74 Michigan Facts and Weird Laws

Last update:

The Midwestern part of the United States has some of the most attractive states. Michigan State is one of the best states you would love to visit in this area. 

Apart from its rich history, culture, and breathtaking landscape, it’s home to some of the most famous people in the world, including Henry Ford, the person behind Ford Motor Company.

Here are the interesting facts about Michigan.

Michigan joined the Union on 26 January 1837. Credit: Unsplash@Brad West.

Michigan Facts – Politics And Government

  1. Michigan is a swing state, either of the two main political parties–Republican or Democratic Party can win.
  2. Both of the Michigan legislature houses have a Republican Party as the majority party.
  3. Both houses have 140 members, with the senate having 30 while the House has 110 members.
  4. The members of both houses are elected through a plurality voting method called first-past-the-post voting.
  5. The Michigan governor is the chief executive officer and the head of the state government.
  6. In this state, the electorate can directly participate in proposing, enacting, and rejecting laws through a referendum or initiative.
  7. The current Michigan State governor is Gretchen Whitmer of the Democratic Party.

Credit: Reason Magazine

  1. The two official state residences of the Michigan governor are in Lansing and Mackinac Island.
  2. The lieutenant governor, Secretary of State, and attorney general are all elected on the same ticket with the governor.

Michigan Facts – History And Culture

  1. The Algonquian people were the most populous tribe when the Europeans arrived in Michigan.
  2. Among the Algonquian people were the Anishinaabe, including Potawatomi, Ojibwe, and Ottawa.
  3. Ojibwe is estimated to have had the largest population of about 35,000 people.
  4. The first European to reach present-day Michigan was a member of Ettiene Brulé’s expedition.
  5. The first permanent European settlement in Michigan began in 1668 as a headquarters for Catholic missions.
  6. Meskwaki and its allies fought the French at the famous fox wars. They were fighting for the fur trade, with each side wanting to be in charge of the trade.
  7. Detroit, Michigan, was a key supply center for the British during the American Revolution.
  8. The River Raisin Massacre is the bloodiest battle ever fought in Michigan. It ended with the largest number of American casualties.
  9. Michigan was granted admission to the Union in 1837. [1]
  10. The name Michigan originated from the Ojibwe word mishigami meaning large lake or large water.

Similar Content

Michigan Facts – Geography

Michigan is home to 11,000 inland lakes. Credit: Unsplash
  1. Michigan is located in the Great Lakes region of the midwestern United States.
  2. With 97 000 Square miles of area, Michigan is the largest state east of the Mississippi River. It’s the 11th largest US state by area.
  3.  The state, also known as the Wolverine state, has two peninsulas, Michigan’s lower peninsula and upper, separated by an 8km Straits of Mackinac.
  4. The Straits of Mackinac joins Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. 
  5. The Wolverine State has the longest freshwater coastline in the country. It shares borders with four Great Lakes and Lake Clair.
  6.  Only Alaska has more water than Michigan in the entire country.
  7. The Wolverine State boasts 64,980 inland lakes and ponds.
  8.  In Michigan, you are always next to a natural water source. 
  9.  The 45th Parallel North runs through Michigan.
  10. Michigan borders the states of Indiana and Ohio to the south. It shares both water and land borders with the two states.
  11.  Great Lakes, including Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior, borders the West to East.
  12. The other states Michigan shares land or water boundaries with include Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, and the Canadian province of Ontario.
  13. The Porcupine Mountains in the State is one of the oldest mountain chains in the country.
  14.  The state’s highest point is Mount Arvon in the Huron Mountains, at 603 m above sea level.[2] 
  15. While the peninsula is as large as Connecticut, Massachusetts, Delaware, and Rhode Island, it has less than 330 000 people.
  16. Glacial moraines and conical hills break the surface of the peninsula.
  17. The lowest point in Michigan’s lower peninsula is Lake Erie at 174m.
  18. Michigan has the largest number of lighthouses of any state of the country –150 lighthouses. [3]
  19. The rivers are short and shallow. The main rivers include the Detroit River, St. Clair, and St. Marys River, which connect to the Great Lakes, such as Saginaw.
  20. The largest part of the North Country Scenic Trail passes through the Wolverine state.
  21. Michigan has the largest state forest and park system in the country. It has 78 parks, 19 recreation areas, and six state forests.
  22. The state enjoys a continental climate. The highest temperature (44°C) was recorded at Mio in 1936, while the lowest (-46°C) was at Vanderbilt in 1934. [4]

Michigan Facts – Plants And Animals

Credits: Unsplash@Harrison Fitts
  1. The state animals include the American robin (official state bird), white-tailed deer (official state animal), painted turtle (official state reptile), and black trout (official state fish).
  2.  Although the state is called the Wolverine state, there are no wolverines in Michigan.
  3. The state has nearly two million deers, making it the most popular animal.
  4. The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is home to coyotes, moose, gray wolf, cougars, river otters, foxes, bears, beavers, and porcupines.
  5. Tahquamenon State Park houses deer and rodents as well as beavers and moose.
  6.  The Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore has beavers, bobcats, muskrats, otters, bears, coyotes, plovers, hares, freshwater fish, hawks, and owls.
  7. The Wilderness State Park is home to the largest population of piping plovers.
  8. The Eastern Massasauga rattlesnake is the only venomous snake in the Wolverine state.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. Other dangerous animals in this state include black widow spiders, wolves, and black bears.
  2. Michigan State has over 400 plant species.

