Coordinates: 46°N 94°W / 46°N 94°W / 46; -94 (State of Minnesota)
Source: Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Largest metro and urban areasMinneapolis–Saint Paul
 • GovernorTim Walz (DFL)
 • Lieutenant GovernorPeggy Flanagan (DFL)
LegislatureMinnesota Legislature
 • Upper houseSenate
 • Lower houseHouse of Representatives
JudiciaryMinnesota Supreme Court
U.S. senatorsAmy Klobuchar (DFL)
Tina Smith (DFL)
U.S. House delegation4 Democrats
4 Republicans (list)
 • Total86,935.83 sq mi (225,163 km2)
 • Land79,626.74 sq mi (206,232 km2)
 • Water7,309.09 sq mi (18,930 km2)  8.40%
 • Rank12th
 • Lengthabout 400 mi (640 km)
 • Width200–350 mi (320–560 km)
1,200 ft (370 m)
Highest elevation2,301 ft (701 m)
Lowest elevation602 ft (183 m)
 • Total5,737,915[3]
 • Rank22nd
 • Density68.9/sq mi (26.6/km2)
  • Rank36th (2020 census)
 • Median household income
 • Income rank
 • Official languagenone
 • Spoken language
USPS abbreviation
ISO 3166 codeUS-MN
Traditional abbreviationMinn.
Latitude43° 30′ N to 49° 23′ N
Longitude89° 29′ W to 97° 14′ W
State symbols of Minnesota
GemstoneLake Superior agate
OtherPhotograph: Grace
State quarter
Minnesota quarter dollar coin
Released in 2005
Lists of United States state symbols

Minnesota (

16th-largest metropolitan area in the U.S. Other minor metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas include Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester, and St. Cloud.[9]

Minnesota, which gets its name from the

missionaries were the earliest Europeans to enter the region, encountering the Dakota, Ojibwe, and various Anishinaabe tribes. Much of what is now Minnesota formed part of the vast French holding of Louisiana, which the United States purchased in 1803. After several territorial reorganizations, the Minnesota Territory was admitted to the Union as the 32nd state in 1858. Minnesota's official motto, L'Étoile du Nord ("The Star of the North") is the only state motto in French;[10]
this phrase was adopted shortly after statehood and reflects both the state's early French explorers and its position as the northernmost state in the contiguous U.S.

As part of the

labor rights, women's suffrage, and political reform.[12] Consequently, Minnesota is unique among Midwestern states in being a relative stronghold of the Democratic Party, having voted for every Democratic presidential nominee since 1976, longer than any other U.S. state.[13]

Since the late 20th century, Minnesota's economy has diversified away from traditional industries such as agriculture and resource extraction to services, finance, and health care; it is consequently one of the richest states in terms of GDP and per capita income. Minnesota is home to 11 federally recognized

Scandinavian and German influence. In more recent decades, the state has become more multicultural, driven by both larger domestic migration and immigration from Latin America, Asia, the Horn of Africa, and the Middle East; the state has the nation's largest population of Somali Americans and second-largest Hmong community.[14] Minnesota's standard of living and level of education are among the highest in the U.S.,[15] and it is ranked among the best states in metrics such as employment, median income, safety, and governance.[16]


The word Minnesota comes from the

Minnehaha Falls ("curling water" or waterfall), Minneiska ("white water"), Minneota ("much water"), Minnetonka ("big water"), Minnetrista ("crooked water"), and Minneapolis, a hybrid word combining Dakota mní ("water") and -polis (Greek for "city").[23] The state seal features the phrase Mni Sóta Makoce ("the land where the water reflects the skies"), the Dakota name for the larger region.[24]


Map of Minnesota Territory 1849–1858

When Europeans arrived in North America, the Dakota people lived in what is now Minnesota. The first Europeans to enter the region were French voyageurs, fur traders who arrived in the 17th century. They used the Grand Portage to access trapping and trading areas further into Minnesota. The Anishinaabe (also known as Ojibwe or Chippewa) were migrating into Minnesota, causing tensions with the Dakota people,[25] and dislocated the Mdewakanton from their homelands along Mille Lacs Lake. Explorers such as Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, Father Louis Hennepin, Jonathan Carver, Henry Schoolcraft, and Joseph Nicollet mapped the state.

The region was part of

grist mill and a sawmill at Saint Anthony Falls, which were harbingers of the water-powered industries around which Minneapolis later grew. Meanwhile, squatters, government officials, and others had settled near the fort; in 1839 the army forced them off military lands, and most moved downriver, just outside the military reservation, to the area that became St. Paul.[30]

Minnesota was part of several territorial organizations between acquisition and statehood. From 1812 to 1821 it was part of the

Territory of Iowa. Minnesota east of the Mississippi was part of Wisconsin until 1848. When Iowa gained statehood western Minnesota was in an Unorganized Territory again. Minnesota Territory was formed on March 3, 1849. The first territorial legislature, held on September 2, 1849,[31] was dominated by men of New England ancestry.[32] Thousands of pioneers had come to create farms and cut timber. Minnesota became the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858. The founding population was so overwhelmingly of New England origins that the state was dubbed "the New England of the West".[33][34][35][36]

