan State University
in East Lansing, founded in 1855, and Wayne State University in Detroit, founded
The original population was mainly Ojibwa, Ottawa and Potawatomi indigenous
people. Michigan was explored from 1618 by the French, who founded Sault Sainte
Marie in 1668 and in 1701 built a fort where Detroit now resides. The area was
British in the period 1763-1783.
The Lower Peninsula became a separate territory in 1805, before the entire
state of Michigan became a state in 1837. The construction of the Erie Canal in
1825 led to economic recovery, and in the 1900s Michigan became the center of
the American automobile industry.