State of Minnesota - MN

Minnesota is a state in the Midwestern region of the United States. It is the 12th largest state in the U.S., and the 21st most populous. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the 32nd state in 1858. Its population of over five million is primarily of western European descent; the principal racial minorities are African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans descended from the original inhabitants, and recent immigrant communities of Somali and Hmong people.

More than half of Minnesota residents live in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, the center of transport, business and industry, and home to an internationally-known arts community. The remainder of the state, often referred to as Greater Minnesota, consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture, eastern deciduous forests also heavily farmed and settled, and the less-populated northern boreal forest. The state is known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", and those lakes and the other waters for which the state is named together with state and national forests and parks offer residents and tourists a vigorous outdoor lifestyle.

The extremes of the climate contrast with the moderation of Minnesota’s people. The state is known for its moderate-to-progressive politics and social policies and its civic involvement and voter turnout. It ranks among the healthiest states by a number of measures, with the fifth highest median household income and has one of the most highly-educated and literate populations.[1]

Origin of the name
The word Minnesota comes from the Dakota name for the Minnesota River, mnisota. Mni (sometimes mini, or minne) can be translated as "water". Mnisota is then translated as sky-tinted water or somewhat clouded water.[2][3] Native Americans demonstrated the name to early settlers by dropping milk into water and calling it mnisota. Many locations in the state contain the Dakota word for water, such as Minnehaha Falls ("Waterfall", not "laughing waters" as is commonly thought), Minneiska ("White water"), Minnetonka, ("Big water"), Minnetrista ("Crooked water"), and Minneapolis which is a combination of mni and the Greek word for "city", polis.[4]

Minnesota, showing roads and major bodies of waterMinnesota is the northernmost state except for Alaska; its Northwest Angle is the only part of the 48 contiguous states lying north of the 49th Parallel. The state borders Wisconsin on the east, and shares a water border in Lake Superior with Michigan. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota are west, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are north. With 87,014 square miles (225,365 km²), or approximately 2.25% of the United States,[5] Minnesota is the 12th largest state, and second largest among the Midwestern states. Minnesota is in the sub-region known as the Upper Midwest.

Much of the state is relatively flat, but pockmarked with lakes, having been eroded by glacial periods during the Ice Age. The extreme southeastern portion of the state is part of the Driftless Zone, which was not covered by the last Wisconsin glaciation.[6] It is here that Lake Pepin and the rugged high bluffs of the Mississippi River are found. The northeastern portion of the state is on the Canadian Shield and is covered by rugged ranges of hills, notably the Mesabi Range, rich in iron ore, the Sawtooth Mountains along the shore of Lake Superior, the Misquah Hills and the Laurentian Highlands in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Two continental divides meet in the northwestern part of Minnesota, creating three watersheds. Rain falling in the state can follow the Mississippi River south to the Gulf of Mexico, the St. Lawrence Seaway east to the Atlantic Ocean, or the Hudson Bay watershed to the Arctic Ocean.[7]

The state's high point is Eagle Mountain at 2,301 ft (701 m) and a low of 602 ft (183 m) at the surface of Lake Superior.[8] Minnesota is one of the most geologically stable regions in the country. It experiences earthquakes rarely, most of which are minor; the strongest earthquake in the last century occurred near Morris in 1975 and rated between 4.6 and 4.8 in magnitude.[9]

Flora and fauna
Three of the great biomes of North America converge in Minnesota: the Great Plains of the west, the Eastern deciduous forest, and the Northern coniferous forest of the Canadian Shield. Much of Minnesota's northern forest was logged, leaving only a few patches of old growth forest such as in the Chippewa National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area,[10] but regrowth keeps large portions of the state forested. The northern coniferous forests are a vast wilderness of pristine pine and spruce forests mixed in with patchy stands of birch and poplar. While loss of habitat has created troubles for native animals such as the pine marten, North American elk, buffalo, cougar, woodland caribou and bobcat, the state contains the nation's largest population of timber wolves outside Alaska and supports healthy populations of black bear, moose and whitetail deer. Recent DNR reports have indicated an increase in cougar reports over the past decade, but many sightings have been attributed to people raising and releasing them as pets and western mountain animals seeking prey.[11] Located on the Mississippi Flyway, the state hosts migratory waterfowl such as geese and ducks, as well as game birds such as grouse, pheasants, and turkeys. Minnesota's lakes teem with the many sport fish of the region including walleye, bass, muskellunge, and northern pike. The streams in the southeast are populated with brook trout, brown trout, and rainbow trout.

Category:Fauna of Minnesota and Category:Flora of Minnesota

A train stuck in snow in southern Minnesota, March 29, 1881Minnesota endures temperature extremes characteristic of its continental climate, with cold winters and mild to hot summers in the south and frigid winters and generally cool summers in the north. Without the climate-moderating benefits of large bodies of water, except for highly localized effects near Lake Superior, temperatures in Minnesota vary widely, especially with variations in the short-term jet stream patterns and polar fronts.

