The state of Minnesota is located in the Midwest region of the United States of America. The state is billed as the land of 10,000 lakes, but it actually has over 15,000. Minnesota's northernmost point, jutting into Lake of the Woods, forms the northernmost point of the United States excluding Alaska.

Minnesota is bordered by Canada (provinces of Manitoba and Ontario) to the north, Lake Superior to the northeast, Wisconsin to the east, Iowa to the south, and North and South Dakota to the west. The current state of Minnesota was formed from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. Its population, of more than five million inhabitants, is mainly descended from emigrants from Western Europe. The main ethnic minorities are African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans descended from the original inhabitants, and the recent Somali and Hmong immigrant communities.

Just over half of its population is concentrated in the metropolitan area of the Twin Cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, which are the state's center of transportation, business and industry, and home to an internationally recognized arts community. The rest of the state, known as Greater Minnesota, consists of vast prairies dedicated to intensive agriculture to the west, deciduous forests to the east, and the less populated boreal forest to the north. The state is also known by its nickname, the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Such lakes, along with other waterways and their numerous national parks and forests, offer residents and tourists a vigorous outdoor lifestyle.

Its extreme climate contrasts with the moderation of its inhabitants. The state is known for its moderate to progressive politics, social policies, and high civic participation in political issues. It is among the healthiest states, and has one of the most educated and literate populations.



Twin Cities
The state's dominant urban area, with Minneapolis, Saint Paul and their vicinities

Northwestern Minnesota
The borderland to Canada, with plains and forest and the headwaters of the Mississippi River.

Northeastern Minnesota
The North Shore of Lake Superior, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Duluth.

Southern Minnesota
Rolling farmland, the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, and Rochester.



1 St. Paul, the capital and second-largest city, with a historic-looking state capitol.
2 Bloomington, home of the Mall of America, and the only IKEA in the state.
3 Duluth, the primary city in northeastern Minnesota and gateway to the North Shore and Arrowhead Region.
4 Mankato, the hub of the smallest metropolitan area in Minnesota.
5 Minneapolis, the largest city in the state and the center of the "North". Extremely rich in culture and diversity.
6 Northfield, on the Cannon River with the motto "Cows, Colleges, and Contentment" and the annual "Defeat of Jesse James Days" celebration.
7 Pine City, the primary city in the East Central region, equidistant to Minneapolis and Duluth, and home to the Snake River Fur Post.
8 Rochester, the primary city in southeastern Minnesota and a global destination for health and wellness, home to the Mayo Clinic.
9 St. Cloud, the largest population center in the State's central region.


Other destinations

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness lies southeast of Voyageurs National Park in the state of Minnesota, USA.

Voyageurs National Park is a large expanse of wilderness located near a city of International Falls, Koochiching County.


Gettinge here

By plane
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) is by far the state's busiest airport. It is a hub for Delta Air Lines, its regional subsidiary Delta Connection and Sun Country Airlines, and can therefore be reached from all parts of the USA and also directly from Europe (including Amsterdam, Paris and London). Condor only flies from Frankfurt during the summer months.

Regional airports of some importance are at Duluth (DLH) and Rochester (RST), as well as micro airports at Bemidji (BJI), Saint Cloud (STC), International Falls (INL), Brainerd (BRD), Hibbing (HIB) and Thief River Falls (TRF).

By train
Railroad stations served by Amtrak are in Winona, Red Wing, Saint Paul, Saint Cloud, Staples and Detroit Lakes. These are served daily by the Empire Builder long-distance train, which runs from Chicago to Seattle/Portland.

Duluth and Rochester are connected to the Amtrak network by thruway buses from St. Paul/Minneapolis.

By bus
Both Minneapolis and Saint Paul are served by Greyhound.

In the street
There are three interstate highways running through Minnesota: Interstates 90 and 94 run east-west, while I-35 runs north-south. Other national and state highways complete the network.



Metro Transit provides bus and light rail service in and around the Twin Cities. The average fare for both services is usually $2 ($2.50 during peak hours of 6:00 AM - 9:00 AM and 3:00 PM - 6:30 PM). For this fare, riders can purchase a 150-minute ride or transfer pass on a Metro Transit bus or train. The Duluth Transit Authority provides bus and trolley service to the Twin Ports area.

Seniors and the disabled can ride buses and light rail for a reduced fare of $1.

The relatively new light rail service provides tourist-friendly routes between the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), the Mall of America, the Warehouse District, and downtown Minneapolis.

Information on transit is available here.

However, "flex-fuel" vehicles, which can run on a combination of gasoline and ethanol, from E0 (pure gasoline) to E85, are likely to get 20-25% worse fuel economy in Minnesota using E85 than using standard gasoline with 10 % ethanol. The worse fuel economy depends on the actual composition of E85, which varies with the season (winter blend "E85" is actually 70% ethanol) There are over 350 stations that sell E85.



The Mall of America in Bloomington is the largest indoor mall in the United States, boasting more than 500 stores and an indoor amusement park.



Minnesota's traditional cuisine is typically the hearty meat-and-potatoes fare common in the Midwest, but in keeping with the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," fish is at the heart of the cuisine. Two local favorites are walleye, a fine, tight white fish, and lake trout, a pinkish, tight-fleshed fish that somewhat resembles salmon.

Lutefisk is a popular dish brought to Minnesota by Norwegian immigrants. Dried cod, rehydrated in caustic lye, is an acquired taste, to say the least. This dish is often served at Christmas time at church basement suppers throughout Minnesota. For the less adventurous, there is a thin, flat, tortilla-like bread made from potato flour called lefse.

