Located in the Great Lakes Region is the wonderful state of Michigan. Literally, the name Michigan means "large water" or "large lake", as it is derived from the French alteration of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa.
Michigan state is surrounded by four of the five Great Lakes in addition to Lake Saint Clair. It has a freshwater coastline which ranks amongst the longest of whatever country subdivision in the world, allowing it to a leading state within the US for recreational boating. With 64,980 inland lakes and ponds, a person in this state is never more than 6 miles or 10 km from a natural water source or more than 137 km or 85 miles from a Great Lakes shoreline. Michigan is the eighth most densely inhabited state within the United States. Measured by total area, it is the largest state east of the Mississippi River.
Michigan is made up of two peninsulas and is the only state with two peninsulas. The upper peninsula can be referred to as "the U.P." The Lower Peninsula wherein the name Michigan was originally applied is often thought to look like a mitten, because of its shape. The U.P. is separated from the Lower Peninsula by an 8 km or 5 mile wide channel called the Straits of Mackinac, which joins Lake Michigan to Lake Huron. The natural resources and tourism found in the Upper Peninsula make this area economically rich.
There are a variety of services, industries and products that contribute to Michigan's economy. These consist of: pizza, aerospace, automobiles, copper, furniture, iron, information technology, cereal products and military equipment. Michigan dedicates 60, 520 acres of land utilized for Christmas tree farming. This makes the state the third leading grower of Christmas trees. Two among the top four pizza chains were established in Michigan and are headquartered there, Little Caesars Pizza by Mike Ilitch along with Domino's Pizza by Tom Monaghan. In the year 1866, the beverage Vernors was invented in Michigan, allowing it to share the title of oldest soft drink along with Hires Root Beer.
Because of the volatile stock market disruptions after the September 11, 2001 attacks, Michigan has experienced many economic challenges. A pension crisis and benefit fund resulted for numerous American companies comprising General Motors, Ford and Chrysler. Since the recession in the early 2000s and the economic downturn post 911, these automotive businesses have struggled to overcome the benefit funds crisis. The upset within the stock market resulted in a severe underfunding situation within the United States benefit and pension funds or OPED.
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