Temperature extremes range from a low of -60 °Fahrenheit (-51 °C) measured at Tower in the north on February 2, 1996,[12] to highs of 114 °F (45.5 °C) reached in both 1917 and 1936 in the western part of the state.[13] The average temperature in the coldest month, January, is 11.2 °F (-11.5 °C), and the average in the warmest month, July, is 73.1 °F (22.8 °C). Averages are cooler in the north and warmer in the south.

Snowfall averages 49.6 inches (126 cm) statewide; averages range from about 85 inches at Duluth to 40 inches in southwestern portions of the state.[14] Snowfall extremes have ranged from 150 inches in the rugged Superior Highlands of the North Shore to as little as 10 inches in southern Minnesota.

Minnesota experiences blizzards during its long winters, with dangerous wind chills and occasional thunderstorms the rest of the year; the state averages 30–40 days of thunderstorm activity per year.[15] Minnesota is located on the northern edge of Tornado Alley, and peak tornado activity is from June through August. On average, the state has 24 tornadoes per year.[16] Total precipitation averages range from 20–35 inches across the state, with the most in the southeast and the least in the northwest.[17]

The heaviest winds in the state are found along the Buffalo Ridge, an elongated area extending from Watertown, South Dakota, diagonally across southwestern Minnesota and into Iowa. Created by a glacial drift from the last ice age, the Buffalo Ridge is ideal for wind power generation, with average wind speeds of 16.1 miles per hour (26.8 kph).[18]

Lakes and rivers
The state's nickname, The Land of 10,000 Lakes, is no exaggeration. In fact, there are 11,842 lakes over 10 acres in size.[19] The Minnesota portion of Lake Superior is the largest (962,700 acres) and deepest (1,290 feet) body of water in the state.[19]

Minnesota has 6,564 natural rivers and streams that traverse a total of 69,000 miles.[19] The Mississippi River begins a 680 mile journey through Minnesota from its headwaters at Lake Itasca.[19] It is joined at Fort Snelling by the Minnesota River, and in the southeast by many trout streams. The Red River of the North, in the bed of glacial Lake Agassiz, drains the northwest part of the state northward towards Canada's Hudson Bay.

List of lakes in Minnesota and List of Minnesota rivers

Protected lands
Saganaga Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area WildernessMinnesota is home to many parklands, including 71 state parks (List of Minnesota state parks), 53 state forests (List of Minnesota state forests), two national forests (List of U.S. national forests) and many other wildlife preserves and regional parks. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is located on the northeastern border of the state, and Itasca State Park, the official source of the Mississippi River, is located in the north central section. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is in charge of managing state parks and forests.

Areas under the management of the National Park Service include:

Grand Portage National Monument in Grand Portage
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area within the Twin Cities
North Country National Scenic Trail
Pipestone National Monument at Pipestone
Voyageurs National Park

Main articles: Geological history of Minnesota and History of Minnesota
Map of Minnesota Territory 1849-1858Before European settlement, Minnesota was populated by the Anishinaabe, the Sioux, and the other Native Americans. European presence began with the arrival of French fur traders in the 1600s. During this century, the Ojibwe Indians migrated westward to Minnesota, and this caused tensions with the Sioux.[20] Explorers such as Daniel Greysolon, Sieur du Lhut, Father Louis Hennepin, Jonathan Carver, Henry Schoolcraft, and Joseph Nicollet, among others, mapped out the state.

In 1805, Zebulon Pike acquired land at the confluence of the Minnesota and Mississippi rivers. This was followed by the construction of Fort Snelling between 1819 and 1825.[21]

The soldiers built a grist mill and a sawmill at Saint Anthony Falls, and as industry later sprung up around the falls, the city of Minneapolis grew up around it. Meanwhile, squatters, government officials, and tourists had settled in the vicinity of the fort. In 1839, the Army forced them to move downriver, and they settled in an area that became St. Paul.[22] Minnesota Territory was formed on March 3, 1849. By 1858, thousands of people had come to build farms and cut timber, and Minnesota became the 32nd US state on May 11, 1858.

A number of treaties with the Sioux and Ojibwe gradually forced them off their land and onto smaller reservations. As conditions became less favorable for the Sioux, tensions rose, and the Sioux Uprising of 1862 resulted. The result of the six-week war was the execution of 38 Indians, the largest mass execution in United States history, and the exile of most of the rest of the Sioux to the Crow Creek Reservation in Nebraska.[23]

Fort Snelling played a pivotal role in Minnesota's history and in the development of the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.The early economy of Minnesota was based on logging and farming. The sawmills at Saint Anthony Falls, as well as logging centers like Marine on St. Croix, Stillwater, and Winona, processed a large amount of lumber. These cities were well-situated on rivers that were ideal for transportation.[23] Later, Saint Anthony Falls was tapped to provide power for flour mills. Innovations by Minneapolis millers led to the production of Minnesota "patent" flour, widely regarded as the finest bread flour of its time. By 1900, Minnesota mills, led by Pillsbury and the Washburn-Crosby Company (a forerunner of General Mills), were grinding 14.1% of the nation's grain.[24]

