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Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is a French alteration of the Ojibwe word mishigama, meaning “large water” or “large lake”.

Michigan is the eighth most populous state in the United States. It has the longest freshwater coastline of any political subdivision in the world, being bounded by four of the five Great Lakes, plus Lake Saint Clair. In 2005, Michigan ranked third among US states for the number of registered recreational boats, behind California and Florida. Michigan has 64,980 inland lakes and ponds. A person in the state is never more than six miles (10 km) from a natural water source or more than 85 miles (137 km) from a Great Lakes shoreline. It is the largest state by total area east of the Mississippi River.

Michigan is the only state to consist entirely of two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula, to which the name Michigan was originally applied, is often dubbed “the mitten” by residents, owing to its shape. The Upper Peninsula (often referred to as “The U.P.”) is separated from the Lower Peninsula by the Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile (8 km)-wide channel that joins Lake Huron to Lake Michigan. The Upper Peninsula is economically important for tourism and natural resources.

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