Lansing, Michigan

Considering a move to Michigan?

This article will discuss the pros and cons of living in Michigan helping you decide if the move is right for you and your family.

Michigan is a state located in the Great Lakes region of the United States. It is known for its diverse natural beauty, friendly people, and a strong economy.

However, like any place, living in Michigan has its pros and cons.

living in Michigan infographic

Key takeaways

  • Michigan has an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities.
  • Michigan offers a wealth of activities for nature lovers including swimming and boating in the Great Lakes. Hiking and camping are also popular in the state’s numerous parks and forests.
  • Michigan has a strong economy, with major industries including automotive manufacturing, healthcare, and technology.
  • Michigan’s winters can be harsh, with heavy snowfall and freezing temperatures.
  • Some parts of the state have struggled with economic decline and job loss, particularly in areas dependent on manufacturing.
  • Michigan’s housing and cost of living are relatively affordable.
  • Michigan has many opportunities for quality education.
  • Michigan has a great transportation system but suffers from poor road conditions.
map of Michigan, USA

Geography and Climate

Michigan is a state located in the Great Lakes region of the United States. It is the 11th largest state by total area and is divided into two distinct regions: the Upper Peninsula (UP) and the Lower Peninsula (LP).

The UP is separated from the LP by the Straits of Mackinac, which connects Lake Michigan and Lake Huron.

The climate in Michigan varies depending on the region. The UP has a humid continental climate, with long, cold winters and short, mild summers.

The LP, on the other hand, has a humid subtropical climate, with hot summers and cold winters. The state as a whole receives a moderate amount of precipitation throughout the year, with the heaviest amounts falling in the summer months.

Michigan’s geography is characterized by its many lakes and forests. The state is home to more than 11,000 inland lakes, including the Great Lakes, which are the largest group of freshwater lakes in the world.

The state’s forests cover more than 50% of its total land area, making it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

map of the great lakes

Economy and Job Market

Michigan has a diverse economy with a mix of industries including manufacturing, agriculture, and tourism.

The state’s economy is heavily influenced by the automotive industry, with major car manufacturers such as Ford, General Motors, and Chrysler having a significant presence in the state.

While the state has seen improvements in its job market in recent years, it still faces challenges.

The unemployment rate in Michigan is slightly higher than the national average, and many workers in the state have been affected by layoffs in the automotive industry.

Despite these challenges, there are still many job opportunities in Michigan. The state has a growing tech industry, with companies such as Google and Microsoft investing in the state.

Additionally, the healthcare industry is a major employer in Michigan, with many hospitals and healthcare facilities located throughout the state.

Overall, Michigan’s economy and job market have their pros and cons. While the state has a diverse economy and many job opportunities, it still faces challenges such as a higher-than-average unemployment rate and layoffs in the automotive industry.

car assembly plant

Housing and Cost of Living

Michigan’s housing market is generally affordable although it has been increasing over the past few years. According to with a median home value of $234,386 as of July 2022.

However, the cost of living varies depending on the city, with some areas being more expensive than others. For example, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids are known for their higher cost of living, while smaller towns and rural areas tend to be more affordable.

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Renting is also an option in Michigan, with the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment being around $800 per month. The cost of rent can vary depending on the location and amenities offered.

4 story apartment building

When it comes to utilities and other living expenses, Michigan is generally in line with the national average. The cost of electricity, gas, and water is affordable, but residents should be prepared for higher heating bills during the winter months.

Overall, Michigan’s housing and cost of living are relatively affordable compared to other states in the region. It’s important to research specific cities and areas to determine the cost of living and housing options that fit your budget and lifestyle.

Check out: Pros and cons of living in Massachusetts

Education and Healthcare

Michigan has a strong reputation for providing quality education. The state is home to several well-known universities, including the University of Michigan and Michigan State University, both of which are ranked in the top 100 national universities by U.S. News & World Report.

Additionally, there are many community colleges and trade schools throughout the state that offer affordable and accessible higher education options.

Michigan also has a robust healthcare system, with many world-class hospitals and medical centers located throughout the state.