Minnesota became established as an iron mining state with the discovery of iron in the Vermilion Range and the Mesabi Range in the 1880s, followed by the discovery of iron in the Cuyuna Range in the early 1900s. The iron was shipped by rail to Two Harbors and Duluth, then loaded onto ships and transported eastward throughout the Great Lakes.[23]

As a result of industrial development and the rise of manufacturing, the population gradually shifted from rural areas to cities during the early 1900s. Nevertheless, farming remained strong throughout the state. During the years of the Great Depression, the Minnesota economy was hit hard, resulting in lower prices paid to farmers, layoffs among iron miners, and various instances of labor unrest. On top of that, western Minnesota and the Dakotas were hit by drought from 1931 through 1935. Programs as part of the New Deal provided some economic turnaround. The Civilian Conservation Corps, in addition to programs elsewhere in the state, established jobs for Indians on their own reservations. The Indian Reorganization Act of 1934 provided a self-government mechanism for the Indian tribes. This had the effect of providing more of a voice within the state and promoting more respect for tribal customs, as religious ceremonies and native languages were no longer suppressed.[21]

After World War II, the pace of industrial development quickened. Technological developments increased productivity on farms, such as automation of feedlots 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 mechanical equipment such as tractors and combines became the norm. University of Minnesota professor Norman Borlaug contributed to this knowledge as part of the Green Revolution.[21] During this time, suburban development accelerated as a result of postwar housing demand, convenient transportation, and increased mobility to more specialized jobs.[21]

Minnesota became a center of technology after the war. Engineering Research Associates was formed in 1946 to develop computers for the United States Navy. It later merged with Remington Rand, and later became Sperry Rand. William Norris left Sperry in 1957 to form Control Data Corporation (CDC).[25] Cray Research was formed when Seymour Cray left CDC to form his own company. Medical device maker Medtronic also got its start in the Twin Cities in 1949.

Cities and towns
Minnesota Population Density MapThe capital city of Minnesota is Saint Paul, located in the east-central part of the state along the east bank of the Mississippi River. Saint Paul is neighbored across the river by Minnesota's largest and most populous city, Minneapolis; together they and their suburbs are known as the Twin Cities metropolitan area, the 16th largest metropolitan area in the United States and home to about 59% of the state's population as of April 1, 2005.[26][27] The remainder of the state is known as Greater Minnesota or Outstate Minnesota.

Minnesota cities with estimated 2005 populations above fifty thousand are, in descending order: Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Rochester, Duluth, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Plymouth, Eagan, St. Cloud, Coon Rapids, Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Maple Grove, Woodbury, Blaine, and Minnetonka.[27] Of these, only Rochester, Duluth, and St. Cloud are outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Minnesota has 87 counties.

List of cities in Minnesota, List of townships in Minnesota, and Category:Minnesota counties

Historical populations
Census Pop. %±


1850 6,077
1860 172,023 2,731%
1870 439,706 156%
1880 780,773 78%
1890 1,310,283 68%
1900 1,751,394 34%
1910 2,075,708 19%
1920 2,387,125 15%
1930 2,563,953 7%
1940 2,792,300 9%
1950 2,982,483 7%
1960 3,413,864 14%
1970 3,804,971 11%
1980 4,075,970 7%
1990 4,375,099 7%
2000 4,919,479 12%
2005 est[28] 5,132,799
The Census Bureau estimates that Minnesota's population was 5,132,799 in 2005, making it the 21st most populous state in the nation. The population has increased 213,307 or 4.3% since 2000.[28] The gain since 2000 has resulted from a natural increase of 161,252 people (358,012 births minus 196,760 deaths) and net migration of 54,032 people into the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 70,800 people, while migration within the country produced a net loss of 16,768 people.

As of 2004 6.1% of Minnesota residents were foreign-born, compared to 11.1% for the nation.

Race and ancestry
Over 75% of the population is of Western European descent, with the largest reported ancestries being German (37.3%), Norwegian (17.0%), Irish (12.2%), and Swedish (10.0%).[29] The state had a reputation of being relatively homogenous, but that is changing. The Hispanic population of Minnesota continues to increase in great numbers.[30] Recent immigrants have come from all over the world, including Hmongs, Somalis, Vietnamese, Indians, Middle Easterners, and emigrants from the former Soviet bloc. The state has the third-largest population of Hmong speakers in the United States. It is also first in concentration of Hmong population.[31] Many modern immigrants have been sponsored and assisted by religious congregations.