In the Twin Cities area, Nicollet Avenue in Minneapolis is particularly famous as "Eat Street. Safari Restaurant (Somali food), Blue Nile (Ethiopian food), and Holy Land Deli (Middle Eastern food) are three of the best known, and there there are countless hole-in-the-wall restaurants along Franklin Street, Nicollet Avenue, and Central Avenue.



State Liquor Laws
As in the rest of the U.S., the drinking age is 21. A drinking culture is deeply rooted in Minnesota, even in rural areas. Bars and restaurants serving alcoholic beverages are open until 2 a.m. seven days a week, but not all are (especially Sunday through Thursday), and some municipalities have earlier closing hours.

Unlike many other states, grocery and convenience stores do not allow the purchase of alcoholic beverages unless they are low-alcohol beers with a 3.2% alcohol content (4% alcohol by volume). Some grocery stores do not bother to sell 3.2 beer, even though they are allowed to do so, indicating that the drinking culture in this state is quite prevalent.

If you want regular beer, wine, or liquor, but don't want to drink it in a restaurant or bar, you must go to a liquor store. By state law, liquor stores are allowed to be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Wednesdays. Local jurisdictions are allowed to make greater restrictions as they deem appropriate. For example, Sunday sales were just legalized at the state level in 2017, and some towns have opted to maintain a ban on Sunday sales. Some cities and towns operate municipal liquor stores and ban private liquor stores. Despite this puritanical approach to alcohol sales, there is a fairly active drinking culture even in rural towns (“more bars than churches,” the cliché goes). Identity checks are less common than in other states, but are frequent in areas with large numbers of college students and tourists.


Keep Safe

Bad Weather

Perhaps the greatest danger is the weather. Minnesota has a continental climate and often experiences extreme temperatures. Weather can be quite nasty, so prepare and plan accordingly.

Thunderstorms and Tornadoes
During the spring and summer months, Minnesota (especially in the southern part of the state) tends to experience severe thunderstorms, and tornadoes can also occur. It is recommended that you pay close attention to the weather conditions during these seasons to stay aware of the possibility of these severe storms. Because weather conditions can change very quickly, we recommend that you check weather conditions frequently when traveling through or passing through the state during the spring and summer seasons.


Winter Storms

If you are traveling outside of a major metropolitan area during the winter months, it is recommended that you bring extra blankets and warm clothing in case of accidents or mechanical problems. As a rule of thumb for Minnesotans, always keep your car at least half full of gas during the winter months. Winter highs typically range from 10 to 30°F (-10 to 0°C), but temperatures can drop below freezing for several weeks in the winter. Minnesotans are taught from an early age to bundle up and dress in layers during the winter months. Also, unlike many other states, Minnesotans are quite accustomed to driving on icy, snow-covered roads. In addition, the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles has plenty of snowplows to plow and salt the roads after a snowstorm. Thus, don't be surprised if businesses and schools are still open after a heavy snowstorm.

During the winter months, always check the thickness of the ice before venturing out on a frozen lake or pond. Do not park your car on a lake or pond unless local DNR officials deem it safe. Never walk on river ice. Even if it appears safe, it may not be thick enough to support your weight due to the river currents below.



In the land of 10,000 lakes, Minnesota offers beautiful wilderness areas and campgrounds. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW or BWCA) is a 1.09 million acre (4,400 km²) wilderness area in the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota. s only national park, Voyageurs National Park. There are also numerous state parks.



Minnesota is the northernmost state except for Alaska; Its Northwest Angle is the only part of the contiguous 48 states that lies north of the 49th Parallel. It is bordered to the north by the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario, to the east by Wisconsin and Lake Superior, to the south by Iowa, and to the west with North Dakota and South Dakota. With its 225,365 km², or 2.25% of the United States, it is the 12th largest state (the second largest among the Midwest states). It belongs to the Upper Midwest subregion.



Most of the terrain is relatively flat and dotted with lakes, having been eroded by glacial periods during the Ice Age. The extreme southeastern part of the state is part of the Driftless Area, which was not covered by the recent Wisconsin glaciation. Lake Pepin and the high bluffs of the Mississippi meet here. The northeastern part of the state is in the Canadian Shield and is covered by rugged series of hills, notably the iron ore-rich Mesabi Range, the Sawtooth Mountains along the Lake Superior shoreline, the Misquah Hills, and the Laurentian Highlands.

Two continental divides meet in the northwest—the Laurentian Divide and the St. Lawrence Divide—creating three watersheds: rain that falls in the state can either end up in the Mississippi River, which flows into the Gulf of Mexico , such as the St. Lawrence Channel, in the Atlantic Ocean, or the Hudson Bay Basin, in the Arctic Ocean.

The average altitude of the state is 366 m. The highest point is Eagle Mountain, at 701 m, and the lowest, 183 m, on the surface of Lake Superior. It is one of the most geologically stable regions in the country. It has experienced very few earthquakes throughout its history, most of which have been low intensity; The strongest earthquake of the last century occurred near Morris in 1975 and had an intensity of between 4.6 and 4.8 on the Richter scale.


