Best States - Overview of Minnesota

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Minnesota - #3 in Overall Rankings

The U.S. gained the land now known as Minnesota starting in the late 1700s through the Treaty of Paris, the Louisiana Purchase and negotiations with the Dakota Indians and other tribes who had long inhabited the land.

The start of Minnesota’s statehood, gained in 1858, was marked by hostile relations between the settlers and the Dakota over land treaties and mistreatment by traders. Only a few years later, Minnesota was the first to offer its troops to the Union in the Civil War, though it was the youngest state.

As the northernmost territory in the 48 contiguous states, Minnesota is known for its frigid conditions. Its residents see about 70 inches of snowfall each year in the northern region, along with an average winter temperature of 8 degrees Fahrenheit. The cold weather explains ice hockey’s popularity in Minnesota, and makes it a perfect destination for cross-country skiing, ice fishing and other snow sports.

The state is also known for its many bodies of water, which eventually flow into the Hudson Bay, the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. The headwaters of the Mississippi River start in northern Lake Itasca. The Dakota fittingly named the land “Minisota,” meaning sky-tinted water. The state’s nickname as the Land of 10,000 Lakes is an understatement – the state has more than 11,500.

The Mayo Clinic, a nonprofit organization with hospitals and research initiatives in different locations, is headquartered in Rochester and is among the state’s top employers. Manufacturing and retail trade are two other major industries in Minnesota, which houses many Fortune 500 companies such as UnitedHealth Group, Target, 3M and General Mills.

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