Southeast Michigan

Southeast Michigan, also called Southeastern Michigan, is a region in the Lower Peninsula of the U.S. state of Michigan that is home to a majority of the state's businesses and industries as well as slightly over half of the state's population, most of whom are concentrated in Metro Detroit.

Southeast Michigan
Metro Detroit lies within Southeast Michigan.
CountryUnited States


It is bordered in the northeast by Lake St. Clair, to the south-east Lake Erie, and the Detroit River which connects these two lakes.

Principal Cities

Other important cities within the core counties of Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne:

Outlying Cities

Some cities are considered within Southeast Michigan, while also being a part of another region or metropolitan area. The following cities tend to identify themselves separately from Southeast Michigan and are isolated from the core counties of Oakland, Macomb, and Wayne.

Metropolitan Area

See Also: Metro Detroit

With 4,488,335 people in 2010, Metro Detroit was the tenth largest metropolitan area in the United States, while Ann Arbor's metropolitan area ranked 141st with 341,847. Metropolitan areas of Southeast Michigan, and parts of the Thumb and Flint/Tri-Cities, are grouped together by the U.S. Census Bureau with Detroit-Warren-Livonia MSA in a wider nine-county region designated the Detroit–Ann Arbor–Flint Combined Statistical Area (CSA) with a population of 5,428,000.

Combined Statistical Area

*Denotes member counties of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments (SEMCOG)

  • Lenawee County is part of Southeast Michigan, but was removed from Detroit's CSA in 2001.


The main economic activity is manufacturing cars. Major manufacturing cities are Warren, Sterling Heights, Dearborn (Henry Ford's childhood home) and Detroit, also called "Motor City" or "Motown". Other economic activities include banking and other service industries. Most people in Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, Washtenaw, and Wayne Counties live in urban areas. In the recent years, urban sprawl has affected the areas of Canton, Commerce, Chesterfield, and Clinton townships. The metropolitan area is also home to some of the highest ranked hospitals and medical centers, Such as the Detroit Medical Center(DMC), Henry Ford Hospital, Beaumont Hospital, and the University of Michigan hospital in Ann Arbor.

SEMCOG Commuter Rail is a proposed regional rail link between Ann Arbor and Detroit.

The Detroit Metro Airport is the busiest in the area with the opening of the McNamara terminal and the now completed North Terminal. The airport is located in Romulus.

Manufacturing and service industries have replaced agriculture for the most part. In rural areas of Saint Clair County, Monroe, and Livingston Counties still grow crops such as corn, sugar beets, soy beans, other types of beans, and fruits. Romeo and northern Macomb County is well known for its apple and peach orchards.



Most major Detroit radio stations, such as WJR and WWJ, can be heard in most or all of southeastern Michigan. Port Huron, Howell, Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti, Adrian, and Monroe are also served by their own locally-originating stations. National Public Radio is broadcast locally from Ann Arbor on Michigan Radio WUOM 91.7 FM and from Detroit on WDET-FM 101.9 FM.


Major television stations include: WJBK Fox 2 (Fox), WXYZ 7 Action News (ABC), WDIV Local 4 (NBC), WWJ-TV channel 62 (CBS) and WKBD channel 50 (CW).


Daily editions of the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News are available throughout the area.

Further reading

  • Ballard, Charles L. (2006). Michigan's Economic Future: Challenges and Opportunities. Michigan State University Press. ISBN 0-87013-796-4.
  • Ballard, Charles L., Paul N. Courant, and Douglas C. Drake (2003). Michigan at the Millennium. Michigan State University Press. ISBN 978-0-87013-668-9.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • Cantor, George (2005). Detroit: An Insiders Guide to Michigan. University of Michigan Press. ISBN 0-472-03092-2.
  • Fisher, Dale (2005). Southeast Michigan: Horizons of Growth. Grass Lake, MI: Eyry of the Eagle Publishing. ISBN 1-891143-25-5.
  • Gavrilovich, Peter & Bill McGraw (2000). The Detroit Almanac. Detroit Free Press. ISBN 0-937247-34-0.
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