Area, 84,068 sq mi (217,736 sq km).
Capital, St. Paul.
Largest city, Minneapolis.
Nickname, North Star State.
State bird, common loon.
State flower, showy lady's slipper or pink and white lady's slipper.
State tree, red pine.
Minnesota is one of the nation's largest producers of iron ore. Methods developed to use lower-grade ores such as taconite have kept production up in spite of the depletion of once rich high-grade deposits. Granite (from St. Cloud) and sand and gravel production are also among the largest in the country. Wheat, once paramount in agriculture, has been surpassed by corn, soybeans, and livestock. The state is also a leader in the production of creamery butter, dry milk, cheese, and sweet corn.
Also of great importance to Minnesota are its waterways, which have been extensively developed near industrial centers. Locks and other improvements enable Mississippi River barge traffic to pass around the Falls of St. Anthony at Minneapolis. Duluth, at the western tip of Lake Superior, has one of the busiest inland harbors in the United States; the completion of the Saint Lawrence Seaway (1959) made the city an important port for overseas trade.
Best State To Live (2017) Number 4. Minnesota
10-yr. population growth: 10.0% (24th lowest)
Oct. unemployment rate: 4.0% (13th lowest)
Poverty rate: 10.2% (4th lowest)
Life expectancy at birth: 80.4 years (4th highest)
The typical household in Minnesota earns substantially less annually compared to other top states to live in, but at $63,488 a year, Minnesota’s median household income is well above the national annual median of $55,775. The state’s near nation-leading life expectancy of over 80 years can be partially attributed to economic factors such as high income. Also, only 11.6% of state adults report being in suboptimal health, the second lowest share. Broad health insurance coverage has likely helped many residents stay in good health. Just 4.5% of Minnesotans do not have health insurance, less than half the comparable national percentage and fourth lowest of all states.