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Minnesota State Guide

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Minnesota is the 12th largest state of the United States that is located in the middle western region of the nation. Its bordering states consist of Iowa, North Dakota, Michigan (water border), South Dakota and Wisconsin. Minnesota was designated the 32nd state of the United States on May 11, 1858[1]. The twin cities comprising of Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area are the most populated region of the state and are also the hub of transportation, industry, business, education and government and unique renowned arts community. Minnesota is also commonly nicknamed as the "Star of North" and the “Land of 10,000 Lakes".

Minnesota Fast Facts:

Capital city: Saint Paul
Largest city: Minneapolis
State Sport: Ice Hockey
Sate Bird: Loon (Gavia immer)
State Tree: Norway pine (Pinus resinosa)
State Flower: Showy Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium reginae)
State Song: Hail! Minnesota
State Grain: Wild rice (Zizania aquatica)

History of Minnesota

The Dakota People were the main inhabitants of the state of Minnesota before the European settlements. In the 17th century, the Europeans explorer started settlements in the state. Groseilliers and Radisson were French fur traders that explored western portion of environs and Lake Superior. The upper part of the Mississippi River was discovered by French explorers Joliet and Marquette. The region which is the eastern part of the Mississippi River join the United States with the signing of the Second Treaty of Paris after the closing of the American Revolutionary War.


In the 18th century, the Dakota Indians were defeated by the Ojibwe Indians and led to the movement of the Dakota people to the western and southern regions of Minnesota. Spain claims Louisiana Territory from France and Great Britain conquered the present day eastern North America and Canada.

In the 19th century, France got back Louisiana Territory from Spain and the United States bought the territory, establishing possession of the western part of the state. In 1815, peace treaty was signed between the United States government and Dakota Indian nation, and after which several first American fur traders entered Minnesota. Minnesota Territory was formed in 1849[2]. Henry Sibley was elected as Minnesota’s first governor. In the mid 19th century, Minnesota became over populated.

The discovery of iron around the Mesabi Range, Cuyuna Range and Vermilion Range marked the establishment of several iron mining industries in Minnesota. In the 20th century, with the development of many industries and manufacturing sectors, the population of the state gradually shifted from rural areas to cities. Post World War II, the state witnessed heightened development in industries, farm productivity increased with the use of new technology, and suburban development also sped up. Minnesota evolved into a hub of technology post World War II.

Minnesota History Timeline

1600s and 1700s:

1659-1660 - French fur traders Groseilliers and Radisson explore western end of Lake Superior and environs.
1745 - The Ojibwe Indians defeat the Dakota Indians at the Kathio.
1763 - Spain receives Louisiana Territory.
1775-1783 - American Revolution


1800 - France acquires Louisiana Territory from Spain.
1812-1814 - War of 1812 between the United States and Great Britain
1819 - Construction of Fort St. Anthony began.
1827 - Minnesota's first post office established at Fort Snelling.
1838-1848 - Minnesota's first towns-St. Paul, St. Anthony, and Stillwater founded.
1849 - Minnesota Territory formed
1858 - Minnesota Statehood
1861 - 1865: The American Civil War


1902 - Automobiles appeared in Minneapolis.
1914 - World War I began and Minneapolis became the home of the Federal Reserve Bank.
1929 - Great Depression began in the United States and effected Minnesota to a great extent.
1948 - Minnesota's first television station, KSTP, was on the air.
1964 -Minnesota Senator Hubert Humphrey elected vice-president of the United States.

Geography of Minnesota

Minnesota Geographical Fast Facts:

Total Area - 225,181 sq km (86,943 sq mi)
Longitude - 89o29′ W to 97o 14′ W
Latitude - 43o30′ N to 49o 23′ N
Highest point - Eagle Mountain 2,302 ft (701 m)
Mean point - 1,200 ft (370 m)
Lowest point - Lake Superior 601 ft (183 m)
Largest Lake - Red Lake, 451 square miles
Time Zone Mountain - Central: UTC −6/−5
Minnesota is the 12th largest state covering an area of 225,181 sq km (86,943 sq mi), of which 6,594 sq km (2,546 sq mi) is a part of Lake Superior and 12,380 sq km (4,780 sq mi) is water [3]. The state is located in the north central region of the United States and is bordered to the south by Iowa, to the west by North and South Dakota and to the north by the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario. The state shares a water and land border with Wisconsin and a Lake Superior water border with Michigan to the east. Minnesota is partly the Upper Middle western region of the United States and the Great Lakes region of North America.

