Minnesota flag

Capital: St. Paul

State abbreviation/Postal code: Minn./MN

Governor: Mark Dayton, D (to Jan. 2019)

Lieut. Governor: Tina Smith, D (to Jan. 2019)

Senators: Amy Klobuchar, D (to Jan. 2019); Al Franken, D (to Jan. 2021)

U.S. Representatives: 8

Historical biographies of Congressional members

Secy. of State: Steve Simon, D (to Jan. 2019)

Atty. General: Lori Swanson, D (to Jan. 2019)

State Auditor: Rebecca Otto, D (to Jan. 2019)

Organized as territory: March 3, 1849

Entered Union (rank): May 11, 1858 (32)

Present constitution adopted: 1858

Motto: L'Étoile du Nord (The North Star)

State symbols:

flowerlady slipper (1902)
treered (or Norway) pine (1953)
birdcommon loon (also called great northern diver) (1961)
song“Hail Minnesota” (1945)
fishwalleye (1965)
mushroommorel (1984)

Nicknames: North Star State; Gopher State; Land of 10,000 Lakes

Origin of name: From a Dakota Indian word meaning “sky-tinted water”

10 largest cities (2012): Minneapolis, 392,880; St. Paul, 290,770; Rochester, 108,992; Duluth, 86,211; Bloomington, 86,033 Brooklyn Park, 77,752; Plymouth, 72,928; St. Cloud, 65,986; Eagan, 64,854; Woodbury, 64,496

Land area: 79,610 sq mi. (206,190 sq km)

Geographic center: In Crow Wing Co., 10 mi. SW of Brainerd

Number of counties: 87

Largest county by population and area: Hennepin, 1,152,425 (2010); St. Louis, 6,226 sq mi.

State forests: 58 (nearly 4 million ac.)

State parks: 72

Residents: Minnesotan

2013 resident population est: 5,420,380

2010 resident census population (rank): 5,303,925 (21). Male: 2,632,132; Female: 2,671,793. White: 4,524,062 (88.0%); Black: 274,412 (4.4%); American Indian: 60,916 (1.0%); Asian: 214,234 (3.5%); Other race: 103,000 (1.4%); Two or more races: 125,145 (1.8%); Hispanic/Latino: 250,258 (4.0%). 2010 population 18 and over: 4,019,862; 65 and over: 683,121; median age: 37.3.

See additional census data

Area codes

Tourism office

Following the visits of several French explorers, fur traders, and missionaries, including Jacques Marquette, Louis Joliet, and Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, the region was claimed for Louis XIV by Daniel Greysolon, Sieur Duluth, in 1679.

The U.S. acquired eastern Minnesota from Great Britain after the Revolutionary War and 20 years later bought the western part from France in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Much of the region was explored by U.S. Army lieutenant Zebulon M. Pike before the northern strip of Minnesota bordering Canada was ceded by Britain in 1818.

The state is rich in natural resources. A few square miles of land in the north in the Mesabi, Cuyuna, and Vermilion ranges produce more than 75% of the nation's iron ore. The state's farms rank high in yields of corn, wheat, rye, alfalfa, and sugar beets. Other leading farm products include butter, eggs, milk, potatoes, green peas, barley, soybeans, oats, and livestock.

Minnesota's factories produce nonelectrical machinery, fabricated metals, flour-mill products, plastics, electronic computers, scientific instruments, and processed foods. The state is also a leader in the printing and paper-products industries.

Minneapolis is the trade center of the Midwest, and the headquarters of the world's largest super-computer and grain distributor. St. Paul is the nation's biggest publisher of calendars and law books. These “twin cities” are the nation's third-largest trucking center. Duluth has the nation's largest inland harbor and now handles a significant amount of foreign trade. Rochester is home to the Mayo Clinic, a world-famous medical center.

Tourism is a major revenue producer in Minnesota, with arts, fishing, hunting, water sports, and winter sports bringing in millions of visitors each year.

Among the most popular attractions are the St. Paul Winter Carnival; the Tyrone Guthrie Theatre, the Institute of Arts, Walker Art Center, and Minnehaha Park, in Minneapolis; Boundary Waters Canoe Area; Voyageurs National Park; North Shore Drive; the Minnesota Zoological Gardens; and the state's more than 10,000 lakes.

See more on Minnesota:
Encyclopedia: Minnesota
Encyclopedia: Geography
Encyclopedia: Economy
Encyclopedia: Government
Encyclopedia: History
Monthly Temperature Extremes

Information Please® Database, © 2014 Pearson Education, Inc. All rights reserved.



Special Books for the Kids You Love
Celebrate 20 years of sharing love to the moon and back with the anniversary edition of Guess How Much I Love You, one of the world’s best-loved picture books. Plus, search our Book Finder for more great book picks. Brought to you by Candlewick Press.

Vote Now for the Children's & Teen Choice Book Awards
Voting is open now through May 3 for the Children's and Teen Choice Book Awards — the only national book awards program where the winning author, illustrator, and books of the year are selected by young readers. Encourage your child to vote for his favorites today!

Top 10 Math & Science Apps for Your Whiz Kid
Looking for the best math and science apps for kids? Check out these cool apps for all ages, which will grow your child's love of the STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math).

Registered for Kindergarten — Now What?
Wondering what to do now that you've signed your child up for kindergarten? Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks