Minnesota

Minnesota

Overview
Minnesota is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the Midwestern United States
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory
Minnesota Territory
The Territory of Minnesota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 3, 1849, until May 11, 1858, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Minnesota.-History:...

 and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state on May 11, 1858. Known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the state's name comes from a Dakota
Dakota language
Dakota is a Siouan language spoken by the Dakota people of the Sioux tribes. Dakota is closely related to and mutually intelligible with the Lakota language.-Dialects:...

 word for "sky-tinted water". Those waters, together with forests, parks, and wilderness areas, offer residents and tourists a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.

Nearly 60% of Minnesota's residents live in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 known as the "Twin Cities", the center of transportation, business, industry and education, and home to an internationally known arts community.
Discussion
Ask a question about 'Minnesota'
Start a new discussion about 'Minnesota'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Recent Discussions
Timeline

1679   Europeans first visit Minnesota and see headwaters of Mississippi in an expedition led by Daniel Greysolon de Du Luth.

1858   Minnesota is admitted as the 32nd U.S. State.

1862   Indian Wars: The Dakota War of 1862 begins in Minnesota as Lakota warriors attack white settlements along the Minnesota River.

1862   Indian Wars: during an uprising in Minnesota, Lakota warriors decide not to attack heavily-defended Fort Ridgely and instead turn to the settlement of New Ulm, killing white settlers along the way.

1862   Indian Wars: In Minnesota, 303 Dakota warriors are found guilty of rape and murder of whites and are sentenced to hang. 38 are ultimately executed and the others reprieved.

1867   Former Minnesota farmer Oliver Hudson Kelley founds the Order of the Patrons of Husbandry (better known today as the Grange).

1918   A massive forest fire kills 453 people in Minnesota.

1920   Duluth lynchings in Minnesota.

1986   A tornado is broadcast live on KARE television in Minnesota when the station's helicopter pilot makes a chance encounter.

1999   Former professional wrestler Jesse Ventura is sworn in as governor of Minnesota.

 
Encyclopedia
Minnesota is a U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

 located in the Midwestern United States
Midwestern United States
The Midwestern United States is one of the four U.S. geographic regions defined by the United States Census Bureau, providing an official definition of the American Midwest....

. The twelfth largest state of the U.S., it is the twenty-first most populous, with 5.3 million residents. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory
Minnesota Territory
The Territory of Minnesota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 3, 1849, until May 11, 1858, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Minnesota.-History:...

 and admitted to the Union as the thirty-second state on May 11, 1858. Known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, the state's name comes from a Dakota
Dakota language
Dakota is a Siouan language spoken by the Dakota people of the Sioux tribes. Dakota is closely related to and mutually intelligible with the Lakota language.-Dialects:...

 word for "sky-tinted water". Those waters, together with forests, parks, and wilderness areas, offer residents and tourists a variety of outdoor recreational opportunities.

Nearly 60% of Minnesota's residents live in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 known as the "Twin Cities", the center of transportation, business, industry and education, and home to an internationally known arts community. The remainder of the state consists of western prairie
Prairie
Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

s now given over to intensive agriculture; deciduous
Deciduous
Deciduous means "falling off at maturity" or "tending to fall off", and is typically used in reference to trees or shrubs that lose their leaves seasonally, and to the shedding of other plant structures such as petals after flowering or fruit when ripe...

 forests in the southeast, now cleared, farmed and settled; and the less populated North Woods
North Woods
The Laurentian Mixed Forest Province, also known as the North Woods, is a forested ecoregion in Canada and the United States. In Canada it is found in Ontario around the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River through Quebec to Quebec City...

, used for mining, forestry, and recreation.

Minnesota is known for its relatively mixed social and political orientations, and has a high rate of civic participation and voter turnout. Minnesota ranks among the healthiest states, and has a highly literate population. The large majority of residents are of Scandinavian
Scandinavian American
Scandinavian Americans are Americans with ancestral roots in Scandinavia...

 and German
German American
German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

 descent. The state is known as a center of Scandinavian American culture. Ethnic diversity has increased in recent decades. Substantial influxes of African
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

, Asian
Asian American
Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

, and Latin American
Hispanic and Latino Americans
Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

 immigrants have joined the descendants of European
European American
A European American is a citizen or resident of the United States who has origins in any of the original peoples of Europe...

 immigrants and the original Native American
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 inhabitants.

Etymology


The word Minnesota comes from the Dakota
Dakota language
Dakota is a Siouan language spoken by the Dakota people of the Sioux tribes. Dakota is closely related to and mutually intelligible with the Lakota language.-Dialects:...

 name for the Minnesota River
Minnesota River
The Minnesota River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately 332 miles long, in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It drains a watershed of nearly , in Minnesota and about in South Dakota and Iowa....

: Mnisota. The root mni (also spelled mini or minne) means, "water". Mnisota can be translated as sky-tinted water or somewhat clouded water. Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

 demonstrated the name to early settlers by dropping milk into water and calling it mnisota. Many locations in the state have similar names, such as Minnehaha Falls
Minnehaha Falls
Minnehaha Creek is a tributary of the Mississippi River located in Hennepin County, Minnesota that extends from Lake Minnetonka in the west and flows east for 22 miles through several suburbs west of Minneapolis and then through south Minneapolis. Including Lake Minnetonka, the watershed for the...

 ("waterfall"), Minneiska
Minneiska, Minnesota
Minneiska is a city in Wabasha and Winona counties in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The population was 111 at the 2010 census.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.0 square miles , of which, 0.6 square miles of it is land and...

 ("white water"), Minneota
Minneota, Minnesota
Minneota is a city in Lyon County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 1,392 at the 2010 census.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , all of it land...

 ("much water"), Minnetonka
Lake Minnetonka
Lake Minnetonka is a lake in the U.S. state of Minnesota. Throughout its recorded history, the lake has been a resort destination. It is located west-southwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The lake is an irregular shape with numerous bays and islands which make up about of shoreline...

 ("big water"), Minnetrista
Minnetrista, Minnesota
Minnetrista is a settlement mainly in Hennepin County, Minnesota. A very small part of Minnetrista Extends into Carver County. The name Minnetrista is said to owe its origin to the Dakota language, in which minne means "water" and trista means "crooked." The city is generally rural and still has...

 ("crooked water"), and Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis , nicknamed "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City," is the county seat of Hennepin County, the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the 48th largest in the United States...

, which is a combination of mni and polis, the Greek word for "city".

Geography



Minnesota is the northernmost U.S. state apart from Alaska
Alaska
Alaska is the largest state in the United States by area. It is situated in the northwest extremity of the North American continent, with Canada to the east, the Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Pacific Ocean to the west and south, with Russia further west across the Bering Strait...

; its isolated Northwest Angle
Northwest Angle
The Northwest Angle, known simply as the Angle by locals, and coextensive with Angle Township, is a part of northern Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota, and is the only place in the United States outside Alaska that is north of the 49th parallel...

 in Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods
Lake of the Woods is a lake occupying parts of the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba and the U.S. state of Minnesota. It separates a small land area of Minnesota from the rest of the United States. The Northwest Angle and the town of Angle Township can only be reached from the rest of...

 is the only part of the 48 contiguous states
Contiguous United States
The contiguous United States are the 48 U.S. states on the continent of North America that are south of Canada and north of Mexico, plus the District of Columbia....

 lying north of the 49th Parallel
49th parallel north
The 49th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 49 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Europe, Asia, the Pacific Ocean, North America, and the Atlantic Ocean....

. The state is part of the U.S. region known as the Upper Midwest
Upper Midwest
The Upper Midwest is a region in the northern portion of the U.S. Census Bureau's Midwestern United States. It is largely a sub-region of the midwest. Although there are no uniformly agreed-upon boundaries, the region is most commonly used to refer to the states of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and...

. The state shares a Lake Superior
Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

 water border with Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 and Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

 on the northeast; the remainder of the eastern border is with Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

. Iowa
Iowa
Iowa is a state located in the Midwestern United States, an area often referred to as the "American Heartland". It derives its name from the Ioway people, one of the many American Indian tribes that occupied the state at the time of European exploration. Iowa was a part of the French colony of New...

 is to the south, North Dakota
North Dakota
North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S....

 and South Dakota
South Dakota
South Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux American Indian tribes. Once a part of Dakota Territory, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889. The state has an area of and an estimated population of just over...

 to the west, and the Canadian province
Province
A province is a territorial unit, almost always an administrative division, within a country or state.-Etymology:The English word "province" is attested since about 1330 and derives from the 13th-century Old French "province," which itself comes from the Latin word "provincia," which referred to...

s of Ontario
Ontario
Ontario is a province of Canada, located in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province and second largest in total area. It is home to the nation's most populous city, Toronto, and the nation's capital, Ottawa....

 and Manitoba
Manitoba
Manitoba is a Canadian prairie province with an area of . The province has over 110,000 lakes and has a largely continental climate because of its flat topography. Agriculture, mostly concentrated in the fertile southern and western parts of the province, is vital to the province's economy; other...

 to the north. With 86943 square miles (225,181.3 km²), or approximately 2.25% of the United States, Minnesota is the twelfth-largest state.

Geology and terrain



Minnesota contains some of the oldest rocks found on earth, gneiss
Gneiss
Gneiss is a common and widely distributed type of rock formed by high-grade regional metamorphic processes from pre-existing formations that were originally either igneous or sedimentary rocks.-Etymology:...

es some 3.6 billion years old, or 80% as old as the planet. About 2.7 billion years ago, basalt
Basalt
Basalt is a common extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually grey to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or grey...

ic lava
Lava
Lava refers both to molten rock expelled by a volcano during an eruption and the resulting rock after solidification and cooling. This molten rock is formed in the interior of some planets, including Earth, and some of their satellites. When first erupted from a volcanic vent, lava is a liquid at...

 poured out of cracks in the floor of the primordial ocean
Ocean
An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.More than half of this area is over 3,000...

; the remains of this volcanic
Volcano
2. Bedrock3. Conduit 4. Base5. Sill6. Dike7. Layers of ash emitted by the volcano8. Flank| 9. Layers of lava emitted by the volcano10. Throat11. Parasitic cone12. Lava flow13. Vent14. Crater15...

 rock formed the Canadian Shield
Canadian Shield
The Canadian Shield, also called the Laurentian Plateau, or Bouclier Canadien , is a vast geological shield covered by a thin layer of soil that forms the nucleus of the North American or Laurentia craton. It is an area mostly composed of igneous rock which relates to its long volcanic history...

 in northeast Minnesota. The roots of these volcanic mountains and the action of Precambrian
Precambrian
The Precambrian is the name which describes the large span of time in Earth's history before the current Phanerozoic Eon, and is a Supereon divided into several eons of the geologic time scale...

 seas formed the Iron Range
Iron Range
The Iron Range is a region that makes up the northeastern section of Minnesota in the United States. "The Range", as it is known by locals, is a region with multiple distinct bands of iron ore...

 of northern Minnesota. Following a period of volcanism
Volcanism
Volcanism is the phenomenon connected with volcanoes and volcanic activity. It includes all phenomena resulting from and causing magma within the crust or mantle of a planet to rise through the crust and form volcanic rocks on the surface....

 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.

In more recent times
Glacial history of Minnesota
The glacial history of Minnesota is most defined since the onset of the last glacial period, which ended some 10,000 years ago. Within the last million years, most of the Midwestern United States and much of Canada were covered at one time or another with an ice sheet. This continental glacier had...

, massive ice sheets at least one kilometer thick ravaged the landscape of the state and sculpted its current terrain. The Wisconsin glaciation
Wisconsin glaciation
The last glacial period was the most recent glacial period within the current ice age occurring during the last years of the Pleistocene, from approximately 110,000 to 10,000 years ago....

 left 12,000 years ago. These glaciers covered all of Minnesota except the far southeast, an area characterized by steep hills and streams that cut into the bedrock
Bedrock
In stratigraphy, bedrock is the native consolidated rock underlying the surface of a terrestrial planet, usually the Earth. Above the bedrock is usually an area of broken and weathered unconsolidated rock in the basal subsoil...

. This area is known as the Driftless Zone
Coulee Region
The Driftless Area or Paleozoic Plateau is a region in the American Midwest noted mainly for its deeply carved river valleys. While primarily in southwestern Wisconsin, it includes areas of southeastern Minnesota, northeastern Iowa and extreme northwestern Illinois...

 for its absence of glacial drift. Much of the remainder of the state outside of the northeast has 50 feet (15 m) or more of glacial till left behind as the last glaciers retreated. Gigantic Lake Agassiz
Lake Agassiz
Lake Agassiz was an immense glacial lake located in the center of North America. Fed by glacial runoff at the end of the last glacial period, its area was larger than all of the modern Great Lakes combined, and it held more water than contained by all lakes in the world today.-Conception:First...

 formed in the northwest 13,000 years ago. Its bed created the fertile Red River
Red River of the North
The Red River is a North American river. Originating at the confluence of the Bois de Sioux and Otter Tail rivers in the United States, it flows northward through the Red River Valley and forms the border between the U.S. states of Minnesota and North Dakota before continuing into Manitoba, Canada...

 valley, and its outflow, glacial River Warren
Glacial River Warren
right|thumb|210px|The course of the Minnesota River follows the valley carved by Glacial River WarrenGlacial River Warren or River Warren was a prehistoric river that drained Lake Agassiz in central North America between 11,700 and 9,400 years ago...

, carved the valley of the Minnesota River
Minnesota River
The Minnesota River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately 332 miles long, in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It drains a watershed of nearly , in Minnesota and about in South Dakota and Iowa....

. Minnesota is geologically quiet today; it experiences earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

s infrequently, and most of them are minor.


The state's high point is Eagle Mountain
Eagle Mountain (Minnesota)
Eagle Mountain is the highest natural point in Minnesota, at . It is located in northern Cook County and is in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Superior National Forest in the Misquah Hills, northwest of the community of Grand Marais. It is a Minnesota State Historic Site.Eagle...

 at 2,301 feet (701 m), which is only 13 miles (20.9 km) away from the low of 602 feet (183 m) at the shore of Lake Superior. Notwithstanding dramatic local differences in elevation, much of the state is a gently rolling peneplain
Peneplain
A peneplain is a low-relief plain representing the final stage of fluvial erosion during times of extended tectonic stability. The existence of peneplains, and peneplanation as a geomorphological process, is not without controversy, due to a lack of contemporary examples and uncertainty in...

.

Two major drainage divides meet in the northeastern part of Minnesota in rural Hibbing
Hibbing, Minnesota
Hibbing is a city in Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 16,361 at the 2010 census. The city was built on the rich iron ore of the Mesabi Iron Range. At the edge of town is the largest open-pit iron mine in the world. U.S...

, forming a triple watershed
Drainage basin
A drainage basin is an extent or an area of land where surface water from rain and melting snow or ice converges to a single point, usually the exit of the basin, where the waters join another waterbody, such as a river, lake, reservoir, estuary, wetland, sea, or ocean...

. Precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 can follow the Mississippi River south to the Gulf of Mexico
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is a partially landlocked ocean basin largely surrounded by the North American continent and the island of Cuba. It is bounded on the northeast, north and northwest by the Gulf Coast of the United States, on the southwest and south by Mexico, and on the southeast by Cuba. In...

, the Saint Lawrence Seaway
Saint Lawrence Seaway
The Saint Lawrence Seaway , , is the common name for a system of locks, canals and channels that permits ocean-going vessels to travel from the Atlantic Ocean to the North American Great Lakes, as far as Lake Superior. Legally it extends from Montreal to Lake Erie, including the Welland Canal...

 east to the Atlantic Ocean, or the Hudson Bay watershed
Canada Hudson Bay drainage
The Hudson Bay drainage in Canada is the majority of the Hudson Bay Watershed, which has small United States portions in Minnesota, Montana, and North Dakota...

 to the Arctic Ocean.

The state's nickname, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, is no exaggeration; there are 11,842 Minnesota lakes over 10 acre (0.0404686 km²) in size. The Minnesota portion of Lake Superior is the largest at 962700 acres (3,895.9 km²) and deepest (at 1290 ft (393.2 m)) body of water in the state. Minnesota has 6,564 natural rivers and streams that cumulatively flow for 69000 miles (111,044.5 km). The Mississippi River begins its journey from its headwaters at Lake Itasca
Lake Itasca
Lake Itasca is a small glacial lake, approximately in area, in the Headwaters area of north central Minnesota. The lake is located in southeastern Clearwater County within Itasca State Park and it has an average depth of 20–35 feet , and is 1,475 ft above sea level.The Ojibwe name for...

 and crosses the Iowa border 680 miles (1,094.4 km) downstream. It is joined by the Minnesota River at Fort Snelling
Fort Snelling, Minnesota
Fort Snelling, originally known as Fort Saint Anthony, was a military fortification located at the confluence of the Minnesota River and Mississippi River in Hennepin County, Minnesota...

, by the St. Croix River
St. Croix River (Wisconsin-Minnesota)
The St. Croix River is a tributary of the Mississippi River, approximately long, in the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Minnesota. The lower of the river form the border between Wisconsin and Minnesota. The river is a National Scenic Riverway under the protection of the National Park Service. A...

 near Hastings
Hastings, Minnesota
Hastings is a city in Dakota counties in the U.S. state of Minnesota, near the confluence of the Mississippi and St. Croix Rivers. The population was 22,172 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Dakota County. The bulk of Hastings is in Dakota County; only a small part of the city extends...

, by the Chippewa River
Chippewa River (Wisconsin)
The Chippewa River in Wisconsin flows approximately 183 miles through west-central and northwestern Wisconsin. It was once navigable for approximately 50 miles of its length, from the Mississippi River, by Durand, northeast to Eau Claire. Its catchment defines a portion of the northern boundary...

 at Wabasha, and by many smaller streams. The Red River
Red River of the North
The Red River is a North American river. Originating at the confluence of the Bois de Sioux and Otter Tail rivers in the United States, it flows northward through the Red River Valley and forms the border between the U.S. states of Minnesota and North Dakota before continuing into Manitoba, Canada...

, in the bed of glacial Lake Agassiz, drains the northwest part of the state northward toward Canada's Hudson Bay. Approximately 10.6 million acres (42,900 km²) of wetlands are contained within Minnesota's borders, the most of any state except Alaska.

Flora and fauna




Minnesota has four ecological provinces: Prairie Parkland
Prairie
Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

 in the southwestern and western parts of the state, the Eastern Broadleaf Forest
Temperate deciduous forest
A temperate deciduous forest, more precisely termed temperate broadleaf forest or temperate broadleaved forest, is a biome found in North America, southern South America, Europe, and Asia. A temperate deciduous forest consists of trees that lose their leaves every year...

 (Big Woods
Big Woods
Big Woods refers to a type of temperate hardwood forest ecoregion found in south-central Minnesota. "Big Woods" is a direct translation of the name given to the region by French explorers: Grand Bois.-Trees:...

) in the southeast, extending in a narrowing strip to the northwestern part of the state, where it transitions into Tallgrass Aspen Parkland
Tallgrass Aspen Parkland
The Tallgrass Aspen Parkland is a Conservation area located in southeastern Manitoba/northwestern Minnesota. The area is characterized by a mosaic of habitat types, including tallgrass prairie, aspen woodland, sedge meadow wetlands, riparian woodland, and oak savannah...

, and the northern Laurentian Mixed Forest
North Woods
The Laurentian Mixed Forest Province, also known as the North Woods, is a forested ecoregion in Canada and the United States. In Canada it is found in Ontario around the Great Lakes and the Saint Lawrence River through Quebec to Quebec City...