Geographic regions

Minnesota is divided into four geographic regions:

The Dissected Till plains occupy a small area located in the extreme southwest. They are characterized by the presence of large quantities of sediments of glacial origin, left by ancient glaciers. They are also characterized by their relatively flat terrain and very fertile soil. The latter erodes very easily, causing the rivers present in the region to excavate very deep valleys.
The Young Drift Plains comprise a long strip of land that extends from the northwest to the west-central region of the State, and from there, to the south-central region. It is mainly characterized by its slightly rugged terrain, marked by the presence of flat, low-elevation mountains. The glaciers left large amounts of sediment in the region, although less than in the Dissected Till Plains. Its soil is fertile, and most of the region is used for farming.
The Driftless Area is located in the extreme southeast. Unlike the two plains mentioned above, the Driftless Area was not affected by the ice ages that occurred more than ten thousand years ago in North America. It has a very rugged terrain, with high mountains and deep valleys.
The Superior Plateau is located in the central region and in the northeast. It is considered part of the Canadian Shield, a region characterized by its rugged and rocky terrain. Most of the region is covered by forests, which are mostly located in this region of the State. Both the highest and lowest points are located here.


Fauna and Flora

Three of North America's great biomes converge in Minnesota: the western Great Plains, the eastern deciduous forest, and the northern boreal forest of the Canadian Shield.

While habitat loss has created problems for native animals such as martens, deer, reindeer and bobcats, the state contains the nation's largest population of gray wolves outside of Alaska and is home to sizable populations of moose. and white-tailed deer.

Located on the Mississippi Flyway, the state has populations of migratory waterfowl such as geese and ducks, as well as game birds such as grouse, pheasants, common and turkeys. The lakes are full of fish such as walleyes, perch, pike and northern pike. Southeastern streams are stocked with brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout.



Minnesota has a temperate continental climate, with very cold winters and warm summers, and relatively unstable, where weather conditions can change suddenly in a short period. The climate is typical of its continental location, its high latitudes, and its slightly rugged terrain, which allows the rapid movement of air currents coming from any direction throughout the state. In general, the state's temperatures increase as you travel south. However, most of the northeast of the State has lower temperatures than the northwest, due to its higher average altitude. Meanwhile, the coastline along Lake Superior has milder winters and summers than other regions of the state.

It is nationally known for its harsh winter. The town of International Falls, located in the northernmost part of the state, has the lowest temperatures of any American city located in the contiguous 48 states. In winter, the average temperature in the south is -11°C, while the northern region has an average temperature lower than -19°C. The average minimum in the south is -14 °C, and in the north, -21 °C. The average maximum is -3 °C in the south and -8 °C in the north. The lowest temperature recorded was -51 °C, in Tower, on February 2, 1996.

In summer, the average temperature in the south is 23 °C, and in the north, 19 °C. The average minimum temperature is 17 °C in the south and 9 °C in the north. The average maximum temperature is 28 °C in the south and 26 °C in the north. The highest temperature on record was 46°C, recorded at Beardsley on 29 July 1917 and at Moorhead on 6 July 1936.

The average annual rainfall rate increases as you travel eastward. The western region receives less than 50 centimeters of rain per year, while the eastern region receives more than 80 centimeters. The rate of snowfall, meanwhile, increases as you travel north. The south receives about 50 centimeters of snow per year, while the north receives approximately 180 centimeters per year.


Lakes and rivers

It is one of the states most covered by bodies of water in the United States. Its nickname, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, is no exaggeration: it has 11,842 lakes of more than 10 acres (40,500 m²). The largest lake is Red Lake, with its 1,100 km². The percentage of the state's area occupied by water is about 5% of its total surface. If we count the portion of Lake Superior (the largest and deepest body of water in the state) this percentage increases to 8.4%.

It has 6,564 natural rivers and streams, which have a total length of 111,000 kilometers. The longest river in the US and the third longest in the world, the Mississippi begins its 6,270 km journey at Lake Itasca in the north. It joins the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling, and to the southeast with many trout streams. The Red River of the North, at the bed of glacial Lake Agassiz, drains the northwestern part of the state northward, emptying into Lake Winnipeg in Canada.

The Mississippi watershed covers about 57% of the state's surface, followed by the Red River, with 30%. For their part, the rivers that flow into Lake Superior, all located in the extreme northeast, cover the remaining 13% of the State.


Protected areas

Minnesota is home to many green spaces. The state has 71 state parks, 53 state forests, two national forests, and many other preserves and regional parks. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is located on the northeastern border of the state, and Itasca State Park, the official source of the Mississippi River, is located in the northwest section of the state. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is responsible for managing state parks and forests.

The areas under management of the National Park Service are:
Grand Portage National Monument in Grand Portage
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area, within the Twin Cities
North Country National Scenic Trail
Pipestone National Monument in Pipestone
Voyageurs National Park



The word Minnesota comes from the Dakota for the Minnesota River, Mnisota or Mnišota. Mni (on occasion mini or minne) can be translated as 'water', and sota as 'milky, hazy' (with the variant šota 'stuck'). In fact, Mnisota can be translated as 'water dyed from heaven' and Mnišota by 'water enturbed by something'. Native Americans explained the origin of the name to early settlers by pouring milk into water and calling it mnisota. Many places in the state contain the word "minn" for water, such as Minnehaha Falls ("Waterfall"), Minneiska ("White Water"), Minnetonka, ("Big Water"), Minnetrista ("Dead Water"), and Minneapolis, which is a combination of mni and the Greek word polis ("city").



Until 1858

The first European explorers in the region were the French Pierre Esprit Radisson and Médard Chouart des Groseilliers, in 1660. At that time, the Sioux Native Americans inhabited it. A second tribe, the Chippewa, would settle there in the mid-1750s. The Chippewa and Sioux would immediately become enemies.