Topography of Minnesota

Almost half of the state is covered with hill and lake regions. The northeastern region consists of rocky ridges and deep lakes while the northwest region consists of flat plains. The southern part of the state has rolling plains and deep river valleys.

Minnesota is a geologically active and rich state. The state’s geology consists of minerals, rocks, soils along with their development, formation, condition and distribution. Certain oldest rock on earth is found in Minnesota. In the north eastern part of Minnesota, the Canadian Shield is formed by the volcanic eruption rock remains. The northern Minnesota Iron Range is formed by the Precambrian seas’ action and the roots of volcanic mountains. Many fossils and rock unit from Ordovician and Cambrian age are found in the state.


Minnesota features 4 ecological provinces, namely-

  • The Prairie Parkland

  • The northern Laurentian Mixed Forest

  • The Eastern Broadleaf Forest (Big Woods)

  • The southern broad leaf forests

North-eastern Minnesota

Northeastern Minnesota is topographically inconsistent and irregular and also known as Arrowhead due to its shape. This region manifests the visible evidence of the state’s volcanic activity. The region consists of places nearby Jay Cooke State Park, Lake Superior and the Nemadji River basin and the major part of the eastern United States. Highway 53 runs between Duluth and International Falls.

Northwestern Minnesota

Northwestern Minnesota is mostly plain areas that lies in the bed of Glacial Lake Agassiz and stretches towards north and north-western from the Big Stone Moraine into Canada and North Dakota. Towards the northeaster region, the Glacial Lake Agassiz plain evolves into the forests of Arrowhead. Archean bedrock is found in this region with minimal deposits of Upper Mesozoic and Lower Paleozoic sedimentary rocks along the western border.

Southwestern Minnesota

Southwestern Minnesota lies in the watersheds of the Missouri River, the Minnesota River and the Des Moines River. It is much drier as compared with the other regions of the state and is a transition zone between the Great Plains and the prairies. Many farm fields are found in the prairies.

Flora and Fauna of Minnesota are-

  • Native animals such as elk, pine marten, whitetail deer, moose, bison, black bear, bobcat and woodland caribou. They have become endangered due to loss of habitat.
  • Next to Alaska, Minnesota has the largest population of timber wolves in the country.
  • Migratory waterfowl (ducks and geese)
  • Game birds (pheasants, turkeys and grouse)
  • Bald eagles
  • Red-tailed hawk
  • Snowy owl
  • Lake fish such as bass, walleye, muskellunge, and northern pike
  • Stream fish such as brown, brook, and rainbow trout.

List of mountains and peaks in Minnesota-

Eagle Mountain: 2,301 ft / 701 m. It is the highest peak in Minnesota.

Lima Mountain: 2,228 ft / 679 m

Brule Mountain: 2,224 ft / 678 m

Pine Mountain: 2,188 ft / 667 m

Kelso Mountain: 2,100 ft / 640 m

Stony Tower Hill: 2,064 ft / 629 m

Peabody Hill: 2,014 ft / 614 m

Moose Mountain: 2,008 ft / 612 m

Stony Point: 1,969 ft / 600 m

Mount Weber: 1,942 ft / 592 m
Pike Mountain: 1,936 ft / 590 m

Norris Hill: 1,923 ft / 586 m

Honeymoon Mountain: 1,896 ft / 578 m

Anchor Hill: 1,883 ft / 574 m

Hogback Hill: 1,873 ft / 571 m

Lookout Mountain: 1,850 ft / 564 m

Strawberry Mountain: 1,850 ft / 564 m

Disappointment Mountain: 1,827 ft / 557 m

Mount Sophie: 1,814 ft / 553 m

Jack Pine Hill: 1,946 ft / 593 m

Important Lakes in Minnesota-

  • Lake Superior
  • Lake of the Woods
  • Mille Lacs Lake
  • Lake Winnibigoshish & Cass Lake
  • Leech Lake
  • Upper Red Lake
  • Detroit Lake
  • Lake Vermilion
  • Gull Lake
  • Lake Minnetonka

