Minnesota Geography, Population, Business and History

Minnesota is a state of the United States in the Midwest, on the upper Mississippi, bordering the north to Canada (Manitoba, Ontario), east to Lake Superior and Wisconsin, south to Iowa, and west to North Dakota and South Dakota.

The state is often called The North Star State, the “North Star State “, following the motto of the state’s coat of arms : L’Étoile du Nord, or The Gopher State, after gopher, a species of ground grain.

The name comes from sioux memory, “water,”and sota, “sky-blue, blue,”and then refers to the state’s many lakes, which on clear days reflect the blue color of the sky.

Minnesota has an area of ​​225,182 square miles (the 12th largest state in the United States) and has 5,576,606 residents (US Census, 2017). The capital is Saint Paul.

Geography and climate

Minnesota consists of rolling plains, averaging about 370 feet above sea level, intersected by many rivers. The highest point is Eagle Mountain (701 meters above sea level) furthest to the northeast. The area forms the watershed between the Mississippi, which flows south into the Gulf of Mexico, the Great Lakes, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean, and the Red River and Rainy River, which flows northward and into Hudson Bay.

Distinct inland climate with cold winters and relatively hot summers; Minneapolis has an average temperature of -11 °C in January and 22 °C in July, while International Falls in the far north has –16 °C and 19 °C, respectively. Annual rainfall varies between 500 millimeters in the northwest and 750 millimeters in the southeast.


Minnesota was first colonized by settlers from New England in the 1860s, later by German, Norwegian and Swedish immigrants who came in large numbers especially in the 1880s. The population had already passed two million by 1910. Growth has slowed down later. Between 1990 and 1995, the population increased by 5.3 per cent; in the period 2000-2010 7.8 per cent; in both periods somewhat below the average for the entire United States.

84.4 percent are considered white, of which 5.4 percent are Hispanic (Hispanic / Latino), 6.5 percent as African American and 5.1 percent as Asians. There are approximately 50,000 indigenous people living in the state, mainly ojibwa.

About 70 percent of the population lives in cities or urban areas. The largest cities are Minneapolis with 422 331 residents and the capital St. Paul with 306 621 residents, which with adjacent areas and Bloomington form a metropolitan area Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington (“Twin Cities”) with 3,600,618 residents (US Census, 2017).

Minnesota is known for its progressive politics and has had many prominent Norwegian chains such as Floyd Bjornstern Olson, Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale. Minnesota sends two senators and eight representatives to Congress.


Although industry and service industries have long passed agriculture in terms of production value, Minnesota is still an important agricultural state, and is the United States’ largest producer of sugar beets, and one of the largest in butter, milk and dry milk, turkeys, oats and sweet corn. Other important products are flaxseed, corn, wheat, soybeans, peas and cheese. The animal husbandry is substantial and includes cattle, pigs, chickens, turkeys and sheep. The importance of the state as a mining state has diminished in recent years, partly because of competition from abroad and because the high-value deposits of iron ore in the Mesabi Range have come to an end.

Alongside mills, slaughterhouses and other companies in the food industry, hardware and metal products factories, electrical, chemical and graphic industries and computer companies are the most important. Substantial forestry provides raw material for a large timber processing industry.

Minnesota offers ample opportunity for hunting, angling and winter sports, and tourist traffic is great. There are a number of institutions for research and higher education, including the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Saint Olaf College and Carlton College in Northfield and the State University of Minneapolis.


French traders and missionaries were the first to enter Minnesota in the 1690s. The land east of Mississippi was surrendered by France to the United Kingdom in 1763 and came under the United States in 1783. The land west of the Mississippi came under the United States in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase. Minnesota was organized as territory in 1849 and became a member of the Union as the 32nd state in 1858.

The population, which in 1850 was still only about 6,000, reached 780,000 in 1880 and 1,750,000 in 1900. Several hundred thousand residents are of Norwegian descent, and a large part of the state was built and governed by Norwegians and Swedes. It was not until 1908 that it gained a non-Scandinavian governor, even though the Germans are the largest immigrant population.

Voss No Knute Nelson became governor in 1892 and three years later became the first Scandinavian ancestry senator in Congress in Washington. In St. Paul a monument has been erected above him. In recognition of Norwegians’ efforts in developing Minnesota, the red pine tree Red Pine – also known as Norway Pine – was legislated in 1953 as the state’s symbol tree.

Minnesota Population 2019

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