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Top Cities in Minnesota

Minnesota  is a state in the Upper Midwest and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, and is known by the slogan the “Land of 10,000 Lakes”

Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 22nd most populous of the U.S. states; nearly 60% of its residents live in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area (known as the “Twin Cities”), the center of transportation, business, industry, education, and government, and home to an internationally known arts community. The remainder of the state consists of 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.

 

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Saint Paul, in east-central Minnesota along the banks of the Mississippi River, has been Minnesota’s capital city since 1849, first as capital of the Territory of Minnesota, and then as the state capital since 1858.

Saint Paul is adjacent to Minnesota’s most populous city, Minneapolis; they and their suburbs are known collectively as the Twin Cities metropolitan area, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, and home to about 54 percent of the state’s population. The remainder of the state is known as “Greater Minnesota” or pejoratively “Outstate Minnesota”.

The state has 17 cities with populations above 50,000 (as of the 2010 census). In descending order of population, they are Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Rochester, Duluth, Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Plymouth, Saint Cloud, Woodbury, Eagan, Maple Grove, Coon Rapids, Eden Prairie, Minnetonka, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Blaine, and Lakeville. Of these, only Rochester, Duluth, and Saint Cloud are outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Minnesota’s population continues to grow, primarily in the urban centers. The populations of metropolitan Sherburne and Scott counties doubled between 1980 and 2000, while 40 of the state’s 87 counties lost residents over the same period.

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Education

One of the Minnesota Legislature’s first acts when it opened in 1858 was the creation of a normal school in Winona. Minnesota’s commitment to education has contributed to a literate and well-educated populace. In 2009, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, Minnesota had the second-highest proportion of high school graduates, with 91.5% of people 25 and older holding a diploma, and the tenth-highest proportion of people with bachelor’s degrees. In 2015, Minneapolis was named the nation’s “Most Literate City”, while St. Paul placed fourth, according to a major annual survey. In a 2013 study conducted by the National Center for Educational Statistics comparing the performance of eighth-grade students internationally in math and science, Minnesota ranked eighth in the world and third in the United States, behind Massachusetts and Vermont. In 2014, Minnesota students earned the tenth-highest average composite score in the nation on the ACT exam. In 2013, nationwide in per-student public education spending, Minnesota ranked 21st. While Minnesota has chosen not to implement school vouchers,[119] it is home to the first charter school.

The state supports a network of public universities and colleges, including 37 institutions in the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System, and five major campuses of the University of Minnesota system. It is also home to more than 20 private colleges and universities, six of which rank among the nation’s top 100 liberal arts colleges, according to U.S. News & World Report.

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