Minneapolis–Saint Paul facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|States||Minnesota and Wisconsin|
|Principal cities||Minneapolis, Saint Paul|
|• Urban||1,021.8 sq mi (2,646 km2)|
|• Metro||8,120 sq mi (21,000 km2)|
|Highest elevation||1,376 ft (419 m)|
|Lowest elevation||660 ft (200 m)|
|• Density||2,594.3/sq mi (1,001.7/km2)|
|• Urban||2,650,890 (16th)|
|• MSA||3,690,261 (16th)|
|• CSA||4,078,788 (16th)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|Area code(s)||320, 507, 612, 651, 715/534, 763, 952|
|MSA Historical Population|
|Note: This is the historical population of the counties
currently making up the metropolitan area, not the size
of the metropolitan area at the time. U.S. Decennial Census
|CSA Historical Population|
|Note: This is the historical population of the counties
currently making up the CSA, not the size
of the metropolitan area at the time. U.S. Decennial Census
Minneapolis–Saint Paul is a metropolitan area centered around the confluence of the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It is commonly known as the Twin Cities after the metro’s two largest cities, Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Minnesotans often refer to the two together (or the seven-county metro area collectively) simply as "the cities". It is Minnesota’s economic, cultural, and political center.
Minneapolis and Saint Paul, are independent municipalities with defined borders. Minneapolis sits mostly on the west side of the Mississippi River on lake-covered terrain. Although a majority of the city is residential neighborhoods, it has a business dominated downtown area with some historic industrial areas, the Mill District and the Warehouse District. Minneapolis also has a popular uptown area. Saint Paul, which sits mostly on the east side of the river, has quaint tree-lined neighborhoods, a vast collection of well-preserved late-Victorian architecture, and a number of colleges. Both cities and the surrounding areas are known for their natural features of woods, lakes, hills and creeks.
Originally inhabited by Ojibwe and Dakota groups, the cities were subsequently settled by many groups of Europeans. Minneapolis was strongly influenced by early Scandinavian and Lutheran settlers, while Saint Paul was settled predominantly by French, Irish and German Catholic communities. Today, both urban areas are home to a few new immigrant communities, including Somali, Hmong, Oromo, Cameroonians, and Liberian groups.
There are varying definitions what should be considered the "Twin Cities". Many refer to the "Twin Cities" as the seven-county region which is governed under the Metropolitan Council regional governmental agency and planning organization. The United States Office of Management and Budget officially designates 15 counties as the "Minneapolis–St. Paul–Bloomington MN–WI Metropolitan Statistical Area". It is the 16th largest metropolitan statistical area and the third largest metropolitan area in the Midwest with a population of 3,690,261 according to the 2020 census. The larger 21-county Minneapolis–St. Paul MN–WI Combined Statistical Area, which is also ranks as the 16th largest, has a population of 4,078,788 according to the 2020 census.
- Populated places
- Combined Statistical Area
- Geography and geology
- Images for kids
- See also
The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area includes 16 counties, of which 14 are in Minnesota and two in Wisconsin.
Note: Counties that are bolded are under jurisdiction of the Metropolitan Council. Numbers in parentheses are 2013 census estimates. Counties that are italicized were added to the metropolitan area when the Office of Management and Budget revised its delineations of metropolitan statistical areas in 2013.
- Hennepin County (1,212,064)
- Ramsey County (532,655)
- Dakota County (412,529)
- Anoka County (341,864)
- Washington County (249,283)
- Scott County (139,672)
- Wright County (131,078)
- Carver County (97,338)
- Sherburne County (91,126)
- St. Croix County, Wisconsin (84,345)
- Chisago County (54,025)
- Pierce County, Wisconsin (41,019)
- Isanti County (38,413)
- Le Sueur County (27,770)
- Mille Lacs County (25,884)
- Sibley County (14,918)
Cities and suburbs
There are approximately 218 incorporated municipalities within the Twin Cities metropolitan region. This includes census-designated places along with villages in Wisconsin, but excludes unincorporated towns in Wisconsin, known as civil townships in other states. Estimates are as of 2013 for cities with 25,000 or more inhabitants.