In 1679, the Frenchman Daniel Greysolon, in search of a land route to the coast of the Pacific Ocean, passed through the region. Greysolon arrived via Lake Superior, explored the interior and annexed it to the French crown. A year later, the Belgian Louis Hennepin and his two exploring companions were captured by the Sioux, in present-day Illinois. Native Americans took them to present-day Minnesota. Hennepin was thus the first European to visit the current site of Minneapolis. After learning that the Sioux had captured three unknown targets, Greysolon organized a search and rescue mission. In 1769, after encountering the Sioux, he successfully demanded their release.

The French controlled the region for nearly a century. Then, this belonged to the colonial province of Louisiana, part of New France. In 1762, the French ceded to the Spanish all the Louisiana territories located west of the Mississippi River, which included the entire southern region of present-day Minnesota. A year later, in 1763, the Franco-Indigenous War would end, between them and the British, which would result in French defeat. Under the terms of the Treaty of Paris, they ceded all lands of New France east of the Mississippi to the British, including the region that is now northern Minnesota. The North West Company, a British company, quickly founded various trading posts, including in the Spanish-controlled portion. These had no interest in the southern region, given its isolated location, distant from the main colonial centers of Spain in North America.

In 1783, after the end of the American Revolutionary War, the British ceded all their lands south of the Great Lakes and east of the Mississippi to the United States. The region of present-day northern Minnesota immediately became part of the Northwest Territory. However, the British continued the fur trade in the region until the end of the War of 1812. Meanwhile, in 1800, the Spanish had ceded Louisiana to the French. In 1803, Napoleon Bonaparte sold Louisiana to the United States, bringing the entire region under American control. Two years after the sale, Zebulon Pike was sent by the United States government to explore the region.

The Americans founded a temporary fort in 1819. A year later, they began construction of the first permanent settlement, near the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers. It was opened in 1825, under the name Fort Snelling (Fort St. Anthony). This settlement immediately became the main industrial and commercial center of the region, in addition to performing military services in the region.

Fort Snelling also served as a launching point for explorers who wanted to explore the unexplored parts of the region. One of these explorers, Henry R. Schoolcraft, discovered Lake Itasca, the source of the Mississippi River. Americans began clearing the forests during the late 1830s, and the lumber industry quickly became the region's main source of income. The first crops began in the 1830s in the Young Drift Plains region of eastern and south-central present-day Minnesota. Quickly, it was realized that the soil of this region was extremely fertile, which began to attract more people to the region.

In 1837, the Sioux and Chippewa sold their lands around the St. Croix River to the Americans. In 1851, farmers founded St. Paul, and it became the first city when it was incorporated in 1854.

Between 1783 and 1849, Minnesota was part of several territories: Louisiana, the Northwest Territory, the Illinois Territory, the Michigan Territory, and the Wisconsin Territory. This latter territory encompassed all of present-day Minnesota, as well as the present-day States of Iowa and Wisconsin. When Iowa and Wisconsin became states, the United States Congress, on March 3, 1849, created the Territory of Minnesota, which occupied the remainder of the former territory of Wisconsin.

The northern, eastern, and southern borders of the new Minnesota Territory were the same as today. Its western border, however, extended to the Missouri and White Earth rivers, encompassing much of the current states of North Dakota and South Dakota. At that time, nearly four thousand American inhabitants of European descent lived in the region. After becoming a territory, the population grew rapidly. Many of the new settlers settled in the Young Drift Plains region, in the west and south-central. In 1851, the Sioux, who lived in the south, were forced by the American government to give up all their lands.

Strong population growth—concentrated mainly in the eastern part of the territory—led the eastern portion of the Minnesota Territory to be elevated to statehood on May 11, 1858, becoming the 32nd State of the United States. Then, it had more than 150,000 inhabitants, and its territorial limits were already the current ones. The western portion would become the Dakota Territory in 1861.


1858 - Present

Three years after Minnesota's admission to the Union as the 32nd American state, the American Civil War broke out in 1861 against eleven states of the Southern United States, which had seceded from the country and formed the Confederate States of America. It was the first state to offer troops to the Union to fight against the Confederates.

In August 1862, while the main battles and conflicts of the Civil War were taking place relatively far from the State, the Sioux made a major attack against communities inhabited by Americans of European descent. In this attack, the Sioux killed more than 500 people, and destroyed several communities and plantations. Minnesota militias and American troops eventually defeated the Sioux.

After the end of the Civil War, Minnesota went through a period of great economic growth and prosperity. Large numbers of mills were built to process the wheat grown in the region, factories were built in Minneapolis, and railroads began to connect Minnesota with the rest of the country. In addition to this, the state government, along with the railway companies, was interested in attracting more people to the region. The local government and railway companies distributed large quantities of pamphlets in Europe—especially in the newly united Germany and in Scandinavia. . Large numbers of European immigrants—mostly Germans, and to a lesser extent, Norwegians, Swedes and Irish—settled in the State between the 1870s and 1890s.

In the early 1880s, large deposits of iron were discovered. Several more would be discovered in 1890, and even more later in the late 1910s. Iron mining quickly became one of the state's main sources of income.

In 1889, William W. Mayo and his two sons founded a medical clinic, the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester. The clinic became well known in the State, and eventually the Mayo family would convert what was initially a small clinic into a hospital center. Today, the Mayo Clinic is one of the most prestigious medical research centers in the world.