The two important national forests in Minnesota are-

The Chippewa National Forest

The Chippewa National Forest is located in the northern part of Minnesota and takes up large areas of Itasca County. The forest is mainly wilderness region with very less private land. It supports the largest population of nesting bald eagles in the United States.

Superior National Forest

The Superior National Forest has its headquarter in Duluth. The forest area is partly the region of the greater Boundary Waters Minnesota Canoe Area Wilderness region. The Superior National Forest is multiple-utility forest and offers many logging as well as recreational activities such as boating, fishing and camping.

Contact Details:

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
DNR Central Office
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4040
Phone: (651) 296-6157 or (888) 646-6367
Email: info.dnr@state.mn.us
TTY: (651) 296-5484 or (800) 657-3929
Website: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_forests/index.html

Climate of Minnesota

Minnesota experiences a continental climate with cold winter seasons and hot summer seasons and each four seasons are varied and distinct. Minnesota’s Lake Superior region has comparatively cooler summer months and warmer winter season due to the water body effect. The areas from Twin cities and southward experiences a hot humid continental climate in summer.


Minnesota receives precipitation in the form of snow, snowstorms, tornadoes, freezing rain, blizzards, sleets during the winter months. Minnesota had recorded a minimum winter temperature of −60oF (−51oC).

Summer seasons in Minnesota are hot and humid especially in the southern region while it is relatively less humid northward. Average summer temperature in the southern region of the state is approximately -80s F (30oC) while approximately 70s F (25oC) in the north.

Demographics of Minnesota

Minnesota had an estimated population of 5,457,173 as of 2014 estimation by the U.S census bureau, which reflected an increase of 0.7% since the year 2013. The population density of the state is 66.6 person per square mile[6]. The twin cities comprising of Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area are the most populated region of the state

  • White alone: 86.2%
  • Black or African American: 5.7%
  • Asian: 4.5%
  • American Indian and Alaska Native: 1.3%
  • Native Hawaiian & other Pacific Islander: 0.1%
  • Two or More Races: 2.3%
  • Hispanic or Latino: 5.0%

The principle ancestries of Minnesota are-

  • German
  • Nordic countries - Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Icelandic, Danish, Faroese and Karelian
  • Irish
  • English
  • Polish
  • French
  • Czech

Minnesota Population Quick Facts: [6]

  • Population, 2014 - 5,457,173
  • Population, 2013 - 5,422,060
  • Population, percent change, April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014 - 2.9%
  • Persons under 5 years, percent, 2013 - 6.4%
  • Persons under 18 years, percent, 2013 - 23.6%
  • Persons 65 years and over, percent, 2013 - 13.9%
  • Female persons, percent, 2013 - 50.3%

The majority of the people of Minnesota are-

  • Protestants, including a large group of Lutheran contingent
  • Roman Catholics
  • Jewish,
  • Muslim
  • Buddhist
  • Black Protestant

Economy of Minnesota

Minnesota has a stable and constantly growing economy in the United States. In 2012, Minnesota had been designated as the 5th fastest growing economy in the United States according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Minnesota has been ranked as the 8th best place in the United States to invest in businesses by Forbes magazine in 2013.

