Before Your Move, Learn What Makes Michigan Unique
If you’re moving to Michigan, you’ll realize the unique geography of the state, being the only state to consist of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula, to which the name Michigan was originally applied, is noted to be shaped like a mitten. The Upper Peninsula (often referred to as "the U.P.") is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The U.P. is home to outdoor adventure with mountains, and the Tahquamenon Falls with a 48-foot vertical drop. The two peninsulas are connected by the Mackinac Bridge, and Mackinac Island, a no-motor-vehicle tourist attraction.
The state has the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision in the world, being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes (Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, Lake Huron, and Lake Superior), plus Lake Saint Clair. As a result, it is one of the leading U.S. states for recreational boating.
Though Michigan has developed a diverse economy, it is widely known as the center of the U.S. automotive industry, being home to the country's three major automobile companies, whose headquarters are all located within the Detroit metropolitan area. While sparsely populated, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is economically important as a tourist destination as well as for its abundance of natural resources, while the Lower Peninsula of Michigan is a center of manufacturing, services, and high-tech industry. A wide variety of commodity crops, fruits, and vegetables are grown in Michigan, making it second only to California among U.S. states in the diversity of its agriculture.
Michigan typically ranks third or fourth in overall research & development expenditures in the U.S. The state's leading research institutions include the University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Wayne State University which are important partners in the state's economy and the state's University Research Corridor. Michigan has a number of public universities spread throughout the state and numerous private colleges as well. Michigan State University has the eighth-largest campus population of any U.S. school. Seven of the state's universities—Central Michigan University, University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Michigan Technological University, Oakland University, Wayne State University, and Western Michigan University—are classified as research universities by the Carnegie Foundation.
Sports fan? Start your move off on the right foot by becoming familiar with Michigan's major-league sports teams. These include the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Detroit Red Wings, and the Detroit Pistons. All of Michigan's major league teams play in the Metro Detroit area.