Mixed Dakota-Europeans who were rescued by "non-hostile" Dakota. The girl in the foreground wrapped in the striped blanket is Elise Robertson, the sister of Thomas Robertson, a mixed blood who acted as an intermediary between the Dakota and the European-Americans during the Dakota War of 1862

Treaties between the U.S. government and the eastern Dakota and Ojibwe gradually forced the natives off their lands and onto

Crow Creek Reservation by the Great Sioux Reservation in Dakota Territory. The remaining 4,500 to 5,000 Dakota mostly fled the state into Rupert's Land.[28] As many as 800 settlers were killed during the war.[39]

Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey subsequently declared that "the Sioux Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state"[40] and placed a bounty of $25/scalp on the heads of the eastern Dakota men. Over 1,600 eastern Dakota women, children, and elderly walked from the Lower Sioux Agency to Fort Snelling to be held until the spring thaw allowed riverboats to take them out of Minnesota to Crow Creek Indian Reservation.[41] William Crooks, commander of 6th Minnesota, had a palisade erected around the encampment on Pike Island, just below the fort, to protect native people from the soldiers and settlers.[42] Conditions there were poor and between 125 and 300 died of disease.[43][44] Around 400 Dakota men were tried after the war. 303 were sentenced to death, but Abraham Lincoln reviewed the convictions and approved 39 of the death sentences. In December 1862, 38 of them were hanged.[28]

In early 1863, Ramsey resigned as governor to become the Federal

Indian Commissioner. His successor, Governor Henry Swift, raised the bounty to $200/scalp. A total of $325 was paid out to four people collecting bounties, including for Little Crow who was killed in July 1863.[44] Upon becoming Indian Commissioner, Ramsey set out to get Ojibwe lands too. In 1863 he negotiated the Treaty of Old Crossing
, whereby the Ojibwe ceded all their land in northern Minnesota and moved to reservations.

Logging, farming, and railroads were mainstays of Minnesota's early economy. The sawmills at Saint Anthony Falls and logging centers of

Pillsbury, Northwestern, and the Washburn-Crosby Company (an ancestor of General Mills), were grinding 14.1% of the nation's grain.[46]

Phelps Mill in Otter Tail County

The state's iron-mining industry was established with the discovery of iron in the Vermilion and Mesabi ranges in the 1880s, followed by the Cuyuna Range in the early 1900s. The ore went by rail to Duluth and Two Harbors for ship transport east via the Great Lakes.[28]

Industrial development and the rise of manufacturing caused the population to shift gradually from rural areas to cities during the early 20th century. Nevertheless, farming remained prevalent. Minnesota's economy was hit hard by the

native languages were no longer suppressed.[29]

After World War II, industrial development quickened. New technology increased farm productivity through automation of

Sperry Rand. William Norris left Sperry in 1957 to form Control Data Corporation (CDC).[47] Cray Research was formed when Seymour Cray left CDC to form his own company. Medical device maker Medtronic also started business in the Twin Cities in 1949. The nonprofit Mayo Clinic, which was founded in 1864 in Rochester, grew to become one of the country's leading medical systems, and, by the 21st century, Minnesota's largest private employer.[48][49]

In 1957, the legislature created a planning commission for the Twin Cities metropolitan area, which became the Metropolitan Council in 1967.[50] In 1971, under Governor Wendell Anderson, a series of legislation called the "Minnesota Miracle" led to a broad reform in financing of Minnesota public schools and local governments that created a fairer distribution in taxation and education.[51][52] Two postwar Minnesota governors, former dentist Rudy Perpich and former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura, attracted national attention for their unconventional manner, but both enjoyed some popularity within the state.[50][51] After a period of mostly divided government during the 21st century, the DFL (Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party) gained control of all three branches of Minnesota's government and passed significant reforms in the 2023 legislative session, moving the state in a progressive direction.[53][54]


Scalable map of Minnesota, showing roads and major bodies of water

Minnesota is the second northernmost U.S. state (after

Great Lakes region. It shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and a land and water border with Wisconsin to the east. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota are to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are to the north. With 86,943 square miles (225,180 km2),[55] or approximately 2.25% of the United States,[56] Minnesota is the 12th-largest state.[57]


Tilted beds of the Middle Precambrian Thomson Formation in Jay Cooke State Park[58]

Minnesota has some of the earth's oldest rocks, gneisses that are about 3.6 billion years old (80% as old as the planet).[58][59] About 2.7 billion years ago basaltic lava poured out of cracks in the floor of the primordial ocean; the remains of this volcanic rock formed the Canadian Shield in northeast Minnesota.[58][60] The roots of these volcanic mountains and the action of Precambrian seas formed the Iron Range of northern Minnesota. Since a period of volcanism 1.1 billion years ago, Minnesota's geological activity has been more subdued, with no volcanism or mountain formation, but with repeated incursions of the sea, which left behind multiple strata of sedimentary rock.[58]


glacial till left behind as the last glaciers retreated. Gigantic Lake Agassiz formed in the northwest 13,000 years ago. Its flatbed now is the fertile Red River valley, and its outflow, glacial River Warren, carved the valley of the Minnesota River and the Upper Mississippi downstream from Fort Snelling.[58] Minnesota is geologically quiet today; it experiences earthquakes infrequently, most of them minor.[62]