, a transitional forest between the northern boreal forest
Taiga
Taiga , also known as the boreal forest, is a biome characterized by coniferous forests.Taiga is the world's largest terrestrial biome. In North America it covers most of inland Canada and Alaska as well as parts of the extreme northern continental United States and is known as the Northwoods...

 and broadleaf forests to the south. These northern forests are a vast wilderness of pine
Pine
Pines are trees in the genus Pinus ,in the family Pinaceae. They make up the monotypic subfamily Pinoideae. There are about 115 species of pine, although different authorities accept between 105 and 125 species.-Etymology:...

 and spruce
Spruce
A spruce is a tree of the genus Picea , a genus of about 35 species of coniferous evergreen trees in the Family Pinaceae, found in the northern temperate and boreal regions of the earth. Spruces are large trees, from tall when mature, and can be distinguished by their whorled branches and conical...

 trees mixed with patchy stands of birch
Birch
Birch is a tree or shrub of the genus Betula , in the family Betulaceae, closely related to the beech/oak family, Fagaceae. The Betula genus contains 30–60 known taxa...

 and poplar
Poplar
Populus is a genus of 25–35 species of deciduous flowering plants in the family Salicaceae, native to most of the Northern Hemisphere. English names variously applied to different species include poplar , aspen, and cottonwood....

.

Much of Minnesota's northern forest underwent logging at some time, leaving only a few patches of old growth forest
Old growth forest
An old-growth forest is a forest that has attained great age , and thereby exhibits unique ecological features. An old growth forest has also usually reached a climax community...

 today in areas such as in the Chippewa National Forest
Chippewa National Forest
Chippewa National Forest is a National Forest located in northcentral Minnesota, United States, in the counties of Itasca, Cass, and Beltrami. Forest headquarters are located in Cass Lake, Minnesota. There are local ranger district offices in Blackduck, Deer River, and Walker.-History and...

 and the Superior National Forest
Superior National Forest
Superior National Forest, part of the United States National Forest system, is located in the Arrowhead Region of the state of Minnesota between the Canada – United States border and the north shore of Lake Superior...

 where the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness , is a wilderness area within the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota under the administration of the U.S. Forest Service...

 has some 400000 acre (161,874 ha) of unlogged land. Although logging continues, regrowth keeps about one third of the state forested. Nearly all of Minnesota's prairies and oak savannas have been destroyed or fragmented because of farming, grazing, logging, and suburban development.

While loss of habitat has affected native animals such as the pine marten
American Marten
The American marten is a North American member of the family Mustelidae, sometimes referred to as the pine marten. The name "pine marten" is derived from the common but distinct Eurasian species of Martes...

, elk
Elk
The Elk is the large deer, also called Cervus canadensis or wapiti, of North America and eastern Asia.Elk may also refer to:Other antlered mammals:...

, woodland caribou
Migratory Woodland Caribou
The migratory woodland caribou , also known as the forest caribou or woodland caribou , is a subspecies of the caribou...

, and bison
American Bison
The American bison , also commonly known as the American buffalo, is a North American species of bison that once roamed the grasslands of North America in massive herds...

, others like whitetail deer and bobcat
Bobcat
The bobcat is a North American mammal of the cat family Felidae, appearing during the Irvingtonian stage of around 1.8 million years ago . With twelve recognized subspecies, it ranges from southern Canada to northern Mexico, including most of the continental United States...

 thrive. The state has the nation's largest population of timber wolves outside Alaska, and supports healthy populations of black bear
American black bear
The American black bear is a medium-sized bear native to North America. It is the continent's smallest and most common bear species. Black bears are omnivores, with their diets varying greatly depending on season and location. They typically live in largely forested areas, but do leave forests in...

 and moose
Moose
The moose or Eurasian elk is the largest extant species in the deer family. Moose are distinguished by the palmate antlers of the males; other members of the family have antlers with a dendritic configuration...

. Located on the Mississippi Flyway
Mississippi Flyway
The Mississippi Flyway is a bird migration route that generally follows the Mississippi River in the United States and the Mackenzie River in Canada. The main endpoints of the flyway include central Canada and the region surrounding the Gulf of Mexico...

, Minnesota hosts migratory waterfowl such as geese and ducks, and game birds such as grouse
Grouse
Grouse are a group of birds from the order Galliformes. They are sometimes considered a family Tetraonidae, though the American Ornithologists' Union and many others include grouse as a subfamily Tetraoninae in the family Phasianidae...

, pheasants, and turkeys. It is home to birds of prey
Bird of prey
Birds of prey are birds that hunt for food primarily on the wing, using their keen senses, especially vision. They are defined as birds that primarily hunt vertebrates, including other birds. Their talons and beaks tend to be relatively large, powerful and adapted for tearing and/or piercing flesh....

 including the bald eagle
Bald Eagle
The Bald Eagle is a bird of prey found in North America. It is the national bird and symbol of the United States of America. This sea eagle has two known sub-species and forms a species pair with the White-tailed Eagle...

, red-tailed hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
The Red-tailed Hawk is a bird of prey, one of three species colloquially known in the United States as the "chickenhawk," though it rarely preys on standard sized chickens. It breeds throughout most of North America, from western Alaska and northern Canada to as far south as Panama and the West...

, and snowy owl
Snowy Owl
The Snowy Owl is a large owl of the typical owl family Strigidae. The Snowy Owl was first classified in 1758 by Carolus Linnaeus, the Swedish naturalist who developed binomial nomenclature to classify and organize plants and animals. The bird is also known in North America as the Arctic Owl, Great...

. The lakes teem with sport fish such as walleye
Walleye
Walleye is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European pikeperch...

, bass
Bass (fish)
Bass is a name shared by many different species of popular gamefish. The term encompasses both freshwater and marine species. All belong to the large order Perciformes, or perch-like fishes, and in fact the word bass comes from Middle English bars, meaning "perch."-Types of basses:*The temperate...

, muskellunge
Muskellunge
A muskellunge , also known as a muskelunge, muscallonge, milliganong, or maskinonge , is a large, relatively uncommon freshwater fish of North America. Muskellunge are the largest member of the pike family, Esocidae...

, and northern pike
Northern Pike
The northern pike , is a species of carnivorous fish of the genus Esox...

, and streams in the southeast are populated by brook
Brook trout
The brook trout, Salvelinus fontinalis, is a species of fish in the salmon family of order Salmoniformes. In many parts of its range, it is known as the speckled trout or squaretail. A potamodromous population in Lake Superior are known as coaster trout or, simply, as coasters...

, brown
Brown trout
The brown trout and the sea trout are fish of the same species....

, and rainbow trout
Rainbow trout
The rainbow trout is a species of salmonid native to tributaries of the Pacific Ocean in Asia and North America. The steelhead is a sea run rainbow trout usually returning to freshwater to spawn after 2 to 3 years at sea. In other words, rainbow trout and steelhead trout are the same species....

.

Climate



Minnesota endures temperature extremes characteristic of its continental climate
Continental climate
Continental climate is a climate characterized by important annual variation in temperature due to the lack of significant bodies of water nearby...

; with cold winters and hot summers. The record high and low span is 174 degrees Fahrenheit (from -60 F at Tower
Tower, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there are 479 people in the city, organized into 233 households and 137 families. The population density is 176.8 people per square mile . There are 295 housing units at an average density of 108.9 per square mile...

 on February 2, 1996 to 114 °F (45.6 °C) at Moorhead
Moorhead, Minnesota
Moorhead is a city in Clay County, Minnesota, United States, and the largest city in northwest Minnesota. The population was 38,065 at the 2010 Census. It is the county seat of Clay County....

 on July 6, 1936) Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit
Fahrenheit is the temperature scale proposed in 1724 by, and named after, the German physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit . Within this scale, the freezing of water into ice is defined at 32 degrees, while the boiling point of water is defined to be 212 degrees...

 (span of 96C°; from -51 °C to 45 °C). Meteorological events include rain
Rain
Rain is liquid precipitation, as opposed to non-liquid kinds of precipitation such as snow, hail and sleet. Rain requires the presence of a thick layer of the atmosphere to have temperatures above the melting point of water near and above the Earth's surface...

, snow, blizzards, thunderstorms, hail, derecho
Derecho
A derecho is a widespread and long-lived, violent convectively induced straight-line windstorm that is associated with a fast-moving band of severe thunderstorms in the form of a squall line usually taking the form of a bow echo...

s, tornado
Tornado
A tornado is a violent, dangerous, rotating column of air that is in contact with both the surface of the earth and a cumulonimbus cloud or, in rare cases, the base of a cumulus cloud. They are often referred to as a twister or a cyclone, although the word cyclone is used in meteorology in a wider...

es, and high-velocity straight-line winds
Downburst
A downburst is created by an area of significantly rain-cooled air that, after reaching ground level, spreads out in all directions producing strong winds. Unlike winds in a tornado, winds in a downburst are directed outwards from the point where it hits land or water...

. The growing season varies from 90 days per year in the Iron Range
Iron Range
The Iron Range is a region that makes up the northeastern section of Minnesota in the United States. "The Range", as it is known by locals, is a region with multiple distinct bands of iron ore...

 to 160 days in southeast Minnesota near the Mississippi River, and mean average temperatures range from 37 °F (2 °C) to 49 °F (9 °C). Average summer dew point
Dew point
The dew point is the temperature to which a given parcel of humid air must be cooled, at constant barometric pressure, for water vapor to condense into liquid water. The condensed water is called dew when it forms on a solid surface. The dew point is a saturation temperature.The dew point is...

s range from about 58 °F (14.4 °C) in the south to about 48 °F (8.9 °C) in the north. Depending on location, average annual precipitation ranges from 19 in (48.3 cm) to 35 in (88.9 cm), and droughts occur every 10 to 50 years.

Protected lands



Minnesota's first state park, Itasca State Park
Itasca State Park
Itasca State Park is a state park of Minnesota, United States, and contains the headwaters of the Mississippi River. The park spans of northern Minnesota, and is located about north of Park Rapids, Minnesota and from Bagley, Minnesota...

, was established in 1891, and is the source
Source (river or stream)
The source or headwaters of a river or stream is the place from which the water in the river or stream originates.-Definition:There is no universally agreed upon definition for determining a stream's source...

 of the Mississippi River. 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
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is the agency of the U.S. state of Minnesota charged with conserving and managing the state's natural resources. The agency maintains areas such as state parks, state forests, recreational trails, and recreation areas as well as managing minerals,...

. There are 5.5 million acres (22,000 km²) in the Chippewa
Chippewa National Forest
Chippewa National Forest is a National Forest located in northcentral Minnesota, United States, in the counties of Itasca, Cass, and Beltrami. Forest headquarters are located in Cass Lake, Minnesota. There are local ranger district offices in Blackduck, Deer River, and Walker.-History and...

 and Superior National Forest
Superior National Forest
Superior National Forest, part of the United States National Forest system, is located in the Arrowhead Region of the state of Minnesota between the Canada – United States border and the north shore of Lake Superior...

s. The Superior National Forest in the northeast contains the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness , is a wilderness area within the Superior National Forest in northeastern Minnesota under the administration of the U.S. Forest Service...

, which encompasses over a million acres (4,000 km²) and a thousand lakes. To its west is Voyageurs National Park
Voyageurs National Park
Voyageurs National Park is a United States National Park in northern Minnesota near the town of International Falls. It was established in 1975. The park's name commemorates the voyageurs, French-Canadian fur traders who were the first European settlers to frequently travel through the area...

. The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area protects a and corridor along the Mississippi River from the cities of Dayton and Ramsey, Minnesota to just downstream of Hastings, Minnesota. This includes the stretch of Mississippi River which flows through Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota...

 (MNRRA), is a 72 miles (116 km) long corridor along the Mississippi River through the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area connecting a variety of sites of historic, cultural, and geologic interest.

History




Before European settlement, Minnesota was populated by the Anishinaabe
Anishinaabe
Anishinaabe or Anishinabe—or more properly Anishinaabeg or Anishinabek, which is the plural form of the word—is the autonym often used by the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Algonquin peoples. They all speak closely related Anishinaabemowin/Anishinaabe languages, of the Algonquian language family.The meaning...

, the Dakota
Sioux
The Sioux are Native American and First Nations people in North America. The term can refer to any ethnic group within the Great Sioux Nation or any of the nation's many language dialects...

, and other Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

. The first Europeans were French
French people
The French are a nation that share a common French culture and speak the French language as a mother tongue. Historically, the French population are descended from peoples of Celtic, Latin and Germanic origin, and are today a mixture of several ethnic groups...

 fur trade
Fur trade
The fur trade is a worldwide industry dealing in the acquisition and sale of animal fur. Since the establishment of world market for in the early modern period furs of boreal, polar and cold temperate mammalian animals have been the most valued...

rs that arrived in the 17th century. Late that century, Ojibwe Indians migrated westward to Minnesota, causing tensions with the Sioux. Explorers such as Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut
Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut
Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut was a French soldier and explorer who is the first European known to have visited the area where the city of Duluth, Minnesota is now located and the headwaters of the Mississippi River near Grand Rapids...

, Father Louis Hennepin
Louis Hennepin
Father Louis Hennepin, O.F.M. baptized Antoine, was a Catholic priest and missionary of the Franciscan Recollect order and an explorer of the interior of North America....

, Jonathan Carver
Jonathan Carver
Jonathan Carver was an American explorer and writer. He was born in Weymouth, Massachusetts and then moved with his family to Canterbury, Connecticut. He later married Abigail Robbins and became a shoemaker. He is believed to have had seven children.In 1755 Carver joined the colonial militia at...

, Henry Schoolcraft
Henry Schoolcraft
Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was an American geographer, geologist, and ethnologist, noted for his early studies of Native American cultures, as well as for his 1832 discovery of the source of the Mississippi River. He married Jane Johnston, whose parents were Ojibwe and Scots-Irish...

, and Joseph Nicollet
Joseph Nicollet
Joseph Nicolas Nicollet , also known as Jean-Nicolas Nicollet, was a French geographer and mathematician known for mapping the Upper Mississippi River basin during the 1830s....

, among others, mapped out the state.

The portion of the state east of the Mississippi River became a part of the United States at the end of the American Revolutionary War
American Revolutionary War
The American Revolutionary War , the American War of Independence, or simply the Revolutionary War, began as a war between the Kingdom of Great Britain and thirteen British colonies in North America, and ended in a global war between several European great powers.The war was the result of the...

, when the Second Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1783)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on September 3, 1783, ended the American Revolutionary War between Great Britain on the one hand and the United States of America and its allies on the other. The other combatant nations, France, Spain and the Dutch Republic had separate agreements; for details of...

 was signed. Land west of the Mississippi River was acquired with the Louisiana Purchase
Louisiana Purchase
The Louisiana Purchase was the acquisition by the United States of America of of France's claim to the territory of Louisiana in 1803. The U.S...

, although a portion of the Red River Valley
Red River Valley
The Red River Valley is a region in central North America that is drained by the Red River of the North. It is significant in the geography of North Dakota, Minnesota, and Manitoba for its relatively fertile lands and the population centers of Fargo, Moorhead, Grand Forks, and Winnipeg...

 was disputed until the Treaty of 1818
Treaty of 1818
The Convention respecting fisheries, boundary and the restoration of slaves between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, also known as the London Convention, Anglo-American Convention of 1818, Convention of 1818, or simply the Treaty of 1818, was a...

. In 1805, Zebulon Pike
Zebulon Pike
Zebulon Montgomery Pike Jr. was an American officer and explorer for whom Pikes Peak in Colorado is named. As a United States Army captain in 1806-1807, he led the Pike Expedition to explore and document the southern portion of the Louisiana Purchase and to find the headwaters of the Red River,...

 bargained with Native Americans to acquire land at the confluence
Confluence (geography)
In geography, a confluence is the meeting of two or more bodies of water. It usually refers to the point where two streams flow together, merging into a single stream...

 of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. The construction of Fort Snelling followed between 1819 and 1825. Its soldiers built a grist mill and a sawmill
Sawmill
A sawmill is a facility where logs are cut into boards.-Sawmill process:A sawmill's basic operation is much like those of hundreds of years ago; a log enters on one end and dimensional lumber exits on the other end....

 at Saint Anthony Falls
Saint Anthony Falls
Saint Anthony Falls, or the Falls of Saint Anthony, located northeast of downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, was the only natural major waterfall on the Upper Mississippi River. The natural falls was replaced by a concrete overflow spillway after it partially collapsed in 1869...

, the first of the water-powered industries around which the city of Minneapolis later grew. Meanwhile, squatters, government officials, and tourists had settled near the fort. In 1839, the Army forced them to move downriver, and they settled in the area that became St. Paul. Minnesota Territory
Minnesota Territory
The Territory of Minnesota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 3, 1849, until May 11, 1858, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Minnesota.-History:...

 was formed on March 3, 1849. Thousands of people had come to build farms and cut timber, and Minnesota became the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858.


Treaties between European settlers and the Dakota and Ojibwe gradually forced the natives off their lands and on to smaller reservations. As conditions deteriorated for the Dakota, tensions rose, leading to the Dakota War of 1862
Dakota War of 1862
The Dakota War of 1862, also known as the Sioux Uprising, was an armed conflict between the United States and several bands of the eastern Sioux. It began on August 17, 1862, along the Minnesota River in southwest Minnesota...

. The result of the six-week war was the execution of 38 Dakota — the largest mass execution in United States history — and the exile of most of the rest of the Dakota to the Crow Creek Reservation
Crow Creek Reservation
The Crow Creek Indian Reservation is located in parts of Buffalo, Hughes, and Hyde counties on the east bank of the Missouri River in central South Dakota in the United States. It has a land area of 421.658 sq mi and a 2000 census population of 2,225 persons...

 in Nebraska
Nebraska
Nebraska is a state on the Great Plains of the Midwestern United States. The state's capital is Lincoln and its largest city is Omaha, on the Missouri River....

. As many as 800 white settlers died during the war.

Logging and farming were mainstays of Minnesota's early economy. The sawmills at Saint Anthony Falls, and logging centers like Marine on St. Croix
Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota
Marine on St. Croix is a city in Washington County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 689 at the 2010 census.-Geography:According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of , of which, of it is land and of it is water. Minnesota State Highway 95 serves as a main...

, Stillwater
Stillwater, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,143 people, 5,797 households, and 4,115 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,340.0 people per square mile . There were 5,926 housing units at an average density of 915.7 per square mile...

, and Winona
Winona, Minnesota
Winona is a city in and the county seat of Winona County, in the U.S. State of Minnesota. Located in picturesque bluff country on the Mississippi River, its most noticeable physical landmark is Sugar Loaf....

, processed high volumes of lumber. These cities were situated on rivers that were ideal for transportation. Later, Saint Anthony Falls was tapped to provide power for flour mills. Innovations by Minneapolis millers led to the production of Minnesota "patent" flour, which commanded almost double the price of "bakers" or "clear" flour, which it replaced. By 1900, Minnesota mills, led by Pillsbury, Northwestern
Northwestern Consolidated Milling Company
Northwestern Consolidated Milling Company was an American flour milling company that operated about one quarter of the mills in Minneapolis, Minnesota when the city was the flour milling capital of the world. Formed as a business entity, Northwestern produced flour for the half century between 1891...

 and the Washburn-Crosby Company (a forerunner of General Mills
General Mills
General Mills, Inc. is an American Fortune 500 corporation, primarily concerned with food products, which is headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The company markets many well-known brands, such as Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Colombo, Totinos, Jeno's, Pillsbury, Green...

), were grinding 14.1% of the nation's grain.


The state's iron-mining industry was established with the discovery of iron in the Vermilion Range
Vermilion Range (Minnesota)
The Vermilion Range exists between Tower and Ely, Minnesota, and contains significant deposits of iron ore. The Vermilion, along with the Mesabi and Cuyuna Ranges, constitute the Iron Ranges of northern Minnesota which were deposited in the Animikie Group...

 and the Mesabi Range
Mesabi Range
The Mesabi Iron Range is a vast deposit of iron ore and the largest of four major iron ranges in the region collectively known as the Iron Range of Minnesota. Discovered in 1866, it is the chief deposit of iron ore in the United States. The deposit is located in northeast Minnesota, largely in...

 in the 1880s, and in the Cuyuna Range
Cuyuna Range
The Cuyuna Range is an iron range to the southwest of the Mesabi Range, largely within Crow Wing County, Minnesota. It lies along a line between Brainerd and Aitkin, although those communities are not mining towns....

 in the early 20th century. The ore was shipped by rail to Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

 and Two Harbors
Two Harbors, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,613 people, 1,636 households, and 953 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,120.7 people per square mile . There were 1,631 housing units at an average density of 505.9 per square mile...