In 1894, a large fire broke out in the woods, known as the Great Hinkley Fire. The fire spread over nearly a thousand square kilometers of forest, causing the death of approximately 400 people and nearly a million dollars in damages. Later, in 1918, another large fire would take place, again claiming the lives of nearly 400 people, and this time, causing more than 25 million dollars in damages.

The period of great prosperity and economic growth would last until the mid-1920s. However, this prosperity, for the most part, was only enjoyed by the railroad companies (which charged a lot for transporting products produced in Minnesota to other countries). regions of the country), and banking and political establishments. During the 1890s and 1900s, large numbers of farmers, miners, and industrial workers joined together in unions and cooperatives. After World War I—which significantly increased the sale of iron ore and agricultural products, and spurred the industrialization of the state—these groups would join together to form the Agrarian-Labor Party, which supported small farmers and workers. industrial. The first politician of this party to become governor, Floyd B. Olson, was elected Governor of the State in 1931.

Minnesota began to suffer the first signs of economic recession during the 1920s, due to low prices and low demand for the agricultural products and iron ore it produced. Many farms fell into serious debt. This recession was further aggravated by the Great Depression of the 1930s, when national demand for the state's two main sources of revenue—wheat and iron ore—had fallen sharply across the country. Large numbers of workers lost their jobs. About 70% of workers who worked in iron mining, for example, were laid off. Many farmers, facing debt, low prices, drought, and grasshopper infestations, were forced to abandon their farms and move to cities.

The local government and the United States carried out various socioeconomic assistance and public construction programs, in an attempt to minimize the effects of the Depression in the state. Meanwhile, iron mining companies began mining primarily taconite, a cheaper, lower-quality type of iron that now makes up about 30% of the iron produced in Minnesota. The effects of the Depression would come to an end with the country's entry into World War II, which created demand for wheat and iron produced in the State. Another result of the war was the beginning of the acceleration of industrialization.

After the war, manufacturing had overtaken iron mining and wheat cultivation as the state's main source of income. Iron mining, for its part, had fallen drastically after the war, due to the collapse of national demand, and its economic importance decreased significantly. To stimulate the mining industry in the state, Minnesota decided to provide tax premiums to its miners and steel mills in 1964, encouraging the construction of mines and steel industries in the State. One of the main problems caused by the iron mining industry was the pollution of the water environment, due to the waste generated by such mines. In 1978, the state Supreme Court ordered a Silver Bay mining company to stop releasing its waste into Lake Superior. The company was forced to build a special landfill, inaugurated in 1980. During the 1980s and 1990s, other industrial companies, under pressure from environmental groups and the state government, did the same.

Meanwhile, due to rapid industrialization and modernization of the agricultural industry—which caused an exodus from rural areas to cities—by the mid-1950s the majority of the State's population was already living in urban areas. The economy diversified, and sectors such as the provision of financial and real estate services and tourism became increasingly important in the State's economy. This process continues.


Urban network

The capital is Saint Paul, located in the east-central part of the state, along the eastern bank of the Mississippi River. Saint Paul is bordered on the other side of the river by the largest and most populous city, Minneapolis. Both cities along with their suburbs comprise the Twin Cities metropolitan area, the 16th largest metropolitan area in the United States and home to approximately 59% of the state's population as of April 1, 2005. The rest of the state is known as Greater Minnesota or Outstate Minnesota.

Cities with a population greater than 50,000 (as of 2005) are, in descending order: Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Rochester, Duluth, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Plymouth, Eagan, St. Cloud, Coon Rapids, Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, Woodbury, Blaine, and Minnetonka.​ Of these, only Rochester, Duluth, and St. Cloud are outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.



The 2005 census estimates the population at 5,132,799, making it the 21st most populous state in the nation. Its population has increased by 213,307 inhabitants (or 4.3%) since 2000. The demographic increase since 2000 is due to a natural increase of 161,252 people (358,012 births minus 196 760 deaths) and a net migration of 54,032 people in the state. External migrations have led to a net gain of 70,800 people, while internal migrations have led to a net loss of 16,768 people.

In 2004, 6.1% of residents were not born in the United States, compared to 11.1% nationally.
88.2% White (European)
3.5% African Americans
2.9% Hispanic Americans
2.9% Asians
1.1% Indigenous
1.4% Two or more races

About 75% of the population is of Western and Northern European ancestry. The largest ethnic groups are Germans (37.3%), Norwegians (17.0%), Irish (12.2%), and Swedes (10.0%). %).20​ The state had a reputation for being relatively homogeneous, but that is changing. The Chinese and Japanese have had long presences in the state, and the Latin American population continues to increase. The immigrants that the state currently receives come from all over the world, such as the Miao, the Somalis, the Vietnamese, the Indians, those from the Middle East and emigrants from the former Eastern Bloc. The state has the third largest population of Miao speakers in the United States. Many of these new immigrants are being helped by religious congregations.

In 2011, non-Hispanic whites accounted for 72.3% of all births.


Races and ethnicities

Age pyramid
The distribution of the population by age in 2000 was:
+18: 3,632,585 (73.8%)
+21: 3,414,300 (69.4%)
+62: 696,775 (14.2%)
+65: 594,266 (12.1%)
Average age (years) 35.4



Around 74% of the population declares themselves Christian. Recently, immigrants have formed considerable communities of Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus.