The state's high point is Eagle Mountain at 2,301 feet (701 m), which is only 13 miles (21 km) away from the low point of 601 feet (183 m) at the shore of Lake Superior.[60][63] Notwithstanding dramatic local differences in elevation, much of the state is a gently rolling peneplain.[58]

Two major

Hudson Bay watershed to the Arctic Ocean.[64]

The state's nickname "Land of 10,000 Lakes" is apt, as there are 11,842

Wabasha, and by many smaller streams. The Red River drains the northwest part of the state northward toward Canada's Hudson Bay. Approximately 10.6 million acres (4,300,000 ha; 43,000 km2) of wetlands are within Minnesota's borders, the most of any state outside Alaska.[67]

Flora and fauna

Minnesota has four ecological provinces: prairie parkland, in the southwestern and western parts of the state; the eastern broadleaf forest (Big Woods) in the southeast, extending in a narrowing strip to the state's northwestern part, where it transitions into tallgrass aspen parkland; and the northern Laurentian mixed forest, a transitional forest between the northern boreal forest and the broadleaf forests to the south.[68] These northern forests are a vast wilderness of pine and spruce trees mixed with patchy stands of birch and poplar.

Much of Minnesota's northern forest has undergone logging, leaving only a few patches of

old growth forest today in areas such as the Chippewa National Forest and the Superior National Forest, where the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has some 400,000 acres (162,000 ha) of unlogged land.[69] Although logging continues, regrowth and replanting keep about a third of the state forested.[70] Nearly all Minnesota's prairies and oak savannas have been fragmented by farming, grazing, logging, and suburban development.[71]

While loss of habitat has affected native animals such as the

red-tailed hawks, and snowy owls. Hawk Ridge is one of the premier birdwatching sites in North America. The lakes teem with sport fish such as walleye, bass, muskellunge, and northern pike, while brook, brown, and rainbow trout
populate streams in the southeast and northeast.


Köppen climate types of Minnesota

Minnesota experiences temperature extremes characteristic of its continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers. The lowest temperature recorded was −60 °F (−51 °C) at Tower on February 2, 1996, and the highest was 114 °F (46 °C) at Moorhead on July 6, 1936.[75] Meteorological events include rain, snow, blizzards, thunderstorms, hail, derechos, tornadoes, and high-velocity straight-line winds. The growing season varies from 90 days in the far northeast to 160 days in southeast Minnesota near the Mississippi River, and average temperatures range from 37 to 49 °F (3 to 9 °C).[76] Average summer dewpoints range from about 58 °F (14 °C) in the south to about 48 °F (9 °C) in the north.[76][77] Average annual precipitation ranges from 19 to 35 inches (48 to 89 cm), and droughts occur every 10 to 50 years.[76]

Minnesota has warmed over the past few years. Rising temperatures have affected natural habitats and many species that live in them. For example, the lakes' water is warming, which affects cold-water fish. Trout, for example, is a cold-water fish that is losing its habitat, while the habitat of bass, a warm-water fish, is growing.[78]

Average daily maximum and minimum temperatures for selected cities in Minnesota[79]
Location July (°F) July (°C) January (°F) January (°C)
83/64 28/18 23/7 −4/−13
Saint Paul 83/63 28/17 23/6 −5/−14
Rochester 82/63 28/17 23/3 −5/−16
Duluth 76/55 24/13 19/1 −7/−17
St. Cloud 81/58 27/14 18/−1 −7/−18
Mankato 86/62 30/16 23/3 −5/−16
International Falls 77/52 25/11 15/−6 −9/−21

Protected lands

Pose Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Minnesota's first state park,

source of the Mississippi River.[80] Today Minnesota has 72 state parks and recreation areas, 58 state forests covering about four million acres (16,000 km2), and numerous state wildlife preserves, all managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The Chippewa and Superior national forests comprise 5.5 million acres (22,000 km2). The Superior National Forest in the northeast contains the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, which encompasses over a million acres (4,000 km2) and a thousand lakes. To its west is Voyageurs National Park. The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) is a 72-mile-long (116 km) corridor along the Mississippi River through the Minneapolis–St. Paul Metropolitan Area connecting a variety of sites of historic, cultural, and geologic interest.[81]

Cities and towns

National Farmers Bank in Owatonna by Louis Sullivan

Territory of Minnesota
, and then as the state capital since 1858.

Saint Paul is adjacent to Minnesota's most populous city, Minneapolis; they and their suburbs are collectively known as the

Greater Minnesota" or "Outstate Minnesota".[83]

The state has 17 cities with populations above 50,000 as of the 2010 census. In descending order of population, they are

Of these, only Rochester, Duluth, and Saint Cloud are outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Minnesota's population continues to grow, primarily in the urban centers. The populations of metropolitan Sherburne and Scott counties doubled between 1980 and 2000, while 40 of the state's 87 counties lost residents over the same period.[85]

Largest cities or towns in Minnesota
Rank Name County Municipal pop.
Saint Paul
Saint Paul
1 Minneapolis Hennepin 425,336 Rochester
2 Saint Paul Ramsey 307,193
3 Rochester Olmsted 121,465
4 Bloomington Hennepin 89,298
5 Duluth St. Louis 86,372
6 Brooklyn Park Hennepin 84,526
7 Plymouth Hennepin 79,828
8 Woodbury Washington 76,990
9 Lakeville Dakota 72,812
10 Blaine Anoka 70,935

The United States Navy has recognized multiple Minnesota communities.