Demographics of Minnesota (csv)
By race White Black AIAN Asian NHPI
AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native - NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
2000 (total population) 92.06% 4.18% 1.66% 3.31% 0.12%
2000 (hispanic only) 2.70% 0.14% 0.12% 0.04% 0.01%
2005 (total population) 90.94% 4.96% 1.63% 3.86% 0.13%
2005 (hispanic only) 3.40% 0.17% 0.12% 0.04% 0.01%
Growth 2000-2005 (total population) 3.07% 23.98% 2.69% 21.44% 8.84%
Growth 2000-2005 (non-hispanic only) 2.21% 23.89% 2.42% 21.43% 8.92%
Growth 2000-2005 (hispanic only) 31.49% 26.47% 6.23% 22.75% 8.24%
Minnesota age pyramid as of 2000.
Population distribution
The population distribution by age in 2000 was:[32]

18+ 3,632,585 (73.8%)
21+ 3,414,300 (69.4%)
62+ 696,775 (14.2%)
65+ 594,266 (12.1%)
Median age (years) 35.4

Over 75% of the Minnesota's population identify themselves as Christians. Recently immigrants have formed appreciable communities of Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus. Religious affiliations in Minnesota:[33]

Basilica of St. Mary, MinneapolisRoman Catholic – 25%
Lutheran – 24%
Baptist – 5%
Methodist – 4%
Presbyterian – 2%
Assemblies of God – 2%
Church of God – 2%
Other Protestant – 6%
Christian (unstated) – 7%
Judaism – 1%
Other – 2%
No religion – 15%
Refused to answer – 6%

The Minnesota state quarterThe Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that Minnesota's total state product in 2005 was $233.3 billion. Per capita personal income in 2004 was $36,184, 8th in the nation.[34] The average household income in 1999 was approximately $48,000, also ranking eighth in the nation (U.S. Census Bureau). Average household income per county averages range from $17,369 in Todd County to $42,313 in Hennepin County. In general, salaries are lowest in more rural areas, particularly in the northwest portion of the state.

Retail sales per capita were $10,260 in 1997, higher than the U.S. average of $9,190 (U.S. Census Bureau). The Twin Cities suburb of Roseville has the highest per capita sales, which recorded $14,870 per capita, but total revenues are much higher in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington, and Edina.

Industry and commerce
Postcard image of the Gold Medal Flour factory in Minneapolis around 1900.Minnesota's economy has transformed in the past 200 years from one based on raw materials to one based on finished products and services. The earliest industries were fur trading and agriculture. Agriculture is still a major part of the economy even though only a small percentage of the population, around 2%, consider themselves to be farmers. Minnesota is a leading US producer of sugar beets, soybeans, and corn. State agribusiness has changed from mere production to processing and the manufacture of value-added food products by companies such as General Mills, Cargill (milling), Hormel Foods Corporation of Austin (prepackaged and processed meat products), and the Schwan Food Company of Marshall (frozen foods).

Forestry, another early industry, remains strong with logging, pulpwood processing, forest products manufacturing and paper production.

Minnesota was famous for its soft-ore iron mines which produced a significant portion of the world's iron ore for over a century. Although the pure ore is now depleted, taconite mining remains strong using processes developed locally to save the industry. 3M Co. (formerly Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co.), a company having its origins in mining, today is a diversified manufacturer of industrial and consumer products.

As might be expected in state with an outdoor orientation, boats and other recreational products are manufactured by a number of companies, including Polaris Industries (makers of snowmobiles and other off-road recreational vehicles), Arctic Cat (makers of snowmobiles), Alumacraft Boat Company , and Lund Boats.

Retail is represented by Target Corporation, Best Buy, and International Dairy Queen, all headquartered in the Twin Cities. The largest shopping mall in the United States, the Mall of America, is located in Bloomington. Ecolab provides sanitation services and supplies.

Financial institutions include U.S. Bancorp, TCF Bank, and Wells Fargo & Co.; insurers include St. Paul Travelers and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans.

An active high-technology sector is represented by Honeywell, Cray Computers, Imation, and a large IBM plant in Rochester. Medtronic represents a growing biomedical industry spawned by university research, and Rochester is the headquarters of the world-famous Mayo Clinic. Seagate Technology develops its enterprise class storage products in Shakopee.

Energy use and production
Ethanol fuel is produced in the state, and a 10% mix of ethanol (E10) into consumer gasoline has been mandated since 1997. As of 2006, Minnesota is the only U.S. state with such a mandate. 20% ethanol (E20) will be mandated in 2013. Minnesota has nearly 300 gas stations supplying E85 fuel as well.[35] A 2% biodiesel blend has also been required in diesel fuel since 2005. Electricity producing wind turbines have become popular, particularly in the windy southwest region. As of October 2006, the state is the country's fourth-largest wind energy producer, with 794 megawatts installed and an additional 82 MW planned.[36]

Like other Midwestern states that experience cold winters, Minnesota is heavily dependent on natural gas for home heating. Just over two-thirds of homes use the fuel. The state does not produce any petroleum of its own but boasts the largest oil refinery of any non-oil-producing state, the Pine Bend Refinery. One of the longest pipelines in the world, the Lakehead Pipeline, traverses northern Minnesota. Most of the petroleum used in the state comes from Canada and the northwestern United States.