, then loaded onto ships and transported eastward over the Great Lakes
Great Lakes
The Great Lakes are a collection of freshwater lakes located in northeastern North America, on the Canada – United States border. Consisting of Lakes Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, they form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth by total surface, coming in second by volume...

.

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 hard-hit by the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

, resulting in lower prices for farmers, layoffs among iron miners, and labor unrest. Compounding the adversity, western Minnesota and the Dakotas were hit by drought from 1931 to 1935. New Deal
New Deal
The New Deal was a series of economic programs implemented in the United States between 1933 and 1936. They were passed by the U.S. Congress during the first term of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The programs were Roosevelt's responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call...

 programs provided some economic turnaround. The Civilian Conservation Corps
Civilian Conservation Corps
The Civilian Conservation Corps was a public work relief program that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the United States for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. A part of the New Deal of President Franklin D...

 and other programs around the state established some jobs for Indians on their reservations, and the Indian Reorganization Act
Indian Reorganization Act
The Indian Reorganization Act of June 18, 1934 the Indian New Deal, was U.S. federal legislation that secured certain rights to Native Americans, including Alaska Natives...

 of 1934 provided the tribes with a mechanism of self-government. This provided natives a greater voice within the state, and promoted more respect for tribal customs because religious ceremonies and native languages were no longer suppressed.

After World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, industrial development quickened. New technology increased farm productivity through automation of feedlot
Feedlot
A feedlot or feedyard is a type of animal feeding operation which is used in factory farming for finishing livestock, notably beef cattle, but also swine, horses, sheep, turkeys, chickens or ducks, prior to slaughter. Large beef feedlots are called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations . They...

s for hogs and cattle, machine milking at dairy farms, and raising chickens in large buildings. Planting became more specialized with hybridization of corn and wheat, and the use of farm machinery such as tractor
Tractor
A tractor is a vehicle specifically designed to deliver a high tractive effort at slow speeds, for the purposes of hauling a trailer or machinery used in agriculture or construction...

s and combines
Combine harvester
The combine harvester, or simply combine, is a machine that harvests grain crops. The name derives from the fact that it combines three separate operations, reaping, threshing, and winnowing, into a single process. Among the crops harvested with a combine are wheat, oats, rye, barley, corn ,...

 became the norm. University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

 professor Norman Borlaug
Norman Borlaug
Norman Ernest Borlaug was an American agronomist, humanitarian, and Nobel laureate who has been called "the father of the Green Revolution". Borlaug was one of only six people to have won the Nobel Peace Prize, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal...

 contributed to these developments as part of the Green Revolution
Green Revolution
Green Revolution refers to a series of research, development, and technology transfer initiatives, occurring between the 1940s and the late 1970s, that increased agriculture production around the world, beginning most markedly in the late 1960s....

. Suburb
Suburb
The word suburb mostly refers to a residential area, either existing as part of a city or as a separate residential community within commuting distance of a city . Some suburbs have a degree of administrative autonomy, and most have lower population density than inner city neighborhoods...

an development accelerated due to increased postwar housing demand and convenient transportation. Increased mobility, in turn, enabled more specialized jobs.

Minnesota became a center of technology after World War II. Engineering Research Associates
Engineering Research Associates
Engineering Research Associates, commonly known as ERA, was a pioneering computer firm from the 1950s. They became famous for their numerical computers, but as the market expanded they became better known for their drum memory systems. They were eventually purchased by Remington Rand and merged...

 was formed in 1946 to develop computers for the United States Navy
United States Navy
The United States Navy is the naval warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the seven uniformed services of the United States. The U.S. Navy is the largest in the world; its battle fleet tonnage is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined. The U.S...

. It later merged with Remington Rand
Remington Rand
Remington Rand was an early American business machines manufacturer, best known originally as a typewriter manufacturer and in a later incarnation as the manufacturer of the UNIVAC line of mainframe computers but with antecedents in Remington Arms in the early nineteenth century. For a time, the...

, and then became Sperry Rand. William Norris
William Norris
William Charles Norris was the pioneering CEO of Control Data Corporation, at one time one of the most powerful and respected computer companies in the world...

 left Sperry in 1957 to form Control Data Corporation
Control Data Corporation
Control Data Corporation was a supercomputer firm. For most of the 1960s, it built the fastest computers in the world by far, only losing that crown in the 1970s after Seymour Cray left the company to found Cray Research, Inc....

 (CDC). Cray Research
Cray
Cray Inc. is an American supercomputer manufacturer based in Seattle, Washington. The company's predecessor, Cray Research, Inc. , was founded in 1972 by computer designer Seymour Cray. Seymour Cray went on to form the spin-off Cray Computer Corporation , in 1989, which went bankrupt in 1995,...

 was formed when Seymour Cray
Seymour Cray
Seymour Roger Cray was an American electrical engineer and supercomputer architect who designed a series of computers that were the fastest in the world for decades, and founded Cray Research which would build many of these machines. Called "the father of supercomputing," Cray has been credited...

 left CDC to form his own company. Medical device maker Medtronic
Medtronic
Medtronic, Inc. , based in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the world's largest medical technology company and is a Fortune 500 company.- History :...

 also started business in the Twin Cities in 1949.

Cities and towns




Saint Paul
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city...

, located in east-central Minnesota along the banks of the Mississippi River, has been Minnesota's capital city since 1849, first as capital of the Territory of Minnesota, and then as state capital since 1858.

Saint Paul is adjacent to Minnesota's most populous city, Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis , nicknamed "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City," is the county seat of Hennepin County, the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the 48th largest in the United States...

; they and their suburbs are known collectively as the Twin Cities metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

, the fifteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States and home to about 60% of the state's population. The remainder of the state is known as "Greater Minnesota" or "Outstate Minnesota".

The state has sixteen cities with populations above 50,000 (based on 2010 census). In descending order of size they are Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis , nicknamed "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City," is the county seat of Hennepin County, the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the 48th largest in the United States...

, Saint Paul
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state's largest city...

, Rochester
Rochester, Minnesota
Rochester is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Olmsted County. Located on both banks of the Zumbro River, The city has a population of 106,769 according to the 2010 United States Census, making it Minnesota's third-largest city and the largest outside of the...

, Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

, Bloomington
Bloomington, Minnesota
Bloomington is the fifth largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota in Hennepin County. Located on the north bank of the Minnesota River above its confluence with the Mississippi River, Bloomington lies at the heart of the southern...

, Brooklyn Park
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
According to the 2010 census, there were 75,781 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 52% White, 24% African American, 1% Native American, 15% Asian, 42 residents identifying themselves as Pacific Islander, 4% from other races, and 4% from two or more races...

, Plymouth
Plymouth, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 65,894 people, 24,820 households, and 17,647 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,002.0 persons per square mile . There were 25,258 housing units at an average density of 767.4 per square mile...

, Saint Cloud
St. Cloud, Minnesota
St. Cloud is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and the largest population center in the state's central region. The population was 65,842 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Stearns County...

, Eagan
Eagan, Minnesota
Eagan is a city south of Saint Paul in Dakota County in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The city lies on the south bank of the Minnesota River, upstream from the confluence with the Mississippi River. Eagan and nearby suburbs form the southern portion of Minneapolis-St. Paul, the fifteenth largest...

, Woodbury
Woodbury, Minnesota
Woodbury is a city in Washington County, Minnesota, United States, and is a suburb of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. It is situated east of Saint Paul along Interstate 94...

, Maple Grove
Maple Grove, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 50,365 people , 17,532 households, and 13,955 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,532.3 people per square mile . There were 17,745 housing units at an average density of 539.9 per square mile...

, Coon Rapids
Coon Rapids, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 61,627 people, 22,578 households, and 16,572 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,718.1 people per square mile . There were 22,828 housing units at an average density of 1,007.2 per square mile...

, Eden Prairie
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 54,901 people, 20,457 households, and 14,579 families residing in the city. The population density was . There were 21,026 housing units at an average density of 649.2 per square mile...

, Burnsville
Burnsville, Minnesota
Burnsville is a city south of downtown Minneapolis in Dakota County in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The city lies on the south bank of the Minnesota River, upstream from the confluence with the Mississippi River...

, Blaine
Blaine, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 44,942 people, 15,898 households, and 12,177 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,330 people per square mile . There are 16,169 housing units at an average density of 477.6 per square mile...

 and Lakeville
Lakeville, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 43,128 people, 13,609 households, and 11,526 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,192.4 people per square mile . There were 13,799 housing units at an average density of 381.5 per square mile...

. 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
Sherburne County, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 64,417 people, 21,581 households, and 16,746 families residing in the county. The population density was 148 people per square mile . There were 22,827 housing units at an average density of 52 per square mile...

 and Scott Counties
Scott County, Minnesota
Scott County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It was organized in 1853 and named in honor of General Winfield Scott. As of 2010, the population was 129,928. Its county seat is Shakopee...

 doubled between 1980 and 2000, while 40 of the state's 87 counties lost residents over the same decades.

Population



From fewer than 6,100 people in 1850, Minnesota's population grew to over 1.7 million by 1900. Each of the next six decades saw a 15% increase in population, reaching 3.4 million in 1960. Growth then slowed, rising 11% to 3.8 million in 1970, and an average of 9% over the next three decades to 4.9 million in the 2000 Census. As of 2010, the state's population was 5,303,925 according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The rate of population change along with age and gender distributions approximate the national average. Minnesota's growing minority group
Minority group
A minority is a sociological group within a demographic. The demographic could be based on many factors from ethnicity, gender, wealth, power, etc. The term extends to numerous situations, and civilizations within history, despite the misnomer of minorities associated with a numerical statistic...

s, however, still form a significantly smaller percentage of the population than in the nation as a whole. The center of population
Center of population
In demographics, the center of population of a region is a geographical point that describes a centerpoint of the region's population...

 of Minnesota is located in Hennepin County
Hennepin County, Minnesota
Hennepin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota, named in honor of the 17th-century explorer Father Louis Hennepin. As of 2010 the population was 1,152,425. Its county seat is Minneapolis. It is by far the most populous county in Minnesota; more than one in five Minnesotans live...

, in the city of Rogers
Rogers, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 3,588 people, 1,195 households, and 982 families residing in the city. The population density was 715.1 people per square mile . There were 1,245 housing units at an average density of 248.1 per square mile...

.

Ancestry


The principal ancestries of Minnesota's residents in 2010 has been surveyed to be the following:
  • 37.9% German
    German American
    German Americans are citizens of the United States of German ancestry and comprise about 51 million people, or 17% of the U.S. population, the country's largest self-reported ancestral group...

  • 32.1% Scandinavian
    Scandinavian American
    Scandinavian Americans are Americans with ancestral roots in Scandinavia...

     (16.8% Norwegian
    Norwegian American
    Norwegian Americans are Americans of Norwegian descent. Norwegian immigrants went to the United States primarily in the later half of the 19th century and the first few decades of the 20th century. There are more than 4.5 million Norwegian Americans according to the most recent U.S. census, and...

    , 9.5% Swedish
    Swedish American
    Swedish Americans are Americans of Swedish descent, especially the descendants of about 1.2 million immigrants from Sweden during 1885-1915. Most were Lutherans who affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ; some were Methodists...

    , Finnish
    Finnish American
    Finnish Americans are Americans of Finnish descent, who currently number about 700,000.-History:Some Finns, like the ancestors of John Morton, came to the Swedish colony of New Sweden, that existed in mid-17th century....

    , Danish, Icelandic, and Faroese
    Faroese
    Faroese may refer to:* the Faroese people* the Faroese language* anything else pertaining to the Faroe Islands...

    )
  • 11.7% Irish
    Irish American
    Irish Americans are citizens of the United States who can trace their ancestry to Ireland. A total of 36,278,332 Americans—estimated at 11.9% of the total population—reported Irish ancestry in the 2008 American Community Survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau...

  • 6.3% English
    English American
    English Americans are citizens or residents of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in England....

  • 5.1% Polish
    Polish American
    A Polish American , is a citizen of the United States of Polish descent. There are an estimated 10 million Polish Americans, representing about 3.2% of the population of the United States...

  • 4.2% French
    French American
    French Americans or Franco-Americans are Americans of French or French Canadian descent. About 11.8 million U.S. residents are of this descent, and about 1.6 million speak French at home.An additional 450,000 U.S...

  • 3.7% Czech
    Czech American
    Czech Americans are citizens of the United States who were born in, or who descended from, the territory of the historic Czech lands, , or succession states, now known as the Czech Republic...



Ancestries claimed by less than 3% of the population include American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, Italian
Italian American
An Italian American , is an American of Italian ancestry. The designation may also refer to someone possessing Italian and American dual citizenship...

, and Dutch, each between 2 and 3%; Sub-Saharan African and East Africa
East Africa
East Africa or Eastern Africa is the easterly region of the African continent, variably defined by geography or geopolitics. In the UN scheme of geographic regions, 19 territories constitute Eastern Africa:...

n, Scottish
Scottish American
Scottish Americans or Scots Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Scotland. Scottish Americans are closely related to Scots-Irish Americans, descendants of Ulster Scots, and communities emphasize and celebrate a common heritage...

, French Canadian
French Canadian
French Canadian or Francophone Canadian, , generally refers to the descendents of French colonists who arrived in New France in the 17th and 18th centuries...

, Scotch-Irish and Mexican
Mexican American
Mexican Americans are Americans of Mexican descent. As of July 2009, Mexican Americans make up 10.3% of the United States' population with over 31,689,000 Americans listed as of Mexican ancestry. Mexican Americans comprise 66% of all Hispanics and Latinos in the United States...

, each between 1 and 1.9%; and less than 1% each for Russian
Russian American
Russian Americans are primarily Americans who traces their ancestry to Russia. The definition can be applied to recent Russian immigrants to the United States, as well as to settlers of 19th century Russian settlements in northwestern America which includes today's California, Alaska and...

, Welsh
Welsh American
Welsh Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates wholly or partly in Wales. In the 2008 U.S. Census community survey, an estimated 1.98 million Americans had Welsh ancestry, 0.6% of the total U.S. population. This compares with a population of 3 million in Wales. However,...

, Bosnian
Bosnian American
Bosnian Americans are Americans whose ancestry can be traced to Bosnia and Herzegovina. A large majority of Bosnian Americans emigrated to the United States during and after the Bosnian war which lasted from 1992-1995. History of Bosnian arrivals to the United States, however, dates back to as far...

, Swiss
Swiss American
Swiss Americans are Americans of Swiss descent.There are several ethno-linguistic subgroups among Swiss Americans, including Swiss German-speaking, Swiss French-speaking, and Swiss Italian-speaking....

, Arab
Arab American
An Arab American is a United States citizen or resident of Arab ethnic, cultural and linguistic heritage or identity, who identifies themselves as Arab. Arab Americans trace ancestry to any of the various waves of immigrants of the countries comprising the Arab World...

, Hungarian
Hungarian American
Hungarian Americans Hungarian are American citizens of Hungarian descent. The constant influx of Hungarian immigrants was marked by several waves of sharp increase.-History:...

, Ukrainian, Greek
Greek American
Greek Americans are Americans of Greek descent also described as Hellenic descent. According to the 2007 U.S. Census Bureau estimation, there were 1,380,088 people of Greek ancestry in the United States, while the State Department mentions that around 3,000,000 Americans claim to be of Greek descent...

, Slovak
Slovak American
Slovak Americans are Americans of Slovak descent. In the 1990 Census Slovak Americans made up the second-largest portion of Slavic ethnic groups. There are currently about 790,000 people of Slovak descent living in the United States. -Eighteenth century:...

, Lithuanian, Portuguese
Portuguese American
Portuguese Americans are citizens of the United States whose ancestry originates in the southwest European nation of Portugal, including the offshore island groups of the Azores and Madeira....

, and West Indian.

The state's racial composition in the 2010 American Census Bureau was:
  • White
    White American
    White Americans are people of the United States who are considered or consider themselves White. The United States Census Bureau defines White people as those "having origins in any of the original peoples of Europe, the Middle East, or North Africa...

    : 85.3% (Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites
    Non-Hispanic Whites or White, Not Hispanic or Latino are people in the United States, as defined by the Census Bureau, who are of the White race and are not of Hispanic or Latino origin/ethnicity. Hence the designation is exclusive in the sense that it defines who is not included as opposed to who is...

    : 83.1%)
  • African American
    African American
    African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

    : 5.2%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native
    Native Americans in the United States
    Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

    : 1.1%
  • Asian
    Asian American
    Asian Americans are Americans of Asian descent. The U.S. Census Bureau definition of Asians as "Asian” refers to a person having origins in any of the original peoples of the Far East, Southeast Asia, or the Indian subcontinent, including, for example, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan,...

    : 4.0%
  • Pacific Islander
    Pacific Islander American
    Pacific Islander Americans, also known as Oceanian Americans, are residents of the United States with original ancestry from Oceania. They represent the smallest racial group counted in the United States census of 2000. They numbered 874,000 people or 0.3 percent of the United States population...

    : 0.0%
  • Other races: 2.4%
  • Multiracial
    Multiracial American
    Multiracial Americans, US residents who identify themselves as of "two or more races", were numbered at around 9 million, or 2.9% of the population, in the census of 2010. However there is considerable evidence that the real number is far higher. Prior to the mid-20th century many people hid their...

    : 1.8%
  • Hispanic or Latino
    Hispanic and Latino Americans
    Hispanic or Latino Americans are Americans with origins in the Hispanic countries of Latin America or in Spain, and in general all persons in the United States who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino.1990 Census of Population and Housing: A self-designated classification for people whose origins...

     (of any race): 4.7%

Religion


The majority of Minnesotans are Protestants, including a significant Lutheran affiliation owing to the state's largely Northern European ethnic makeup, though Roman Catholics (of largely German, Irish, and Slavic descent) make up the largest single Christian denomination. A 2010 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life
Pew Research Center
The Pew Research Center is an American think tank organization based in Washington, D.C. that provides information on issues, attitudes and trends shaping the United States and the world. The Center and its projects receive funding from The Pew Charitable Trusts. In 1990, Donald S...

 showed that 32.0% of Minnesotans were affiliated with Mainline Protestant traditions, 21.0% with Evangelical Protestants
Evangelicalism
Evangelicalism is a Protestant Christian movement which began in Great Britain in the 1730s and gained popularity in the United States during the series of Great Awakenings of the 18th and 19th century.Its key commitments are:...

, 28.0% with Roman Catholic
Roman Catholicism in the United States
The Catholic Church in the United States is part of the worldwide Catholic Church, the Christian Church in full communion with the Pope. With more than 68.5 registered million members, it is the largest single religious denomination in the United States, comprising about 22 percent of the population...

, 1.0% each with Jewish, Muslim
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

, Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

, and Black Protestant traditions, smaller amounts for other faiths, and 13.0% unaffiliated. This is broadly consistent with the results of the 2001 American Religious Identification Survey, which also gives detail on percentages of many individual denominations. Although Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 is dominant, there is a long history of non-Christian faiths. Ashkenazi Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 pioneers set up Saint Paul's first synagogue
Synagogue
A synagogue is a Jewish house of prayer. This use of the Greek term synagogue originates in the Septuagint where it sometimes translates the Hebrew word for assembly, kahal...

 in 1856.