The University of Michigan Health System, for example, is consistently ranked as one of the top hospitals in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Other notable healthcare facilities in the state include the Henry Ford Health System and the Beaumont Health System.

However, there are some downsides to the healthcare system in Michigan. The state has struggled with high healthcare costs in recent years, which can make it difficult for some residents to access the care they need.

Additionally, there are concerns about the quality of care in some areas of the state, particularly in rural and underserved communities.

As for education, while Michigan has many excellent schools, the state has also faced challenges in recent years. In 2018, the state ranked 33rd in the nation for overall education quality, according to U.S. News & World Report.

There are also concerns about the achievement gap between students of different races and socioeconomic backgrounds, as well as issues with school funding and teacher shortages in some areas of the state.

Overall, Michigan offers many strong options for education and healthcare, but there are also areas where improvements could be made to better serve residents.

healthcare worker attending to a patient

Culture and Entertainment

Michigan has a rich culture and entertainment scene, with many different options for residents to explore. Here are some of the pros and cons of living in Michigan when it comes to culture and entertainment:


  • Music: Michigan is home to Motown, a music genre that has had a huge impact on American music. There are also many music festivals throughout the state, such as the Electric Forest Festival and the Detroit Jazz Festival.
  • Theater: Michigan has a vibrant theater scene, with productions ranging from Broadway shows to experimental theater. There are also many community theaters throughout the state.
  • Art: Michigan is home to many art museums and galleries, including the Detroit Institute of Arts, which has one of the largest and most diverse art collections in the country.
  • Sports: Michigan is a sports-loving state, with professional teams in football, baseball, basketball, and hockey. There are also many college sports teams throughout the state.
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  • Seasonal limitations: Some cultural and entertainment options are limited to certain seasons, such as outdoor festivals and events.
  • Geographic limitations: Some areas of Michigan may have fewer cultural and entertainment options than others, depending on their location.
  • Cost: Some cultural and entertainment options can be expensive, such as attending a professional sports game or a Broadway show.

Overall, Michigan offers a diverse and exciting culture and entertainment scene for its residents, with many different options to explore throughout the state.

Transportation and Infrastructure

Michigan has a well-developed transportation system that makes it easy to travel within the state and to nearby states.

However, like any other state, it also has its own set of challenges when it comes to transportation and infrastructure.

One of the biggest advantages of living in Michigan is its extensive network of highways, including the I-75, I-94, and I-96, which connect major cities and towns in the state.

Michigan also has a well-connected railway system, which is used to transport goods and people across the state. The state is also home to several airports, including the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, which is one of the busiest airports in the country.

However, Michigan’s harsh winters can make travel difficult, particularly in rural areas where roads may not be plowed immediately after a snowfall.

Additionally, public transportation options are limited in many parts of the state, making it difficult for people who do not own cars to get around.

Michigan’s infrastructure is also a mixed bag. While the state has invested heavily in its road network, many of its bridges and tunnels are in need of repair or replacement.

The state’s water infrastructure is also aging, with many communities facing issues related to lead contamination and other water quality concerns.

Overall, while Michigan’s transportation system is generally reliable and efficient, it does have its challenges, particularly during the winter months.

The state’s infrastructure is also in need of investment and repair, which could impact the quality of life for residents in the years to come.

I-75 North Detroit highway sign

Is living in Michigan right for you?

Michigan is a state with a lot to offer, but like any place, it has its pros and cons. Overall, it is a great place to live if you enjoy outdoor activities, friendly people, and a slower pace of life. However, it may not be the best fit for everyone.

One of the biggest pros of living in Michigan is the abundance of natural beauty. From the Great Lakes to the forests, there is always something to explore. Additionally, the cost of living is relatively low compared to other states, making it an affordable place to call home.

However, there are also some cons to consider. The weather can be harsh, with long, cold winters and unpredictable summers. The job market can also be competitive, particularly in certain industries.

Additionally, some areas of the state may not have as many amenities or cultural opportunities as larger cities.

Ultimately, whether Michigan is the right place for you depends on your personal preferences and priorities. It is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully before making a decision.

If you are looking for a place with natural beauty, friendly people, and a lower cost of living, Michigan may be worth considering.

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