Religious affiliations of the population:
in 2019
Catholics - 22% - 1,244,072
Protestants - 52% - 2,940,535
Other religions - 5% - 282,743
No religion - 21% - 1,187,523



The US Government's Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) estimates the gross domestic product in 2005 at $233.3 billion. Per capita income was $36,184 in 2004, 8th in the nation. Median household income was approximately $48,000 in 1999, also ranked 8th in the nation (U.S. Census Bureau). . The median household income by county ranges from $17,369 in Todd County to $42,313 in Hennepin County. In general, wages are lower in more rural areas, especially in the northwestern part of the state.

Retail sales per capita were $10,260 in 1997, higher than the U.S. average of $9,190. Roseville, a suburb of the Twin Cities, has the highest per capita sales in the state ($14,870), although total income is much higher in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, and Edina.


Industry and Commerce

The economy has transformed over the last 200 years, from an economy based on raw materials to one based on finished products and the provision of services. The first economic activities were the fur trade and agriculture. The latter is still an important part of the state economy, although today it only occupies a small percentage of the population, around 2%. It is a leading producer within the US of sugar beets, soybeans, and corn. The state's agribusiness has changed from mere production to processing and manufacturing of food products. Leading companies in the industry include General Mills, Cargill (milling), Hormel Foods Corporation of Austin (processed meat products), and Schwan Food Company of Marshall (frozen foods).

Forestry, one of the first industries to develop in the state, remains strong thanks to logging, pulp processing, forest products manufacturing, and paper production.

It was famous for its iron mines, which were responsible for a significant portion of the iron ore produced in the world for more than a century. Although pure ore is currently quite reduced, taconite mining remains strong, which uses locally developed processes to keep the sector active. 3 M Co. (formerly Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co.), a company that had its origins in mining, today is a diversified manufacturer of industrial and consumer products.

As you might expect in a state geared toward outdoor activities, there are several companies that manufacture boats and other recreational products. Polaris Industries makes snowmobiles and other off-road recreational vehicles.

Retail is represented by Target Corporation, Best Buy, and International Dairy Queen, all based in the Twin Cities. The largest shopping center in the United States, the Mall of America, is located in Bloomington. Ecolab provides sanitation services and supplies.

Some Minnesota-based financial institutions include the U.S. Bancorp, TCF Bank, and Wells Fargo & Co.. The largest insurance companies are St. Paul Travelers and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

The high-tech sector is represented by Honeywell, Cray Computers, Imation, and an IBM headquarters in Rochester. Medtronic represents the state's growing biomedical sector, driven by university research. Rochester is home to the Mayo Clinic, one of the most famous medical clinics in the world.


Energy use and production

Electricity produced by wind turbines has gained some popularity, especially in the windier southwestern region. In June 2006, the state was the fourth largest producer of wind energy in the country, with 744 MW installed and a project for an additional wind farm, which will have a capacity of 128 MW.

Like many Midwest states that endure cold winters, Minnesota relies heavily on natural gas for home heating. About two-thirds of households use such fuel. The state does not produce its own oil, although it has the largest oil refinery of all non-oil-producing states, the Pine Bend Refinery. One of the longest oil pipelines in the world, the Lakehead Pipeline, runs through the north of the state. Most of the oil the state uses comes from Canada and the northwestern United States.


State taxes

Minnesota has three income tax rates, ranging from 5.35% to 7.85%. Sales tax is 6.5% for most items. The state does not levy such a tax on clothing, some services, or food for home consumption. It does levy prepared foods, candy, and soft drinks. The state also levies a use tax on items purchased elsewhere but that are used. Property owners pay a real estate tax to their county, municipality, school district, and taxing district. Three factors affect the amount of taxes: the amount local governments spend to provide services to the community, the estimated market value of the property, and the classification of the property.

Minnesota businesses and individuals paid an average of 11.8% of their income in state and local taxes in 1998 (Minnesota Department of Revenue).


Government and administration

The capital is Saint Paul, located in the east of the state, adjacent to Minneapolis. Since January 6, 2011, the Governor is Democrat Mark Dayton. The Lieutenant Governor is Tina Smith, who also headed the Minnesota Department of Transportation. She has 8 seats in the United States House of Representatives.


Division of powers

As in the national government of the United States, in Minnesota there is a division of powers: executive, legislative and judicial.

The main official of the Executive Branch is the governor. He is elected by the voters of the State for a term of up to four years. There is no limit to the number of times a person can serve as governor.
The Legislative Branch is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The Senate has a total of 67 members, and the House of Representatives, 134. It is divided into 67 legislative districts, as many as there are members of the Senate. The voters of each district elect a senator/representative, who will represent said district in the Senate and the House of Representatives. The term of office of the senators is four years, and that of the representatives is two. There is no limit to the number of times a person can serve as a senator or representative.
The highest court in the Judicial Branch is the Minnesota Supreme Court, composed of seven justices, one of whom is elected every two years to serve as chief justice. The second largest judicial court in the state is the Court of Appeals of Minnesota, established in 1982 and currently composed of 16 judges. All of these judges are elected by the state electorate for terms of up to six years in length.



The current Minnesota Constitution was adopted in 1858. Amendments to the Constitution are proposed by the Legislature. Amendments created by one of the chambers of the Legislative Branch, to be approved, need to receive at least three-quarters of the votes of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the State, and then, two-thirds of the votes of the local electorate, to through a referendum. Amendments can also be made through constitutional conventions, which are special political meetings. Amendments made in this way need to be approved by at least 51% of each Chamber of the Legislative Branch, and then by at least 60% of the State's electoral population, in a referendum.