Economy



Once primarily a producer of raw materials, Minnesota's economy has transformed in the last 200 years 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. The economy of Minnesota had a gross domestic product
Gross domestic product
Gross domestic product refers to the market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period. GDP per capita is often considered an indicator of a country's standard of living....

 of $262 billion in 2008. Thirty-three of the United States' top 1,000 publicly traded companies (by revenue in 2008) are headquartered in Minnesota, including Target
Target Corporation
Target Corporation, doing business as Target, is an American retailing company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the second-largest discount retailer in the United States, behind Walmart. The company is ranked at number 33 on the Fortune 500 and is a component of the Standard & Poor's...

, UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group
UnitedHealth Group Incorporated is a diversified health and "well-being" company. Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, UnitedHealth Group offers a spectrum of products and services through two operating businesses: United Healthcare and Optum. Through its family of subsidiaries and divisions,...

, 3M
3M
3M Company , formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, is an American multinational conglomerate corporation based in Maplewood, Minnesota, United States....

, Medtronic
Medtronic
Medtronic, Inc. , based in suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota, is the world's largest medical technology company and is a Fortune 500 company.- History :...

, General Mills
General Mills
General Mills, Inc. is an American Fortune 500 corporation, primarily concerned with food products, which is headquartered in Golden Valley, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis. The company markets many well-known brands, such as Betty Crocker, Yoplait, Colombo, Totinos, Jeno's, Pillsbury, Green...

, U.S. Bancorp
U.S. Bancorp
U.S. Bancorp is a diversified financial services holding company, headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the parent company of U.S. Bank, the fifth largest commercial bank in the United States based on $330 billion in assets. U.S. Bank ranks as the sixth largest bank in the U.S. based on...

, Ameriprise, Hormel
Hormel
Hormel Foods Corporation is a food company based in southeastern Minnesota , perhaps best known as the producer of Spam luncheon meat. The company was founded as George A. Hormel & Company in Austin, Minnesota, U.S., by George A. Hormel in 1891. The company changed its name to Hormel Foods...

, Land O' Lakes, SuperValu
Supervalu (United States)
SuperValu Inc. is a United States grocery retailer and distributor. The corporation, headquartered in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, has been in business for over a century. It is the third-largest food retailing company in the United States , and ranks #51 on the Fortune 100 list.On June 2, 2006,...

, Best Buy
Best Buy
Best Buy Co., Inc. is an American specialty retailer of consumer electronics in the United States, accounting for 19% of the market. It also operates in Mexico, Canada & China. The company's subsidiaries include Geek Squad, CinemaNow, Magnolia Audio Video, Pacific Sales, and, in Canada operates...

 and Valspar
Valspar
The Valspar Corporation is an international manufacturer of paint and coatings based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the fifth largest paint and coating corporation in the world. The 200+ year old Valspar was founded in 1806 as a paint dealership in Boston, Massachusetts...

. Private companies based in Minnesota include Cargill
Cargill
Cargill, Incorporated is a privately held, multinational corporation based in Minnetonka, Minnesota. Founded in 1865, it is now the largest privately held corporation in the United States in terms of revenue. If it were a public company, it would rank, as of 2011, number 13 on the Fortune 500,...

, the largest privately owned company in the United States, and Carlson Companies
Carlson Companies
Carlson is a privately held international corporation in the hotel, restaurant, and travel industries. Headquartered in Minnetonka, Minnesota, near Minneapolis, Carlson brands and services, including franchised operations, employ more than 170,000 people in more than 150 countries and territories...

, the parent company of Radisson Hotels
Radisson Hotels
Radisson Hotels is one of the leading, full-service global hotel companies with more than 420 locations in 73 countries. The first Radisson Hotel was built in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1909, and was named after the 17th-century French explorer Pierre-Esprit Radisson...

.

The per capita personal income in 2008 was $42,772, the tenth-highest in the nation. The three-year median household income
Median household income
The median household income is commonly used to generate data about geographic areas and divides households into two equal segments with the first half of households earning less than the median household income and the other half earning more...

 from 2002 to 2004 was $55,914, ranking fifth in the U.S. and first among the 36 states not on the Atlantic coast.

As of June 2011, the state's unemployment rate is 6.7%.

Industry and commerce



Minnesota's earliest industries were fur trading and agriculture; the city of Minneapolis grew around the flour mills
Gristmill
The terms gristmill or grist mill can refer either to a building in which grain is ground into flour, or to the grinding mechanism itself.- Early history :...

 powered by St. Anthony Falls. Although less than 1% of the population is employed in the agricultural sector, it remains a major part of the state's economy, ranking 6th in the nation in the value of products sold. The state is the U.S.'s largest producer of sugar beets, sweet corn, and green peas for processing, and farm-raised turkeys. Forestry
Forestry
Forestry is the interdisciplinary profession embracing the science, art, and craft of creating, managing, using, and conserving forests and associated resources in a sustainable manner to meet desired goals, needs, and values for human benefit. Forestry is practiced in plantations and natural stands...

 remains strong, including logging
Logging
Logging is the cutting, skidding, on-site processing, and loading of trees or logs onto trucks.In forestry, the term logging is sometimes used in a narrow sense concerning the logistics of moving wood from the stump to somewhere outside the forest, usually a sawmill or a lumber yard...

, pulpwood
Pulpwood
Pulpwood refers to timber with the principal use of making wood pulp for paper production.-Applications:* Trees raised specifically for pulp production account for 16% of world pulp production, old growth forests 9% and second- and third- and more generation forests account for the balance...

 processing and paper production, and forest products manufacturing. Minnesota was famous for its soft-ore mines, which produced a significant portion of the world's iron ore for over a century. Although the high-grade ore is now depleted, taconite
Taconite
Taconite is a variety of iron formation, an iron-bearing sedimentary rock, in which the iron minerals are interlayered with quartz, chert, or carbonate...

 mining continues, using processes developed locally to save the industry. In 2004, the state produced 75% of the country's usable iron ore. The mining boom created the port of Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

 which continues to be important for shipping ore, coal, and agricultural products. The manufacturing sector now includes technology and biomedical firms in addition to the older food processors and heavy industry. The nation's first indoor shopping mall
Shopping mall
A shopping mall, shopping centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct or simply mall is one or more buildings forming a complex of shops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from unit to unit, along with a parking area — a modern, indoor version...

 was Edina's
Edina, Minnesota
Edina is a city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States, and a first-ring suburb situated immediately southwest of Minneapolis. Edina began as a small farming and milling community in the 1860s. The population was 47,941 at the 2010 census.-Geography:...

 Southdale Center
Southdale Center
Southdale Center, commonly known as just Southdale, is a shopping mall in Edina, Minnesota, a suburb of Minneapolis, which opened in 1956. It is the United States' oldest fully enclosed, climate-controlled mall...

 and its largest is Bloomington's
Bloomington, Minnesota
Bloomington is the fifth largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota in Hennepin County. Located on the north bank of the Minnesota River above its confluence with the Mississippi River, Bloomington lies at the heart of the southern...

 Mall of America
Mall of America
The Mall of America, also called MOA and the Megamall, is a shopping mall located in Bloomington, Minnesota, a suburb of the Twin Cities, in the United States. It is located southeast of the junction of Interstate 494 and Minnesota State Highway 77, north of the Minnesota River and is across the...

.

Minnesota is one of 42 U.S. state
U.S. state
A U.S. state is any one of the 50 federated states of the United States of America that share sovereignty with the federal government. Because of this shared sovereignty, an American is a citizen both of the federal entity and of his or her state of domicile. Four states use the official title of...

s with its own lottery
Lottery
A lottery is a form of gambling which involves the drawing of lots for a prize.Lottery is outlawed by some governments, while others endorse it to the extent of organizing a national or state lottery. It is common to find some degree of regulation of lottery by governments...

; its games include Powerball
Powerball
Powerball is an American lottery game sold in 44 jurisdictions as a shared jackpot game. It is coordinated by the Multi-State Lottery Association , a non-profit organization formed by an agreement with lotteries. Powerball is a game whose advertised jackpot starts at $20 million and can roll into...

, Hot Lotto
Hot Lotto
Hot Lotto is administered by the U.S.' Multi-State Lottery Association , which also operates the Powerball game. Hot Lotto is available in some of the 33 MUSL jurisdictions; Maine is the latest to join, in October 2009. The first drawing was on April 10, 2002 as part of MUSL celebrating the 10th...

 (both multi-state
Multi-State Lottery Association
The Multi-State Lottery Association is a non-profit, government-benefit association owned and operated by agreement of its 33 member lotteries MUSL was created to facilitate the operation of multi-jurisdictional lottery games, including Powerball, Mega Millions), video lottery, and instant ...

), and Gopher 5.

Energy use and production


The state produces ethanol fuel
Ethanol fuel
Ethanol fuel is ethanol , the same type of alcohol found in alcoholic beverages. It is most often used as a motor fuel, mainly as a biofuel additive for gasoline. World ethanol production for transport fuel tripled between 2000 and 2007 from 17 billion to more than 52 billion litres...

 and is the first to mandate its use, a 10% mix (E10), and a 20% mix (E20) in 2013. There are more than 310 service stations supplying E85
E85
E85 is an abbreviation for an ethanol fuel blend of up to 85% denatured ethanol fuel and gasoline or other hydrocarbon by volume. E85 is commonly used by flex-fuel vehicles in the US, Canada, and Europe. Some of the benefits of E85 over conventional gasoline powered vehicles include the potential...

 fuel. A 2% biodiesel
Biodiesel
Biodiesel refers to a vegetable oil- or animal fat-based diesel fuel consisting of long-chain alkyl esters. Biodiesel is typically made by chemically reacting lipids with an alcohol....

 blend has been required in diesel fuel since 2005. As of December 2006 the state was the country's fourth-largest producer of wind power
Wind power
Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power, windpumps for water pumping or drainage, or sails to propel ships....

, with 895 megawatts installed and another 200 megawatts planned, much of it on the windy Buffalo Ridge
Buffalo Ridge
Buffalo Ridge is a large expanse of rolling hills in the southeastern part of the larger Coteau des Prairies. It stands 1,995 feet above sea level. The Buffalo Ridge is sixty miles long and runs through Lincoln County, Pipestone County, Murray County, and Nobles County in the southwest...

 in the southwest part of the state.

State taxes


Minnesota has a progressive income tax structure; the three brackets of state income tax
Income tax
An income tax is a tax levied on the income of individuals or businesses . Various income tax systems exist, with varying degrees of tax incidence. Income taxation can be progressive, proportional, or regressive. When the tax is levied on the income of companies, it is often called a corporate...

 rates are 5.35%, 7.05% and 7.85%. As of 2008, Minnesota was ranked as 12th in the nation for per capita total state and local taxes. In 2008, Minnesotans paid 10.2% of their income in state and local taxes, compared to the US average of 9.7% of income. This ranks Minnesota 12th among the states for total state and local tax burden. The state sales tax
Sales tax
A sales tax is a tax, usually paid by the consumer at the point of purchase, itemized separately from the base price, for certain goods and services. The tax amount is usually calculated by applying a percentage rate to the taxable price of a sale....

 in Minnesota is 6.875%, but there is no sales tax on clothing, prescription drug medications, some services, or food items for home consumption. The state legislature
Minnesota Legislature
The Minnesota Legislature is the legislative branch of government in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It is a bicameral legislature located at the Minnesota Capitol in Saint Paul and it consists of two houses: the lower Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate...

 may allow municipalities to institute local sales taxes and special local taxes, such as the 0.5% supplemental sales tax in Minneapolis. Excise taxes
Excise
Excise tax in the United States is a indirect tax on listed items. Excise taxes can be and are made by federal, state and local governments and are far from uniform throughout the United States...

 are levied on alcohol, tobacco, and motor fuel. The state imposes a use tax
Use tax
A use tax is a type of excise tax levied in the United States. It is assessed upon otherwise "tax free" tangible personal property purchased by a resident of the assessing state for use, storage or consumption of goods in that state , regardless of where the purchase took place...

 on items purchased elsewhere but used within Minnesota. Owners of real property
Real property
In English Common Law, real property, real estate, realty, or immovable property is any subset of land that has been legally defined and the improvements to it made by human efforts: any buildings, machinery, wells, dams, ponds, mines, canals, roads, various property rights, and so forth...

 in Minnesota pay property tax
Property tax
A property tax is an ad valorem levy on the value of property that the owner is required to pay. The tax is levied by the governing authority of the jurisdiction in which the property is located; it may be paid to a national government, a federated state or a municipality...

 to their county, municipality, school district, and special taxing districts.

Fine and performing arts


Minnesota's major fine art
Fine art
Fine art or the fine arts encompass art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application. Art is often a synonym for fine art, as employed in the term "art gallery"....

 museums include the Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Minneapolis Institute of Arts
The Minneapolis Institute of Arts is a fine art museum located in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis, Minnesota, on a campus that covers nearly 8 acres , formerly Morrison Park...

, the Walker Art Center
Walker Art Center
The Walker Art Center is a contemporary art center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. The Walker is considered one of the nation's "big five" museums for modern art along with the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Hirshhorn...

, and the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum. The Minnesota Orchestra
Minnesota Orchestra
The Minnesota Orchestra is an American orchestra based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.Emil Oberhoffer founded the orchestra as the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra in 1903, and it gave its first performance on November 5 of that year. In 1968 the orchestra changed to its name to the Minnesota Orchestra...

 and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra
The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra , based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, is the United States' only full-time professional chamber orchestra...

 are prominent full-time professional musical ensemble
Musical ensemble
A musical ensemble is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles...

s that perform concerts and offer educational programs to the community. Attendance at theatrical
Theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

, music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

al, and comedy
Comedy
Comedy , as a popular meaning, is any humorous discourse or work generally intended to amuse by creating laughter, especially in television, film, and stand-up comedy. This must be carefully distinguished from its academic definition, namely the comic theatre, whose Western origins are found in...

 events in the area is strong. The Guthrie Theater
Guthrie Theater
The Guthrie Theater is a center for theater performance, production, education, and professional training in Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the result of the desire of Sir Tyrone Guthrie, Oliver Rea, and Peter Zeisler to create a resident acting company that would produce and perform the classics in...

 moved into a new building in 2006, boasting three stages and overlooking the Mississippi River. In the United States, the Twin Cities' number of theater seats per capita ranks behind only New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

; with some 2.3 million theater tickets sold annually. The Minnesota Fringe Festival
Minnesota Fringe Festival
The Minnesota Fringe Festival is a performing arts festival held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States, every summer, usually during the first two weeks in August. The eleven-day event, which features performing artists of many genres and disciplines, is one of many Fringe Festivals in North...

 is an annual celebration of theatre
Theatre
Theatre is a collaborative form of fine art that uses live performers to present the experience of a real or imagined event before a live audience in a specific place. The performers may communicate this experience to the audience through combinations of gesture, speech, song, music or dance...

, dance
Dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

, improvisation
Improvisation
Improvisation is the practice of acting, singing, talking and reacting, of making and creating, in the moment and in response to the stimulus of one's immediate environment and inner feelings. This can result in the invention of new thought patterns, new practices, new structures or symbols, and/or...

, puppetry
Puppetry
Puppetry is a form of theatre or performance which involves the manipulation of puppets. It is very ancient, and is believed to have originated 30,000 years BC. Puppetry takes many forms but they all share the process of animating inanimate performing objects...

, kids' shows, visual art, and musicals. The summer festival consists of over 800 performances over 11 days in Minneapolis, and is the largest non-juried performing arts festival in the United States.

Literature


The rigors and rewards of pioneer life on the prairie
Prairie
Prairies are considered part of the temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands biome by ecologists, based on similar temperate climates, moderate rainfall, and grasses, herbs, and shrubs, rather than trees, as the dominant vegetation type...

 were the subject of Giants in the Earth by Ole Rolvaag and of the Little House
Little House on the Prairie
Little House is a series of children's books by Laura Ingalls Wilder that was published originally between 1932 and 1943, with four additional books published posthumously, in 1962, 1971, 1974 and 2006.-History:...

 series of children's books by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Ingalls Wilder
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder was an American author who wrote the Little House series of books based on her childhood in a pioneer family...

. Small-town life was attacked by Sinclair Lewis
Sinclair Lewis
Harry Sinclair Lewis was an American novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. In 1930, he became the first writer from the United States to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature, "for his vigorous and graphic art of description and his ability to create, with wit and humor, new types of...

 in the novel Main Street
Main Street (novel)
- Plot summary :Carol Milford is a liberal, free-spirited young woman, reared in the metropolis of Saint Paul, Minnesota. She marries Will Kennicott, a doctor, who is a small-town boy at heart....

, and more gently and affectionately satirized by Garrison Keillor
Garrison Keillor
Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor is an American author, storyteller, humorist, and radio personality. He is known as host of the Minnesota Public Radio show A Prairie Home Companion Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor (born August 7, 1942) is an American author, storyteller, humorist, and radio...

 in his tales of Lake Wobegon
Lake Wobegon
Lake Wobegon is a fictional town in the U.S. state of Minnesota, said to have been the boyhood home of Garrison Keillor, who reports the News from Lake Wobegon on the radio show A Prairie Home Companion....

. St. Paul native F. Scott Fitzgerald
F. Scott Fitzgerald
Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigm writings of the Jazz Age, a term he coined himself. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost...

 wrote of the social insecurities and aspirations of the young city in stories such as Winter Dreams
Winter Dreams
"Winter Dreams" is a short story by F. Scott Fitzgerald that first appeared in Metropolitan Magazine in December 1922, and was collected in All the Sad Young Men in 1926. It is considered one of Fitzgerald's finest stories and is frequently anthologized...

and The Ice Palace (published in Flappers and Philosophers
Flappers and Philosophers
Flappers and Philosophers was the first collection of short stories written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1920. It includes eight stories:* "The Offshore Pirate"* "The Ice Palace"* "Head and Shoulders"* "The Cut-Glass Bowl"...

). Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was an American poet and educator whose works include "Paul Revere's Ride", The Song of Hiawatha, and Evangeline...

's epic poem The Song of Hiawatha
The Song of Hiawatha
The Song of Hiawatha is an 1855 epic poem, in trochaic tetrameter, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, featuring an Indian hero and loosely based on legends and ethnography of the Ojibwe and other Native American peoples contained in Algic Researches and additional writings of Henry Rowe Schoolcraft...

was inspired by Minnesota and names many of the state's places and bodies of water.

Entertainment



Minnesotan musicians of many genres include rock star Prince
Prince (musician)
Prince Rogers Nelson , often known simply as Prince, is an American singer, songwriter, musician, and actor. Prince has produced ten platinum albums and thirty Top 40 singles during his career. Prince founded his own recording studio and label; writing, self-producing and playing most, or all, of...

, harmony singers The Andrews Sisters
The Andrews Sisters
The Andrews Sisters were a highly successful close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. The group consisted of three sisters: contralto LaVerne Sophia Andrews , soprano Maxene Angelyn Andrews , and mezzo-soprano Patricia Marie "Patty" Andrews...

, rockabilly
Rockabilly
Rockabilly is one of the earliest styles of rock and roll music, dating to the early 1950s.The term rockabilly is a portmanteau of rock and hillbilly, the latter a reference to the country music that contributed strongly to the style's development...

 star Eddie Cochran
Eddie Cochran
Eddie Cochran , was an American rock and roll pioneer who in his brief career had a small but lasting influence on rock music through his guitar playing. Cochran's rockabilly songs, such as "C'mon Everybody", "Somethin' Else", and "Summertime Blues", captured teenage frustration and desire in the...

, folk musician Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

, surf band The Trashmen
The Trashmen
The Trashmen are a rock and roll band formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1962. The group's original lineup was Tony Andreason on lead guitar and vocals, Dal Winslow on guitar and vocals, Steve Wahrer on drums and vocals, and Bob Reed on bass guitar...

, garage rock band The Castaways
The Castaways
The Castaways are an American garage rock band from the Twin Cities in Minnesota.Their first and only hit single was "Liar, Liar". Written by band leader James Donna and Denny Craswell, produced by Timothy D. Kehr and released by Soma Records, it reached number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in...

