The Economy of Michigan

The Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan is the headquarters of General Motors. Editorial credit: Roxana Gonzalez /
The Renaissance Center in Detroit, Michigan is the headquarters of General Motors. Editorial credit: Roxana Gonzalez /

The state of Michigan is located in Midwestern US, and it borders four of the Great Lakes of North America. Michigan, also known as the Wolverine state, has a population of close to 10 million people. Michigan’s capital is Lansing. Detroit is the state’s largest city and is known as the world’s car capital.

Michigan GDP

The US Economic Development Administration estimated Michigan's 2016 GDP to be $487,239 billion, contributing 2.6% of the national GDP thus ranking it 13th out of the 50 states. The Michigan economy comprises of many products and services including, cars, food and fruits, information technology, and the mining of copper and iron. The state has modernized infrastructure giving it an edge.

The Economy of Michigan


Detroit is the home of the three biggest US car makers, General Motors, Chrysler, and Ford. Michigan State is a source of a large number of engineering opportunities given it is home to many factories. The car industry accounts for one in every ten jobs in the US. Michigan led the US in job creation improvement in 2010. In 2004, Michigan was the only state in the US to go beyond the 10,000 mark for the number of new developments, but this was set back by the recession between 2007 and 2012 slowing down the state’s economy.

Research and Development

Michigan public universities are leading research institutions, and they receive donations and grants of about $1.5 billion every year for research purposes. The National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory, which is the top rare isotope research institutions in the US, is found at Michigan State University.


The state has one of the biggest limestone quarries in the world and the second largest iron ore mines in America. Michigan is the leading manufacturer of magnesium compounds and iron oxide pigments in the US.


Michigan grows a wide variety of crops, fruits, and vegetables and it is the second to California in the US in the varieties of crops grown. Livestock products account for 38% of the agricultural produce with milk being the most valuable product. Michigan is the leading grower and exporter of fruits, and they produce a variety of fruits ranging from berries, cherries, grapes, and peaches to mention a few. The state is the third largest grower of Christmas trees. Michigan produces beer, wine and some processed foods and food products. Michigan is also home to Michigan Sugar Company, the fourth largest sugar refiner in the US.


Personal income tax in Michigan is at 4.25% and sales tax is 6%. Food and medication are tax exempt.


Michigan makes an average of $17.2 billion per year from tourists. A survey showed that 70% of the tourism business comes from the state’s residents. Forests, beaches, and lakes are some of the top attractions. Detroit offers attractions such as the Henry Ford factory, many museums, casinos, and resorts.

Hunting and Fishing

Michigan has the highest number of licensed hunters in the US who contribute a total of $2 billion annually to the economy of the state.


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