Places with over 100,000 inhabitants (2015 estimates)
Places with 50,000 to 99,999 inhabitants
Places with 25,000 to 49,999 inhabitants
- St. Louis Park (48,171)
- Maplewood (40,567)
- Shakopee (39,981)
- Richfield (36,216)
- Cottage Grove (35,918)
- Roseville (35,580)
- Inver Grove Heights (34,857)
- Andover (32,213)
- Brooklyn Center (30,770)
- Savage (30,391)
- Oakdale (28,080)
- Fridley (27,713)
- Shoreview (26,477)
- Ramsey (25,828)
- Chanhassen (25,332)
- Prior Lake (25,282)
- White Bear Lake (25,205)
- Chaska (25,199)
Places with 10,000 to 24,999 inhabitants
- Elk River (23,963)
- Champlin (23,894)
- Rosemount (23,413)
- Crystal (22,943)
- Farmington (22,731)
- Hastings (22,554)
- New Brighton (22,351)
- Golden Valley (21,270)
- Lino Lakes (21,050)
- New Hope (21,032)
- South St. Paul (20,405)
- Columbia Heights (19,815)
- West St. Paul (19,727)
- Forest Lake (19,618)
- Stillwater (18,924)
- Hopkins (18,076)
- St. Michael (17,596)
- Anoka (17,350)
- Buffalo (16,806)
- Ham Lake (16,062)
- Otsego (15,551)
- Robbinsdale (14,418)
- Hugo (14,388)
- Hudson, Wisconsin (13,566)
- Monticello (13,459)
- Vadnais Heights (13,266)
- Mounds View (12,914)
- Rogers (12,562)
- North St. Paul (12,322)
- Waconia (11,968)
- East Bethel (11,692)
- Mendota Heights (11,223)
- Big Lake (10,868)
- Little Canada (10,319)
- North Branch (10,215)
Places with fewer than 10,000 inhabitants
- Arden Hills (9,951)
- Mound (9,336)
- St. Anthony (8,991)
- Victoria (8,676)
- Cambridge (8,451)
- Oak Grove (8,439)
- Lake Elmo (8,406)
- Mahtomedi (8,116)
- Orono (8,006)
- Wyoming (7,813)
- Albertville (7,745)
- Shorewood (7,614)
- New Prague (7,582)
- Saint Francis (7,406)
- Minnetrista (7,178)
- Belle Plaine (6,918)
- Spring Lake Park (6,473)
- Delano (6,280)
- Jordan (6,076)
- Medina (5,973)
- Falcon Heights (5,571)
- Corcoran (5,552)
- Isanti (5,464)
- Saint Paul Park (5,379)
- Zimmerman (5,350)
- Dayton (5,096)
- North Oaks (4,968)
- Circle Pines (4,958)
- Chisago City (4,932)
- Oak Park Heights (4,831)
- Elko New Market (4,705)
- Becker (4,700)
- Princeton (4,680)
- Wayzata (4,610)
- Nowthen (4,582)
- Rockford (4,439)
- Lindstrom (4,401)
- Carver (4,311)
- Watertown (4,289)
- Grant (4,147)
- Scandia (4,057)
- Columbus (4,007)
- Le Sueur (3,999)
- Centerville (3,930)
- Deephaven (3,843)
- Independence (3,741)
- Bayport (3,714)
- Norwood Young America (3,677)
- Newport (3,480)
- Hanover (3,449)
- Annandale (3,332)
- Montrose (3,119)
- Rush City (3,072)
- Afton (2,966)
- Greenfield (2,919)
- Montgomery (2,915)
- Milaca (2,883)
- Cokato (2,785)
- Osseo (2,748)
- Lauderdale (2,506)
- Le Center (2,459)
- St. Bonifacius (2,320)
- Excelsior (2,279)
- Maple Lake (2,268)
- Gaylord (2,245)
- Arlington (2,169)
- Howard Lake (2,157)
- Lexington (2,022)
- Mayer (1,903)
- Clearwater (1,855)
- Waterville (1,849)
- Lakeland (1,839)
- Long Lake (1,800)
- Maple Plain (1,785)
- Braham (1,770)
- Spring Park (1,705)
- Cologne (1,605)
- Waverly (1,588)
- Tonka Bay (1,537)
- Stacy (1,470)
- Winthrop (1,363)
- Harris (1,125)
- Dellwood (1,094)
- Lake St. Croix Beach (1,075)
- Shafer (1,036)
- Taylors Falls (1,014)
- Birchwood Village (878)
- Henderson (874)
- Lilydale (872)
- Gibbon (752)
- Hilltop (736)
- Landfall (735)
- Greenwood (718)
- Cleveland (700)
- Marine on St. Croix (695)
- Hampton (687)
- Elysian (669)
- Loretto (668)
- Kasota (660)
- Clear Lake (645)
- Center City (628)
- Minnetonka Beach (570)
- Sunfish Lake (538)
- Green Isle (537)
- Hamburg (520)
- Foreston (516)
- Willernie (496)
- Bethel (472)
- Gem Lake (469)
- Woodland (463)
- Randolph (441)
- New Auburn (437)
- Vermillion (424)
- Pine Springs (396)
- New Germany (389)
- St. Marys Point (380)
- Medicine Lake (374)
- Lakeland Shores (314)
- Pease (240)
- Wahkon (209)
- Mendota (205)
- South Haven (192)
- Coates (163)
- Kilkenny (133)
- Miesville (131)
- Heidelberg (123)
- New Trier (113)
- Bock (105)
Combined Statistical Area
The Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI Combined Statistical Area is made up of 19 counties in Minnesota and two counties in Wisconsin. The statistical area includes two metropolitan areas and three micropolitan areas. As of the 2010 Census, the CSA had a population of 3,684,928 (though a July 1, 2012 estimate placed the population at 3,691,918). The CSA definition encompasses 11,132.44 sq mi (28,832.9 km2) of area.
- Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs)
- Micropolitan Statistical Areas
Minneapolis and St. Paul have competed since they were founded, resulting in some duplication of effort. After St. Paul completed its elaborate Cathedral in 1915, Minneapolis quickly followed up with the equally ornate Basilica of St. Mary in 1926. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries the rivalry became so intense that an architect practicing in one city was often refused business in the other. The 1890 United States Census even led to the two cities arresting and/or kidnapping each other's census takers, in an attempt to keep either city from outgrowing the other.
The rivalry could occasionally erupt into inter-city violence, as happened at a 1923 game between the Minneapolis Millers and the St. Paul Saints, both baseball teams of the American Association. In the 1950s, both cities competed for a major league baseball franchise (which resulted in two rival stadiums being built), and there was a brief period in the mid-1960s where the two cities could not agree on a common calendar for daylight saving time, resulting in a period of a few weeks where people in Minneapolis were one hour "behind" anyone living or traveling in St. Paul.
The cities' mutual antagonism was largely healed by the end of the 1960s, aided by the simultaneous arrival in 1961 of the Minnesota Twins of the American League and the Minnesota Vikings of the National Football League, both of which identified themselves with the state as a whole (the former explicitly named for both Twin Cities) and not with either of the major cities (unlike the earlier Minneapolis Lakers). Since 1961, it has been common practice for any major sports team based in the Twin Cities to be named for Minnesota as a whole. In terms of development, the two cities remain distinct in their progress, with Minneapolis absorbing new and avant-garde architecture while St. Paul continues to carefully integrate new buildings into the context of classical and Victorian styles.
There are numerous lakes in the region, and cities in the area have some very extensive park systems for recreation. Organized recreation includes the Great River Energy bicycle festival, the Twin Cities Marathon, and the U.S. pond hockey championships. Some studies have shown that area residents take advantage of this, and are among the most physically fit in the country, though others have disputed that. Nonetheless, medicine is a major industry in the region and the southeasterly city of Rochester, as the University of Minnesota has joined other colleges and hospitals in doing significant research, and major medical device manufacturers started in the region (the most prominent is Medtronic). Technical innovators have brought important advances in computing, including the Cray line of supercomputers.
It is common for residents of the Twin Cities area to own or share cabins and other properties along lakes and forested areas in the central and northern regions of the state, and weekend trips "up North" happen through the warmer months. Ice fishing is also a major pastime in the winter, although each year some overambitious fishermen find themselves in dangerous situations when they venture out onto the ice too early or too late. Hunting, snowmobiling, ATV riding and numerous other outdoor activities are also popular. This connectedness with the outdoors also brings a strong sense of environmentalism to many Minnesotans.
In 2011 and 2012, the American College of Sports Medicine named Minneapolis–Saint Paul the healthiest metropolitan area in America.
Place of birth
Approximately 93.2% of the metropolitan area's population was native to the United States. Approximately 92.6% were born in the U.S. while 0.6% were born in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory, or born abroad to American parents. The rest of the population (6.8%) were foreign-born.
The highest percentages of immigrants came from Asia (38.2%), Latin America (25.4%), and Africa (20.1%); smaller percentages of newcomers came from Europe (13.1%), other parts of North America (3.0%), and Oceania (0.2%).
With regards to ethnicity, the metropolitan area is predominantly white, with every county having at least 70% of its population coming from that background.
Minneapolis–Saint Paul is also a major center for religion in the state, especially Christianity. The state headquarters of five major Christian churches are found here: the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the Episcopal Diocese of Minnesota, the Presbyterian Synod of Lakes and Prairies, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). The Presbyterian and LDS churches both have missions in Saint Paul, Minneapolis, and Bloomington as well as the Orthodox Church in America.
The headquarters of the former American Lutheran Church (ALC), Evangelical Lutheran Church, Lutheran Free Church and the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church were located in Minneapolis; the headquarters of Augsburg Fortress publishing house still is. The Minneapolis Area Synod and the Saint Paul Area Synod are the first and third largest synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), respectively.
The Evangelical Free Church of America has its headquarters in Bloomington, and the Association of Free Lutheran Congregations is headquartered in Plymouth, along with its seminary and a Bible School.
The Twin Cities are home to a Jewish population of approximately 64,800 individuals, with about 31% of Jewish households living Minneapolis suburbs, 24% in Minneapolis, 16% in St. Paul, 14% in the St. Paul suburbs, and the remaining 15% in outer suburbs. There is also a Hindu temple located in the Twin Cities suburb of Maple Grove. The Twin Cities' sole Sikh gurdwara is in Bloomington. A recent influx of immigrants from Laos and Northern Africa has brought many more religions to the area. There are several Islamic Masjids in the area. There is a temple for the religion of Eckankar in the suburb of Chanhassen known as the Temple of Eck. In addition, many Hmong and Tibetan Buddhist peoples live in Saint Paul; a Hmong Buddhist temple opened in suburban Roseville in 1995. The LDS St. Paul Minnesota Temple opened in Oakdale, a suburb east of Saint Paul, in 2000. There are several very strong Unitarian Universalist communities such as the First Unitarian Society of Minneapolis, as well as several Pagan and Buddhist groups. The cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis have been called Paganistan due to the large numbers of Pagans living there. There are an estimated 20,000 Pagans living in the Twin Cities area.