, pop songwriters Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, indie rock artists Jonny Lang
Jonny Lang
Jonny Lang is a Grammy award-winning American blues, gospel, and rock singer, songwriter and recording artist. Lang's music is notable for both his unusual voice, which has been compared to that of a forty-year-old blues veteran, and for his guitar solos...

 and Soul Asylum
Soul Asylum
Soul Asylum is an American alternative rock band that formed in Minneapolis, Minnesota in 1983.The band originally formed in 1981 under the name Loud Fast Rules, with the original line-up consisting of Dan Murphy, Dave Pirner, Karl Mueller and Pat Morley. The latter was replaced by Grant Young in...

, independent hip-hop labels Rhymesayers Entertainment
Rhymesayers Entertainment
Rhymesayers Entertainment is an independent hip hop record label based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, co-founded in 1995 by Sean Daley, Anthony Davis, Brent Sayers and Musab Saad....

 and Doomtree
Doomtree
Doomtree is a hip hop collective based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Members of Doomtree bring various bases of knowledge and musical backgrounds together to create alternative-influenced rap and hip-hop music. Nearly as prominent as the influence of hip-hop in their music is that of punk, and their...

 and cult favorites such as Hüsker Dü
Hüsker Dü
Hüsker Dü was an American rock band formed in Saint Paul, Minnesota in 1979. The band's continual members were guitarist Bob Mould, bassist Greg Norton, and drummer Grant Hart....

 and The Replacements.

Minnesotans have made significant contributions to comedy, theater, and film. Ole and Lena
Ole and Lena
Ole and Lena are central characters in jokes by Scandinavian Americans, particularly in the Upper Midwest region of the U.S., particularly in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota where Scandinavian immigrant traditions are common.-Format:Ole and Lena jokes can be long and...

 jokes are best appreciated when delivered in the accent of Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n Americans. Garrison Keillor
Garrison Keillor
Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor is an American author, storyteller, humorist, and radio personality. He is known as host of the Minnesota Public Radio show A Prairie Home Companion Gary Edward "Garrison" Keillor (born August 7, 1942) is an American author, storyteller, humorist, and radio...

 is known around the country for resurrecting old-style radio comedy
Radio comedy
Radio comedy, or comedic radio programming, is a radio broadcast that may involve sitcom elements, sketches and various types of comedy found on other media. It may also include more surreal or fantastic elements, as these can be conveyed on a small budget with just a few sound effects or some...

 with A Prairie Home Companion
A Prairie Home Companion
A Prairie Home Companion is a live radio variety show created and hosted by Garrison Keillor. The show runs on Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. Central Time, and usually originates from the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota, although it is frequently taken on the road...

, which has aired since the 1970s. Local television
Television
Television is a telecommunication medium for transmitting and receiving moving images that can be monochrome or colored, with accompanying sound...

 had the satirical
Satire
Satire is primarily a literary genre or form, although in practice it can also be found in the graphic and performing arts. In satire, vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals, and society itself, into improvement...

 show The Bedtime Nooz in the 1960s, while area natives Lizz Winstead
Lizz Winstead
Lizz Winstead is an American comedienne, radio and television personality, and blogger. A native of Minnesota, Winstead was co-creator of The Daily Show along with Madeleine Smithberg, and served as head writer....

 and Craig Kilborn
Craig Kilborn
Craig Kilborn is an American actor and talk show host. He was the original host of The Daily Show, a former anchor on ESPN's SportsCenter, and Tom Snyder's successor on CBS' The Late Late Show. On June 28, 2010, he launched The Kilborn File after a six-year absence from television...

 helped create the increasingly influential Daily Show
The Daily Show
The Daily Show , is an American late night satirical television program airing each Monday through Thursday on Comedy Central. The half-hour long show premiered on July 21, 1996, and was hosted by Craig Kilborn until December 1998...

decades later. Actors from the state include Eddie Albert
Eddie Albert
Edward Albert Heimberger , known professionally as Eddie Albert, was an American actor and activist. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1954 for his performance in Roman Holiday, and in 1973 for The Heartbreak Kid.Other well-known screen roles of his include Bing...

, Judy Garland
Judy Garland
Judy Garland was an American actress and singer. Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years and for her renowned contralto voice, she attained international stardom as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage...

, Jessica Lange
Jessica Lange
Jessica Phyllis Lange is an American actress who has worked in film, theatre and television. The recipient of several awards, including two Academy Awards, four Golden Globes and one Emmy, Lange is regarded as one of the première female actors of her generation.Lange was discovered by producer...

, Seann William Scott
Seann William Scott
Seann William Scott is an American actor and comedian. He is best known for playing Steve Stifler in the American Pie film series...

, Josh Hartnett
Josh Hartnett
Joshua Daniel "Josh" Hartnett is an American actor and aspiring producer. He first came to audiences' attention in 1997 as "Michael Fitzgerald" in the television series Cracker. He made his feature film debut in 1998, co-starring with Jamie Lee Curtis in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later for Miramax...

, Jessica Biel
Jessica Biel
Jessica Claire Biel is an American actress, model, and occasional singer. Biel is known for her television role as Mary Camden in the long-running family-drama series 7th Heaven...

, Vince Vaughn
Vince Vaughn
Vincent Anthony "Vince" Vaughn is an American film actor, screenwriter, producer and comedian. He began acting in the late 1980s, appearing in minor television roles before attaining wider recognition with the 1996 movie Swingers...

, Rachel Leigh Cook, Steve Zahn
Steve Zahn
-Early life:Zahn was born in Marshall, Minnesota, the son of Zelda, who worked for the YMCA, and Carleton E. Zahn, a retired Missouri Synod Lutheran pastor. Zahn spent part of his childhood in Mankato, Minnesota, attending Kennedy Elementary School...

, Kevin Sorbo
Kevin Sorbo
Kevin David Sorbo is an American actor best known for the roles of Hercules in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Captain Dylan Hunt in Andromeda and Kull in Kull the Conqueror.-Early life:...

, and Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder
Winona Ryder is an American actress. She made her film debut in the 1986 film Lucas. Ryder's first significant role came in Tim Burton's Beetlejuice as a goth teenager, which won her critical and commercial recognition...

. Joel and Ethan Coen, Terry Gilliam
Terry Gilliam
Terrence Vance "Terry" Gilliam is an American-born British screenwriter, film director, animator, actor and member of the Monty Python comedy troupe. Gilliam is also known for directing several films, including Brazil , The Adventures of Baron Munchausen , The Fisher King , and 12 Monkeys...

 and Mike Todd
Mike Todd
Michael Todd was an American theatre and film producer, best known for his 1956 production of Around the World in Eighty Days, which won an Academy Award for Best Picture...

 contributed to the art of film
Film
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects...

, and others brought the offbeat cult shows Mystery Science Theater 3000
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Mystery Science Theater 3000 is an American cult television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Best Brains, Inc., that ran from 1988 to 1999....

and Let's Bowl
Let's Bowl
Let's Bowl was a short-lived bowling game show that aired on the Comedy Central television network from 2001 to 2002 after a brief run on several TV stations across the U.S. in the mid-1990s, the first three being Minneapolis-St...

to national cable
Cable television
Cable television is a system of providing television programs to consumers via radio frequency signals transmitted to televisions through coaxial cables or digital light pulses through fixed optical fibers located on the subscriber's property, much like the over-the-air method used in traditional...

 from the Twin Cities.

Popular culture


Stereotypical
Stereotype
A stereotype is a popular belief about specific social groups or types of individuals. The concepts of "stereotype" and "prejudice" are often confused with many other different meanings...

 Minnesotan traits include manners known as "Minnesota nice
Minnesota nice
Minnesota nice is the stereotypical behavior of long-time Minnesota residents, to be courteous, reserved, and mild-mannered. The cultural characteristics of Minnesota nice include a polite friendliness, an aversion to confrontation, a tendency toward understatement, a disinclination to make a fuss...

", Lutheranism
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

, a strong sense of community and shared culture, and their distinctive brand of North Central American English
North Central American English
North–Central American English is used to refer to a dialect of American English. The region is also known as Upper Midwest among some linguists. It is also sometimes called the Minnesota Accent or Great Lakes Accent. It is widely spoken in the Upper Midwest and the northern portion of the...

 sprinkled with Scandinavian-sounding words such as uff da
Uff da
Uff da is an expression of Norwegian origin adopted by Scandinavian-Americans in the 19th century...

. Potluck
Potluck
A potluck is a gathering of people where each person or group of people contributes a dish of food prepared by the person or the group of people, to be shared among the group...

s, usually with a variety of hotdish
Hotdish
Hotdish is a variety of baked casserole that typically contains a starch, a meat or other protein, and a canned and/ or frozen vegetable, mixed together with canned soup. The dish is popular in Minnesota...

 casseroles, are popular at community functions, especially church activities. Minnesota's Scandinavian heritage makes lutefisk
Lutefisk
Lutefisk or Lutfisk is a traditional dish of the Nordic countries and parts of the Midwest United States. It is made from aged stockfish or dried/salted whitefish and lye . It is gelatinous in texture, and has an extremely strong, pungent odor...

 a traditional holiday dish. Movies like Fargo
Fargo (film)
Fargo is a 1996 American dark comedy-crime film produced, directed and written by brothers Joel and Ethan Coen. It stars Frances McDormand as a pregnant police chief who investigates a series of homicides, William H...

, Juno
Juno (film)
Juno is a 2007 comedy-drama film directed by Jason Reitman and written by Diablo Cody. Ellen Page stars as the title character, an independent-minded teenager confronting an unplanned pregnancy and the subsequent events that put pressures of adult life onto her. Michael Cera, Olivia Thirlby, J. K....

, A Serious Man
A Serious Man
A Serious Man is a 2009 dark comedy written, produced, and directed by Joel and Ethan Coen. The film stars Michael Stuhlbarg as a Minnesota Jewish man whose life crumbles both professionally and personally, leading to questions about his faith...

, Drop Dead Gorgeous, New in Town, Jingle All the Way
Jingle All the Way
Jingle All the Way is a 1996 American family comedy film directed by Brian Levant and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Jake Lloyd, James Belushi and Robert Conrad...

, Grumpy Old Men
Grumpy Old Men (film)
Grumpy Old Men is a 1993 American romantic comedy film starring Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, and Ann-Margret, with Burgess Meredith, Daryl Hannah, Kevin Pollak, Katie Sagona, Ossie Davis, and Buck Henry. Directed by Donald Petrie, the screenplay was written by Mark Steven Johnson, who also wrote...

and Grumpier Old Men
Grumpier Old Men
Grumpier Old Men is a 1995 romantic comedy film, and a sequel to the 1993 film Grumpy Old Men. The film stars Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret, and Sophia Loren, with Burgess Meredith, Daryl Hannah, Kevin Pollak, Katie Sagona, Ann Morgan Guilbert...

; the television series Mystery Science Theater 3000
Mystery Science Theater 3000
Mystery Science Theater 3000 is an American cult television comedy series created by Joel Hodgson and produced by Best Brains, Inc., that ran from 1988 to 1999....

, The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls
The Golden Girls is an American sitcom created by Susan Harris, which originally aired on NBC from September 14, 1985, to May 9, 1992. Starring Bea Arthur, Betty White, Rue McClanahan and Estelle Getty, the show centers on four older women sharing a home in Miami, Florida...

, the Mary Tyler Moore Show and Coach
Coach (TV series)
Coach is an American television sitcom that aired for nine seasons on ABC from 1989 to 1997. The series starred Craig T. Nelson as Hayden Fox, head coach of the fictional Division I-A college football team, the Minnesota State University Screaming Eagles...

; the radio show A Prairie Home Companion
A Prairie Home Companion
A Prairie Home Companion is a live radio variety show created and hosted by Garrison Keillor. The show runs on Saturdays from 5 to 7 p.m. Central Time, and usually originates from the Fitzgerald Theater in Saint Paul, Minnesota, although it is frequently taken on the road...

; and the book How to Talk Minnesotan
How to Talk Minnesotan
How to Talk Minnesotan is a book lampooning stereotypical Minnesotan speech and mannerisms written by Howard Mohr, a former writer for A Prairie Home Companion...

lampoon (and celebrate) Minnesotan culture, speech and mannerisms.

The Minnesota State Fair
Minnesota State Fair
The Minnesota State Fair is the state fair of the U.S. state of Minnesota. Its slogan is "The Great Minnesota Get-Together." It is the 2nd largest fair in the United States, and the largest state fair in the United States in terms of average daily attendance, though the State Fair of Texas runs...

, advertised as The Great Minnesota Get-Together, is an icon of state culture. In a state of 5.2 million people, there were almost 1.8 million visitors to the fair in 2009, breaking the previous record set in 2001. The fair covers the variety of life in Minnesota, including fine art
Fine art
Fine art or the fine arts encompass art forms developed primarily for aesthetics and/or concept rather than practical application. Art is often a synonym for fine art, as employed in the term "art gallery"....

, science
Science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, agriculture
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

, food preparation, 4H displays, music, the midway
Midway (fair)
A midway at a fair is the location where amusement rides, entertainment and fast food booths are concentrated....

, and corporate merchandising. It is known for its displays of seed art, butter
Butter
Butter is a dairy product made by churning fresh or fermented cream or milk. It is generally used as a spread and a condiment, as well as in cooking applications, such as baking, sauce making, and pan frying...

 sculptures of dairy princesses
Princess Kay of the Milky Way
Princess Kay of the Milky Way is the title awarded to the winner of the state-wide Minnesota Dairy Princess Program, an annual competition organized by the Midwest Dairy Association. During her one year term, the Princess Kay of the Milky Way serves as official good-will ambassador for the...

, the birthing barn, and the "fattest pig" competition. One can also find dozens of varieties of food on a stick, such as Pronto Pup
Pronto Pup
The Pronto Pup Company is a company based in Portland, Oregon that manufactures the Pronto Pup corn dog mix.-History:The Pronto Pup was invented by the husband and wife team of George and Versa Boyington in the late 1930s in Rockaway Beach, Oregon. The Boyingtons ran a small hot dog stand on the...

s, 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
Saint Paul Winter Carnival
In 1885, a New York reporter wrote that Saint Paul was "another Siberia, unfit for human habitation" in winter. Offended by this attack on their Capital City, the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce decided to not only prove that Saint Paul was habitable but that its citizens were very much alive during...

, Minnesota Renaissance Festival
Minnesota Renaissance Festival
The Minnesota Renaissance Festival is a Renaissance fair, an interactive outdoor event which focuses on recreating the look and feel of a fictional 16th Century "England-like" fantasy kingdom...

, Minneapolis' Aquatennial and Mill City Music Festival, Moondance Jam
Moondance Jam
Moondance Jam is an annual rock and classic rock festival held in mid-July in the Leech Lake/Chippewa National Forest Area near Walker, Minnesota. It is recognized as Minnesota's largest rock festival and the premier classic rock festival in the United States...

 in Walker, Sonshine Christian music festival
Sonshine Festival
Sonshine Festival is a Christian music festival held annually in Willmar, Minnesota, usually the second weekend in July. It features Christian musical artists from the United States and around the world. The festival is a member of the Christian Festival Association.A secondary function of the...

 in Willmar
Willmar, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 18,351 people, 7,302 households, and 4,461 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,549.9 people per square mile . There were 7,789 housing units at an average density of 657.8 per square mile...

, the Judy Garland
Judy Garland
Judy Garland was an American actress and singer. Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years and for her renowned contralto voice, she attained international stardom as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage...

 Festival in Grand Rapids, Eelpout
Eelpout
The eelpouts are the ray-finned fish family Zoarcidae. As the common name suggests, they are somewhat eel-like in appearance, with elongate bodies, and the dorsal and anal fins continuous with the caudal fin. All of the approximately 220 species are marine, mostly bottom-dwelling, some at great...

 Festival on Leech Lake, and WE Fest
WE Fest
WE Fest is a country music festival held every August at the Soo Pass Ranch in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, United States. The first WE Fest was held in 1983 and is attended by about 50,000 people over a 3 - 4 day period...

 in Detroit Lakes
Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
-Demographics:As of the official census of 2000, there were 7,348 people, 3,319 households, and 1,845 families permanently residing in the city. The population density was 980.4 people per square mile . There were 3,782 housing units at an average density of 504.6 per square mile...

.

Health



The people of Minnesota have a high rate of participation in outdoor activities; the state is ranked first in the percentage of residents who engage in regular exercise.

Minnesotans have low rates of premature death, infant mortality, cardiovascular disease, and occupational fatalities, long life expectancies, and a high rate of health insurance. These and other measures have led two groups to rank Minnesota as the healthiest state in the nation, but in one of these rankings Minnesota descended from first to sixth in the nation between 2005 and 2009, due to low levels of public health funding and prevalence of binge drinking.

On October 1, 2007 Minnesota became the seventeenth state to enact a statewide smoking ban in restaurants and bars with the enactment of Freedom to Breathe Act
Freedom to Breathe Act
The Freedom to Breathe Act of 2007 is a piece of Minnesota legislation that restricts the act of smoking tobacco products in public places. It amends sections of Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act of 1975.-Contents of Act & Controversy:...

.

Medical care is provided by a comprehensive network of hospitals and clinics, headed by two institutions with international reputations. The University of Minnesota Medical School
University of Minnesota Medical School
The University of Minnesota Medical School is the medical school of the University of Minnesota. It is a combination of two campuses situated in Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota....

 is a highly rated teaching institution that has made a number of breakthroughs in treatment, and its research activities contribute significantly to the state's growing biotechnology
Biotechnology
Biotechnology is a field of applied biology that involves the use of living organisms and bioprocesses in engineering, technology, medicine and other fields requiring bioproducts. Biotechnology also utilizes these products for manufacturing purpose...

 industry. The Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit medical practice and medical research group specializing in treating difficult patients . Patients are referred to Mayo Clinic from across the U.S. and the world, and it is known for innovative and effective treatments. Mayo Clinic is known for being at the top of...

, a world-renowned medical practice, is based in Rochester
Rochester, Minnesota
Rochester is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Olmsted County. Located on both banks of the Zumbro River, The city has a population of 106,769 according to the 2010 United States Census, making it Minnesota's third-largest city and the largest outside of the...

. Mayo and the University are partners in the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics, a state-funded program that conducts research into cancer
Cancer
Cancer , known medically as a malignant neoplasm, is a large group of different diseases, all involving unregulated cell growth. In cancer, cells divide and grow uncontrollably, forming malignant tumors, and invade nearby parts of the body. The cancer may also spread to more distant parts of the...

, Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer's disease also known in medical literature as Alzheimer disease is the most common form of dementia. There is no cure for the disease, which worsens as it progresses, and eventually leads to death...

, heart health
Coronary heart disease
Coronary artery disease is the end result of the accumulation of atheromatous plaques within the walls of the coronary arteries that supply the myocardium with oxygen and nutrients. It is sometimes also called coronary heart disease...

, obesity
Obesity
Obesity is a medical condition in which excess body fat has accumulated to the extent that it may have an adverse effect on health, leading to reduced life expectancy and/or increased health problems...

, and other areas.

Education




One of the first acts of the Minnesota Legislature when it opened in 1858 was the creation of a normal school
Normal school
A normal school is a school created to train high school graduates to be teachers. Its purpose is to establish teaching standards or norms, hence its name...

 at Winona
Winona, Minnesota
Winona is a city in and the county seat of Winona County, in the U.S. State of Minnesota. Located in picturesque bluff country on the Mississippi River, its most noticeable physical landmark is Sugar Loaf....

. This commitment to education has contributed to a literate and well-educated population; the state ranked 13th on the 2006–2007 Morgan Quitno
Morgan Quitno
Morgan Quitno Press is a research and publishing company based in Lawrence, Kansas, which compiles books with statistics of crime rates, health care, education, and other categories, ranking cities and states in the United States...