State taxes
Minnesota has three brackets of state income tax rates, 5.35%, 7.05% and 7.85%.[37] The sales tax in Minnesota for most items is 6.5%. The state does not charge sales tax on clothing, some services, or food items for home consumption.[38] It does tax prepared food, candy and soft drinks.[39] The state also imposes a use tax on items purchased elsewhere but used within Minnesota. Minnesota property owners pay property tax to their county, municipality, school district, and special taxing districts. Three factors that affect the tax bill are the amount the local governments spend to provide services to the community, the estimated market value of the property, and the classification of the property.


Fine arts and architecture
Minneapolis Institute of ArtsThe Twin Cities area is considered the capital for the arts in the Upper Midwest. Major fine art museums include the Weisman Art Museum, the Walker Art Center, and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Attendance at theatrical, musical, and comedy events across the area is strong, which may be attributed to the cold winters, the large number of colleges and universities, and a generally vibrant economy. In 2000, 2.3 million theater tickets were sold in the Twin Cities region, which is more theater seats per capita than in any other American city, except New York City.[40]

First Avenue nightclub, the most historic and influential small musical venue in the state.Main article: Music of Minnesota
Minnesotan musicians from all genres have gained notoriety over the years, with the singing Andrews Sisters gaining worldwide prominence during World War II, followed most notably by Hibbing, MN native Bob Dylan (who launched his career playing free shows on the West Bank of the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus), to the rise of punk rockers Hüsker Dü, Soul Asylum, the Replacements, and the rhythm and blues stylings of Morris Day and the Time and Prince in the 1980s. R&B mega-producing team Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis have origins in the Twin Cities, and jazz musician Lester Young lived there for a time in his youth.

These later sources brought the Minneapolis music scene to national attention; the period from about 1977 to 1987 was a period of incredible dynamism in the Minneapolis music scene, with offshoots in the punk scene including Soul Asylum, Babes in Toyland, the Clams and many other seminal favorites, while Prince's immense power in the industry (which peaked during this period) created a Rhythm and Blues mini-empire at his Paisley Park Studios, based in suburban Chanhassen.

Contemporary local artists continue to enjoy critical acclaim such as hip-hop duo Atmosphere and frontman Slug's label Rhymesayers Entertainment, the smaller Doomtree, and commercially successful pop-rockers Semisonic. While things have slowed considerably, the Twin Cities are still the region's musical hotbed. The area has also shown an unusual affinity for certain artists. For instance, while largely unnoticed on their home turf in New York City, the Twin Cities accounted for the majority of national sales for Soul Coughing's second album Irresistible Bliss during its first eight weeks of release; this followed from the fledgling fan that Soul Coughing found here while touring for their first effort, Ruby Vroom. [citation needed]

Minnesota and Wisconsin have also contributed significantly to comedy in its many different forms. Ole and Lena jokes can't be fully appreciated unless delivered in the accent of Scandinavian-Americans, and Garrison Keillor is known around the country for resurrecting the old-style radio comedy with A Prairie Home Companion. Local television had the satirical show The Bedtime Nooz in the 1960s, while area natives Lizz Winstead and Craig Kilborn helped create the increasingly influential Daily Show decades later. Joel and Ethan Coen have produced many films featuring dark comedy, and numerous others brought the offbeat cult shows Mystery Science Theater 3000 and Let's Bowl to the national cable-waves from the Twin Cities.

Popular culture
Stereotypical Minnesotan traits include Lutheranism, "Minnesota nice," hot dish (a Minnesotan term for casserole), lutefisk (a pungent preparation of fish from Scandinavian recipes that include soaking in lye), a strong sense of community and shared culture with many other Minnesotans instead of just with one's town or city, Minnesota's form of Upper Midwest American English (including Scandinavian-sounding words like "uff da"), and a distinctive type of upper Midwestern accent. The book How to Talk Minnesotan made fun of these stereotypical traits of Minnesotans.

Outdoor activities are major parts of the lives of many Minnesotans. Fishing is popular in Minnesota, over 36% of Minnesotans fish, which is second only to Alaska.[41] During the winter ice fishing is popular, as it has been since the early Scandinavian immigrants arrived. Hunting is another common activity. Families frequently own or share cabins on central and northern tracts of land in forests and adjoining lakes, and weekend trips out to these properties are common, particularly in the summer. A concern for environmentalism is shared by most state residents in one form or another, which is sometimes attributed to the popularity of these outdoor activities.[42]

The 71 state parks which protect diverse landscapes in a state of nature are quite popular. As with other northwoods states (such as Wisconsin, Michigan and Maine), residents like to joke that the mosquito is the state bird because of their high populations in these areas. In reality, Minnesota's state bird is the common loon, whose distinctive cry can often be heard by campers in the northern part of the state and can even on occasion be found as far south as the lakes of Minneapolis.[43]

Pillsbury Hall, at the University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus, is the second oldest building on the campus.
One of the first acts of the Minnesota Legislature when it opened in 1858 was the creation of a Normal School at Winona. Since then, Minnesota has remained among the ten strongest states in the United States in education in most surveys. It ranks sixth on the 2005-06 Morgan Quitno Smartest State Award and first on the percentage of its residents with a high school diploma or higher.[44][45] While Minnesota has resisted movements in education such as school vouchers and the teaching of intelligent design, it is home to one of the first charter schools.