Minneapolis is where the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association started and was its home for more than fifty years.
The first European settlement in the region was near what is now known as the town of Stillwater, Minnesota. The city is approximately 20 miles (30 km) from downtown Saint Paul and lies on the western bank of the St. Croix River, which forms the border of central Minnesota and Wisconsin. Another settlement that began fueling early interest in the area was the outpost at Fort Snelling, which was constructed from 1820 to 1825 at the confluence of the Minnesota River and the Mississippi River.
Fort Snelling held jurisdiction over the land south of Saint Anthony Falls, thus a town known as Saint Anthony grew just north of the river. For several years, the only European resident to live on the south bank of the river was Colonel John H. Stevens, who operated a ferry service across the river. As soon as the land area controlled by Fort Snelling was reduced, new settlers began flocking across to the new village of Minneapolis. The town grew quickly, and Minneapolis and Saint Anthony eventually merged. On the eastern side of the Mississippi, a few villages such as Pig's Eye and Lambert's Landing developed and would soon grow to become Saint Paul.
Natural geography played a role in the settlement and development of the two cities. The Mississippi River Valley in this area is defined by a series of stone bluffs that line both sides of the river. Saint Paul grew up around Lambert's Landing, the last place to unload boats coming upriver at an easily accessible point, some seven miles (11 km) downstream from Saint Anthony Falls, the geographic feature that, due to the value of its immense water power for industry, defined the location of Minneapolis and its prominence as the Mill City. The falls can be seen today from the Mill City Museum, housed in the former Washburn "A" Mill, which was among the world's largest mills in its time.
The oldest farms in the state are located in Washington County, the eastern most county on the Minnesota side of the metropolitan area. Joseph Haskell was Minnesota's first farmer, harvesting the first crops in the state in 1840 on what is now part of Afton Township on Trading Post Trail.
The Grand Excursion, a trip into the Upper Midwest sponsored by the Rock Island Railroad, brought more than a thousand curious travelers into the area by rail and steamboat in 1854. The next year, in 1855, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow published The Song of Hiawatha, an epic poem based on the Ojibwe legends of Hiawatha. A number of natural area landmarks were included in the story, such as Lake Minnetonka and Minnehaha Falls. Tourists inspired by the coverage of the Grand Excursion in eastern newspapers and those who read Longfellow's story flocked to the area in the following decades.
At one time, the region also had numerous passenger rail services, including both interurban streetcar systems and interstate rail. Due to the width of the river at points further south, the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area was briefly one of the few places where the Mississippi could be crossed by railroad. A great amount of commercial rail traffic also ran through the area, often carrying grain to be processed at mills in Minneapolis or delivering other goods to Saint Paul to be transported along the Mississippi. Saint Paul had long been at the head of navigation on the river, prior to a new lock and dam facility being added upriver in Minneapolis.
Passenger travel hit its peak in 1888 with nearly eight million traversing to and from the Saint Paul Union Depot. This amounted to approximately 150 trains daily. Before long, other rail crossings were built farther south and travel through the region began to decline. In an effort by the rail companies to combat the rise of the automobile, some of the earliest streamliners ran from Chicago to Minneapolis/Saint Paul and eventually served distant points in the Pacific Northwest. Today, the only vestige of this interstate service comes by Amtrak's Empire Builder train, running once daily in each direction. It is the railroad's busiest long-distance train and is named after James J. Hill, a railroad tycoon who settled on Summit Avenue in Saint Paul at what is now known as the James J. Hill House.
Like many Northern cities that grew up with the Industrial Revolution, Minneapolis and St. Paul experienced shifts in their economic base as heavy industry declined, especially in the 1960s and 1970s. Along with the economic decline of the 60s and 70s came population decline in the central city areas, white flight to suburbs, and, in the summer of 1967, race riots on Minneapolis's North Side. By the 1980s and 1990s, however, Minneapolis and St. Paul were frequently cited as former Rust Belt cities that had made successful transitions to service, high-technology, finance, and information economies.
Geography and geology
Along with much of Minnesota, the Twin Cities area was shaped by water and ice over the course of millions of years. The land of the area sits on top of thick layers of sandstone and limestone laid down as seas encroached upon and receded from the region. Erosion caused natural caves to develop, which were expanded into mines when white settlers came to the area. In the time of Prohibition, at least one speakeasy was built into these hidden spaces—eventually refurbished as the Wabasha Street Caves in Saint Paul.
Lakes across the area were formed and altered by the movement of glaciers. This left many bodies of water in the region, and unusual shapes may appear. For example, Lake Minnetonka out toward the western side of the Twin Cities consists of a complex arrangement of channels and large bays. Elevations in the metropolitan area range from 1,376 feet (419 m) above sea level in the northwest metro to 666 feet (203 m) at the edge of the Mississippi River in the southeast.
Because it is comparatively easy to dig through limestone and there are many natural and man-made open spaces, it has often been proposed that the area should examine the idea of building subways for public transportation. In theory, it could be less expensive in the Twin Cities than in many other places, but the cost would still be much greater than surface projects.