 Smartest State Award, and is first in the percentage of residents with at least a high school diploma. But while more than 90% of high school seniors graduated in 2006, about 6% of white, 28% of African American, 30% of Asian American and more than 34% of Hispanic and Native American students dropped out of school. In 2007 Minnesota students earned the highest average score in the nation on the ACT exam
ACT (examination)
The ACT is a standardized test for high school achievement and college admissions in the United States produced by ACT, Inc. It was first administered in November 1959 by Everett Franklin Lindquist as a competitor to the College Board's Scholastic Aptitude Test, now the SAT Reasoning Test...

. While Minnesota has chosen not to implement school vouchers, it is home to the first charter school
Charter school
Charter schools are primary or secondary schools that receive public money but are not subject to some of the rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to other public schools in exchange for some type of accountability for producing certain results, which are set forth in each school's charter...

.

The state supports a network of public universities
University
A university is an institution of higher education and research, which grants academic degrees in a variety of subjects. A university is an organisation that provides both undergraduate education and postgraduate education...

 and colleges, including 32 institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System
Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System
The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System comprises 31 colleges and universities, including 24 two-year colleges and seven state universities...

, and five major campuses of the University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota system
The University of Minnesota is a large university with several campuses spread throughout the U.S. state of Minnesota. There are five primary campuses in the Twin Cities, Duluth, Crookston, Morris, and Rochester. A campus was open in Waseca for a time. The university also operates several...

. It is also home to more than 20 private colleges and universities, six of which rank among the nation's top 100 liberal arts
Liberal arts
The term liberal arts refers to those subjects which in classical antiquity were considered essential for a free citizen to study. Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic were the core liberal arts. In medieval times these subjects were extended to include mathematics, geometry, music and astronomy...

 colleges, according to U.S. News and World Report
U.S. News & World Report
U.S. News & World Report is an American news magazine published from Washington, D.C. Along with Time and Newsweek it was for many years a leading news weekly, focusing more than its counterparts on political, economic, health and education stories...

.

Transportation




Transportation in Minnesota is overseen by the Minnesota Department of Transportation
Minnesota Department of Transportation
The Minnesota Department of Transportation oversees transportation by land, water, and air in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The cabinet-level agency is responsible for maintaining the state's trunk highway system The Minnesota Department of Transportation (Mn/DOT, pronounced "min-dot") oversees...

 (MnDOT for short and used in the local news media). Principal transportation corridors radiate from the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area and Duluth. The major Interstate highways
Interstate Highway System
The Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, , is a network of limited-access roads including freeways, highways, and expressways forming part of the National Highway System of the United States of America...

 are I-35
Interstate 35
Interstate 35 is a north–south Interstate Highway in the central United States. I-35 stretches from Laredo, Texas, on the U.S.-Mexico border to Duluth, Minnesota, at Minnesota Highway 61 and 26th Avenue East. Many interstates used to have splits or spurs indicated with suffixed letters , but I-35...

, I-90
Interstate 90
Interstate 90 is the longest Interstate Highway in the United States at . It is the northernmost coast-to-coast interstate, and parallels US 20 for the most part. Its western terminus is in Seattle, at Edgar Martinez Drive S. near Safeco Field and CenturyLink Field, and its eastern terminus is in...

, and I-94
Interstate 94
Interstate 94 is the northernmost east–west Interstate Highway, connecting the Great Lakes and Intermountain regions of the United States. I-94's western terminus is in Billings, Montana at a junction with Interstate 90; its eastern terminus is the U.S...

, with I-35 and I-94 passing through the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, and I-90 going east-west along the southern edge of the state. In 2006, a constitutional amendment
Constitutional amendment
A constitutional amendment is a formal change to the text of the written constitution of a nation or state.Most constitutions require that amendments cannot be enacted unless they have passed a special procedure that is more stringent than that required of ordinary legislation...

 was passed that required sales and use taxes on motor vehicles to fund transportation, with at least 40% dedicated to public transit. There are nearly two dozen rail
Rail transport
Rail transport is a means of conveyance of passengers and goods by way of wheeled vehicles running on rail tracks. In contrast to road transport, where vehicles merely run on a prepared surface, rail vehicles are also directionally guided by the tracks they run on...

 corridors in Minnesota, most of which go through Minneapolis-St. Paul or Duluth. There is water transportation along the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

 system and from the ports of Lake Superior
Lake Superior
Lake Superior is the largest of the five traditionally-demarcated Great Lakes of North America. It is bounded to the north by the Canadian province of Ontario and the U.S. state of Minnesota, and to the south by the U.S. states of Wisconsin and Michigan. It is the largest freshwater lake in the...

.


Minnesota's principal airport is Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), a major passenger and freight hub for Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines, Inc. is a major airline based in the United States and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. The airline operates an extensive domestic and international network serving all continents except Antarctica. Delta and its subsidiaries operate over 4,000 flights every day...

 and Sun Country Airlines
Sun Country Airlines
MN Airlines, LLC, operating as Sun Country Airlines, is an American low-cost airline headquartered in the Minneapolis-St. Paul suburb of Mendota Heights, Minnesota...

. Most other domestic carriers serve the airport. Large commercial jet service is provided at Duluth and Rochester, with scheduled commuter service to six smaller cities via Delta Connection Contracted Carriers Comair Airlines, Mesaba Airlines
Mesaba Airlines
Mesaba Airlines is an American regional airline based in Eagan, Minnesota. The airline operates under Mesaba Aviation, Inc. a wholly owned subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corporation...

, SkyWest Airlines
Skywest Airlines
Skywest Airlines Pty Ltd is a regional airline company based in Perth, Western Australia, Australia; servicing key towns in the state of Western Australia, Darwin, Northern Territory and Melbourne, Victoria; as well as charter flights to Bali, Indonesia....

, Compass Airlines
Compass Airlines (North America)
Compass Airlines is a regional airline headquartered at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in Fort Snelling, Hennepin County, Minnesota; prior to December 16, 2009, it was headquartered in unincorporated Fairfax County, Virginia, United States, east of the Chantilly CDP...

' and Pinnacle Airlines
Pinnacle Airlines
Pinnacle Airlines, Inc. is an American regional airline, which is a subsidiary of Pinnacle Airlines Corp., and operates as Delta Connection for Delta Air Lines...

.

Amtrak's
Amtrak
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak , is a government-owned corporation that was organized on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States. "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "track". It is headquartered at Union...

 daily Empire Builder
Empire Builder
The Empire Builder is a passenger train route operated by Amtrak in the Midwestern and Northwestern United States. It is Amtrak's busiest long-distance route and busiest daily train, carrying more than 500,000 travelers annually since 2007. Overall, it is the railroad's 10th-busiest line. Before...

(Chicago–Seattle/Portland) train runs through Minnesota, calling at Midway Station
Midway (Amtrak station)
Midway Station is the Amtrak train station in Saint Paul, Minnesota, so named after the Midway area which is roughly halfway between the downtowns of St. Paul and neighboring Minneapolis. Its Amtrak station code is MSP and serves as the only intercity train station for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul...

 in St. Paul and five other stations. Intercity bus providers include Jefferson Lines
Jefferson Lines
Jefferson Lines is a regional intercity bus company operating in United States. The company's name originates in the Jefferson Highway, a north-south route in the early National Auto Trail system which once ran from Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada, south to New Orleans, Louisiana. The service to...

, Greyhound, and Megabus. Local public transit is provided by bus
Bus
A bus is a road vehicle designed to carry passengers. Buses can have a capacity as high as 300 passengers. The most common type of bus is the single-decker bus, with larger loads carried by double-decker buses and articulated buses, and smaller loads carried by midibuses and minibuses; coaches are...

 networks in the larger cities and by two rail lines: The Northstar Line commuter rail service runs from Big Lake
Big Lake, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,063 people, 2,117 households, and 1,570 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,688.4 people per square mile . There were 2,206 housing units at an average density of 614.3 per square mile...

 to downtown Minneapolis, and the Blue Line
Hiawatha Line
The Hiawatha Line is a light rail corridor in Hennepin County, Minnesota that extends from downtown Minneapolis to the southern suburb of Bloomington. It was formerly known as the Hiawatha Line named after Hiawatha Avenue. Major connections on the line include the Minneapolis-St...

 electrified light rail
Light rail
Light rail or light rail transit is a form of urban rail public transportation that generally has a lower capacity and lower speed than heavy rail and metro systems, but higher capacity and higher speed than traditional street-running tram systems...

 service runs from the Northstar's terminus to the MSP Airport and Bloomington.

Law and government


As with the federal government of the United States, power in Minnesota is divided into three branches: executive, legislative, and judicial.

Executive



The executive branch is headed by the governor
Governor (United States)
In the United States, the title governor refers to the chief executive of each state or insular territory, not directly subordinate to the federal authorities, but the political and ceremonial head of the state.-Role and powers:...

. Governor Mark Dayton
Mark Dayton
Mark Brandt Dayton is an American politician, the 40th and current Governor of the state of Minnesota. Dayton previously served as United States Senator from Minnesota from 2001 to 2007 in the 107th, 108th, and 109th Congresses...

, a Democrat, took office on January 3, 2011, to become the first Democratic Governor to hold the seat in two decades. The governor has a cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

 consisting of the leaders of various state government agencies, called commissioners. The other elected constitutional offices are secretary of state, attorney general, and state auditor
Minnesota State Auditor
The Minnesota State Auditor is a constitutional officer in the executive branch of the U.S. State of Minnesota. The State Auditor is charged with overseeing more than $20 billion spent annually by local governments in Minnesota...

.

Legislature




The Minnesota Legislature
Minnesota Legislature
The Minnesota Legislature is the legislative branch of government in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It is a bicameral legislature located at the Minnesota Capitol in Saint Paul and it consists of two houses: the lower Minnesota House of Representatives and the Minnesota Senate...

 is a bicameral body consisting of the Senate
Minnesota Senate
The Minnesota Senate is the upper house in the Minnesota Legislature. There are 67 members, half as many as are in the Minnesota House of Representatives. In terms of membership, it is the largest upper house of any state legislature. Each Senate district in the state includes an A and B House...

 and the House of Representatives
Minnesota House of Representatives
The Minnesota House of Representatives is the lower house in the Minnesota State Legislature. There are 134 members elected to two-year terms, twice the number of members in the Minnesota Senate. Each senate district is divided in half and given the suffix A or B...

. The state has sixty-seven districts, each covering about sixty thousand people. Each district has one senator and two representatives (each district being divided into A and B sections). Senators serve for four years and representatives for two years. In the November 2010 election, the Minnesota Republican Party gained twenty-five house seats, giving them control of the House of Representatives by a 72-62 margin. The 2010 election also saw Minnesota voters elect a Republican majority in the Senate for the first time since 1972.

Judiciary


Minnesota's court system has three levels. Most cases start in the district courts
Minnesota District Courts
The Minnesota District Courts are the state trial courts of general jurisdiction in the U.S. state of Minnesota.The Minnesota Constitution provides that the district court has original jurisdiction in civil and criminal cases and such appellate jurisdiction as may be prescribed by law.Each district...

, which are courts of general jurisdiction. There are 272 district court judges in ten judicial districts. Appeals from the trial courts and challenges to certain governmental decisions are heard by the Minnesota Court of Appeals
Minnesota Court of Appeals
The Minnesota Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court for the state of Minnesota. It began operating on November 1, 1983. It is housed in the Minnesota Judicial Center in St...

, consisting of nineteen judges who typically sit in three-judge panels. The seven-justice Minnesota Supreme Court
Minnesota Supreme Court
The Minnesota Supreme Court is the highest court in the U.S. state of Minnesota and consists of seven members. The court was first assembled as a three-judge panel in 1849 when Minnesota was still a territory. The first members were lawyers from outside of the region who were appointed by...

 hears all appeals from the Tax Court, the Worker's Compensation Court of Appeals, first-degree murder convictions, and discretionary appeals from the Court of Appeals; it also has original jurisdiction
Original jurisdiction
The original jurisdiction of a court is the power to hear a case for the first time, as opposed to appellate jurisdiction, when a court has the power to review a lower court's decision.-France:...

 over election disputes.

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.

Regional


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. Some actions in the Twin Cities metropolitan area are coordinated by the Metropolitan Council
Metropolitan Council
The Metropolitan Council or Met Council is the regional governmental agency and metropolitan planning organization in Minnesota serving the Twin Cities seven-county metropolitan area. The Met Council is granted regional authority powers in state statutes by the Minnesota Legislature. These powers...

, and many lakes and rivers are overseen by watershed district
Watershed district
Watershed districts are special government entities in the U.S. state of Minnesota that monitor and regulate the use of water in watersheds surrounding various lakes and rivers in the state. The districts cover the natural regions of the watersheds, rather than politically-defined regions...

s and soil and water conservation districts.

There are seven Anishinaabe
Anishinaabe
Anishinaabe or Anishinabe—or more properly Anishinaabeg or Anishinabek, which is the plural form of the word—is the autonym often used by the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Algonquin peoples. They all speak closely related Anishinaabemowin/Anishinaabe languages, of the Algonquian language family.The meaning...

 reservations and four Dakota communities in Minnesota. These communities are self-governing.

Federal


Minnesota's United States senators are Democrat Amy Klobuchar
Amy Klobuchar
Amy Jean Klobuchar is the senior United States Senator from Minnesota. She is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, an affiliate of the Democratic Party...

 and Democrat Al Franken
Al Franken
Alan Stuart "Al" Franken is the junior United States Senator from Minnesota. He is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which affiliates with the national Democratic Party....

. The outcome of the 2008 U.S. Senate election in Minnesota
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2008
The 2008 United States Senate election in Minnesota took place on November 4, 2008. After a legal battle lasting over eight months, Al Franken from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in one of the closest elections in the history of the Senate...

 was contested until June 30 the next year; when the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled in favor of Franken, Republican Norm Coleman
Norm Coleman
Norman Bertram Coleman, Jr. is an American attorney and politician. He was a United States senator from Minnesota from 2003 to 2009. Coleman was elected in 2002 and served in the 108th, 109th, and 110th Congresses. Before becoming a senator, he was mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, from 1994 to 2002...

 conceded defeat, and the vacant seat was filled. The state has eight congressional districts
Minnesota Congressional Districts
Minnesota currently has eight congressional districts. There were 9th and 10th districts but they were eliminated in 1963 and 1933 respectively...

; they are represented by Tim Walz
Tim Walz
Timothy James Walz is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party .The district comprises the state's southern end, running along the entire border with Iowa...

 (1st district
Minnesota's 1st congressional district
Minnesota's 1st congressional district extends across southern Minnesota from the border with South Dakota to the border with Wisconsin. The First District is primarily a rural district built on a strong history of agriculture, although this is changing rapidly due to strong population growth in...

; DFL), John Kline
John Kline (politician)
John Paul Kline is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2003. The district includes most of the southern suburbs of the Twin Cities, including Apple Valley, Inver Grove Heights, Burnsville and Eagan. He is a member of the Republican Party.-Early life, education and career:Kline was born...

 (2nd
Minnesota's 2nd congressional district
Minnesota’s 2nd congressional district covers the south Twin Cities metro area and contains all of Carver, Scott, Le Sueur, Goodhue and Rice Counties. It also contains most of Dakota County and south Washington County including the cities of Cottage Grove and the southern part of Woodbury...

; R), Erik Paulsen
Erik Paulsen
Erik Paulsen is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2009. He is a member of the Republican Party. He previously served in the Minnesota House of Representatives...

 (3rd
Minnesota's 3rd congressional district
Minnesota's 3rd congressional district is one of the most affluent in the state, encompassing the suburbs of Hennepin County to the north, west, and south of Minneapolis...

; R), Betty McCollum
Betty McCollum
Betty Louise McCollum is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2001. She is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party ....

 (4th
Minnesota's 4th congressional district
Minnesota's 4th congressional district covers Ramsey County including all of St. Paul and several St. Paul suburbs. The district is solidly Democratic with a CPVI of D + 13. It is currently represented by Betty McCollum, of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.-List of...

; DFL), Keith Ellison
Keith Ellison (politician)
Keith Maurice Ellison is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. The district centers on Minneapolis. He was re-elected in 2010. Ellison is a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.He is the first Muslim to be elected to the...

 (5th
Minnesota's 5th congressional district
Minnesota's 5th congressional district is a geographically small urban and suburban congressional district in Minnesota. It covers eastern Hennepin County, including the entire city of Minneapolis, along with parts of Anoka and Ramsey counties. It was created in 1883 and was named the "Bloody...

; DFL), Michele Bachmann
Michele Bachmann
Michele Marie Bachmann is a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives, representing , a post she has held since 2007. The district includes several of the northern suburbs of the Twin Cities, such as Woodbury, and Blaine as well as Stillwater and St. Cloud.She is currently a...

 (6th
Minnesota's 6th congressional district
Minnesota's 6th congressional district includes most or all of Benton, Sherburne, Stearns, Wright, Anoka, and Washington counties. The district is Republican-leaning with a CPVI of R + 7. It is currently represented by Republican Michele Bachmann....

; R), Collin Peterson
Collin Peterson
Collin Clark Peterson , is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1991, and the ranking member of the House Agriculture Committee. He is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and is the dean of the Minnesota congressional delegation.The district, Minnesota's largest and most rural...

 (7th
Minnesota's 7th congressional district
Minnesota's 7th congressional district covers almost all of the western side of Minnesota except for the far south, which is located in the 1st district. It is by far the state's largest district, and has a very rural character. Cities in the district include Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Alexandria and...

; DFL), and Chip Cravaack
Chip Cravaack
Raymond "Chip" Cravaack is the U.S. Representative for northeastern serving since January 2011. In his first try for political office, he upset 18-term Democratic incumbent Jim Oberstar by a margin of 4,400 votes to become the first Republican since 1947 to represent the district...

 (8th
Minnesota's 8th congressional district
Minnesota's 8th congressional district covers the northeastern part of Minnesota. It is anchored by Duluth, Minnesota which is the fourth largest city in state. It also includes most of the Mesabi and Vermilion iron ranges. The district is best-known for its mining, agriculture, tourism, and...

; R).

Federal court cases are heard in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
United States District Court for the District of Minnesota
The United States District Court for the District of Minnesota is the Federal district court whose jurisdiction is the state of Minnesota. Its two primary courthouses are in Minneapolis and Saint Paul...

, which holds court in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and Fergus Falls. Appeals are heard by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, which is based in St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis is an independent city on the eastern border of Missouri, United States. With a population of 319,294, it was the 58th-largest U.S. city at the 2010 U.S. Census. The Greater St...

 and routinely also hears cases in St. Paul.

Politics


Election results from statewide races
Year Office GOP DFL
Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
The Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party is a major political party in the state of Minnesota and the state affiliate of the Democratic Party. It was created on April 15, 1944, with the merger of the Minnesota Democratic Party and the Farmer–Labor Party...

Others
2008 President
United States presidential election in Minnesota, 2008
The 2008 United States presidential election in Minnesota took place on November 4, 2008 throughout all 50 states and D.C., which was part of the 2008 United States presidential election. Voters chose 10 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for President and Vice...

43.8% 54.1% 2.1%
Senator
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2008
The 2008 United States Senate election in Minnesota took place on November 4, 2008. After a legal battle lasting over eight months, Al Franken from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in one of the closest elections in the history of the Senate...

42.0% 42.0% 16.0%
2006 Governor
Minnesota gubernatorial election, 2006
The 2006 Minnesota gubernatorial election took place on November 7, 2006. Incumbent Tim Pawlenty was endorsed by the state Republican convention on June 2, 2006, while the state Democratic-Farmer-Labor convention endorsed Mike Hatch on June 10, 2006...