List of colleges and universities in Minnesota, List of high schools in Minnesota, and List of school districts in Minnesota

The University of Minnesota Medical School is a highly-rated teaching institution which has made a number of significant breakthroughs in treatment, and its research activities significantly contribute to the state's growing biotechnical industry.[46] The Mayo Clinic, a world-renowned medical practice, is based in Rochester, Minnesota. Mayo and the University are partners in the Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics, a state-funded program which conducts research projects in cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, heart health, obesity, and other areas.[47]

Minnesota ranks first in the percentage of residents engaging in regular physical exercise, and second in three crucial indices: low infant mortality; long life expectancies, and death rate per 100,000.[48][49][50][51] These and other measures have led one group to rank Minnesota as the healthiest state in the nation, and another to rank it fourth.[52][53][54]

A Hiawatha Line vehicle shown by the Cedar-Riverside station, just south of downtown Minneapolis.Main article: Transportation in Minnesota
Transportation in Minnesota is overseen by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Principal transportation corridors radiate out from the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area and Duluth. Major Interstate highways are I-35, I-90, and I-94, with I-35 and I-94 passing through the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, and I-90 going east-west at the southern edge of the state. There are nearly two dozen rail corridors within the State, most of which go to or through Minneapolis-St. Paul or Duluth. There is water transportation along the Mississippi River system and from Lake Superior ports.

Minnesota's principal airport is Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), the headquarters and a major passenger and freight hub for Northwest Airlines. MSP is also a hub for Sun Country Airlines, and is served by most other domestic carriers. Large commercial jet service is also provided at Duluth and Rochester, with scheduled commuter service to six smaller cities with Eagan, MN based Mesaba Airlines.

Amtrak's Empire Builder runs through Minnesota, making stops at Midway Station in St. Paul and five other stations.[55] Bus service is provided by Greyhound, Jefferson Lines, and Coach USA.

Public transit in Minnesota is currently limited to bus systems in the larger cities and the Hiawatha Line light rail corridor in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.

Law and government
As in the national government of the United States, power in Minnesota is divided into three main branches: Executive, Legislative, and Judicial.[56]

The executive branch is headed by the governor, currently Tim Pawlenty, a Republican, whose term began 6 January 2003. The current lieutenant governor of Minnesota is Carol Molnau. Molnau also currently serves as the head of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Both the governor and lieutenant governor have four-year terms. The governor has a cabinet consisting of the leaders of various government agencies in the state, called commissioners. The other constitutional offices are secretary of state, attorney general and state auditor.

List of Governors of Minnesota and Minnesota gubernatorial election, 2006
Minnesota State Capitol building in Saint Paul
The Minnesota Legislature is a bicameral body consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The state has 67 districts, each covering about 60,000 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 2004 election, the Republican Party retained control of the Minnesota House of Representatives by a single seat (68-66), having lost a total of 13 seats. The Minnesota Senate is controlled by the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DFL) (38-29).

Minnesota's court system has three levels. Most cases start in the district courts, 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, consisting sixteen judges who typically sit in three-judge panels. The seven-justice Minnesota Supreme Court hears all appeals from the Tax Court, the Worker's Compensation Court, first-degree murder convictions, and discretionary appeals from the Court of Appeals; it also has original jurisdiction over election disputes.[57]

Two specialized courts within administrative agencies have been established, the Tax Court which deals with non-criminal tax cases, and the Workers' Compensation Court of Appeals.

Regional government
Below 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, and many lakes and rivers are overseen by watershed districts and soil and water conservation districts.

There are seven Anishinaabe reservations and four Dakota communities in Minnesota. These communities govern themselves independently.[58]

Federal representation
Minnesota's two U.S. senators are Norm Coleman and Mark Dayton. The state has eight congressional districts; they are represented by Gil Gutknecht (1st district), John Kline (2nd), Jim Ramstad (3rd), Betty McCollum (4th), Martin Sabo (5th), Mark Kennedy (6th), Collin Peterson (7th), and James Oberstar (8th).

Federal court cases are heard in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota, which holds court in Minneapolis, St. Paul, Duluth, and Fergus Falls. Appeals are heard by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals based in St. Louis, Missouri and St. Paul

Minnesota United States Senate election, 2006 and United States House elections, 2006#Minnesota

Hubert HumphreyMinnesota is known for active yet quirky politics, with populism being a longstanding force among the state's political parties. Minnesota politics include such oddities as Jesse Ventura, a professional wrestler turned governor and R.T. Rybak, a protester turned crowd-surfing mayor. Minnesota has consistently high voter turnout; in the 2004 U.S. presidential election 77.2% of eligible Minnesotans voted, the highest of any U.S. state,[59] due in part to its liberal voter registration laws. Previously unregistered voters can register on election day, at their polls, with evidence of residency.

