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Minnesota (/ˌmɪnɪˈstə/ MIH-nih-SOH-tə) is a state in the Upper Midwestern region of the United States. It is the 12th largest U.S. state in area and the 22nd most populous, with over 5.75 million residents. Minnesota is home to western prairies, now given over to intensive agriculture; deciduous forests in the southeast, now partially cleared, farmed, and settled; and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation. Roughly a third of the state is covered in forests, and it is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" for having more than 14,000 bodies of fresh water covering at least ten acres each.[7] More than 60% of Minnesotans live in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area, known as the "Twin Cities", the state's main political, economic, and cultural hub.[8] With a population of about 3.7 million, the Twin Cities is the 16th largest metropolitan area in the U.S. Other minor metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas in the state include Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester, and St. Cloud.[9]

Quick facts: Minnesota, Country, Before statehood, Admitte...
Land of 10,000 Lakes;
North Star State; Gopher State
L'Étoile du Nord (French: The Star of the North)
Anthem: "Hail! Minnesota"
Map of the United States with Minnesota highlighted
Map of the United States with Minnesota highlighted
CountryUnited States
Before statehoodMinnesota Territory
Admitted to the UnionMay 11, 1858 (32nd State in the Union)
CapitalSaint Paul
Largest cityMinneapolis
Largest county or equivalentHennepin
Largest metro and urban areasMinneapolis–Saint Paul
  GovernorTim Walz (DFL)
  Lieutenant GovernorPeggy Flanagan (DFL)
LegislatureMinnesota Legislature
  Upper houseSenate
  Lower houseHouse of Representatives
JudiciaryMinnesota Supreme Court
U.S. senatorsAmy Klobuchar (DFL)
Tina Smith (DFL)
U.S. House delegation4 Democrats
4 Republicans (list)
  Total86,935.83 sq mi (225,163 km2)
  Land79,626.74 sq mi (206,232 km2)
  Water7,309.09 sq mi (18,930 km2)  8.40%
  Lengthabout 400 mi (640 km)
  Width200–350 mi (320–560 km)
1,200 ft (370 m)
Highest elevation2,301 ft (701 m)
Lowest elevation602 ft (183 m)
  Density68.9/sq mi (26.6/km2)
   Rank36th (2020 census)
  Median household income
  Income rank
  Official languagenone
  Spoken language
Time zoneUTC– 06:00 (Central)
  Summer (DST)UTC– 05:00 (CDT)
USPS abbreviation
ISO 3166 codeUS-MN
Traditional abbreviationMinn.
Latitude43° 30′ N to 49° 23′ N
Longitude89° 29′ W to 97° 14′ W
Quick facts: List of state symbols, Living insignia, Bird,...
State symbols of Minnesota
List of state symbols
Living insignia
BirdCommon loon
FlowerPink-and-white lady's slipper
MushroomCommon morel (Morchella esculenta)
TreeNorway pine[6]
Inanimate insignia
GemstoneLake Superior agate
OtherPhotograph: Grace
State quarter
Minnesota quarter dollar coin
Released in 2005
Lists of United States state symbols

Minnesota, which gets its name from the Dakota language, has been inhabited by various indigenous peoples since the Woodland period of the 11th century BCE. Between roughly 200 and 500 CE, two areas of the indigenous Hopewell tradition emerged: the Laurel complex in the north, and Trempealeau Hopewell in the Mississippi River Valley in the south. The Upper Mississippian culture, consisting of the Oneota people and other Siouan speakers, emerged around 1000 CE and lasted through the arrival of Europeans in the 17th century. French explorers and missionaries were the earliest Europeans to enter the region, encountering the Dakota, Ojibwe, and various Anishinaabe tribes. Much of what is now Minnesota formed part of the vast French holding of Louisiana, which the United States purchased in 1803. After several territorial reorganizations, the Minnesota Territory was admitted to the Union as the 32nd state in 1858. Minnesota's official motto, L'Étoile du Nord, is the only state motto in French; meaning "The Star of the North", this phrase was adopted shortly after statehood and reflects both the state's early French explorers and its position as the northernmost state in the contiguous U.S.

As part of the American frontier, Minnesota attracted settlers and homesteaders from across the country. Its growth was initially based on timber, agriculture, and railroad construction. Into the early 20th century, European immigrants arrived in significant numbers, particularly from Scandinavia, Germany, and Central Europe; many were linked to the failed revolutions of 1848, which partly influenced the state's development as a center of labor and social activism.[10] Minnesota's rapid industrialization and urbanization precipitated major social, economic, and political changes in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; the state was at the forefront of labor rights, women's suffrage, and political reform.[11] Minnesota is considered Democratic-leaning, having voted for every Democratic presidential nominee since 1976, longer than any other U.S. state.[12]

Since the late 20th century, the core of Minnesota's economy has diversified, shifting from traditional industries such as agriculture and resource extraction to services, finance, and health care; it is consequently one of the richest in terms of GDP and per capita income. The state is home to 11 federally recognized Native American reservations (seven Ojibwe, four Dakota), and remains a center of Scandinavian and German cultures with an influence of Lutheranism. In more recent decades, Minnesota has become more multicultural, driven by both larger domestic migration and immigration from Latin America, Asia, the Horn of Africa, and the Middle East; the state has the nation's largest population of Somali Americans and second-largest Hmong population.[13] Minnesota's standard of living and level of education are among the highest in the U.S.,[14] and it is ranked among the best states in metrics such as employment, median income, safety, and governance.[15]