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Facts about Michigan

History | Symbols | Interesting Facts | Famous People

Statehood:  January 26, 1837, the 26th state

Capital:  Lansing

Total Area:  11th among states, 253,793 sq km (97,990 sq mi)

Water Area:  103,328 sq km (39,895 sq mi)

Highest Point:  Mount Arvon, 603 m (1,979 ft)

Lowest Point: Shore of Lake Erie; 572 feet

Total Population:  8th among states
2010 census -  9,

Population Density in 2010:  174.8 people per sq mi

Distribution in 2000:  75.2% Urban, 24.8% Rural

Gross State Product - $372.4 billion (2010)
Personal income per Capita - $34,025 (2009)

Largest cities in 2010: 
Detroit:  713,777
Grand Rapids:  188,040
Warren:  134,056

  • Grand Rapids was the first city in the U.S. to put fluoride in their water. 

  • The world’s largest weather vain in located in Montague.  It stands 48 feet tall and weighs 3,500 pounds.  Its wind arrow is 26 feet long. 

  • The first state police radio system in the world was established in 1929 by the Michigan State Police. 

  • In 1939, the Packard Motor Car Company in Detroit manufactured the first air-conditioned car. 

  • Eau Claire holds the annual International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship contest.  The record set in 1988, was for spitting 72 feet, 7 1/2 inches. 

  • Michigan has the only floating post office in the world.  The J.W. Westcott II delivers mail to ships still underway. 

  • Spanning five miles between the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan, The Mackinac Bridge is one of the longest suspension bridges in the world. 

  • The first people in the nation to receive assigned phone numbers lived in Detroit in 1879. 

  • Singing sand can be found on the beaches of Grand Haven.  The sand particles make a whistling sound as you walk upon them. 

  • Michigan has 116 lighthouses and navigational lights. 

  • The first soda pop made in the U.S., Vernor’s ginger ale, was created by accident in 1866 in Detroit. 

  • The world’s largest registered Holstein dairy herd is in Elsie.
  • In 1862 the current Michigan State University became the first land grant college in the United States.
  • Henry Ford, who produced his first experimental car in 1893, founded the Ford Motor Company in 1903.

  • Michigan is a leading state in the ownership of recreational boats and in the sale of hunting and fishing licenses.

  • The Great Lakes account for one-fifth of the world's surface freshwater supply.
  • Michigan has approximately 40 ski resorts.
  • Michigan has more than 4,000 miles of snowmobile trails.
  • Mackinac Bridge: Completed in 1957, the five-mile-long suspension bridge (WORLD'S LONGEST SUSPENSION BRIDGE) connects Michigan's peninsulas across the Straits of Mackinac.

Geography Facts:

  • State Size: 57,022 square miles of land
  • 38,575 square miles of Great Lakes water
  • 11,037 inland lakes
  • 3,200 miles of shoreline
  • 36,000 miles of rivers and streams Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake in the world, 31,820 square miles. More than 90 percent of the Upper Peninsula's land is forested. Maples, aspen, oak, evergreen, and elms are cut and shipped throughout the nation in all seasons.
  • More than 150 waterfalls
  • There are 3.9 million acres of state forest land with about 150 campgrounds and 2.7 million acres of national forest with some 80 campgrounds.