Michigan is the 11th largest state in the United States. The state is composed of two pieces of land, separated by the Straits of Mackinac, called the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Michigan is an important manufacturing and trade state due to its position beside the Great Lakes where it facilitated internal maritime trade with Canada and was able to receive raw materials for manufacturing from the eastern states.
Manufacturing remains a strong part of Michigan’s economy with three major U.S. automobile companies headquartered in the state. Michigan is also a leading producer of fruit in the United States alongside other agricultural products. Mining and timber (including Christmas Trees) as well as tourism remain important parts of the state economy. Michigan’s numerous lakes, beaches, and forests draw outdoor tourists for hunting and recreation; casinos and historic sites are also popular tourist destinations.
Most of Michigan’s population can be found throughout the southern half of the Lower Peninsula; with the Upper Peninsula lacking any large population centers.