Owing to its northerly latitude and inland location, the Twin Cities experience the coldest climate of any major metropolitan area in the United States. However, due to its southern location in the state and aided further by the urban heat island, the Twin Cities is one of the warmest locations in Minnesota. The average annual temperature at the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport is 45.4 °F (7.4 °C); 3.5 °F (1.9 °C) colder than Winona, Minnesota, and 8.8 °F (4.9 °C) warmer than Roseau, Minnesota. Monthly average daily high temperatures range from 21.9 °F (−5.6 °C) in January to 83.3 °F (28.5 °C) in July; the average daily minimum temperatures for the two months are 4.3 °F (−15.4 °C) and 63.0 °F (17.2 °C) respectively.
Minimum temperatures of 0 °F (−18 °C) or lower are seen on an average of 29.7 days per year, and 76.2 days do not have a maximum temperature exceeding the freezing point. Temperatures above 90 °F (32 °C) occur an average of 15 times per year. High temperatures above 100 °F (38 °C) have been common in recent years; the last occurring on July 6, 2012. The lowest temperature ever reported at the Minneapolis–St. Paul International Airport was −34 °F (−37 °C) on January 22, 1936; the highest, 108 °F (42 °C), was reported on July 14 of the same year. Early settlement records at Fort Snelling show temperatures as low as −42 °F (−41 °C). Recent records include −40 °F (−40 °C) at Vadnais Lake on February 2, 1996 (National Climatic Data Center)
Precipitation averages 29.41 inches (74.7 cm) per year, and is most plentiful in June (4.34 inches (11.0 cm)) and February (0.79 inches (2.0 cm)) the least so. The greatest one-day rainfall amount was 9.15 inches (23.2 cm), reported on July 23, 1987. The city's record for lowest annual precipitation was set in 1910, when 11.54 inches (29.3 cm) fell throughout the year; coincidentally, the opposite record was set the following year, which observed a total 40.15 inches (1,020 mm). At an average of 56.3 inches (1,430 mm) per year, snowfall is generally abundant (though some recent years have proved an exception).
The Twin Cities area takes the brunt of many types of extreme weather, including high-speed straight-line winds, tornadoes, flash floods, drought, heat, bitter cold, and blizzards. The costliest weather disaster in Twin Cities history was a derecho event on May 15, 1998. Hail and Wind damage exceeded $950 million, much of it in the Twin Cities. Other memorable Twin Cities weather-related events include the tornado outbreak on May 6, 1965, the Armistice Day Blizzard on November 11, 1940, and the Halloween Blizzard of 1991. In 2014, Minnesota experienced temperatures below those in areas of Mars when a polar vortex dropped temperatures as low as −40 °F (−40 °C) in Brimson and Babbitt with a windchill as low as −63 °F (−53 °C) in Grand Marais.
A normal growing season in the metro extends from late April or early May through the month of October. The USDA places the area in the 4a plant hardiness zone.
Buildings and structures
The four tallest buildings in the area are located in downtown Minneapolis. The first skyscraper built west of the Mississippi in 1929 was the Foshay Tower. Today there is some contention over exactly which building is the tallest—most Minnesotans would immediately think of the IDS Center if queried on the point, although most sources seem to agree that Capella Tower is slightly taller. But in early 2005, it was found that the IDS Center is taller by a 16-foot (5 m) washroom garage on top, which brings its total height to 792 feet (241 m). Capella Tower and the Wells Fargo Center only differ in height by a foot or two, a rather negligible amount.
Buildings have gone up and been torn down rapidly across the region. Some city blocks have been demolished six or seven times since the mid-19th century, and will undoubtedly reach an eighth or ninth cycle in short order. No single architectural style dominates the region. Instead, the cities have a mish-mash of different designs, although structures from a few eras stand out. There were once a great many stone buildings constructed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style (or at least Romanesque-inspired variants). Minneapolis City Hall is one prominent example of this, though buildings of all types—including personal residences such as the James J. Hill House—were similarly designed. A few decades later, Art Deco brought several structures that survive today, including St. Paul City Hall, the Foshay Tower, and the Minneapolis Post Office. The style of buildings in the two cities varies greatly. In Minneapolis, the trend has been buildings with sleek lines and modern glass facades while St. Paul tends to follow a more traditional style of buildings so as to better accompany its older structures.
St. Paul and Minneapolis in particular went through some massive urban renewal projects in the post-World War II era, so a vast number of buildings are now lost to history. Some of the larger and harder to demolish structures have survived. In fact, the area might be signified more by bridges than buildings. A series of reinforced concrete arch spans crossing the Mississippi River were built in the 1920s and 1930s. They still carry daily traffic, but remain pleasing to the eye despite their age (a number have undergone major repair work, but retain the original design). Several of the bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They include the 10th Avenue Bridge, Intercity Bridge (Ford Parkway), Robert Street Bridge, and the longest, the 4119 ft (1255 m) Mendota Bridge next to Fort Snelling. The area is also noted for having the first known permanent crossing of the Mississippi. That structure is long gone, but a series of Hennepin Avenue Bridges have been built since then at the site. Both downtowns have extensive networks of enclosed pedestrian bridges known as skyways.