Minnesota 2020 Population Density Map
Historical population
2023 (est.)5,737,9150.6%
Source: 1910–2020[87]
2022 Estimate[3]

According to the

Somalis; and South and Southeast Asia, especially Hmong, Vietnamese, and Indians.[5] The state has a diverse population in terms of age, birthplace, ancestry, and socioeconomic status, with a well-educated populace and a median household income around $77,000.[90]

Race and ethnicity

Minnesota's racial demographics have significantly diversified since its early settlement period. As of 2020, according to U.S. census data, the white population had fallen to 77.5% from over 98% in the early to mid-20th century.[91] Concurrently, other racial populations have markedly increased. The Black population has risen to 7%, the Asian population to 5.3%, and those identifying as two or more races to 6.1%.

Racial composition in 2020[92]
Race Percentage
White 77.5%
Black or African American
American Indian 1.2%
Pacific Islander
Other race
Two or more races

According to the 2017

Somali population, and the largest Hmong population per capita.[95]


Since the 1960s, Minnesota's immigrant population has been shaped by its status as a major area for refugee resettlement. As of 2018, Minnesota had the largest refugee population per capita of any state, with 2% of the country's population but 13% of its refugees.[96] Other refugee groups that have recently been settling in Minnesota include Burmese, Congolese, Russians, and Ukrainians.[97][98]

Country of origin of first and second-generation immigrants (2023)[99][100]
Country Population
 Mexico 95,227
 Somalia 76,658
Hmong people[c] 55,005
 India 39,559
 Ethiopia 36,982
 Laos 24,901
 China 24,353
 Vietnam 22,283
 Liberia 20,168
 South Korea 20,126
 Thailand 19,235
 Canada 18,804
 Kenya 16,823
 Myanmar 15,679
 Philippines 13,544
 Russia 12,787
 El Salvador 12,137


Cathedral of St. Paul
in the city of St. Paul

Minnesota's religious landscape is also diverse, having evolved significantly over its history. The area's first Christian influence came from Catholic missionaries in the 17th and 18th centuries. 19th-century European settlers, especially Scandinavians, established Protestant denominations, particularly

Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis serves a substantial Catholic community. The 20th and 21st centuries witnessed growth in other Christian denominations and non-Christian religions due to further immigration, leading to the establishment of Buddhist, Hmong, and Muslim communities, as well as a sizable Jewish community.[101][102] A growing number of people identify as non-religious, in line with national trends. As of 2014, 74% of Minnesotans identified as Christian, 5% belonged to non-Christian faiths, and 20% identified as religiously unaffiliated, according to the Pew Research Center.[103]


Once primarily a producer of raw materials, Minnesota's economy has transformed to emphasize finished products and services. Perhaps the most significant characteristic of the economy is its diversity; the relative outputs of its business sectors closely match the United States as a whole.

Carlson Companies, the parent company of Radisson Hotels.[108]


median household income was $74,593, ranking thirteenth in the U.S. and fifth among the 36 states not on the Atlantic coast.[110]

Industry and commerce

IDS Tower, designed by Philip Johnson, is the state's tallest building,[111] reflecting César Pelli's Art Deco-style Wells Fargo Center

Minnesota's earliest industries were fur trading and agriculture. Minneapolis grew around the flour mills powered by

biomedical firms, in addition to the older food processors and heavy industry. The nation's first indoor shopping mall was Edina's Southdale Center, and its largest is Bloomington's Mall of America

Minnesota is one of 45 U.S. states with its own lottery; its games include multi-jurisdiction draws, in-house draws, and other games.

Energy use and production

Minnesota produces

E10).[116] In 2019 there were more than 411 service stations supplying E85 fuel, comprising 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline.[117] A 2% biodiesel blend has been required in diesel fuel since 2005. Minnesota is ranked in the top ten for wind energy production. The state gets nearly one-fifth of all its electrical energy from wind.[118]

Xcel Energy is the state's largest utility and is headquartered in the state;[119] it is one of five investor-owned utilities.[120] There are also a number of municipal utilities.[120]

State taxes

Minnesota has a

progressive income tax structure; the four brackets of state income tax rates are 5.35%, 7.05%, 7.85%, and 9.85%.[121] As of 2008 Minnesota was ranked 12th in the nation in per capita total state and local taxes.[122] In 2008 Minnesotans paid 10.2% of their income in state and local taxes; the U.S. average was 9.7%.[122] The state sales tax in Minnesota is 6.875%, but clothing, prescription drug medications and food items for home consumption are exempt.[123] The state legislature may allow municipalities to institute local sales taxes and special local taxes, such as the 0.5% supplemental sales tax in Minneapolis.[124] Excise taxes are levied on alcohol, tobacco, and motor fuel. The state imposes a use tax on items purchased elsewhere but used within Minnesota.[123] Owners of real property in Minnesota pay property tax
to their county, municipality, school district, and special taxing districts.