Economy Fast Facts in 2013-[4]

  • Unemployment rate: 3.6%
  • Personal income per capita: $47,500
  • Minnesota business start-ups survive five years: 55%

unemployment chart

Minnesota Annual Employment Growth, as of April 2014 [5]

  • Total Nonfarm - 1.5Economy
  • Total Private - 1.7
  • Mining and Logging - 3.5
  • Construction - 8.0
  • Manufacturing - 2.5
  • Trade, Transportation, and Utilities - 1.2
  • Information - 0.8
  • Financial Activities - 0.7
  • Professional and Business Services - 1.5
  • Education and Health Services - 1.9
  • Leisure and Hospitality - 1.8
  • Other Services - 1.0
  • Government - 0.4

Agriculture in Minnesota

  • Minnesota leads the nation in farm income yearly.

  • The top 5 agricultural products based on revenue generated include corn, soybeans, hogs, cattle and calves, and dairy products.

  • Minnesota's most important crop is corn and also soybeans are produced in surplus in the state.

  • The main vegetable crops produced are potatoes, peas and sweet corn.

  • Apple is the major fruit produced in Minnesota.

  • Almost nearly 50% of the farm income of the state is incurred from livestock and its products.

  • The state's major livestock product is hog and leads the nation in hog production.

  • Other important livestock products include cattle, calves, dairy products, chicken eggs, and turkey.

  • Milk is produced in surplus quantity in the state and they are mostly processed into butter and cheese.

Industry in Minnesota

  • The major manufactured products of the state are computer and electronic products, including computer components, medical devices, communications equipment.

  • The 2nd ranked in the state manufacturing sector are food products, such as flour, milk, cheese, butter, frozen food and leads in meat packaging.

  • The state ranked among the top manufacturers of some valuable machinery including metalworking machinery, agricultural machinery, micro-chipping machines and heating and cooling machinery.

  • Iron ore contribute immensely to the state's mining income and is the nation's leading producer of iron ore.

  • Superior quality granite, made from Quarries is also available in Minnesota.

  • Limestone, peat, gravel and sand are other valuable mined products in Minnesota.

  • Fishing also assist in the state's revenue generation. The Mississippi river and Lake superior are the most important sources of numerous fish and sea food in the state.

Health Care in Minnesota

Red CrossThe Minnesota Department of Health works efficiently to improve the health and living standards of the community by implementing many health regulating services and policies. Various divisions and sub-divisions work concurrently with the department to optimize the health of the community.

Minnesota has been ranked among the nation's healthiest states by two groups. The people in Minnesota is dedicated to live a healthy lifestyle and they have high life expectancies, dedicated to regular exercise and has high health insurance coverage. Minnesotans are recorded to have lower rates of infant mortality, premature death, work injuries and fatalities, cardiovascular diseases. Minnesota is now the 17th state that established a state-wide law called "the Freedom to Breathe Act", that bans smoking in bars and restaurants.

Learn more: Minnesota Health Care

Education in Minnesota

The education system in Minnesota comprises of the public and private schools, public and private universities, colleges and high schools. The Minnesota Department of Education is the division which is responsible to assess and manage the workings of all schools, colleges and universities in the state. The department’s mission is to provide world class education and best values to the students to ensure success in education, workplace and in every spheres of life.


The Governor has initiated a program called, Adopt-A-School to ensure and promote superior education and creative and innovative collaboration between schools and businesses throughout the state. All assistance and supports are welcomed, including volunteering or teaching in a school, help in technology, or to assist organizing school's events.

Locate and choose a school

Some of the major Universities in Minnesota are-

Contact Details:
Minnesota Department of Education
1500 Highway 36 West
Roseville MN 55113
Phone: 651 582 8200
Website: http://education.state.mn.us/mde/index.html

Sports in Minnesota

Minnesota makes an effort to incorporate sports in every individual’s life and also include more sports and sports programs in schools, colleges and universities. The major professional sports of Minnesota are baseball, basketball, football and hockey.