Several prominent buildings in Minneapolis have helped modernize the city. These include the Walker Art Center, Central Public Library, Weisman Art Museum and the Guthrie Theater. Opened in April 2005, the new Walker Art Center, nearly double in size, includes increased indoor and outdoor facilities. The Walker is recognized internationally as a singular model of a multidisciplinary arts organization and as a national leader for its innovative approaches to audience engagement. The Guthrie received a large amount of media coverage for its opening in June, 2006. The design is the work of architect Jean Nouvel and is a 285,000 square foot (26,500 m²) facility that houses three theaters: (1) the theater's signature thrust stage, seating 1,100, (2) a 700-seat proscenium stage, and (3) a black-box studio with flexible seating. In 2002 the National Trust for Historic Preservation put the old Guthrie building on its list of the most endangered historic properties in the United States in response to plans announced by the Walker Art Center to expand on the land occupied by the theater. However, the original Guthrie building was torn down in 2006. These building projects have rejuvenated the downtown area.
Buildings and structures
The eleven tallest buildings and sixteen of the tallest seventeen buildings in the area are located in downtown Minneapolis. Today there is some contention over exactly which building is the tallest—most Minnesotans would immediately think of the IDS Center if queried on the point, although most sources seem to agree that Capella Tower is slightly taller. But in early 2005, it was found that the IDS Center is taller by a 16-foot (5 m) washroom garage on top, which brings its total height to 792 feet (241 m). Capella Tower and the Wells Fargo Center only differ in height by a foot or two, a rather negligible amount.
Buildings have gone up and been torn down rapidly across the region. Some city blocks have been demolished six or seven times since the mid-19th century, and will undoubtedly reach an eighth or ninth cycle in short order. No single architectural style dominates the region. Instead, the cities have a mish-mash of different designs, although structures from a few eras stand out. There were once a great many stone buildings constructed in the Richardsonian Romanesque style (or at least Romanesque-inspired variants). Minneapolis City Hall is one prominent example of this, though buildings of all types—including personal residences such as the James J. Hill House—were similarly designed. A few decades later, Art Deco brought several structures that survive today, including St. Paul City Hall, the Foshay Tower, and the Minneapolis Post Office. The style of buildings in the two cities varies greatly. In Minneapolis, the trend has been buildings with sleek lines and modern glass facades while Saint Paul tends to follow a more traditional style of buildings so as to better accompany its older structures.
Saint Paul and Minneapolis in particular went through some massive urban renewal projects in the post-World War II era, so a vast number of buildings are now lost to history. Some of the larger and harder to demolish structures have survived. In fact, the area might be signified more by bridges than buildings. A series of reinforced concrete arch spans crossing the Mississippi River were built in the 1920s and 1930s. They still carry daily traffic, but remain pleasing to the eye despite their age (a number have undergone major repair work, but retain the original design). Several of the bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. They include the 10th Avenue Bridge, Intercity Bridge (Ford Parkway), Robert Street Bridge, and the longest, the 4,119 ft (1,255 m) Mendota Bridge next to Fort Snelling. The area is also noted for having the first known permanent crossing of the Mississippi. That structure is long gone, but a series of Hennepin Avenue Bridges have been built since then at the site. Both downtowns have extensive networks of enclosed pedestrian bridges known as skyways.
Several prominent buildings in Minneapolis have helped modernize the city. These include the Walker Art Center, Central Public Library, Weisman Art Museum and the Guthrie Theater. Opening in April 2005, the new Walker Art Center, nearly double in size, includes increased indoor and outdoor facilities. The Walker is recognized internationally as a singular model of a multidisciplinary arts organization and as a national leader for its innovative approaches to audience engagement. The Guthrie received a large amount of media coverage for its opening in June 2006. The design is the work of architect Jean Nouvel and is a 285,000 square feet (26,500 m2) facility that houses three theaters: the theater's signature thrust stage, seating 1,100; a 700-seat proscenium stage; and a black-box studio with flexible seating. In 2002, the National Trust for Historic Preservation put the old Guthrie building on its list of the most endangered historic properties in the United States in response to plans announced by the Walker Art Center to expand on the land occupied by the theater. However, the original Guthrie building was torn down in 2006. These building projects have rejuvenated the downtown area.
