Nearly 60% of Minnesota's
residents live in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area known
as the Twin Cities, the center of transportation, business, and
industry, and home to an internationally known arts community. The
remainder of the state, often referred to as Greater Minnesota,
consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture;
eastern deciduous forests, also heavily farmed and settled; and
the less-populated northern boreal forest.
The state is known as
the "Land of 10,000 Lakes," and those lakes and the other waters
for which the state is named, together with state and national forests
and parks, offer residents and tourists a vigorous outdoor lifestyle.
The extremes of the climate contrast with the moderation of Minnesota’s
The state is known for
its moderate-to-progressive politics and social policies, its civic
involvement, and high voter turnout. It ranks among the healthiest
states by a number of measures, and has one of the most highly educated
and literate populations.
Winter brings with it
many snow related sports such as ice fishing, skiing, snowboarding