Fine and performing arts

McKim, Mead, and White
, in 2020

Minnesota's leading

visual art, and musicals with more than 800 performances over 11 days. It is the country's largest non-juried performing arts festival.[127]


The rigors and rewards of pioneer life on the

Ole Rolvaag and the Little House series of children's books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Small-town life is portrayed grimly by Sinclair Lewis in the novel Main Street, and more gently and affectionately by Garrison Keillor in his tales of Lake Wobegon. St. Paul native F. Scott Fitzgerald writes of the social insecurities and aspirations of the young city in stories such as Winter Dreams and The Ice Palace (published in Flappers and Philosophers). Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's epic poem The Song of Hiawatha was inspired by Minnesota and names of many of the state's places and bodies of water. Minnesota native Robert Zimmerman (Bob Dylan) won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Literature. Science fiction writer Marissa Lingen
lives here.


First Avenue nightclub, the heart of Minnesota's music community[60]

Minnesota musicians include

Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, The Jets, Lipps Inc., and Information Society

Minnesotans have also made significant contributions to comedy, theater, media, and film. The comic strip

Madeleine Smithberg


Popular culture

A youth fiddle performance at the Minnesota State Fair

The Mighty Ducks films


cheese curds
, and deep-fried candy bars. On a smaller scale, many of these attractions are offered at numerous county fairs.

Other large annual festivals include the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, the Minnesota Renaissance Festival, Minneapolis' Aquatennial and Mill City Music Festival, Moondance Jam in Walker, the Judy Garland Festival in Grand Rapids, the Eelpout Festival on Leech Lake, and the WE Fest in Detroit Lakes.


The Mayo Clinic in Rochester

Minnesotans have low rates of premature death, infant mortality, cardiovascular disease, and occupational fatalities.[130][131] They have long life expectancies,[132] and high rates of health insurance and regular exercise.[130][133][134] These and other measures have led two groups to rank Minnesota as the healthiest state in the nation; however, in one of these rankings, Minnesota descended from first to sixth in the nation between 2005 and 2009 because of low levels of public health funding and the prevalence of binge drinking.[130][135] While overall health indicators are strong, Minnesota does have significant health disparities in minority populations.[136]

On October 1, 2007, the Freedom to Breathe Act took effect, outlawing smoking in restaurants and bars in Minnesota.[137]


CentraCare Health System, Essentia Health, HealthPartners, M Health Fairview and the Mayo Clinic Health System. There are two teaching hospitals and medical schools in Minnesota. The University of Minnesota Medical School is a high-rated teaching institution that has made a number of breakthroughs in treatment, and its research activities contribute significantly to the state's growing biotechnology industry.[138] The Mayo Clinic, a world-renowned hospital based in Rochester, was founded by William Worrall Mayo, an immigrant from England.[139][140]

U.S. News & World Report's 2020–21 survey ranked 4,554 hospitals in the country in 12 specialized fields of care, and placed the Mayo Clinic in the top four in most fields. The hospital ranked first on the best hospitals honor roll. The only specialty where it fell outside the top ten was ophthalmology.

heart health, obesity, and other areas.[142]


The Richardsonian Romanesque Pillsbury Hall (1889) is one of the oldest buildings on the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus.

One of the first acts of the Minnesota Legislature when it opened in 1858 was the creation of a

ACT exam.[146] In 2013, nationwide in per-student public education spending, Minnesota ranked 21st.[147] While Minnesota has chosen not to implement school vouchers,[148] it is home to the first charter school.[149]

The state supports a network of public universities and colleges, including 37 institutions in the


The Aerial Lift Bridge at Duluth

Transportation in Minnesota is overseen by the

public transit.[152] There are nearly two dozen rail corridors in Minnesota, most of which go through Minneapolis–St. Paul or Duluth.[153] There is water transportation along the Mississippi River system and from the ports of Lake Superior.[154]

Two Metro Green Line trains on the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities campus

Minnesota's principal airport is

Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport (MSP), a major passenger and freight hub for Delta Air Lines and Sun Country Airlines. Most other domestic carriers serve the airport. Large commercial jet service is provided at Duluth and Rochester, with scheduled commuter service to four smaller cities via Delta Connection carriers SkyWest Airlines, Compass Airlines, and Endeavor Air.[155]

Public transit services are available in the regional urban centers in Minnesota including Metro Transit in the Twin Cities, opt-out suburban operators Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, SouthWest Transit, Plymouth Metrolink, Maple Grove Transit and others. In Greater Minnesota transit services are provided by city systems such as Duluth Transit Authority, Mankato Transit System, MATBUS (Fargo-Moorhead), Rochester Public Transit, Saint Cloud Metro Bus, Winona Public Transit and others. Dial-a-Ride service is available for persons with disabilities in a majority of Minnesota counties.[156]