Hospitals with # beds
Trauma Centers - Level I * ; Level II **
- Abbott Northwestern Hospital - Minneapolis - 686
- Mercy Hospital - Coon Rapids - 271 ** Mercy Hospital (Unity Campus) - Fridley - 164
- Phillips Eye Institute - Minneapolis - 8
- Regina Hospital - Hastings - 43
- United Hospital - St. Paul - 556
Children's Minnesota - 381
- Children's Minnesota Hospital - Minneapolis
- Children's Minnesota Hospital - St. Paul
Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare
- Gillette Children's Hospital - St. Paul - 60
- Lakeview Hospital - Stillwater - 90
- Methodist Hospital - St. Louis Park - 361
- Regions Hospital - St. Paul - 452 * St. Francis Regional Medical Center - Shakopee - 89
- Hennepin County Medical Center - Minneapolis - 484 M Health Fairview
- Bethesda Hospital - (long term acute) - St. Paul - 50
- M Health Fairview Lakes Medical Center - Wyoming - 61
- M Health Fairview Ridges Hospital - Burnsville - 171
- M Health Fairview Southdale Hospital - Edina - 334
- M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center - Minneapolis - 828 ** M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital - Minneapolis - 212
- St. John's Hospital - Maplewood - 184
- St. Joseph's Hospital - St. Paul - 253
- Woodwinds Health Campus - Woodbury - 86
North Memorial Health
- Maple Grove Hospital - Maple Grove - 130
- North Memorial Health Hospital - Robbinsdale - 353 Ridgeview Health
- Ridgeview Medical Center - Waconia - 124
Veterans Administration Health Care
- Veterans Administration Medical Center - Minneapolis - 845
Roads and highways
In the 20th century, the Twin Cities area expanded outward significantly. Automobiles made it possible for suburbs to grow greatly. The area now has a number of freeways to transport people by car. The area incorporates a large number of traffic cameras and ramp meters to monitor and manage traffic congestion. There is some use of HOV (high-occupancy vehicle) express lanes, which is becoming much more common. In order to use an express lane, a driver must have a MnPASS transponder or have at least one passenger. MnPASS rates are determined by the amount of traffic on the road and/or the time of day. During non-peak times, the MnPASS express lanes, with the exception of those on Interstate 394 (I-394) between Minnesota Highway 100 (MN 100) and I-94, are open to all traffic.
I-94 comes into the area from the east and heads northwest from Minneapolis. Two spur routes form the I-494/I-694 loop, and I-394 continues west when I-94 turns north. Additionally, I-35 splits in Burnsville in the southern part of the Twin Cities region, bringing I-35E into Saint Paul and I-35W into Minneapolis. They join together again to the north in Columbus, (just south of Forest Lake) and continue to the highway's terminus in Duluth. This is one of only two examples of an Interstate Highway splitting into branches and then rejoining into one again; the other split occurs in Dallas–Fort Worth, where I-35 also splits into east and west branches.
On August 1, 2007, a large portion of the I-35W Mississippi River bridge near downtown Minneapolis collapsed into the Mississippi River around 6:05pm CDT. A replacement bridge opened on Thursday, September 18, 2008.
Major state highways
The main airport in the region is Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP), which is a major hub for Delta Air Lines. The airport is also the main hub and operating base for Sun Country Airlines. There are six smaller (relief) airports in the area which are owned and operated by the Metropolitan Airports Commission (the same agency operates the main MSP airport). Some people even commute by air to the Twin Cities from the northern part of the state.
Relief airports in the metropolitan area are:
Metro Transit, by far the biggest bus service provider in the area, owes its existence to the old streetcar lines that ran in the area. Metro Transit provides about 95% of the public transit rides in the region with over 900 buses, although some suburbs have other bus services. The University of Minnesota, Twin Cities operates a free bus system between its campuses. This system includes the Campus Connector bus rapid transit line which travels between the Minneapolis and Saint Paul campuses by a dedicated bus line, and throughout the two campuses on normal access roads. The METRO Blue Line LRT (light rail) began operations in June 2004, connecting downtown Minneapolis, Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport and the Mall of America in Bloomington. It was followed by the METRO Red Line BRT (bus rapid transitway) in 2013 connecting the Mall of America with Lakeville along Cedar Avenue through the southern suburbs. The METRO Green Line LRT connecting downtown Minneapolis, the University of Minnesota campus and downtown Saint Paul along University Avenue opened in June 2014. All three lines are operated by Metro Transit. Additionally, the Northstar Line commuter rail line connecting Minneapolis with Big Lake opened in November 2009; the line may be extended to St. Cloud as ridership numbers warrant.
The current METRO system consists of six separate projects. There are two light rail lines: the Blue Line, which runs from Target Field in downtown Minneapolis past Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport to the Mall of America, and the Green Line, which runs from Target Field past the University of Minnesota to the Union Depot in downtown Saint Paul. The BRT Red Line serves as an extension of the Blue Line across the Minnesota River, where it connects with southern suburbs at four different stations. The BRT Orange Line connects downtown Minneapolis with Burnsville following along I-35W. The arterial BRT A and C lines serve as upgrades to existing local bus routes and connect with the Blue and Green lines at certain shared stations.
- Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport – Mall of America Blue Line LRT: Target Field Station –
- University of Minnesota – Union Depot Green Line LRT: Target Field Station –
- Orange Line BRT: Downtown Minneapolis – Burnsville Heart of the City
- Red Line BRT: Mall of America – Apple Valley Transit Station
- A Line BRT: 46th Street station – Rosedale Transit Center
- C Line BRT: Downtown Minneapolis – Brooklyn Center Transit Center
In many ways the light rail of today is a return to the streetcars that existed in the past, it is being used as a stepping-stone to other projects.
