Michigan is one of the economically particularly strong states in the USA. The largest city, Detroit, was the birthplace and center of the automotive industry.

The US state of Michigan, the Great Lakes State (State of the Great Lakes) consists of two large peninsulas. The capital is called Lansing.

Michigan’s geographic location and population

The name of the state, which goes back to the language of the Ojibwe Indians, translates as large lake and refers to the four large lakes that are on the state territory. Michigan is directly adjacent to Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin. The border with Canada runs through three of the great lakes and their connecting waters. The area of Michigan is 250,494 km². 147,121 km² of this is distributed over land, the rest on water. Around 9.9 million people live in Michigan (as of 2019). The population has been falling since the last census in 2000, making Michigan an exception among all 50 US states.

Brief History of the State of Michigan

After French explorers penetrated the region that is now Michigan in the 17th century, the area temporarily came under British rule and became part of the province of Québec. At the end of the 18th century, the two peninsulas fell to the United States. In June 1805, the Michigan Territory was separated from the Indiana Territory. The state’s American history begins in January 1837 when Michigan became the 26th state to enter the Union. Michigan is the birthplace of the automotive industry. Henry Ford and other pioneers set up factories in and around Detroit. In the 1960s, the automotive industry began to decline in Motor City Detroit.

Michigan today

Michigan’s economy is comparatively strong. Agriculture plays an important role and important agricultural products are soybeans, cattle and dairy products. Michigan is a leader in the production of apples and cherries. The automotive industry is still an important economic factor. Other industrial products include engines and construction machinery. Detroit is best known today for its lively music scene. In the 1960s, it was the Motown label that influenced soul music with artists such as Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye. Today it is the rapper Eminem who sets the tone in hip-hop.

Michigan State Bird and Flower

Largest Counties in Michigan by Area

According to Countryaah, the biggest counties in Michigan are listed as below:

Ranking County Area
1 Keweenaw County 15,452 km2
2 Alger County 13,077 km2
3 Ontonagon County 9,689 km2
4 Marquette County 8,871 km2
5 Chippewa County 6,988 km2
6 Presque Isle County 6,664 km2
7 Leelanau County 6,558 km2
8 Huron County 5,532 km2
9 Mackinac County 5,442 km2
10 Delta County 5,159 km2
11 Luce County 4,952 km2
12 Iosco County 4,898 km2
13 Schoolcraft County 4,880 km2
14 Allegan County 4,747 km2
15 Alcona County 4,639 km2
16 Alpena County 4,390 km2
17 Ottawa County 4,227 km2
18 Sanilac County 4,118 km2
19 Berrien County 4,095 km2
20 Houghton County 3,890 km2
21 Gogebic County 3,823 km2
22 Muskegon County 3,779 km2
23 Charlevoix County 3,603 km2
24 Menominee County 3,465 km2
25 Oceana County 3,385 km2
26 Manistee County 3,318 km2
27 Mason County 3,217 km2
28 Iron County 3,136 km2
29 Van Buren County 2,823 km2
30 Baraga County 2,769 km2
31 Tuscola County 2,367 km2
32 Oakland County 2,352 km2
33 Cheboygan County 2,292 km2
34 Emmet County 2,284 km2
35 Kent County 2,258 km2
36 Newaygo County 2,230 km2
37 Benzie County 2,227 km2
38 St. Clair County 2,168 km2
39 Saginaw County 2,113 km2
40 Dickinson County 2,012 km2
41 Lenawee County 1,971 km2
42 Jackson County 1,875 km2
43 Washtenaw County 1,873 km2
44 Montcalm County 1,867 km2
45 Calhoun County 1,860 km2
46 Arenac County 1,764 km2
47 Monroe County 1,761 km2
48 Wayne County 1,740 km2
49 Lapeer County 1,717 km2
50 Genesee County 1,681 km2
51 Bay County 1,634 km2
52 Hillsdale County 1,572 km2
53 Antrim County 1,559 km2
54 Grand Traverse County 1,557 km2
55 Livingston County 1,515 km2
56 Ionia County 1,502 km2
57 Kalamazoo County 1,502 km2
58 Roscommon County 1,502 km2
59 Eaton County 1,500 km2
60 Isabella County 1,497 km2
61 Barry County 1,494 km2
62 Wexford County 1,492 km2
63 Clare County 1,489 km2
64 Clinton County 1,489 km2
65 Lake County 1,489 km2
66 Ogemaw County 1,489 km2
67 Missaukee County 1,487 km2
68 Osceola County 1,484 km2
69 Gratiot County 1,481 km2
70 Oscoda County 1,481 km2
71 Kalkaska County 1,479 km2
72 Mecosta County 1,479 km2
73 Macomb County 1,476 km2
74 Crawford County 1,458 km2
75 Montmorency County 1,456 km2
76 Ingham County 1,453 km2
77 Shiawassee County 1,401 km2
78 Midland County 1,368 km2
79 Otsego County 1,362 km2
80 St. Joseph County 1,349 km2
81 Branch County 1,344 km2
82 Gladwin County 1,336 km2
83 Cass County 1,316 km2