46.7% 45.7% 7.6%
Senator 37.9% 58.1% 4.0%
2004 President 47.6% 51.1% 1.3%
2002 Governor
Minnesota gubernatorial election, 2002
The 2002 Minnesota gubernatorial election took place on November 5, 2002 for the post of Governor of Minnesota. Republican candidate Tim Pawlenty defeated Democratic candidate Roger Moe and Independence Party of Minnesota candidate Tim Penny...

44.4% 33.5% 22.1%
Senator
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2002
The 2002 United States Senate election in Minnesota took place on November 5, 2002. Incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Paul Wellstone was running for re-election to a third term, but died in a plane crash eleven days before the election. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party chose former Vice President...

49.5% 47.3% 1.0%
2000 President
United States presidential election in Minnesota, 2000
The 2000 United States presidential election in Minnesota took place on November 7, 2000 throughout all 50 states and D.C., which was part of the 2000 United States presidential election...

45.5% 47.9% 6.6%
Senator
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2000
The 2000 United States Senate election in Minnesota was held on November 7, 2000 to select the U.S. Senator from the state of Minnesota. The race pitted incumbent Republican Senator Rod Grams against Minnesota State Auditor Mark Dayton. Dayton won with 48.83% of the vote against Grams’...

43.3% 48.8% 7.9%
1998 Governor
Minnesota gubernatorial election, 1998
The 1998 Minnesota gubernatorial election took place on November 3, 1998. Reform Party candidate Jesse Ventura defeated Republican Party challenger Norm Coleman and Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party challenger Hubert H. "Skip" Humphrey III...

34.3% 28.1% 37.6%
1996 President 35.0% 51.1% 13.9%
Senator
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 1994
The 1994 United States Senate election in Minnesota was held in 1994. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator David Durenberger decided to retire instead of seeking a third full term. Republican Rod Grams won the open seat.-Results:- References :...

41.3% 50.3% 8.4%
1994 Governor
Minnesota gubernatorial election, 1994
The 1994 Minnesota gubernatorial election took place on November 8, 1994. Republican Party of Minnesota candidate Arne Carlson defeated Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party challenger John Marty.-Results:-General election:...

63.3% 34.1% 2.6%
Senator
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 1994
The 1994 United States Senate election in Minnesota was held in 1994. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator David Durenberger decided to retire instead of seeking a third full term. Republican Rod Grams won the open seat.-Results:- References :...

49.1% 44.1% 6.8%
1992 President 31.9% 43.5% 24.6%


Minnesota is known for a politically active citizenry, and populism
Populism
Populism can be defined as an ideology, political philosophy, or type of discourse. Generally, a common theme compares "the people" against "the elite", and urges social and political system changes. It can also be defined as a rhetorical style employed by members of various political or social...

 has been a longstanding force among the state's political parties
Political party
A political party is a political organization that typically seeks to influence government policy, usually by nominating their own candidates and trying to seat them in political office. Parties participate in electoral campaigns, educational outreach or protest actions...

. Minnesota has a consistently high voter turnout
Voter turnout
Voter turnout is the percentage of eligible voters who cast a ballot in an election . After increasing for many decades, there has been a trend of decreasing voter turnout in most established democracies since the 1960s...

, due in part to its liberal voter registration
Voter registration
Voter registration is the requirement in some democracies for citizens and residents to check in with some central registry specifically for the purpose of being allowed to vote in elections. An effort to get people to register is known as a voter registration drive.-Centralized/compulsory vs...

 laws, with virtually no evidence of voter fraud. In the 2008 U.S. presidential election
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

, 77.9% of eligible Minnesotans voted—the highest percentage of any U.S. state—versus the national average of 61.2%. Previously unregistered voters can register on election day
Election Day (United States)
Election Day in the United States is the day set by law for the general elections of public officials. It occurs on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November. The earliest possible date is November 2 and the latest possible date is November 8...

 at their polls with evidence of residency.

Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Humphrey
Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. , served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States. Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and...

 brought national attention to the state with his address at the 1948 Democratic National Convention
1948 Democratic National Convention
The 1948 Democratic National Convention was held at Convention Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, from July 12 to July 14, and resulted in the nominations of incumbent Harry S Truman for President and U.S. Senator Alben W...

. Eugene McCarthy
Eugene McCarthy
Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy was an American politician, poet, and a long-time member of the United States Congress from Minnesota. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1949 to 1959 and the U.S. Senate from 1959 to 1971.In the 1968 presidential election, McCarthy was the first...

's anti-war stance and popularity in the 1968 New Hampshire primary
New Hampshire primary
The New Hampshire primary is the first in a series of nationwide political party primary elections held in the United States every four years , as part of the process of choosing the Democratic and Republican nominees for the presidential elections to be held the subsequent November.Although only a...

 likely convinced Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon B. Johnson
Lyndon Baines Johnson , often referred to as LBJ, was the 36th President of the United States after his service as the 37th Vice President of the United States...

 to drop out of the presidential election
United States presidential election, 1968
The United States presidential election of 1968 was the 46th quadrennial United States presidential election. Coming four years after Democrat Lyndon B. Johnson won in a historic landslide, it saw Johnson forced out of the race and Republican Richard Nixon elected...

. 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
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

 in either of his presidential runs. Minnesota has gone to the Democratic Party in every Presidential Election since 1960, with the exception of 1972, when it was carried by Richard Nixon
Richard Nixon
Richard Milhous Nixon was the 37th President of the United States, serving from 1969 to 1974. The only president to resign the office, Nixon had previously served as a US representative and senator from California and as the 36th Vice President of the United States from 1953 to 1961 under...

 and the Republican Party.

Both the Democratic and Republican parties have major party status in Minnesota, but its state-level "Democratic" party is actually a separate party, officially known as the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
The Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party is a major political party in the state of Minnesota and the state affiliate of the Democratic Party. It was created on April 15, 1944, with the merger of the Minnesota Democratic Party and the Farmer–Labor Party...

 (DFL). Formed out of a 1944 alliance of the Minnesota Democratic and Farmer-Labor
Minnesota Farmer-Labor Party
The Minnesota Farmer–Labor Party was a political party in the United States state of Minnesota, the most successful and longest-lasting of the constituent elements of the national Farmer–Labor Party movement, which had a presence in other states...

 parties, the DFL now serves as a de-facto proxy to the federal Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

, and its distinction from the Democratic Party, while still official, is now a functional technicality.

The state has had active third party movements. The Reform Party, now the Independence Party
Independence Party of Minnesota
The Independence Party of Minnesota , formerly the Reform Party of Minnesota, is the third largest political party in Minnesota, behind the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Republican Party . It is the political party of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura , and endorsed former U.S...

, was able to elect former mayor of Brooklyn Park
Brooklyn Park, Minnesota
According to the 2010 census, there were 75,781 people residing in the city. The racial makeup of the city was 52% White, 24% African American, 1% Native American, 15% Asian, 42 residents identifying themselves as Pacific Islander, 4% from other races, and 4% from two or more races...

 and professional wrestler Jesse Ventura
Jesse Ventura
James George Janos , better known as Jesse Ventura, is an American politician, the 38th Governor of Minnesota from 1999 to 2003, Navy UDT veteran, former SEAL reservist, actor, and former radio and television talk show host...

 to the governorship in 1998
Minnesota gubernatorial election, 1998
The 1998 Minnesota gubernatorial election took place on November 3, 1998. Reform Party candidate Jesse Ventura defeated Republican Party challenger Norm Coleman and Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party challenger Hubert H. "Skip" Humphrey III...

. The Independence Party
Independence Party of Minnesota
The Independence Party of Minnesota , formerly the Reform Party of Minnesota, is the third largest political party in Minnesota, behind the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Republican Party . It is the political party of former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura , and endorsed former U.S...

 has received enough support to keep major party status. The Green Party
Green Party of Minnesota
The Green Party of Minnesota is the fourth largest political party in Minnesota and was founded in 1994 on the Four Pillars of the Green Party: Ecological Wisdom, Social and Economic Justice, Grassroots Democracy, and Nonviolence and Peace...

, while no longer having major party status, has a large presence in municipal government, notably in Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Minneapolis , nicknamed "City of Lakes" and the "Mill City," is the county seat of Hennepin County, the largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota, and the 48th largest in the United States...

 and Duluth
Duluth, Minnesota
Duluth is a port city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is the county seat of Saint Louis County. The fourth largest city in Minnesota, Duluth had a total population of 86,265 in the 2010 census. Duluth is also the second largest city that is located on Lake Superior after Thunder Bay, Ontario,...

, where it competes directly with the DFL party for local offices. Official "Major party" status in Minnesota (which grants state funding for elections) is reserved to parties whose candidates receive 5% or more of the vote in any statewide election (e.g., Governor, Secretary of State, U.S. President).

The state's U.S. Senate
United States Senate
The United States Senate is the upper house of the bicameral legislature of the United States, and together with the United States House of Representatives comprises the United States Congress. The composition and powers of the Senate are established in Article One of the U.S. Constitution. Each...

 seats have generally been split since the early 1990s, and in the 108th
108th United States Congress
The One Hundred Eighth United States Congress was the legislative branch of the United States federal government, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives from January 3, 2003 to January 3, 2005, during the third and fourth years of George W. Bush's...

 and 109th
109th United States Congress
The One Hundred Ninth United States Congress was the legislative branch of the United States, composed of the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, from January 3, 2005 to January 3, 2007, during the fifth and sixth years of George W. Bush's presidency. House members...

 Congresses, Minnesota's congressional delegation was split, with four representatives and one senator from each party. In the 2006 midterm election, Democrats were elected to all state offices except for governor and lieutenant governor, where Republicans Tim Pawlenty
Tim Pawlenty
Timothy James "Tim" Pawlenty , also known affectionately among supporters as T-Paw, is an American politician who served as the 39th Governor of Minnesota . He was a Republican candidate for President of the United States in the 2012 election from May to August 2011...

 and Carol Molnau
Carol Molnau
Carol Molnau was the 46th Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota. She formerly served as head of the Minnesota Department of Transportation...

 narrowly won re-election. The DFL also posted double-digit gains in both houses of the legislature, elected Amy Klobuchar
Amy Klobuchar
Amy Jean Klobuchar is the senior United States Senator from Minnesota. She is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, an affiliate of the Democratic Party...

 to the U.S. Senate, and increased the party's U.S. House caucus by one. Keith Ellison
Keith Ellison (politician)
Keith Maurice Ellison is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 2007. He is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party. The district centers on Minneapolis. He was re-elected in 2010. Ellison is a co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.He is the first Muslim to be elected to the...

 (DFL)
Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party
The Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party is a major political party in the state of Minnesota and the state affiliate of the Democratic Party. It was created on April 15, 1944, with the merger of the Minnesota Democratic Party and the Farmer–Labor Party...

 was elected as the first African American
African American
African Americans are citizens or residents of the United States who have at least partial ancestry from any of the native populations of Sub-Saharan Africa and are the direct descendants of enslaved Africans within the boundaries of the present United States...

 U.S. Representative from Minnesota as well as the first Muslim
Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 elected to Congress nationwide. In 2008 DFLer and former comedian and radio talk show host Al Franken
Al Franken
Alan Stuart "Al" Franken is the junior United States Senator from Minnesota. He is a member of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which affiliates with the national Democratic Party....

 beat incumbent Republican Norm Coleman
Norm Coleman
Norman Bertram Coleman, Jr. is an American attorney and politician. He was a United States senator from Minnesota from 2003 to 2009. Coleman was elected in 2002 and served in the 108th, 109th, and 110th Congresses. Before becoming a senator, he was mayor of Saint Paul, Minnesota, from 1994 to 2002...

 in the United States Senate
United States Senate election in Minnesota, 2008
The 2008 United States Senate election in Minnesota took place on November 4, 2008. After a legal battle lasting over eight months, Al Franken from the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party defeated Republican incumbent Norm Coleman in one of the closest elections in the history of the Senate...

 race by only a few hundred votes out of 3 million cast.

In the election of 2010, Republicans took control of both chambers of the Minnesota legislature for the first time in 38 years, and Democratic-Farmer-Labor party took the governor's office for the first time in 20 years.

Media



The Twin Cities area is the fifteenth largest media market
Media market
A media market, broadcast market, media region, designated market area , Television Market Area , or simply market is a region where the population can receive the same television and radio station offerings, and may also include other types of media including newspapers and Internet content...

 in the United States as ranked by Nielsen Media Research
Nielsen Media Research
Nielsen Media Research is an American firm that measures media audiences, including television, radio, theatre films and newspapers...

. The state's other top markets are Fargo-Moorhead
Fargo-Moorhead
Fargo-Moorhead is a common name given to the metropolitan area comprising Fargo, North Dakota, Moorhead, Minnesota, and the surrounding communities. These two cities lie on the North Dakota-Minnesota border, on opposite banks of the Red River of the North...

 (118th nationally), Duluth-Superior
Twin Ports
The Twin Ports of Duluth, Minnesota and Superior, Wisconsin are located at the western part of Lake Superior and together are considered the largest freshwater port in the world. They are twin cities and seaports, connected to the Atlantic Ocean through the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence...

 (137th), Rochester-Mason City-Austin (152nd), and Mankato
Mankato, Minnesota
Mankato is a city in Blue Earth, Nicollet, and Le Sueur counties in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The population was 39,309 at the 2010 census, making it the fourth largest city in Minnesota outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The county seat of Blue Earth County, it is located...

 (200th).

Broadcast television
Terrestrial television
Terrestrial television is a mode of television broadcasting which does not involve satellite transmission or cables — typically using radio waves through transmitting and receiving antennas or television antenna aerials...

 in Minnesota and the Upper Midwest started on April 27, 1948, when KSTP-TV
KSTP-TV
KSTP-TV, channel 5, is the ABC affiliate for the Twin Cities. Its transmitter is located at the Shoreview Telefarm. It is the flagship station of Hubbard Broadcasting, which also owns several other broadcasting properties across the United States....

 began broadcasting. Hubbard Broadcasting, which owns KSTP, is now the only locally owned television company in Minnesota. There are currently 39 analog broadcast stations and 23 digital
Digital television
Digital television is the transmission of audio and video by digital signals, in contrast to the analog signals used by analog TV...

 channels broadcast over Minnesota.

The four largest daily newspapers are the Star Tribune
Star Tribune
The Star Tribune is the largest newspaper in the U.S. state of Minnesota and is published seven days each week in an edition for the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area. A statewide version is also available across Minnesota and parts of Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota, and North Dakota. The...

in Minneapolis, the Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press
The St. Paul Pioneer Press is a newspaper based in St. Paul, Minnesota, primarily serving the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Circulation is heaviest in the eastern metro region, including Ramsey, Dakota, and Washington counties, along with western Wisconsin, eastern Minnesota and Anoka County,...

in Saint Paul, the Duluth News Tribune
Duluth News Tribune
The Duluth News Tribune is a newspaper in Duluth, Minnesota. It is published by Forum Communications, which bought it in 2006 after The McClatchy Company acquired the News Tribunes previous owner, Knight Ridder.The present incarnation of the newspaper is the outcome of the merger and takeover of...

in Duluth and The Minnesota Daily
Minnesota Daily
The Minnesota Daily is the campus newspaper of the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, published Monday-Thursday while school is in session, and published weekly on Wednesdays during summer sessions. Published since 1900, the paper is one of the largest student-run and student-written newspapers...

, the largest student-run newspaper in the U.S. Sites offering daily news on the Web include The UpTake
The UpTake
The UpTake is a Minnesota-based citizen journalist organization. It was founded in July 2007 and has provided online news coverage on a low budget since.Because of its role as a provider of citizen journalism, The UpTake is a not-for-profit organization...

, MinnPost
MinnPost.com
MinnPost.com also known as MinnPost is a non-profit news website in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with a focus on Minnesota news. Its mission is "to provide high-quality journalism for news-intense people who care about Minnesota."...

, the Twin Cities Daily Planet, business news site Finance and Commerce
Finance & Commerce
Finance and Commerce is the only daily newspaper devoted exclusively to business in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Founded in 1887, it provides extensive coverage of Twin Cities business news in the areas of real estate, construction, technology, banking, energy, health care and advertising...

and Washington D.C.-based Minnesota Independent
Minnesota Independent
The Minnesota Independent, formerly Minnesota Monitor, and sometimes known as MnIndy, is an independent online newsmagazine. It launched in August 2006, with a focus on coverage of political issues...

. Weeklies including City Pages
City Pages
City Pages is an alternative weekly newspaper serving the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. It features news, film, theatre and restaurant reviews, and music criticism. It is printed in a tabloid format, and is available free every Wednesday...

and monthly publications such as Minnesota Monthly are available.

Two of the largest public radio networks, Minnesota Public Radio
Minnesota Public Radio
Minnesota Public Radio , is the flagship National Public Radio member network for the state of Minnesota. With its three services, News & Information, Classical Music and The Current, MPR operates a 42-station regional radio network in the upper Midwest serving over 8 million people...

 (MPR) and Public Radio International
Public Radio International
Public Radio International is a Minneapolis-based American public radio organization, with locations in Boston, New York, London and Beijing. PRI's tagline is "Hear a different voice." PRI is a major public media content creator and also distributes programs from many sources...

 (PRI), are based in the state. MPR has the largest audience of any regional public radio network in the nation, broadcasting on 37 radio stations. PRI weekly provides more than 400 hours of programming to almost 800 affiliates. The state's oldest radio station, KUOM
KUOM
KUOM, known as "770 Radio K", "Real College Radio" is a college radio station operated by the University of Minnesota Twin Cities. Likely the oldest station in the state, Radio K broadcasts an eclectic mix of music from its transmitters—a variety that has been praised by radio critics...

-AM, was launched in 1922 and is among the 10 oldest radio stations in the United States. The University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

-owned station is still on the air, and since 1993 broadcasts a college rock
Campus radio
Campus radio is a type of radio station that is run by the students of a college, university or other educational institution. Programming may be exclusively by students, or may include programmers from the wider community in which the radio station is based...

 format.

Organized sports




Minnesota has professional men's teams in all major sports. The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome
The Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, commonly called the Metrodome, is a domed sports stadium in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Opened in 1982, it replaced Metropolitan Stadium, which was on the current site of the Mall of America in Bloomington and Memorial Stadium on the University...

 is home to the Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings are a professional American football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings joined the National Football League as an expansion team in 1960...

 of the National Football League
National Football League
The National Football League is the highest level of professional American football in the United States, and is considered the top professional American football league in the world. It was formed by eleven teams in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association, with the league changing...

. The building formerly hosted The Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins
The Minnesota Twins are a professional baseball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Central Division of Major League Baseball's American League. The team is named after the Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul. They played in Metropolitan Stadium from 1961 to 1981 and the...

 of Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball is the highest level of professional baseball in the United States and Canada, consisting of teams that play in the National League and the American League...

, winners of the 1987
1987 World Series
The 1987 World Series pitted the Minnesota Twins versus the St. Louis Cardinals.Minnesota was victorious in a World Series that was the first in which the home team won every game...

 and 1991 World Series
1991 World Series
The 1991 World Series pitted the Minnesota Twins of the American League against the Atlanta Braves of the National League. The series was played from Saturday, October 19 to Sunday, October 27....

. The Twins began playing in the new outdoor Target Field
Target Field
Target Field is a baseball park located in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is the home ballpark of the Minnesota Twins, the city's Major League Baseball franchise. It is the franchise's sixth ballpark and third in Minnesota. The Twins moved to Target Field for the 2010 Major League Baseball...

 in 2010. The Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota Timberwolves
The Minnesota Timberwolves are an American professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They play in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference in the National Basketball Association . Founded in 1989, the team is currently owned by Glen Taylor...

 of the National Basketball Association
National Basketball Association
The National Basketball Association is the pre-eminent men's professional basketball league in North America. It consists of thirty franchised member clubs, of which twenty-nine are located in the United States and one in Canada...

 play in the Target Center
Target Center
The Target Center is an arena in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota. It is sponsored by Target Corporation. The arena has a capacity of 20,500 people. It contains 702 club seats and 68 suites....

