Profile: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Study up on Minneapolis's economy, history, and more.

By: Erin Peterson

Similar Topics:
  1. Midwest Cities
Cyclists in Minneapolis

Cyclists in Minneapolis

Photo by: Meet Minneapolis

Meet Minneapolis

Population: 372,800 (city), 3 million (metro)

USDA Hardiness Zone: 4

Major Airport: Minneapolis-St Paul International Airport

Companies With a Major Presence Here: Target, 3M, Medtronic, Xcel Energy, General Mills, Cargill, Northwest Airlines, University of Minnesota, U.S. Bancorp, Ameriprise Financial, Fairview University Medical Center, Methodist Hospital, Thayer/Hidden Creek

The frigid winter weather may scare off less hardy souls, but the people who make Minneapolis home know there’s a lot to love about this city.

Minneapolis, which celebrated its 150th birthday in 2008, got its start as a small flour-milling town, for which it earned the nickname Mill City. As the town developed, so did its acclaimed park system, the home campus of the University of Minnesota and its bustling downtown. When the flour milling industry wound down, other industries -- most notably medical technologies and banking and finance -- sprung up to take its place.

While Minneapolis and its Twin City across the Mississippi River, St. Paul, are often considered one and the same by outsiders, locals know that they have distinctly different vibes: St. Paul, the state’s capital, is a bit more compact and quiet. Minneapolis is the slightly younger, cooler city.

Minneapolis residents are avid sports fans -- several pro teams call the town home, including MLB’s Minnesota Twins, the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings, the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves and the Minnesota Lynx of women’s basketball. The University of Minnesota teams, which compete in the Big Ten conference, also draw wide support. On game days, fans clad in maroon and gold swarm around campus.

But above all, Minneapolis is known for its thriving arts and cultural scene: the Guthrie Theater, the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Arts are all highly esteemed. Music fans clamor to get into the uber-hip First Avenue. Architectural gems like the Frank Gehry-designed Weisman Art Museum and the Cesar Pelli-designed Central Library leave even the most stoic Minnesotan gawking.

Strong support for public schools and a diverse array of job opportunities are hallmarks of Minneapolis. They’re also why polls and surveys consistently rank Minneapolis as one of the best places to live, work and raise a family.

Next Up

Minneapolis Essentials

Grab a snack, a drink, a dance. Here, the best spots in town.

5 Great Neighborhoods in Minneapolis

Who are the neighbors in these top neighborhoods around town? Read on.

Local Life and Lore in Minneapolis

Here, get all the insider info on the local lingo and traditions.

Profile: Detroit, Michigan

Learn more about Motor City's history and what drives its economy today.

Profile: St. Louis, Missouri

Study up on the history, people, and culture of St. Louis.

Profile: Milwaukee, Wisconsin

It may be not be as big as its nearby cousin Chicago, but Milwaukee has an urban style all its own.

Profile: Chicago, Illinois

Take a quick look at Chicago, the third largest city in the United States.

Profile: Kansas City, Missouri

Get a brief overview of this Midwestern city that some call the Heart of America.

Profile: Cincinnati, Ohio

Get the 411 on Cincinnati's economy, demographics, and more.

Profile: Indianapolis, Indiana

Brush up on the basic facts about the capital of Indiana.