Minnesota (abbr.: MN or Minn.), state of the United States of America, bordered by Canada (northern border) and the states of Wisconsin (eastern border), Iowa (southern border), and South Dakota and North Dakota (western border), 217,736 km2, with 4.3 million inhabitants; capital: Saint Paul.
Minnesota is mostly flat prairie land; the northeastern part of the state is located in the Superior Upland (a southern spur of the Canadian Shield), with an average elevation of 535 m. The landscape is heavily influenced by the four ice sheets that almost completely covered the state during the Pleistocene epoch. The state has more than 20,000 lakes, mainly in the north (the larger) and center. Red Lake is the largest lake. Approx. 5,700 km2 of Lake Upper lies within state borders. The Mississippi and its tributaries (main navigable: the 530 km long Minnesota to the south and the St. Croix along the eastern border) drain most of the state. Waterfalls and rapids provide hydroelectric power. Minnesota has a continental climate,
The average population density is 19 inhabitants. per km2. About 70% of the total population lives in the cities. The largest cities are Minneapolis, Saint Paul and Duluth. See top cities in Minnesota.
Although industry is the main source of income today, agriculture is still a very important activity. Livestock farming (particularly the cultivation of dairy, beef, poultry and pigs) is the largest agricultural sector. The state is also one of the largest producers of oats in the United States and occupies a leading position in the production of (summer) wheat, maize, barley, soybeans, sugar beet, hay and sunflower seeds. Minnesota supplies more than half of the United States’ iron ore production. The main industrial products are foodstuffs, office supplies, paper, electronics and computers; also production of electrical appliances, chemical and plastic products; printing and publishing industry. Tourism is also of considerable importance to the economy.
Tourists mainly come for sport fishing, hunting and water sports. The most popular area is in the northeast: Boundary Waters Canoe Area, Superior National Forest and Voyageurs National Park (1975; 882.3 km3). A beautiful scenic route runs from Duluth to Grand Portage in the far north east, where a national monument commemorates the 18th century fur trade there. The Pipestone National Monument to the southwest highlights the culture of the Native Americans who inhabited the area and Fort Snelling (c. 1820), that of the whites who explored it.
French explorers invaded this area in the 17th century and founded the first fortresses in the 18th century. The east of the area belonged to French Canada and thus came to England in 1763 and to the United States in 1783, the west, across the Mississippi, was part of Louisiana territory and came under the American flag in 1803. In the east lived the Indian tribe of the Chippewa, in the west those of the Sioux, which tribes were constantly in battle. The first American fortress, Fort Snelling, was built by the explorer Zebulon Pike, and from there the land was further explored by famous travelers such as Lewis Cass, Stephen Long and the ethnologist Henry Schoolcraft, who discovered Lake Itasca, the origin of the Mississippi. in 1832. In 1849 the Minnesota Territory was organized, Minnesota became the 32nd state of the Union in 1858. After the American Civil War, the state flourished as a major agricultural area, politically dominated by the Republican party until the time FD Roosevelt became president; Then the Democrats got the upper hand. After the Second World War, strong economic development (mining, industry, tourism) followed. Agriculture was hit hard by the floods that hit the Midwest in 1993.