In the last half of the 20th century Minnesota has leaned Democratic but now is viewed as more a swing state. Minnesotans have voted for Democrats for president ever since 1976, longer than any other state. Minnesota and the District of Columbia were the only electoral votes not won by incumbent Republican President Ronald Reagan. Minnesota voters instead chose former Vice President and Senator Walter Mondale, a Minnesota native. Mondale or Hubert Humphrey were on the Democratic ticket as candidates for President or Vice President in the 1964, 1968, 1976, 1980 and 1984 elections.

The state has had active third party movements. The Reform Party was able to elect the former mayor of Brooklyn Park, and former professional wrestler, Jesse Ventura to the governorship in 1998. The state's Green Party has elected several city council members and other local office-holders in Duluth, Minneapolis and Winona, and has made strong runs for state legislature during the past two election cycles. In 2000, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader received just over 5% of the presidential votes cast, gaining Major Party status for the Green Party of Minnesota. The Independence Party has also received sufficient support to receive major party status.

List of political parties in Minnesota and Category:Minnesota elections

The Twin Cities area is the 15th largest media market in the United States as ranked by Nielsen Media Research. The state's other top 210 media markets are Fargo-Moorhead (118th), Duluth-Superior (137th), Rochester-Mason City-Austin (152nd), and Mankato (200th).[60]

Broadcast television in Minnesota, and the Upper Midwest, started on April 27, 1948 when KSTP-TV began broadcasting.[61] Hubbard Broadcasting Corporation which owns KSTP is now the only locally owned television company in Minnesota. There are currently 39 analog broadcast stations and 23 digital channels broadcast all over Minnesota.

The Twin Cities metro area has the state's two largest newspapers: the Star Tribune in Minneapolis and the Saint Paul Pioneer Press. A number of other weekly and monthly publications (most of which are fully supported by advertising) are also available. The most prominent of these is City Pages, the alternative weekly, with 2002 newcomer The Rake offering some competition in the form of a free monthly.

Two of the largest public radio networks are based in Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio (MPR) and Public Radio International (PRI). MPR has the largest audience of any regional public radio network, while PRI provides more than 400 hours of programming to affiliates across the United States.[62][63]

Main article: Sports in Minnesota
Minnesota is home to nine professional sports teams, including ones in all four major professional leagues. Minnesota's professional baseball teams, the Minnesota Twins got their start in 1901 as the Washington Senators before moving to Minnesota in 1961. Since moving to Minnesota they have won two world series, in 1987 and 1991.The Minnesota Vikings are a professional football team that plays in the National Football League. They joined the league in 1961 as an expansion team and have appeared in 4 Superbowls since then, but never won. The Minnesota Wild are Minnesota's professional hockey team. The Minnesota Timberwolves are the professional basketball team. Two nationally prominent sports teams were formerly located in Minnesota. The Los Angeles Lakers of the NBA played as the Minneapolis Lakers from 1947 to 1960. The Dallas Stars of the NHL played as the Minnesota North Stars from 1967 to 1993.

The University of Minnesota is part of the oldest functioning major college conference (Big Ten).

State symbols
State Symbols
State bird Common Loon
State butterfly Monarch
State beverage Milk
State fish Walleye
State flower Pink and White Showy Lady Slipper
State fruit Honeycrisp apple (developed at the University of Minnesota)
State gemstone Lake Superior agate
State grain Wild rice
Territory Motto (actual) Quo sursum velo videre ("I cover to see what is above" is the closest translation)
Territory Motto (intended) Quae sursum volo videre ("I wish to see what is beyond")
State motto L'Étoile du Nord ("Star of the North")
State muffin Blueberry (adopted as part of a school project on how a bill becomes law) [64]
State mushroom Morel (sponge mushroom; honeycomb morel)
State photograph Grace [65]
State reptile Blanding's Turtle
State song "Hail! Minnesota"
State tree Norway Pine
Nicknames "Land of 10,000 Lakes"
"North Star State"
"Gopher State"
"Land of Sky-Blue Waters"
"Bread and Butter State"

List of people from Minnesota
List of naval ships named for Minnesota
Scouting in Minnesota