In addition to bus services,

Blue Line

Law and government

historical coat of arms
of Minnesota in 1876

Minnesota is governed pursuant to the Minnesota Constitution, which was adopted on October 13, 1857, roughly one year before statehood.[158] Like all U.S. states and the federal government, Minnesota has a republican system of political representation with power divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.[159] The state constitution includes a bill of rights that reaffirms many of the same rights and freedoms as its federal counterpart, with some protected more strongly and explicitly.[158]


Governor Tim Walz

The executive branch is led by Minnesota's governor, currently Tim Walz, a DFLer who took office on January 7, 2019. As chief executive, the governor appoints the heads of state agencies and is responsible for faithful execution of the law. As commander-in-chief of the state's armed forces, the governor also has command and control over the Minnesota National Guard.[160] A cabinet consisting of the lieutenant governor and the heads of Minnesota's 22 state agencies consults and assists the governor in the business of state government.[161]

Aside from the governor and lieutenant governor, who are elected on a

attorney general, and a state auditor.[160][d][e][f] These five "executive officers" together constitute the Executive Council, which has certain statutory responsibilities in matters of state finance, emergency management, and public lands administration.[167]

Constitutional officeholders:


The Minnesota State Capitol in Saint Paul, designed by Cass Gilbert


bicameral body consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives
. The state has 67 districts, each with about 60,000 people. Each district has one senator and two representatives, each senatorial district being divided into A and B sections for members of the House. Senators serve for four years and representatives for two years.

Since 2023, both the House and Senate have had a slim DFL majority.[168]


Minnesota's court system has three levels. Most cases start in the

district courts, which are courts of general jurisdiction. There are 279 district court judgeships in ten judicial districts. Appeals from the trial courts and challenges to certain governmental decisions are heard by the Minnesota Court of Appeals, consisting of 19 judges who typically sit in three-judge panels. The seven-justice Minnesota Supreme Court hears all appeals from the tax court, the workers' compensation court of appeals, first-degree murder convictions, and discretionary appeals from the court of appeals; it also has original jurisdiction over election disputes.[169]

Two specialized courts within administrative agencies have been established: the workers' compensation court of appeals, and the tax court, which deals with non-criminal tax cases.

Supreme Court Justices[170]

Associate Justices


In addition to the city and county levels of government found in the United States, Minnesota has other entities that provide governmental oversight and planning.

soil and water conservation districts



congressional districts; they are represented by Brad Finstad (1st district; R), Angie Craig (2nd; DFL), Dean Phillips (3rd; DFL), Betty McCollum (4th; DFL), Ilhan Omar (5th; DFL), Tom Emmer (6th; R), Michelle Fischbach (7th; R), and Pete Stauber (8th
; R).

Federal court cases are heard in the

St. Louis, Missouri
and St. Paul.


The State of Minnesota was created by the United States federal government in the traditional and cultural range of lands occupied by the Dakota and Anishinaabe peoples as well as other Native American groups. After many years of unequal treaties and forced resettlement by the state and federal government, the tribes re-organized into sovereign tribal governments. Today, the tribal governments are divided into 11 semi-autonomous reservations that negotiate with the U.S. and the state on a bilateral basis:

Four Dakota Mdewakanton communities:

Seven Anishinaabe reservations:

The first six of the Anishinaabe bands compose the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe, the collective federally recognized tribal government of the Bois Forte, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Leech Lake, Mille Lacs, and White Earth reservations.


United States presidential election results for Minnesota[171]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 1,484,065 45.28% 1,717,077 52.40% 76,029 2.32%
2016 1,323,232 44.93% 1,367,825 46.44% 254,176 8.63%
2012 1,320,225 44.96% 1,546,167 52.65% 70,169 2.39%
2008 1,275,409 43.82% 1,573,354 54.06% 61,606 2.12%
2004 1,346,695 47.61% 1,445,014 51.09% 36,678 1.30%
2000 1,109,659 45.50% 1,168,266 47.91% 160,760 6.59%
1996 766,476 34.96% 1,120,438 51.10% 305,726 13.94%
1992 747,841 31.85% 1,020,997 43.48% 579,110 24.66%
1988 962,337 45.90% 1,109,471 52.91% 24,982 1.19%
1984 1,032,603 49.54% 1,036,364 49.72% 15,482 0.74%
1980 873,241 42.56% 954,174 46.50% 224,538 10.94%
1976 819,395 42.02% 1,070,440 54.90% 60,096 3.08%
1972 898,269 51.58% 802,346 46.07% 41,037 2.36%
1968 658,643 41.46% 857,738 54.00% 72,129 4.54%
1964 559,624 36.00% 991,117 63.76% 3,721 0.24%
1960 757,915 49.16% 779,933 50.58% 4,039 0.26%
1956 719,302 53.68% 617,525 46.08% 3,178 0.24%
1952 763,211 55.33% 608,458 44.11% 7,814 0.57%
1948 483,617 39.89% 692,966 57.16% 35,643 2.94%
1944 527,416 46.86% 589,864 52.41% 8,249 0.73%
1940 596,274 47.66% 644,196 51.49% 10,718 0.86%
1936 350,461 31.01% 698,811 61.84% 80,703 7.14%
1932 363,959 36.29% 600,806 59.91% 38,078 3.80%
1928 560,977 57.77% 396,451 40.83% 13,548 1.40%
1924 420,759 51.18% 55,913 6.80% 345,474 42.02%
1920 519,421 70.59% 142,994 19.43% 73,423 9.98%
1916 179,544 46.35% 179,152 46.25% 28,668 7.40%
1912 64,334 19.25% 106,426 31.84% 163,459 48.91%
1908 195,843 59.11% 109,401 33.02% 26,060 7.87%
1904 216,651 73.98% 55,187 18.84% 21,022 7.18%
1900 190,461 60.21% 112,901 35.69% 12,949 4.09%
1896 193,503 56.62% 139,735 40.89% 8,524 2.49%
1892 122,823 45.96% 100,920 37.76% 43,495 16.28%
1888 142,492 54.12% 104,385 39.65% 16,408 6.23%
1884 111,685 58.78% 70,065 36.87% 8,267 4.35%
1880 93,902 62.28% 53,315 35.36% 3,553 2.36%
1876 72,955 58.80% 48,587 39.16% 2,533 2.04%
1872 55,708 61.27% 35,211 38.73% 0 0.00%
1868 43,722 60.88% 28,096 39.12% 0 0.00%
1864 25,055 59.06% 17,367 40.94% 0 0.00%
1860 22,069 63.53% 11,920 34.31% 748 2.15%