Administrative divition

Minnesota is divided into 87 counties, all governed by a board of commissioners, generally made up of five members. The state has about 850 cities. Most of them are governed by a mayor and a municipal council.



In its beginnings as a state, it was dominated politically by the Republican Party, both at the state and national level. The majority of the senators and representatives elected to the Legislature were Republicans, and the same can be said of the senators and representatives of the State in the United States Congress. However, gradually, beginning in the 1930s, Democrats began to gain strength in state politics. Since the 1960s, elections at the regional, state and national levels have been very close, between Republicans and Democrats, and both parties have a lot of political strength in the State.

Its politics are active and unstable, with populism being a traditional force among all parties in the state. The history of his politics records such curiosities as Jesse Ventura, a professional wrestler who became governor, and R.T. Rybak, a protester who became mayor. It has a high percentage of attendance at the polls; 77.2% of the state's electorate voted in the 2004 presidential election, the highest percentage in the United States. Political conservatism is less related to the religiosity of the state's population, compared to other American states.

During the second half of the 20th century the vote has leaned more towards the Democrat, although it is now seen as a "swing state" (literally "swing state", that is, a state in which one party does not clearly dominate over the other). . Residents have voted Democrats for president since 1976, longer than any other state. His electoral votes and those of the District of Columbia were the only ones not won by Republican President Ronald Reagan. Their voters, instead, elected former Vice President and Senator Walter Mondale, a Minnesota native. He or Hubert Humphrey were the Democratic candidates for president or vice president in the 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980 and 1984 elections.



Art and architecture

The Twin Cities area is considered the arts capital of the Upper Midwest. Other important artistic centers are the Twin Ports (Twin Ports: Duluth-Superior) and the cities of Madison and Milwaukee in Wisconsin. There is a very high per capita attendance at theatrical and musical performances, which some suggest may be due to the cold winters, but which more realistically can be attributed to the large number of institutes, universities, and a generally strong economy. which provides strong support and high demand for artistic creations (in 2000, 2.3 million theater tickets were sold in the Twin Cities region alone). They have more theater seats per capita than any other American city, including New York City.


Popular culture

Its stereotypical traits include Lutheranism (26% of the state's population declares itself Lutheran), "Minnesota Nice" (the state's population is known for its hospitality and courtesy toward outsiders), "hot dish" (a term typical Minnesota casserole), "lutefisk" (a spicy fish preparation native to Norway and Scandinavia), an appreciation of family ties and a strong sense of community, as well as the culture shared with many other residents of the state —instead of just with a certain city.

The state's English has a unique accent, even different from the accent of other states in the upper Midwest of the United States. Despite being considered unique, many of its inhabitants deny the presence of a regional accent. However, because of the increase in immigrants to the state from other regions of the country, many of whom come from the West Coast, the Chicago metropolitan area, and New York, as well as the growth of Hmong immigration, Vietnamese, Somalis, Liberians, Kenyans, Nigerians, Russians and Hispanics, the various cultures of the State are gradually merging with each other, and changing the State culture, as had already happened during the second half of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, during the period of great European immigration in the region.

Native Americans have a moderate presence, and some Native American tribes run casinos on Indian reservations (which do not tax casinos). Initially, the first European people to explore and settle Minnesota were the French, who were followed by the British, Irish, Scandinavians, and Germans. The Métis—descendants of Europeans and Native Americans—had a prominent presence in the region during the years in which it was a territory. The majority of the Métis population would gradually migrate north to Canada after its elevation to statehood in 1858. Minnesota is not associated with any particular food, although in recent years, dishes such as wild rice sausage (wild rice sausage) have known a certain popularity.

The state has been a recipient of immigrants, from all parts of the world, in the past and currently. In addition to the groups already mentioned above, other considerable ethnic-racial groups are the Arabs, ethnicities from other countries of the former Soviet Union, the Chinese and the Japanese. Mexicans are a growing force, as they are in the rest of the country. Many modern immigrants are drawn to Minnesota because of its reputation for its priority on educational and social services. Many of these immigrants come thanks to the support of various local congregations, dedicated to providing social assistance and social justice.

Outdoor activities are considered an important part of the lives of many residents of the state. Such activities include hunting and fishing (about 36% of residents fish regularly, second only to Alaska.​). During the winter, ice fishing is quite popular—a custom brought by the first Scandinavian immigrants. Families often own or rent cabins or go camping in forest parks, usually near lakes. Weekend getaways to such properties are common, especially in the summer.

It has 71 state parks. Like other northern woodland states, such as Wisconsin and Michigan, residents jokingly call the mosquito the state bird because of its abundance in that area. In fact, the state bird is the greater loon (Gavia immer), whose distinctive growl can often be heard by campers in the northern part of the state, and sometimes as far south as the lakes of Minneapolis.



In the state of Minnesota there are franchises from the main American leagues: in American football the Minnesota Vikings of the NFL since 1961, Minnesota United in the MLS and which will have its own stadium from 2019 Allianz Field, Minnesota Twins of the Major Leagues in Baseball since 1961, in ice hockey the Minnesota Wild of the NHL since 2000, and in basketball the Minnesota Timberwolves of the NBA since 1989 and the Minnesota Lynx of the WNBA since 1999.

Previously, among others, the Minneapolis Marines / Red Jackets played there from 1905 to 1930, the Duluth Kelleys / Eskimos of the NFL from 1923 to 1927, the Minneapolis Lakers of the NBA from 1947 to 1960, the Minnesota Kicks of the North American Soccer League from 1976 until 1981, and the Minnesota North Stars of the NHL from 1967 until 1993.