The city is the USA’s calling card in terms of automotive economic power. In particular, the three large corporations Chrysler, Ford and General Motors contributed to Detroit becoming world famous. It is not for nothing that the city still bears the nickname “The Motor City”.

The automotive capital of the USA is located on the map directly on the Canadian-American border, southwest of Toronto, east of Chicago and north of the state of Ohio. Detroit has suffered from the departure of large numbers of residents since the 1960’s. As a result, the price of property has fallen to a relatively low level for the United States and a new culture scene is gradually emerging.

Location: State of Michigan, in the north of the Midwest region, on the border with Canada and on the Great Lakes

Population: approx. 700,000

Area: 370.03 km²

Nicknames: The Motor City, Motown, The Automotive Capital of the World, Rock City, Renaissance City

Foundation: 1701

Cultural / Museums:

  • Detroit Institute of Arts Museum. The Detroit Institute of Arts was founded in 1885 and is one of the most important art museums in the United States. There is a special focus on American art, but the 65,000+ items on display include everything from ancient Egyptian to contemporary art.
  • Cultural Center. The cultural center, the so-called “Cultural Center”, is a special district in Detroit, because it has several interesting museums to offer. In addition to the above-mentioned Detroit Institute of Arts, the Detroit Historical Museum, the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, the Detroit Public Library, the Michigan Science Center and Wayne State University.
  • Henry Ford Museum. The Henry Ford Museum is also one of the most famous museums in the USA, but is not located in Detroit, but in a suburb called Dearborn. To experience a piece of contemporary American history, it is definitely worth a visit.


  • Greektown. This district, which was once founded by Greek immigrants, is a historic district that is a listed building. A variety of Greek restaurants and other entertainment options attract many visitors.
  • Belle Isle. This island is located on the Detroit River and is almost 4 km² in size. The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory, the oldest botanical garden in the USA, is located on Belle Isle, which is why this island is also a popular destination. There is also a museum, a golf course, a yacht club and a beach.
  • GM Renaissance Center. The seven skyscrapers of the Renaissance Center complex shape Detroit’s skyline. Headquarters of the automotive company General Motors, a shopping center and a hotel are located here.


  • Atheum Suite Hotel
  • The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit
  • Inn on Ferry Street
  • MGM Grand Detroit
  • The Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport

Famous People: Alice Cooper (rock musician), Madonna (entertainer), Mitt Romney (politician), Tim Allen (actor / stand-up comedian), Elizabeth Berkley (actress), Christie Brinkley (model, actress, designer, activist), James Earl Jones (actor), Tom Selleck (actor), Jack White (musician), Diana Ross (singer, actress), Eminem (rapper, producer), Iggy Pop (singer and actor), Aretha Franklin (soul singer, pianist), Kid Rock (rock musician), Stevie Wonder (soul and pop singer, composer, producer) Xzibit (showmaster, rapper, actor), Chris Webber (basketball player, NBA all star)