Listed below are Minnesota’s professional sports teams-

  • Minnesota Twins - Baseball
  • Minnesota Vikings - American footballsport
  • Minnesota Timberwolves - Basketball
  • Minnesota Wild - Ice hockey
  • Minnesota Swarm - Indoor lacrosse
  • Minnesota Lynx - Basketball
  • Minnesota Vixen - Women's American football
  • Minnesota Machine - Women's American football
  • Minnesota Lady Slippers - Women's American football
  • St. Paul Saints - Baseball -
  • Fargo-Moorhead Redhawks - Baseball
  • Minnesota United FC - Soccer
  • Minnesota Wind Chill - Ultimate Frisbee

Minnesotans participate actively in many outdoor sports and recreational activities. The interesting outdoor sports loved and played by the people of Minnesota are-

  • Water sports: Water skiing, canoeing, boating and fishing.
  • Ice sports: Skating, curling, hockey and broomball.
  • Snow sports: Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, alpine skiing,and snowmobiling.
  • Forest recreational activities: Hunting, hiking trails, biking, and camping

Transportation in Minnesota

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) overviews the entire transportation network of the state to ensure safe and easy commuting of people and goods. MnDOT owns, manages and maintains numerous lane-miles of roadways, bridges, tunnels, rails and also responsible for air and water quality, communities and roadsides maintenance and cleanliness. MnDOT maintains and functions to ensure a safe, efficient and convenient multimodal transportation network and provide easy connectivity of people and goods to many destinations and markets across the state and worldwide.

Transport system

The important Interstate Highways in Minnesota are I-35, I-90, and I-94. The interstate highways form an important part of inter-regional corridors. The state highways included in the inter-regional corridors are 23, 34, 36, 60, 210, and 371.

The railways is also one of the main transportation modes in Minnesota that serves people from all walks of life and also important for cargo transfer. The Metropolitan Council is the local planning and policy enacting council that provide important transportation services for the Twin Cities metropolitan region. Metro transit is one of the various services provided by the council.

Air transport is an essential gateway of Minnesota that serves the locals and tourists from all over the world. It is the major mode that offers all round efficient and easy connectivity. The Federal Aviation Administration authorizes and oversees all flight operations in Minnesota.

Water Transportation is also a major transportation system. It serves the people as an enjoyable mode of transportation with many scenic sites to explore along the way. Additionally, water transportation is a major mode for freight movement to various cities, states and worldwide through seaports.

Learn more: Transportation in Minnesota

Government of Minnesota

The Government of Minnesota is guarded and established by the Minnesota State Constitution. Minnesota became a 32nd state of the United States on May11, 1858. The government of Minnesota is divided into three distinct branches, namely the Executive branch, the Legislative branch and the Judicial branch.

The Minnesota Executive Branch is a well functioning body of the government of Minnesota and several state government departments work under the executive branch. The Governor of Minnesota leads the executive branch of the government as the chief executive head.

Minnesota State Legislature is the body of the state government of Arizona which is divided into two separate houses, namely Minnesota House of Representatives and Minnesota Senate.

The Minnesota House of Representatives is the lower house of the Minnesota legislature, consisting of 134 members elected for a term of two years. The 134 members are elected by dividing each sixty seven districts into two halves.The Minnesota Senate is the upper house of the state legislature and consists of 67 state senators. A senator is elected for two-year terms and eligible to serve for 2 four-year terms each decade.

The Judiciary branch applies and administers laws and regulations to ensure justice in the state through fair and disciplinary timely settlement of cases and disputes. The Minnesota Court System comprises of 3 levels, namely the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals and the District/Trial Courts.

Learn more: Government of Minnesota

Minnesota Fun Facts-

  • The State Fruit of Minnesota is "honeycrisp apple".

  • The State Motto is L'etoile du Nord (French for "Star of the North").

  • The State Gemstone is Lake Superior Agate.

  • The State Song is "Hail! Minnesota"

  • The Minneapolis Sculpture Garden is the largest urban sculpture garden in the United States.

  • Madison is the "Lutefisk capital of the United States"

  • The University of Minnesota conducted the first open heart surgery and the first bone marrow transplant in the United States.


  1. Minnesota Statehood
  2. Minnesota Territory
  3. Minnesota Total Area
  4. Minnesota Economy Fast Facts
  5. Minnesota Annual Employment Growth
  6. Minnesota Population Facts
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