A variety of rail services are currently being pondered by state and local governments, including neighborhood streetcar systems, intercity light rail service, and commuter rail options out to exurban regions. In addition, Minnesota is one of several states in the Midwest examining the idea of setting up high-speed rail service using Chicago as a regional hub.
The Minneapolis–Saint Paul area has been criticized for inadequate public transportation. Compared to many other cities its size, the public transportation system in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area is less robust. As the metropolitan area has grown, the roads and highways have been updated and widened, but traffic volume is growing faster than the projects needed to widen them, and public transportation has not expanded enough to commensurate with the population. The Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area is ranked as the fifth worst for congestion growth of similar-sized U.S. metropolitan areas. Additional lines and spurs are needed to upgrade public transportation in the Twin Cities. Construction is underway for Green Line extension connecting downtown Minneapolis to the southwest suburb of Eden Prairie. A northwest LRT (Blue Line extension) along Bottineau Boulevard is being planned from downtown Minneapolis to Brooklyn Park. The METRO Orange Line BRT will eventually be extended to Lakeville. The METRO Gold Line BRT is planned to connect downtown Saint Paul to the eastern suburbs within the next few years.
The United States Navy currently has one ship named for the region, the USS Minneapolis–Saint Paul, a Los Angeles-class submarine launched in 1983. Previously, two sets of two ships each had carried the names USS Minneapolis and USS Saint Paul.
The Minneapolis–Saint Paul area is home to 21 Fortune 1000 headquarters – 2021 rankings
|1||United Health Group||Minnetonka||Healthcare||5|
|5||CHS||Inver Grove Heights||Agricultural coop||103|
|6||U S Bancorp||Minneapolis||Banking||113|
|7||General Mills||Golden Valley||Food||169|
|8||C H Robinson||Eden Prairie||Logistics||191|
|9||Land O'Lakes||Arden Hills||Agricultural coop||219|
|15||Securian Financial Group||St. Paul||Financial||421|
|16||Patterson Companies||Mendota Heights||Dental / Veterinary products||491|
|17||APi Group||New Brighton||Construction||656|
|18||Toro||Bloomington||Lawn care equipment||687|
|19||H.B. Fuller||Vadnais Heights||Adhesives||786|
A number of private companies are also headquartered in the Twin Cities area, including Cargill, the country's largest private company, Carlson, Radisson Hotel Group, Holiday Stationstores and Andersen. Foreign companies with U.S. headquarters in the Twin Cities include Aimia, Allianz Life, Canadian Pacific, Coloplast, Medtronic, Pearson VUE and Pentair.
The Twin Cities's economy is the 13th largest in the U.S. and ranks second in the Midwest. The Minneapolis–Saint Paul area also ranks as the second largest medical device manufacture center in North America and the fourth-biggest U.S. banking center, based on total assets of banks headquartered in the metro area, ranking behind New York, San Francisco, and Charlotte, N.C. metropolitan areas.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis covers the 9th District of the Federal Reserve System, which is made up of Minnesota, Montana, North and South Dakota, northwestern Wisconsin, and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Its geographical territory is the third largest of the 12 Federal Reserve banks.
Colleges and universities
- Adler Graduate School – Minnetonka
- Anoka-Ramsey Community College – Coon Rapids and Cambridge
- Anoka Technical College – Anoka
- Augsburg University – Minneapolis
- Bethany Global University - Bloomington
- Bethel University – Arden Hills
- Capella University – Minneapolis
- Century College – White Bear Lake
- Concordia University – Saint Paul
- Crown College – St. Bonifacius
- Dakota County Technical College – Rosemount
- Dunwoody College of Technology – Minneapolis
- Hamline University – Saint Paul
- Hennepin Technical College – Eden Prairie and Brooklyn Park
- Inver Hills Community College – Inver Grove Heights
- Luther Seminary – Saint Paul
- Macalester College – Saint Paul
- Metropolitan State University – Saint Paul and Minneapolis
- Minneapolis College of Art and Design – Minneapolis
- Minneapolis Community and Technical College – Minneapolis
- Minnesota State University – Edina
- Mitchell Hamline School of Law – Saint Paul
- Normandale Community College – Bloomington
- North Central University – Minneapolis
- North Hennepin Community College – Brooklyn Park
- Northwestern Health Sciences University – Bloomington
- Rasmussen University – Bloomington, Blaine, Brooklyn Park, Eagan and Lake Elmo
- St. Catherine University – Saint Paul and Minneapolis
- St. Cloud State University – St. Cloud and Maple Grove
- St. Mary's University of Minnesota – Minneapolis
- Saint Paul College – Saint Paul
- United Theological Seminary – Saint Paul
- University of Minnesota – Minneapolis and Saint Paul (Falcon Heights)
- University of Northwestern – St. Paul – Roseville
- University of St. Thomas – Saint Paul and Minneapolis
- University of Wisconsin – River Falls and Hudson
- Walden University – Minneapolis
Libraries with # of branches
Images for kids
KARE television broadcast, Minnesota State Fair
WCCO-TV building Minneapolis
Minnesota Public Radio in St. Paul
Minneapolis–Saint Paul Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.