Minnesota is known for a politically active citizenry, and

polling places with evidence of residency.[176]

Hubert Humphrey brought national attention to the state with his address at the 1948 Democratic National Convention. Minnesotans have consistently cast their Electoral College votes for Democratic presidential candidates since 1976, longer than any other state. Minnesota is the only state in the nation that did not vote for Ronald Reagan in either of his presidential campaigns. Minnesota has voted for the Democratic nominee in every presidential election since 1960, with the exception of 1972, when the state was won by Republican Richard Nixon.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties have major-party status in Minnesota, but its state-level Democratic party has a different name, officially known as the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL). It was formed out of a 1944 alliance of the Minnesota Democratic and Farmer–Labor parties.

The state has had active third-party movements. The

Independence Party has received enough support to keep major-party status. The Green Party, while no longer having major-party status, has a large presence in municipal government,[177]
notably in Minneapolis and Duluth, where it competes directly with the DFL party for local offices. Major-party status in Minnesota (which grants state funding for elections) is reserved for parties whose candidates receive five percent or more of the vote in any statewide election (e.g., governor, secretary of state, U.S. president).

The state's

Muslim elected to Congress nationwide.[178] In 2008, DFLer and former comedian and radio talk show host Al Franken defeated incumbent Republican Norm Coleman
in the U.S. Senate race by 312 votes out of three million cast.

In the 2010 election, Republicans took control of both chambers of the Minnesota legislature for the first time in 38 years and, with Mark Dayton's election, the DFL party took the governor's office for the first time in 20 years. Two years later, the DFL regained control of both houses, and with Dayton in office, the party had same-party control of both the legislative and executive branches for the first time since 1990. Two years later, the Republicans regained control of the Minnesota House,[179] and in 2016, the GOP also regained control of the State Senate.[180]

In 2018, the DFL retook control of the Minnesota House, while electing DFLer Tim Walz as Governor.

In a 2020 study, Minnesota was ranked as the 15th easiest state for citizens to vote in.[181]


KSTP studios

The Twin Cities area is the fifteenth largest

Duluth–Superior (137th), Rochester–Mason City–Austin (152nd), and Mankato (200th).[182]

39 analog broadcast stations and 23 digital
channels broadcast over Minnesota.

The four largest daily newspapers are the

Minnesota Independent. Weeklies including City Pages
and monthly publications such as Minnesota Monthly are available.

Two of the largest

public radio networks, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and Public Radio International (PRI), are based in the state. MPR has the largest audience of any regional public radio network in the nation, broadcasting on 46 radio stations as of 2019.[185][186] PRI weekly provides more than 400 hours of programming to almost 800 affiliates.[187] The state's oldest radio station, KUOM-AM, was launched in 1922 and is among the 10-oldest radio stations in the United States. The University of Minnesota-owned station is still on the air, and since 1993 broadcasts a college rock

Sports, recreation and tourism

Minnesota has an active program of organized amateur and professional sports. Tourism has become an important industry, especially in the Lake region. In the North Country, what had been an industrial area focused on mining and timber has largely been transformed into a vacation destination. Popular interest in the environment and environmentalism, added to traditional interests in hunting and fishing, has attracted a large urban audience within driving range.[188]

Organized sports

The University of North Dakota and St. Cloud State University during the WCHA Final Five at the Xcel Energy Center

Minnesota has professional men's teams in all major sports.

The Minnesota Vikings have played in the National Football League since their admission as an expansion franchise in 1961. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 through 1981 and in the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome from 1982 until its demolition after the 2013 season for the construction of the team's new home, U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings' current stadium hosted Super Bowl LII in February 2018. Super Bowl XXVI was played in the Metrodome in 1992. The Vikings have advanced to the Super Bowl Super Bowl IV, Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl IX, and Super Bowl XI, losing all four games to their AFC/AFL opponent.