In terms of college sports, the Minnesota Golden Gophers of American football have achieved 18 Big Ten Conference championships, as well as one Rose Bowl.

Hazeltine Golf Club has hosted the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Veterans Open and the PGA Championship.




One of the first acts of the Legislature when it opened, in 1858, was the creation of a teachers' college at Winona. Since then, Minnesota has remained among the ten strongest states in education in most studies. It ranks sixth in the Smartest State Award for the 2005-06 school year, carried out by the Morgan Quitno publishing group, and first in the percentage of residents in possession of a high school diploma or higher. Minnesota has resisted movements in education such as school vouchers and teaching intelligent design.

The first school for children of European descent in the region of present-day Minnesota was founded at Fort St. Anthony, present-day Fort Snelling. Subsequently, various schools were inaugurated by the missionaries, some dedicated to Native Americans and others for the population of European descent. In 1849, the government of the Minnesota Territory passed a law mandating the construction of public schools in communities in the territory.

Currently, all educational institutions must follow certain rules and patterns dictated by the Minnesota Department of Education. This board directly controls the state's public school system, which is divided into several school districts. The council is led by a commissioner, chosen by the governor with the approval of the Senate. Each major city (city), various secondary cities (towns), and each county consists of at least one school district. In cities, the responsibility for managing schools falls to the municipal school district, while in less densely populated regions, this responsibility falls to the school districts operating in the county.

Minnesota allows the existence of "charter schools" — independent public schools, which are not managed by school districts, but which depend on public budgets for their support. Not in vain, it was the first state in the union to allow the creation of schools of this genre within its state limits. Schooling is compulsory for all children and adolescents over seven years of age, until the completion of secondary education or until the age of sixteen.

In 1999, public schools served about 854,000 students, employing approximately 56,000 teachers. For their part, private schools served approximately 92,800 students, employing approximately 6,500 teachers. The State's public school system used about $5.816 million, and public school spending was approximately $7,200 per student.


Libraries and universities

It has about 360 public libraries, which move about 8.9 books per inhabitant annually. The state currently has 113 higher education institutions, of which 52 are public and 61 are private. The main public university system in the State is the State Universities State Colleges and Universities are a public educational organization that controls 37 other higher education institutions with 375,000 students.

There is also the University System of Minnesota, which has campuses in four different cities: Crookston, Duluth, Morris and Minneapolis-St. Paul. The Minneapolis-St. Paul—officially called the University of Minnesota—was the state's first institution of higher education, having been founded in 1851. It is currently the largest in the state, and one of the largest in the country.



The University of Minnesota Medical College is a top-ranked teaching institution that has made great advances in the treatment of diseases, and its research activities contribute significantly to the state's growing biotechnology industry.​ The prestigious Mayo Clinic is headquartered in Rochester, Minnesota. Mayo and the University are partners in the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics, a state-funded program that directs research in cancer, Alzheimer's disease, heart, obesity, and other areas.

The state ranks first in the percentage of residents who engage in regular physical exercise, and second in three key indices: low infant mortality; long life expectancy and a low mortality rate per 100,000 population. These and other measures have led one group to rank Minnesota as the healthiest state in the nation, and another to rank it fourth.


Crime and security

After reaching a record 97 homicides in 1995, the city of Minneapolis earned an unpleasant nickname because of the violence: Murderapolis (literally "City of Murderers"). The term gained wide use since the New York Times used it when it reported that Minneapolis had surpassed the per capita homicide rate of New York City. The murder rate declined in subsequent years, although area residents are concerned that use of the nickname will become prevalent again when there is an uptick in violence in the city.



Transportation is overseen by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The most important Interstate Highways are I-35, I-90, and I-94 (all pass completely through or around the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area). The state has nearly two dozen rail lines, most of which also pass through the Minneapolis-St. Paul. Shipping is centered primarily on the Mississippi River and ports along Lake Superior in the north.

The main airport is Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MSP), which is also the headquarters and passenger and fleet hub for Northwest Airlines. It is also a major hub for Sun Country Airlines.

Public transportation is limited to several bus lines in major cities as well as a light rail in the Minneapolis-St. Paul.

In 2002, Minnesota had 7,342 kilometers of railroad tracks. In 2003, the state had 212,261 kilometers of public roads, of which 1,468 kilometers were interstate highways, part of the United States federal highway system. The State also has about 3,200 kilometers of waterways.



The Twin Cities area is the 15th largest media market in the United States as ranked by Nielsen Media Research. The state's other media markets in the top 210 are Fargo-Moorhead (118th), Duluth-Superior (137th), Rochester-Mason City-Austin (152nd), and Mankato (200thº).​

The history of television in Minnesota, and in the Upper Midwest, begins on April 27, 1948, when KSTP-TV began broadcasting. The Hubbard Broadcasting Corporation, owner of KSTP, is now the only television company. television. Currently, there are 39 analog radio stations and 23 digital channels broadcasting throughout the state.

The Twin Cities metropolitan area is home to the state's two largest circulation newspapers: the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. Several weekly and monthly publications are also published (most of which are financed by advertising). The most prominent of these is the weekly City Pages. Another important publication is The Rake, published in 2002, which is published monthly.

Two of the largest public radio networks are based in the state, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and Public Radio International (PRI). MPR has the largest audience among regional public radio networks, while PRI provides more than 400 hours of programming to its affiliates throughout the country.