Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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The Upper Peninsula of Michigan is the northern of the two major land masses that make up the U.S. state of Michigan. It is commonly referred to as the Upper Peninsula, the U.P., or Upper Michigan. More casually it is known as the land "above the Bridge" (above the Mackinac Bridge linking the two peninsulas). It is bounded on the north by Lake Superior, on the east by the St. Mary's River, on the southeast by Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and on the southwest by Wisconsin.

The Upper Peninsula contains almost a quarter of the land area of Michigan but just three percent of its total population. Residents are frequently called Yoopers (derived from "U.P.-ers") and have a strong regional identity. It includes the only counties in the United States where a plurality of residents claim Finnish ancestry. Large numbers of Finnish, Swedish, Danish and Norwegian emigrants came to the Upper Peninsula, especially the Keweenaw Peninsula, to work in the mines, and they stayed on and prospered even after the copper mines closed.[1]

Ordered by size, the peninsula's largest cities are Marquette, Sault Ste. Marie, Escanaba, Menominee, Iron Mountain, and Houghton. The land and climate are not very suitable for agriculture because of the long harsh winters. The economy has been based on logging, mining and tourism. Most mines have closed since the "golden age" from 1890 to 1920. The land is heavily forested and logging remains a major industry.


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