The Minnesota Twins have played in the Major League Baseball in the Twin Cities since 1961. The Twins began play as the original Washington Senators, a founding member of the American League in 1901, relocating to Minnesota in 1961. The Twins won the 1987 and 1991 World Series in seven-game matches where the home team was victorious in all games. The Twins also advanced to the 1965 World Series, where they lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers in seven games. The team has played at Target Field since 2010.


Minneapolis Lakers of the National Basketball Association played in the Minneapolis Auditorium from 1947 to 1960, after which they relocated to Los Angeles. The Minnesota Timberwolves joined the NBA in 1989, and have played in Target Center
since 1990.

The National Hockey League's Minnesota Wild play in St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center, and reached 300 consecutive sold-out games on January 16, 2008.[189] Previously, the Minnesota North Stars competed in NHL from 1967 to 1993, which played in and lost the 1981 and 1991 Stanley Cup Finals.

North American Soccer League from 2010 to 2016. The team plays at Allianz Field in St. Paul.[190] Previous professional soccer teams have included the Minnesota Kicks, which played at Metropolitan Stadium from 1976 to 1981, and the Minnesota Strikers
from 1984 to 1988.

Minnesota also has minor-league professional sports teams. The Minnesota Swarm of the National Lacrosse League played at the Xcel Energy Center until the team moved to Georgia in 2015. The St. Paul Saints, who play at CHS Field in St. Paul, are the Triple-A minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins.

Professional women's sports include the Minnesota Lynx of the Women's National Basketball Association, winners of the 2011, 2013, 2015, and 2017 WNBA Championships, Minnesota Aurora FC of the United Soccer League W-League, the Minnesota Vixen of the Independent Women's Football League, the Minnesota Valkyrie of the Legends Football League, and the Minnesota Whitecaps of the National Women's Hockey League.

The Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I school competing in the Big Ten Conference. Four additional schools in the state compete in NCAA Division I ice hockey: the University of Minnesota Duluth; Minnesota State University, Mankato; St. Cloud State University and Bemidji State University. There are nine NCAA Division II colleges in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference, and twenty NCAA Division III colleges in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference and Upper Midwest Athletic Conference.[191][192]

Minneapolis has hosted the


The Hazeltine National Golf Club has hosted the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, U.S. Senior Open and PGA Championship. The course also hosted the Ryder Cup in the fall of 2016, when it became one of two courses in the U.S. to host all major golf competitions. The Ryder Cup is scheduled to return in 2028.[193]

Interlachen Country Club has hosted the U.S. Open, U.S. Women's Open, and Solheim Cup.

Winter Olympic Games medalists from the state include twelve of the twenty members of the gold medal 1980 ice hockey team (coached by Minnesota native Herb Brooks) and the bronze medalist U.S. men's curling team in the 2006 Winter Olympics, as well as the gold medal-winning team from Duluth at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Swimmer Tom Malchow won an Olympic gold medal in the 2000 Summer games and a silver medal in 1996.

fall color season. Farther north, Eveleth is the location of the United States Hockey Hall of Fame

Outdoor recreation

Fishing on Bde Maka Ska in Minneapolis[194]

Minnesotans participate in high levels of physical activity,[195] and many of these activities are outdoors. The strong interest of Minnesotans in environmentalism has been attributed to the popularity of these pursuits.[196]

An old sauna cabin of Listening Point on the shores of Burntside Lake in Morse Township, Minnesota

In the warmer months, these activities often involve water. Weekend and longer trips to family

water sports such as water skiing, which originated in the state,[197] boating, canoeing, and fishing. More than 36% of Minnesotans fish, second only to Alaska.[198]

Fishing does not cease when the lakes freeze;

snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.[200] Minnesota is the only U.S. state where bandy is played.[201]

State and national forests and the 72 state parks are used year-round for hunting,

bike trails than any other state,[203] and a growing network of hiking trails, including the 235-mile (378 km) Superior Hiking Trail in the northeast.[204]
Many hiking and bike trails are used for cross-country skiing during the winter.

See also


  1. ^ a b Elevation adjusted to North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
  2. ^ Four states have more lakes than Minnesota: Alaska, Kansas, Michigan, and Florida.[66]
  3. ^ Hmong people are a stateless group; the majority of Hmong in Minnesota have immigrated from either Laos or Thailand.
  4. state seal, registers businesses, and administers elections. The secretary of state also processes notary public applications and administers Minnesota's address confidentiality program for victims of crime, among other responsibilities.[162]
  5. ^ The attorney general is the chief law officer for the state of Minnesota, representing state agencies in legal proceedings and issuing written opinions on questions of law. As chief law officer, the attorney general also enforces state consumer protection and antitrust laws, regulates charities, and advocates for people and small businesses in utilities matters, among other responsibilities.[163]
  6. single audit of federal programs administered by state agencies and their subrecipients. Public expenditures overseen by the state auditor thus exceed standalone state spending by 15.3 percent.[165][166]


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External links

Culture and history



Maps and demographics

Tourism and recreation

Preceded by
List of U.S. states by date of statehood

Admitted on May 11, 1858 (32nd)
Succeeded by