. The National Hockey League's
National Hockey League
The National Hockey League is an unincorporated not-for-profit association which operates a major professional ice hockey league of 30 franchised member clubs, of which 7 are currently located in Canada and 23 in the United States...

 Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild
The Minnesota Wild are a professional ice hockey team based in St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. They are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the National Hockey League ....

 team reached 300 consecutive sold-out games in St. Paul's Xcel Energy Center
Xcel Energy Center
The Xcel Energy Center is a multi-purpose arena located in Saint Paul, Minnesota. It is named for its locally-based corporate sponsor Xcel Energy. With an official capacity of 18,064, the arena has four spectator levels: one suite level and three general seating levels. The arena is owned by the...

 on January 16, 2008. The NSC Minnesota Stars
NSC Minnesota Stars
The NSC Minnesota Stars is an American professional soccer team based in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area in Minnesota, United States. Founded in 2010, the team plays in the North American Soccer League , the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid...

 replaced the United Soccer League
USL First Division
The United Soccer Leagues First Division was a professional men's soccer league in the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico....

 Minnesota Thunder
Minnesota Thunder
Minnesota Thunder was an American professional soccer team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. Founded in 1990, the team played in the USL First Division , the second tier of the American Soccer Pyramid, until 2009. The team played its home games at the National Sports Center in nearby...

 in 2010 and plays at the National Sports Center
National Sports Center
The National Sports Center is a 600-acre multi-sport complex located in Blaine, Minnesota, United States, that includes a soccer stadium, over 50 full-sized soccer fields, a golf course, a velodrome, a meeting and convention facility, and an eight-sheet ice rink, the Schwan Super Rink, which is...

 in Blaine
Blaine, Minnesota
As of the census of 2000, there were 44,942 people, 15,898 households, and 12,177 families residing in the city. The population density is 1,330 people per square mile . There are 16,169 housing units at an average density of 477.6 per square mile...

.

Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball
Minor league baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball and provide opportunities for player development. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses...

 is represented both by major league-sponsored teams and independent teams such as the popular St. Paul Saints
St. Paul Saints
The St. Paul Saints are a professional baseball team based in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in the United States. The Saints are a member of the North Division of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball...

.

Professional women's sports include the Minnesota Lynx
Minnesota Lynx
The Minnesota Lynx are a professional basketball team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, playing in the Western Conference in the Women's National Basketball Association . The team was founded prior to the 1999 season...

 of the Women's National Basketball Association
Women's National Basketball Association
The Women's National Basketball Association is a women's professional basketball league in the United States. It currently is composed of twelve teams. The league was founded on April 24, 1996 as the women's counterpart to the National Basketball Association...

, the Minnesota Lightning
Minnesota Lightning
Minnesota Lightning was an American women’s soccer team, founded in 2006. The team was a member of the United Soccer Leagues W-League, the second tier of women’s soccer in the United States and Canada. The team plays in the Midwest Division of the Central Conference...

 of the United Soccer Leagues
United Soccer Leagues
The United Soccer Leagues is the organizer of several soccer leagues with teams in the United States, Canada and the Caribbean. It includes men's and women's leagues, both professional and amateur. Leagues currently organized are the USL Pro, the USL Premier Development League, the W-League, and...

 W-League
W-League
The USL W-League is a national women's soccer league in the United States on the 2nd level of women's soccer in the United States soccer pyramid, alongside the Women's Premier Soccer League and below Women's Professional Soccer....

, the Minnesota Vixen
Minnesota Vixen
The Minnesota Vixen are a professional women's football team based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The team has been known as the Minnesota Vixens and Minneapolis Vixens prior to being known as the Vixen ....

 of the Independent Women's Football League
Independent Women's Football League
The Independent Women's Football League was founded in 2000, and began play in 2001.IWFL founders began with the goal to establish a quality women's football league that would be respected as the top level of women's tackle football in the world....

, and the Minnesota Whitecaps
Minnesota Whitecaps
The Minnesota Whitecaps are a professional women's ice hockey team in the Western Women's Hockey League . The team play its home games in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota area...

 of the National Women's Hockey League
National Women's Hockey League
The National Women's Hockey League was a women's ice hockey league. This League was in service between 1999 and 2007.-History:The NWHL superseded the old Central Ontario Women's Hockey League in 1998-99. After the old COWHL dropped down to three teams in 1997-98, the new league expanded to...

.

The Twin Cities campus of the University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities is a public research university located in Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota, United States. It is the oldest and largest part of the University of Minnesota system and has the fourth-largest main campus student body in the United States, with 52,557...

 is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I school, with the university's sports teams
Minnesota Golden Gophers
The Minnesota Golden Gophers are the college sports team for the University of Minnesota. The university fields both men's and women's teams in basketball, cross country, gymnastics, golf, ice hockey, swimming, tennis, and track and field. Men's-specific sports include baseball, football, and...

 competing in either the Big Ten Conference
Big Ten Conference
The Big Ten Conference is the United States' oldest Division I college athletic conference. Its twelve member institutions are located primarily in the Midwestern United States, stretching from Nebraska in the west to Pennsylvania in the east...

 or the Western Collegiate Hockey Association
Western Collegiate Hockey Association
The Western Collegiate Hockey Association is a college athletic conference which operates over a wide area of the Midwestern and Western United States. It participates in the NCAA's Division I as an ice hockey-only conference....

. Four additional schools in the state compete in NCAA Division I ice hockey: the University of Minnesota Duluth
University of Minnesota Duluth
The University of Minnesota Duluth is a regional branch of the University of Minnesota system located in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. As Duluth's public research university, UMD offers 13 bachelor's degrees in 74 majors, graduate programs in 24 different fields, a two-year program at the School of...

, Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato is a public four-year university located in Mankato, Minnesota, a community of 53,000 located southwest of Minneapolis-St. Paul. As of Fall 2011, the student body is the third-largest in the state of Minnesota with over 15,000 students...

, St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud State University
St. Cloud State University is a four-year public university founded in 1869 on the banks of the Mississippi River in St. Cloud, Minnesota, United States. The university is the largest member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system which is the largest single provider of higher...

, and Bemidji State University
Bemidji State University
Bemidji State University is a public state university in Bemidji, Minnesota, USA, located on the shores of Lake Bemidji. It is a part of Minnesota State Colleges and Universities .-History:BSU was founded in 1919 as Bemidji State Normal School...

. There are nine NCAA Division II colleges in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference
The Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference is a college athletic conference which operates in the Midwestern United States. Nine of its members are in Minnesota, with two members in South Dakota and one member each in the states of Iowa, Nebraska and North Dakota. It participates in the NCAA's...

, and nineteen NCAA Division III colleges in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference
The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference is a college athletic conference which competes in the NCAA's Division III. As the name implies, member schools are located in the state of Minnesota...

 and Upper Midwest Athletic Conference
Upper Midwest Athletic Conference
The Upper Midwest Athletic Conference is a college-level athletic conference. The UMAC is a member-conference of the NCAA Division III. The UMAC was formerly affiliated with the NAIA. Corey Borchardt is the current commissioner of the UMAC, and was appointed to the position in 2008...

.

Winter Olympic Games
Winter Olympic Games
The Winter Olympic Games is a sporting event, which occurs every four years. The first celebration of the Winter Olympics was held in Chamonix, France, in 1924. The original sports were alpine and cross-country skiing, figure skating, ice hockey, Nordic combined, ski jumping and speed skating...

 medallists from the state include twelve of the twenty members of the gold medal
Gold medal
A gold medal is typically the medal awarded for highest achievement in a non-military field. Its name derives from the use of at least a fraction of gold in form of plating or alloying in its manufacture...

 1980 ice hockey team
Miracle on Ice
The "Miracle on Ice" is the name in American popular culture for a medal-round men's ice hockey game during the 1980 Winter Olympics at Lake Placid, New York, on Friday, February 22...

 (coached by Minnesota native Herb Brooks
Herb Brooks
Herbert Paul Brooks, Jr. was an American ice hockey player and coach. He notably coached the United States' men's hockey team to a 4-3 upset of the heavily favored Soviet Union in the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, New York on February 22, 1980...

) and the bronze medallist U.S. men's curling
Curling
Curling is a sport in which players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area. It is related to bowls, boule and shuffleboard. Two teams, each of four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called "rocks", across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a...

 team in the 2006 Winter Olympics
2006 Winter Olympics
The 2006 Winter Olympics, officially known as the XX Olympic Winter Games, was a winter multi-sport event which was celebrated in Turin, Italy from February 10, 2006, through February 26, 2006. This marked the second time Italy hosted the Olympic Winter Games, the first being the VII Olympic Winter...

. Swimmer Tom Malchow
Tom Malchow
Thomas James Malchow is a swimmer from the United States, who won a gold medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics and a silver medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics. He broke Denis Pankratov's world record in the 200 m butterfly in 2000.Malchow was also a captain of the U.S. Men's Swimming Team at the 2004...

 won an Olympic gold medal in the 2000 Summer games
2000 Summer Olympics
The Sydney 2000 Summer Olympic Games or the Millennium Games/Games of the New Millennium, officially known as the Games of the XXVII Olympiad, were an international multi-sport event which was celebrated between 15 September and 1 October 2000 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia...

 and a silver medal in 1996
1996 Summer Olympics
The 1996 Summer Olympics of Atlanta, officially known as the Games of the XXVI Olympiad and unofficially known as the Centennial Olympics, was an international multi-sport event which was celebrated in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia, United States....

.

Grandma's Marathon
Grandma's Marathon
Grandma's Marathon is an annual road race held each June in Duluth, Minnesota, in the United States. The course runs point-to-point from the town of Two Harbors on Scenic Route 61 and continues along Lake Superior into the city of Duluth...

 is run every summer along the scenic North Shore of Lake Superior
North Shore (Lake Superior)
The North Shore of Lake Superior runs from Duluth, Minnesota, United States, at the southwestern end of the lake, to Thunder Bay and Nipigon, Ontario, Canada, in the north to Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, in the east...

, and the Twin Cities Marathon
Twin Cities Marathon
The Twin Cities Marathon is an annual marathon in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. The race is often dubbed "The Most Beautiful Urban Marathon in America." The TCM was first run in 1982, and typically takes place during the first weekend in October. In 2006 the Marathon agreed to its first...

 winds around lakes and the Mississippi River during the peak of the fall color season.

Outdoor recreation



Minnesotans participate in high levels of physical activity, and many of these activities are outdoors. The strong interest of Minnesotans in environmentalism
Environmentalism
Environmentalism is a broad philosophy, ideology and social movement regarding concerns for environmental conservation and improvement of the health of the environment, particularly as the measure for this health seeks to incorporate the concerns of non-human elements...

 has been attributed to the popularity of these pursuits.

In the warmer months, these activities often involve water. Weekend and longer trips to family cabins
Cottage
__toc__In modern usage, a cottage is usually a modest, often cozy dwelling, typically in a rural or semi-rural location. However there are cottage-style dwellings in cities, and in places such as Canada the term exists with no connotations of size at all...

 on Minnesota's numerous lakes are a way of life for many residents. Activities include water sports such as water skiing
Water skiing
thumb|right|A slalom skier making a turn on a slalom waterski.Waterskiing is a sport where an individual is pulled behind a boat or a cable ski installation on a body of water, skimming the surface.-History:...

, which originated in the state, boating
Boating
Boating is the leisurely activity of travelling by boat, or the recreational use of a boat whether powerboats, sailboats, or man-powered vessels , focused on the travel itself, as well as sports activities, such as fishing or water skiing...

, canoeing
Canoeing
Canoeing is an outdoor activity that involves a special kind of canoe.Open canoes may be 'poled' , sailed, 'lined and tracked' or even 'gunnel-bobbed'....

, and fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

. More than 36% of Minnesotans fish, second only to Alaska.

Fishing does not cease when the lakes freeze; ice fishing
Ice fishing
Ice fishing is the practice of catching fish with lines and fish hooks or spears through an opening in the ice on a frozen body of water. Ice anglers may sit on the stool in the open on a frozen lake, or in a heated cabin on the ice, some with bunks and amenities.-Locations:It is a popular pastime...

 has been around since the arrival of early Scandinavia
Scandinavia
Scandinavia is a cultural, historical and ethno-linguistic region in northern Europe that includes the three kingdoms of Denmark, Norway and Sweden, characterized by their common ethno-cultural heritage and language. Modern Norway and Sweden proper are situated on the Scandinavian Peninsula,...

n immigrants. Minnesotans have learned to embrace their long, harsh winters in ice sports such as skating
Ice skating
Ice skating is moving on ice by using ice skates. It can be done for a variety of reasons, including leisure, traveling, and various sports. Ice skating occurs both on specially prepared indoor and outdoor tracks, as well as on naturally occurring bodies of frozen water, such as lakes and...

, hockey
Ice hockey
Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

, curling
Curling
Curling is a sport in which players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area. It is related to bowls, boule and shuffleboard. Two teams, each of four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called "rocks", across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a...

, and broomball
Broomball
Broomball is a recreational ice game originating in Canada and played around the world. It is played in a hockey rink, either indoors or outdoors, depending on climate and location. Broomball is popular in the Canadian province of Manitoba, where Glenella is the Broomball Capital of the World...

, and snow sports such as cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing
Cross-country skiing is a winter sport in which participants propel themselves across snow-covered terrain using skis and poles...

, alpine skiing
Alpine skiing
Alpine skiing is the sport of sliding down snow-covered hills on skis with fixed-heel bindings. Alpine skiing can be contrasted with skiing using free-heel bindings: Ski mountaineering and nordic skiing – such as cross-country; ski jumping; and Telemark. In competitive alpine skiing races four...

, snowshoe
Snowshoe
A snowshoe is footwear for walking over the snow. Snowshoes work by distributing the weight of the person over a larger area so that the person's foot does not sink completely into the snow, a quality called "flotation"....

ing, and snowmobiling
Snowmobile
A snowmobile, also known in some places as a snowmachine, or sled,is a land vehicle for winter travel on snow. Designed to be operated on snow and ice, they require no road or trail. Design variations enable some machines to operate in deep snow or forests; most are used on open terrain, including...

.

State and national forest
Forest
A forest, also referred to as a wood or the woods, is an area with a high density of trees. As with cities, depending where you are in the world, what is considered a forest may vary significantly in size and have various classification according to how and what of the forest is composed...

s and the seventy-two state parks are used year-round for hunting
Hunting
Hunting is the practice of pursuing any living thing, usually wildlife, for food, recreation, or trade. In present-day use, the term refers to lawful hunting, as distinguished from poaching, which is the killing, trapping or capture of the hunted species contrary to applicable law...

, camping
Camping
Camping is an outdoor recreational activity. The participants leave urban areas, their home region, or civilization and enjoy nature while spending one or several nights outdoors, usually at a campsite. Camping may involve the use of a tent, caravan, motorhome, cabin, a primitive structure, or no...

, and hiking
Hiking
Hiking is an outdoor activity which consists of walking in natural environments, often in mountainous or other scenic terrain. People often hike on hiking trails. It is such a popular activity that there are numerous hiking organizations worldwide. The health benefits of different types of hiking...

. There are almost 20000 miles (32,186.8 km) of snowmobile trails statewide. Minnesota has more miles of bike trails than any other state, and a growing network of hiking trails
Trail
A trail is a path with a rough beaten or dirt/stone surface used for travel. Trails may be for use only by walkers and in some places are the main access route to remote settlements...

, including the 235 miles (378.2 km) Superior Hiking Trail
Superior Hiking Trail
The Superior Hiking Trail, also known as The “SHT,” is a 275-mile long footpath in Northeastern Minnesota, which for most of its length follows the ridgeline overlooking Lake Superior. The path is 18-inches wide and is set in the middle of a 4 foot clearing. The footpath travels through forests of...

 in the northeast. Many hiking and bike trails are used for cross-country skiing during the winter.

State symbols




Minnesota's state symbols:
  • State bird: Common Loon
    Great Northern Diver
    The Great Northern Loon, Great Northern Diver, or Common Loon , is a large member of the loon, or diver, family of birds...

  • State butterfly: Monarch
    Monarch butterfly
    The Monarch butterfly is a milkweed butterfly , in the family Nymphalidae. It is perhaps the best known of all North American butterflies. Since the 19th century, it has been found in New Zealand, and in Australia since 1871 where it is called the Wanderer...

  • State drink: Milk
    Milk
    Milk is a white liquid produced by the mammary glands of mammals. It is the primary source of nutrition for young mammals before they are able to digest other types of food. Early-lactation milk contains colostrum, which carries the mother's antibodies to the baby and can reduce the risk of many...

  • State fish: Walleye
    Walleye
    Walleye is a freshwater perciform fish native to most of Canada and to the northern United States. It is a North American close relative of the European pikeperch...

  • State flower: Pink and white lady slipper
  • State fruit: Honeycrisp apple
    Honeycrisp
    Honeycrisp is an apple cultivar developed at the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station's Horticultural Research Center at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities...

  • State gemstone: Lake Superior agate
    Lake Superior agate
    The Lake Superior agate is a type of agate stained by iron and found on the shores of Lake Superior. Its wide distribution and iron-rich bands of color reflect the gemstone's geologic history in Minnesota...

  • State grain: Wild rice
    Wild rice
    Wild rice is four species of grasses forming the genus Zizania, and the grain which can be harvested from them. The grain was historically gathered and eaten in both North America and China...

  • State motto: L'Étoile du Nord
    L'Étoile du Nord
    L'Étoile du Nord is a French phrase meaning "The Star of the North". It is the motto of the U.S. state of Minnesota. It was chosen by the state's first governor, Henry Hastings Sibley, and was adopted in 1861, three years after admission of Minnesota to the union. Because of this motto, one of...

     ("The Star
    Star
    A star is a massive, luminous sphere of plasma held together by gravity. At the end of its lifetime, a star can also contain a proportion of degenerate matter. The nearest star to Earth is the Sun, which is the source of most of the energy on Earth...

     of the North")
  • State muffin: Blueberry
    Blueberry
    Blueberries are flowering plants of the genus Vaccinium with dark-blue berries and are perennial...

  • State mushroom: Morel
    Morel
    Morchella, the true morels, is a genus of edible mushrooms closely related to anatomically simpler cup fungi. These distinctive mushrooms appear honeycomb-like in that the upper portion is composed of a network of ridges with pits between them....

  • State photograph: Grace
    Grace (photograph)
    Grace is a 1918 photograph by Eric Enstrom. It depicts an elderly man, Charles Wilden, with hands folded, saying a prayer over a table with a simple meal. It was created in Bovey, Minnesota. In 2002, an act of the Minnesota State Legislature established it as the state photograph...

  • State song: "Hail! Minnesota
    Hail! Minnesota
    "Hail! Minnesota" is the state song of Minnesota, and a variation is used as a school song of the University of Minnesota. It originated at the university in the early 1900s when some students decided to honor their graduating class with a new song...

    "
  • State sport: Ice hockey
    Ice hockey
    Ice hockey, often referred to as hockey, is a team sport played on ice, in which skaters use wooden or composite sticks to shoot a hard rubber puck into their opponent's net. The game is played between two teams of six players each. Five members of each team skate up and down the ice trying to take...

  • State tree: Red Pine
    Red Pine
    Pinus resinosa, commonly known as the red pine or Norway pine, is pine native to North America. The Red Pine occurs from Newfoundland west to Manitoba, and south to Pennsylvania, with several smaller, disjunct populations occurring in the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and West Virginia, as well...

     also known as Norway Pine
  • Nicknames:
    • "Land of 10,000 Lakes"
    • "North Star State"
    • "Gopher State"
    • "Land of Sky-Blue Waters"
    • "Bread and Butter State" (A reference to the grain and dairy products Minnesota produces)


See also


External links


General

Government

Tourism & recreation

Culture & history

Maps and Demographics