Length of the Great Lakes' Shoreline

A month ago we posted a blog entry about Why Lake Superior Kicks Your Lake’s Butt, a look at several fun facts about the world’s greatest lake that the Upper Peninsula is so fortunate to share.

After posting the entry Dan left a comment asking about the difference in length between Michigan’s and Minnesota’s shoreline on Lake Superior. Thanks for asking, Dan!

After some research we have found some numbers from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, listed from the 2010 Census.

MI MN WI IL IN OH PA NY U.S.A. Canada Total
Lake Huron 934 934 2,416 3,350
Lake Ontario 331 331 395 726
Lake Michigan 1,058 495 63 45 1,661 1,661
Lake Erie 54 312 51 77 494 366 860
Lake Superior 917 189 325 1,431 1,549 2,980
Totals 2,963 189 820 63 45 312 51 408 4,851 4,726 9,577

This information has an additional 225 miles of shoreline than the statistics we posted earlier.

Dan, to answer your question the Upper Peninsula has a significant portion of the Lake Superior shoreline compared to Wisconsin and Minnesota.

It’s particularly interesting to compare the data between Canada and the United States. The U.S. has just 125 miles more shoreline on the Great Lakes than Canada, however this is solely because of Lake Michigan, which is 1,600 miles of shoreline that Canada doesn’t have.

To conclude, this chart clarifies why Michigan is truly the Great Lakes State with three times as much shoreline as the next state, Wisconsin. Michigan has 23.3% of the total shoreline of the Great Lakes compared to 8.5% in Wisconsin.

Feel free to leave some more questions and comments like Dan’s and we’ll see what we can find and it could be the inspiration of our next blog post.

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