Michigan (/ˈmɪʃɨgən/ (
info)) is a
Midwesternstate of the
United States of America. It was named after
Lake Michigan, whose name is a French adaptation of the
Ojibwe term mishigami, meaning "large water" or "large lake". Michigan is the eighth most populous state in the United States. It has the longest freshwater shoreline in the world, bounded by four of the five
Great Lakes, plus
Lake Saint Clair. In 2005, Michigan ranked third for the number of registered recreational boats, behind
Florida. Michigan has 12,000 inland lakes. A person is never more than six miles (9.7 km) from a natural water source, or more than 85 miles (137 km) from Great Lakes coastline.
The state is the only state to consist entirely of two peninsulas. The
Lower Peninsula of Michigan, to which the name Michigan was originally applied, is sometimes dubbed "the mitten," owing to its shape. When asked where in Michigan one comes from, a resident of the Lower Peninsula may often point to the corresponding part of his or her hand. The
Upper Peninsula (often referred to as The U.P.) is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the
Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile-wide (8.0 km) channel that joins
Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The Upper Peninsula (whose residents are often called "Yoopers") is economically important for tourism and natural resources. The Upper and Lower Peninsulas are connected by the five-mile-wide (8.0 km)
Mackinac Bridge, which is the third longest
suspension bridge between anchorages in the world. The bridge has given rise to the nickname of "trolls" for residents of the Lower Peninsula, because they live "under" (south of) the bridge.
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (called Michigan or U of M) is a public university. It is the state's oldest university and the flagship campus of the University of Michigan which also includes campuses in Flint and Dearborn. Founded in 1817 as the Catholepistemiad, or University of Michigania, about 20 years before the Michigan Territory became a state, the university moved to
Ann Arbor in 1837 onto 40 acres (16 ha), now Central Campus. The university has expanded to include more than 584 major buildings and transformed its academic program from a classical curriculum to one that includes science and research. U of M has one of the world's largest living alumni groups at 460,000. It owns the U of M Health System and has one of the largest research expenditures of any American university, surpassing $1 billion dollars a year. Its athletic teams, called the Wolverines, are members of the
Big Ten Conference and the
Central Collegiate Hockey Association. The football team plays in
Michigan Stadium, also known as "The Big House," the largest football stadium in the world.
Novi is one of the fastest growing cities in Michigan. The construction of
Twelve Oaks Mall in the mid-1970s at the interchange of Novi Road and
I-96 is often credited with ushering in the growth that the city has experienced. But even before Twelve Oaks, the area encompassed by the city experienced consistent growth since the 1950s. This growth has led to substantial increases in the city's population, as well as commercial and industrial developments in the city.