Michigan Facts – Demographics

Detroit is popular as the car capital of the world. credits: Unsplash@Alex Brisbey
  1.  Michigan has a population of over 10 million.
  2.  Detroit is the most populous city in Michigan, with over 664 139.
  3. Lansing in Ingham County is the capital city of Michigan.
  4.  The state capitol with its grand dome in Lansing was built in 1879.
  5. Racial composition in Michigan includes Whites (78.41%), African or American ( 13.79%), and Asian (3.13%).
  6.  The Roman Catholic Church is the most populous religious denomination in the state.
  7.  The Basilica of Sainte Anne de Detroit is one of the oldest Roman Catholic Parish in the United States of America.
  8. The Indiana River is home to the Cross of the Woods–the largest crucifix in the country.
  9. The II Cavallo–Leonardo da Vinci horse statue in Grand Rapids, Michigan –is the largest equestrian bronze sculpture in the country.

Michigan Facts – Economy

Tourism is key to the Michigan state economy. Credits: Unsplash
  1. The major contributors to this state’s economy include tourism, manufacturing, and agriculture.
  2. Motor vehicles, car parts, bodies, and trailer parts manufacturing is the largest industry in the Wolverine state.
  3.  The state is famous for fishing due to its 3,288-mile freshwater coastline. 
  4. Nearly 90 percent of the Upper Peninsula is covered with trees. Thus, forestry is a key industry in the state.
  5. The state also produces Iron oxide pigments for making red, black, yellow, and orange pigments for makeup.
  6. The first telephone customers to be given phone numbers were from Detroit in 1879.
  7. The Detroit-Windsor tunnel built under the Detroit River is the first auto tunnel between two nations.
  8. The largest native copper deposit in the world is Copper County in Upper Michigan.
  9. The Wolverine State is the first state to accede to tax-paid high school education.
  10.  The Sault Ste. Marie is the oldest town between the Rockies and Alleghenies. 
  11. Michigan is the only state globally with a floating post office, J.W. Westcott II. This boat has been in operation for 125 years.
  12.  Battle Creek is the “cereal capital of the world,” largely due to Kellogg Company, the pioneer of the dry cereal industry.
  13.  Michigan State University is one of the largest universities in the country. It also boasts the biggest student body in the state.
  14.  Michigan ranks among the states with the highest numbers of registered boats in the country.

Famous Locations in Michigan

Pictured Rocks National Seashore. Credits: Unsplash@Dennis
  1. Mackinac Island- is famous for hiking. You can also visit Fort Mackinac. While still on this island, you can visit the Mackinac Bridge Museum with original and exciting artifacts. 
  2. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and Lake Michigan. This lake is the largest of the Great Lakes. It has popular islands such as Manitou Islands and Beaver Island Archipelago.
  3. The Detroit Institute of Arts has over 65 000 works of art.
  4. Pictured Rocks National Seashore was named after the colors of Iron, Manganese Oxide, and Copper on its surface.
  5. Grand Island National Recreation Area offers you the most outdoor activities you’d love.
  6. Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park–which include a replica of Lena Meijer’s first home.
  7. The Henry Ford includes the Green Village, the Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation, and the Ford Rouge Factory Tour.
  8. The Isle Royale National park located in Northwestern Lake Superior is home to dense forests and a wide array of animals. 
  9. The Detroit Zoo has a collection of animals from all parts of the world.
  10. The University of Michigan has old Gothic buildings such as the Law Quadrangle, the Natural History Museum, and the power center for performing arts.
  11. Belle Isle Park, Detroit, is located in the Detroit River and houses numerous key attractions.
  12. Fort Mackinac has one of the oldest buildings in the state.
  13. The Windmill island has the only Original Dutch windmill in this state, the Dezwaan.
  14. The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum has historical facts about all the shipwrecks in Lake Superior, including the Bell (from Edmund Fitzgerald).

Famous People From Michigan

Residents of Michigan are called Michiganders, or Michiganians, but sometimes they are called Michiganites. 

