17 Interesting Facts on Michigan

Author: Jason Coles

Updated On:

Updated On:

Situated in the Midwestern region of the U.S., known famously for its fishing exploits, and boasting the 8th largest population of all 50 states is the wonderful state of Michigan.

Michigan is famous for its incredible freshwater shoreline, which is actually the longest in the world. The stretch of freshwater is bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, with the addition of Lake Saint Clair. This incredible shoreline has produced a plethora of marine life, which contributes to Michigan’s reputation for being an astounding fishing location.

However, Michigan isn’t all about fishing and lakes, there is so much more to the Wolverine State than meets the eye. With a deep history dating back as far as the 1600s, there is so much to talk about when it comes to interesting facts on Michigan. We have curated 17 of the very best + more economic facts – enjoy!

Interesting facts about Michigan

If you are more interested in checking out Michigan’s economic and business climate, click on the link to take you there, or just scroll down the page.

17 Interesting Facts on Michigan

1. During the 17th century, the French colonized Michigan, which is where theories about Michigan’s name adoption come in. The name could possibly originate from the French version of the Ojibwe word, “Meshi-Gami”, which means “big lake” – this theory certainly does have legs due to, well, the lakes that mostly surround the state!

2. Despite being the largest city in the state with a population of over 710,000, Detroit is not the capital. The capital city of Michigan is actually Lansing, which only holds a population of over 110,000. Detroit, however, was the state capital until it was conceded and relocated to Lansing in 1847.

3. Michigan is very much a fisherman’s dream, and who would argue, with over 65,000 inland lakes to choose from!

4. It is totally illegal to buy or sell a car on a Sunday in Michigan. This law does have an exception though, for counties that boast a population of 130,000 or under.

5. Detroit has been named the car capital of the world, and for good reason too. With the first-ever air-conditioned car being created in Detroit, as well as a bunch of car manufacturers calling the city their home.

6. Michigan, and more importantly the city of Plymouth holds an annual ice festival. The event hosts a dueling chainsaw competition, ice sculptures, and many winter meals and different types of food.

7. Every year, on the last Sunday of June, there is a day dedicated solely to celebrating Log Cabins. The holiday first began on June 25, 1986, and has continued as a state tradition ever since.

8. It may come as a surprise that Michigan has one of the world’s largest suspension bridges in the world. The Mackinac Bridge is over five miles long and connects the Upper Peninsula to the Lower Peninsula.

Economic Facts About Michigan State

There is a lot to look at when considering the economic facts about Michigan state, the state itself isn’t well-known for having the best business and economic climate out of all 50 states. However, the state’s economy is a lot stronger than people might assume, and the state is also an attractive place to start a business or invest in a pre-existing one. Let’s check out some of these economic highlights!

If you would like to learn how to register a business in Michigan so you can start your entrepreneurial journey, we have created a checklist walking you through the process.

Economic Facts About Michigan

  • Michigan’s GDP is over $508 billion.
  • Michigan has a progressive income tax rate of 4.25%.
  • The base sales tax rate in Michigan is 6%.
  • Over 39% of Michigan’s population is college-educated.
  • The median income in Michigan is $30,488.
  • Michigan’s economic growth is ranked 16th in the U.S. (US News & World Report).
  • Michigan ranked 5th for affordability! (US News & World Report).
  • According to US News, Michigan ranked 15th in the U.S. for its health care access metric.
  • The current minimum wage in Michigan is $9.87 per hour.
  • According to WalletHub, Michigans’s economic innovation potential ranks 4th out of all 50 states.
  • There are over 886,000 small businesses in Michigan.
  • Small businesses account for over 99% of all Michigan businesses.
  • There are over 1.9 million small business employees within the state.
  • Over 49% of Michigan’s employees work for small businesses.
  • Small businesses accounted for over 26,000 net new jobs in 2019.
  • Michigan has over 13,300 small business exporters.
  • The average house price in Michigan is $187,747. This is constantly adjusted so take a look at Zillow’s website.
  • The corporate income tax rate in Michigan is 6%.

Interesting Facts About Michigan

Here are the rest of them!

9. Wherever you stand in Michigan, you will never be more than 85 miles away from one of the Great Lakes.

10. MI is for what state? Is an extremely common question when people consider postal abbreviations for all 50 states, well the answer to that is Michigan is the state!

11. Michigan is the only place in the world to have a floating post office! The name of the boat is “J.W. Westcott II” and it is, funnily enough, the only boat on the planet that delivers mail to ships.

12. In 1846, Michigan became the first-ever English-speaking government to abolish the death penalty for ordinary crimes.

13. The famous Detroit Zoo was the first zoo in the United States to introduce cageless, open-exhibits, allowing animals to have more freedom to roam and socialize.

14. Out of all the fruit crops Michigan produces, apples are held in the highest regard. This invaluable fruit has over 11 million trees within the state, making Michigan the third-largest apple-producing state.

15. Each state has a Capitol building in the capital city of the state. However, not all Capitol buildings are officially considered historical landmarks, in fact, only 13 of them are and Michigan’s is included! This is an official state symbol of Michigan, to learn them all take a look at our Michigan symbols list page dedicated to this.

16. The maximum speed limit that you can drive on specific roads and areas within the state is 70 MPH.

17. In 1929, the Michigan State Police created the first-ever state police radio system, and it went down extremely well.

Thanks for taking a look at our interesting, weird, and wonderful facts about Michigan! If you have some facts and interesting information regarding Michigan’s past and present that we have not covered, make sure to add a comment below.

Interesting US State Facts


Photo of author

Jason Coles

Jason Coles is the Founder of Foreign USA and its Chief Content Writer and Editor. Recognized as a prolific business plan writer by many prominent immigration attorneys in the U.S. who refer his services to their clients regularly, Jason has written over 1,350 business plans across the past 17+ years for start-up companies and franchises looking to expand their footprint in the United States. Jason is considered a seasoned expert in his field. He creates detailed business plans for his clients that include five-year financial projections, market and industry analysis reports, demographic studies, organizational charts, job descriptions, employee hiring plans, and more.