The proposed State of Superior (or State of Ontonagon) is the name of a "51st state" proposal involving the secession of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and possibly other portions of northern Michigan, and in some proposals, some of the northern counties from the state of Wisconsin as well. The proposal is spurred by cultural differences, geographic separation, and the belief that the capitals in Lansing, Michigan, and Madison, Wisconsin, ignore the problems of the "Superior Region." The same area had been referred to as a possible future state named Sylvania by Thomas Jefferson. Named for Lake Superior, the idea has gained serious attention at times, though it is unlikely to ever come to fruition because of the large amount of funding that the area receives from the lower parts of the state, and because of the completion of the Mackinac Bridge in 1957, which gave the Upper Peninsula a direct highway connection to the rest of the state.[editorializing] Several prominent legislators, including local Upper Peninsula politician Dominic Jacobetti, attempted enacting such legislation in the 1970s, with no success.
If the Upper Peninsula of Michigan were turned into a state, it would currently have a smaller population than any other state, with its 320,000 residents representing only 60 percent of Wyoming's population and less than 50 percent of Alaska's. It would rank 40th in land area, larger than Maryland. Its most-populous city, Marquette, has a smaller population than Burlington, Vermont, which has the smallest population of the 50 cities that are the most populous in their respective states.