Forests, prairies, low mountain ranges, the Mississippi and more than 10,000 lakes. All of that and more is Minnesota, the 32nd state in the USA, which is located on the border with Canada in the north of the USA. Not only is Minnesota a great destination for outdoor activities, it’s also rich in cultural heritage.
According to a2zcamerablog, the state owes its name to the term “Mnísota”, which in the Sioux (Dakota) language means something like “cloudy water”. Minnesota is also affectionately known as the North Star State and The Gopher State, the latter name being derived from the word for the thirteen-striped croissant that is widespread in Minnesota.
Minnesota in Numbers, Dates, and Facts
- Area: 206,229 km²
- Population: 5,629,416 (2018)
- Member of the USA since: 05/11/1858
- Time zone: UTC − 6 (CST) or UTC − 5 (CDT)
- Highest elevation: 701 m (Eagle Mountain)
- Lowest point: 183 m (Oberer See)
- Average altitude: 365 m
- Capital: Saint Paul
- State motto: L’Étoile du Nord (French: “Star of the North”)
- Governor: Tim Walz (DFL)
Geographical location and extent of the North Star States
Minnesota is the 32nd state in the USA and forms the so-called Northwest Angle of the United States. This means that the state is not only the northernmost state in the USA after Alaska, but also the only part of the 48 contiguous states that extends beyond the 49th parallel in the north. In terms of area, Minnesota is the twelfth largest state in the United States and the second largest in the Midwest. The state lies in the northeast on the shores of Lake Superior and shares borders (sea borders) with Canada (Province of Ontario) and the states of Michigan and Wisconsin. The rivalry between the college football teams of the Minnesota Golden Gophers and the Wisconsin Badgers is legendary.
Iowa borders Minnesota to the south while Wisconsin is to the east and southeast. In the West, include North Dakota and South Dakota, and are finally across the border in the north, the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba. In the north-south direction, the state comes to an extension of about 660 kilometers, in the east-west direction to about 560 kilometers.
Some of the oldest rocks on earth
The Gopher State is very interesting from a geological point of view, as the state is home to some of the oldest rocks on earth. Some of the gneiss found in this area are up to 3.6 billion years old!
Weather and Climate in Minnesota
Minnesota has a continental climate with very cold winters. Temperatures as low as -11 to -16 degrees Celsius are not uncommon in Minnesota, which makes the state the coldest US state after Alaska. The annual average temperature in this area is only two to eight degrees Celsius. However, the summers can be hot and humid, especially in the south of the country, and it is more moderate in the regions in the north-east near Lake Superior. Rainfall is relatively common in Minnesota, with February being the driest month and July being the month with the most rainfall. The highest temperatures are recorded in July with an average of 22.5 degrees Celsius. The coldest month is January with an average of -10.3 degrees Celsius.
Population of Minnesota
In 1850, Minnesota had only 6,100 residents. In 1900 at the beginning of the 20th century there were already 1.75 million and the population continued to grow. Today over 5.6 million people have found homes in the North Star State. The proportion of male and female residents is balanced at 49.6 percent to 50.4 percent. The majority of the population (62.9 percent) is between 18 and 64 years old.
A large part of Minnesota’s population has settlers from Western Europe as ancestors, with Germans making up the largest group at 34 percent. Among the languages spoken in Minnesota alongside English, German is currently in fourth place. In addition, many people in Minnesota are descendants of Norwegian, Irish, and Swedish settlers. However, in recent years there have also been many African American, Hispanic and immigrants from Asia, the Middle East and the area of the former Soviet Union.
Currently, the state’s population in the Midwest is made up of 83.1 percent White (with European roots), 5.2 percent African American, 4.7% Hispanic Americans or Lations, 4.1% Asians and 1.1% Pacific Islanders % Indigenous people (Indians and Inuit) and 2.4% people with multiple ethnic groups combined. Around two thirds of the population live in and around the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
In addition, 77 percent follow a Christian faith. Jews, Muslims, Buddhists and Hindus make up a comparatively small proportion. 14 percent of Minnesota’s population is not religious.
The 10 largest cities of Minnesota
- Minneapolis (428,483 residents)
- Saint Paul (313,010 residents)
- Rochester (117,444 residents)
- Bloomington (89,654 residents)
- Duluth (87,213 residents)
- Brooklyn Park (population 75,781)
- Plymouth (70,576 residents)
- St. Cloud (65,842 residents)
- Eagan (64,206 residents)
- Woodbury (population 61,576)
The Mall of America – the largest adventure and shopping center in North America
The Mall of America in Bloomington is the largest adventure and shopping center in North America and offers more than 520 stores, so everyone should find something there. There is also an extensive range of entertainment. Inside the mall, for example, there is the Nickelodeon Universe®, the largest indoor theme park in the USA, a sealife with sharks, sea turtles and other animals that live in the water, a flight simulator and the Crayola Experience, an exciting world of colors.