Cited references
^ America's smartest cities. CNN Money. Retrieved August 31, 2006.
^ MNHS Minnesota Place names Retrieved June 29, 2006.
^ Minnesota definition at Retrieved July 6, 2006.
^ Minnesota Place Names - Other Item Information Retrieved October 12, 2006
^ facts and figures Retrieved June 22, 2006.
^ Natural history - Minnesota's geology - SNAs: Minnesota DNR Retrieved October 17, 2006.
^ Continental Divides in North Dakota and North America Retrieved October 18, 2006.
^ Minnesota Map Collection - State, City, Road, County, River, Lake Retrieved October 18, 2006.
^ Table Showing Minnesota Earthquakes Retrieved October 18, 2006.
^ Heinselman, Miron (1996). The Boundary Waters Wilderness Ecosystem. Minneapolis, Minnesota: University of Minnesota Press.
^ Cougar Minnesota DNR Retrieved October 1, 2006.
^ February in the Northern Plains Retrieved October 1, 2006.
^ Minnesota and United States Climate Extremes Retrieved June 22, 2006.
^ Historical Climate Summaries Online Data | Historical Climate Summaries Retrieved October 18, 2006
^ [1] Retrieved on October 25, 2006.
^ Minnesota Tornado History and Statistics Retrieved October 19, 2006
^ Precipitation Map Retrieved October 31, 2006
^ Buffalo Ridge Wind Power Plant. Xcel Energy. Retrieved on 2006-11-02.
^ a b c d Lakes, rivers & wetlands facts Retrieved September 16, 2006.
^ TimePieces. Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved on 2006-09-19.
^ a b c d Gilman, Rhoda R. (1991). The Story of Minnesota's Past. St. Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Historical Society.
^ Historic Fort Snelling. Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved on 2006-07-06.
^ a b c Lass, William E. [1977] (1998). Minnesota: A History, 2nd, New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-04628-1.
^ Danbom, David B. (Spring 2003). "Flour Power: The Significance of Flour Milling at the Falls". Minnesota History 58 (5): 271-285.
^ Engineering Research Associates Records 1946-1959. Hagley Museum and Library. Retrieved on 2006-07-21.
^ Population in Metropolitan Statistical Areas Ranked by 2000 Census Retrieved August 16, 2006.
^ a b Minnesota Demographic Center Population Estimates Retrieved September 7, 2006. MN Demographic Center estimate for the 11 MN counties of the MSP MSA is 3,090,377, or 59.37% of the estimated state total of 5,205,091
^ a b Minnesota QuickFacts from the US Census Bureau Retrieved June 22, 2006.
^ Minnesota - Selected Social Characteristics. U.S. Census Bureau (2004). Retrieved on 2006-07-14.
^ Minnesota Population Projections by Race and Hispanic Origin Retrieved August 14, 2006.
^ Modern Language Ass'n List of Hmong Language speakers by State using 2000 census data Retrieved 4 September 2006.
^ Minnesota - DP-1. Profile of General Demographic Characteristics Retrieved July 26, 2006.
^ American Religious Identification Survey. The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Retrieved July 22, 2006.
^ Bureau of Economic Analysis: Regional Economic Accounts Retrieved June 22, 2006.
^ Minnesota Commerce : E85 Fuel Station List Retrieved October 19, 2006
^ Wind Energy Projects Throughout the United States of America Retrieved June 22, 2006.
^ Minnesota income tax rates for 2005/2006 Retrieved October 17, 2006.
^ Sales tax fact sheets Retrieved June 22, 2006.
^ Minnesota Statute § 297A.61, subd. 33 Retrieved September 6, 2006.
^ Gopher Express. Coffman Info Desk. Regents of the University of Minnesota (10/12/2006). Retrieved on 2006-10-24.
^ Managing for Results Page 19, Retrieved June 26, 2006.
^ Fish & Wildlife Today: Fall 1997: Green Hunters: Minnesota DNR Retrieved October 25, 2006
^ All About Birds Retrieved October 24, 2006
^ Smartest State Award Retrieved July 24, 2006.
^ Statemaster Education Statistics High school diploma or higher Retrieved August 16, 2006.
^ University of Minnesota Medical Milestones Retrieved August 14, 2006.
^ Minnesota Partnership for Biotechnology and Medical Genomics Retrieved August 14, 2006.
^ Statemaster Health Statistics Physical Exercise by State Retrieved August 16, 2006.
^ America's Health Rankings 2005 Retrieved August 16, 2006.
^ Explore Minnesota Living Retrieved August 16, 2006.
^ Statemaster Health Statistics > Death Rate per 100,000 Retrieved August 16, 2006.
^ Statemaster Minnesota Health Statistics Retrieved August 16, 2006.
^ WebMD Minnesota Ranked Healthiest State December 12,2005 Retrieved August 16, 2006.
^ Statemaster Health Statistics Health Index by state Retrieved August 16, 2006.
^ [2] Reterived October 20, 2006
^ Minnesota North Star : Government Retrieved October 20, 2006 Reference is used for following paragraphs.
^ Explanation of Minnesota court system Accessed 19 October 2006
^ Minnesota North Star: Tribal Government Retrieved October 20, 2006
^ United States Elections Project Retrieved June 22, 2006.
^ Retrieved July 23, 2006.
^ Retrieved July 23, 2006.
^ PRI factsheet Retrieved August 17, 2006.
^ About MPR Retrieved August 17, 2006.
^ Minnesota State Government Series: State Symbols (pdf). Retrieved on 2006-07-11.
^ Minnesota Statute § 1.1498 Retrieved 15 August 2006.

General references
Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition see also Minnesota article in Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition
State of Minnesota Website


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