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Michigan is a state located in the upper Midwestern United States in the Great Lakes area. There is an Ojibwe term (mishigami) that means "big water" or "huge lake" that was gallicized to give it its name. Michigan is the tenth-biggest state by population and the eleventh-largest state by area, and it is the largest state east of the Mississippi River. The state has a population of about 10.1 million people and a total land area of approximately 97,000 sq mi (250,000 km2). Michigan's capital city is Lansing, and its biggest city is the Detroit metropolitan area. Metro Detroit is one of the most populated and economically significant metropolitan areas in the United States.

Michigan is the only state to have two peninsulas, and it is the most populous. The Lower Peninsula of Michigan is shaped like a mitten, as you can see in the map below. The Straits of Mackinac, a five-mile-long (8-kilometer-long) waterway between Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, separates the Upper Peninsula from the Lower Peninsula. The Mackinac Bridge spans the water between the two peninsulas. As a result of being surrounded by four out of the five Great Lakes as well as Lake St. Clair, Michigan possesses the world's longest freshwater coastline of any governmental unit. There are additional 64,980 inland lakes and ponds in the country.