  • Gene Reynolds, born in Detroit, is an Emmy-award-winning and co-creator of the M*A*S*H. 
  • Charles Howard Crane was the designer of Detroit’s Fox Theater and Olympia stadium. He lived in Detroit but was born in Connecticut.
  • William Boeing, aviation pioneer and founder of the Boeing Company, was born in Detroit.
  • Louis Chevrolet, the founder of the Chevrolet motor company, was born in Switzerland but lived and died in Detroit.
  • Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, was born in Dearborn.
  • Jim Buckmaster was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He was the CEO of Craigslist.
  • Stevie Wonder, the singer, was born in Saginaw. He won 24 Grammy Awards.
  • Madonna, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, was born in Bay City.
  • Eminem, the famous rapper, was raised in Warren.

Common Misconceptions About Michigan

It’s time to debunk most of the myths you have heard about Michigan and Michiganians.

Native Americans don’t exist in Michigan

While the information about what happened to the Native Americans after 1900 is scarce, they still exist. Michigan has over 100 000 Native Americans.

Every Michiganian fish and hunt as a pastime

This myth is one of the most misleading ones about Midwesterners. Not all of them love fishing and hunting.

Michigan roads are full of potholes

There are bad roads but most of Michigan’s roads are in perfect condition like other states’ roads.

It’s always snowy in Michigan


Well, there is snow but not always.

Weird Laws in Michigan 

Many of the laws below were passed a long time ago, but they still exist in many Michigan cities, but many of them go unenforced. It is easier to pass laws than to revoke them, so some very strange laws remain on the books. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

Here are some of our favorites.

  1. It is illegal to sleep in a bathtub in Detroit, Michigan.
  2. Children under the age of twelve are not allowed to talk over the telephone unless supervised by a parent in Blue Earth, Minnesota.
  3. State lines cannot be crossed with a duck on top of a person’s head.
  4. A bathtub must have feet.
  5. Shirts are required for all men driving motorcycles.
  6. There is a law in Brainerd, Minnesota that requires every man to grow a beard.
  7. You may not eat hamburgers on Sundays.
  8. It is illegal to tease skunks in Minnesota.
  9. The elephant can’t be parked on Main Street in Virginia. (Where do people park it then…?)
  10. It is against the law to serenade or sing to, your girlfriend in Kalamazoo.
  11. According to Michigan law, a wife’s hair belongs to her husband. Without her husband’s permission, a woman isn’t allowed to cut her own hair.
According to Michigan law, a wife’s hair belongs to her husband. Image: Brides

Final Thoughts

Michigan is one of the best states in the Midwest in terms of landscape, culture, and wildlife. This region gives you a plethora of options, from touring, hiking, bird watching, boat riding to exploring historical facts.

We brought you a list of select Michigan fun facts, but we couldn’t cover all the facts. Check out this video below to learn more interesting facts about Michigan.

Michigan Facts And Stats

Population2020 (10,077,331)
GovernorGretchen Whitmer( Democratic Party)
Date Of AdmissionJanuary 26, 1837
U.S. SenatorsGary Peters (D-MI)
Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)
US House of Representatives14 (of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameThe Great Lake StateThe Wolverine StateWater Winter WonderlandThe Mitten State
State MottoSi quaeris peninsulam amoenam circumspect meaning  “If you seek a pleasant peninsula, look about you”
State SongMichigan, My Michigan by W. Otto Miessner is considered the state song
State FlowerApple Blossom
State FishBrook trout
State BirdAmerican Robin
State TreeEastern white Pine
State MammalWhite-Tailed Deer
State AmphibianGray Tree Frog
State MineralChlorastrolite
State GemChlorastrolite
State FossilMastodon
Neighbor StatesOhioIndianaWisconsinCanada 

Frequently Asked Questions About Michigan

What are the 5 interesting facts about Michigan?

The world’s largest registered Holstein dairy herd is in Elsie, Michigan.

  • Rogers City, Michigan, has the world’s largest limestone quarry.
  • Alpine houses the largest cement plant in the country.
  • Detroit is the car capital of the world.
  • Michigan is the first state in the country to produce compounds of magnesium and peat. It’s the second in Iron ore and gypsum. 

What is Michigan famous for?

  • The Wolverine State has the longest freshwater shoreline in the nation.
  • Michigan has the only genuine Dutch windmill in the United States.
  •  There are only four ice luge tracks in the nation, and Michigan has one.

What are some important facts about Michigan?

  • Michigan has 3,288 miles of the Great Lakes Shoreline.
  • Michigan has 58 110 Square miles of land.
  • Michigan has 38 575 Square miles of Great Lakes Water area.
  • The state boasts 1305 Square miles of inland water.


[1] https://www.battlefields.org/learn/war-1812/battles/river-raisin

[2] https://www.baragacounty.org/convention-visitors-bureau/things-to-do/mt-arvon/

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lighthouse

[4] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_climate

Photo of author
Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

Leave a Comment