86 Minnesota Facts and Weird Laws

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What is unique about Minnesota?

Known as the Gopher state, Minnesota is a midwestern state which boasts some of the most iconic animals, and scenic landmarks.

The real beauty of this state lies in knowing its rich history, culture, politics, and meeting the Minnesotans.

With gorgeous rivers, lakes, mountains, natural trees, and picturesque animals, this state is indeed a magical land.

Here are fun facts about Minnesota including interesting ones you’ve never known. 

Credits: Unsplash@Tom 

Minnesota Facts – Politics And Government

  1. Minnesota is one of the states with the most active citizenry in the United States. 
  2. The state has always produced a higher voter turn of more than 70 percent in the US Presidential elections.
  3. Minnesota is one of the US States that allows voters’ election day registration. You have to prove your residency to register.
  4. The main political parties in Minnesota are the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and the Republican Party of Minnesota.
  5. The Minnesota Farmer-Labor party merged with the Democratic Party to form the DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party ) in 1944.
  6. The DFL Party is interconnected with Democratic Party, and its supporters are popularly known as “DFLers” as an alternative to Democrats.
  7. The Minnesota state constitution consists of a Bill of Rights just like the United States Bill of Rights.
  8. The governor of Minnesota has a cabinet whose members are drawn from state agencies.
  9. The governor is the head of the state executive. The current governor is Tim Walz of the DFL party.
  10. Besides the district courts, Minnesota courts of Appeal, and the Supreme Court, two other courts, specifically in Minnesota –the workers’ compensation court of Appeal and the tax court.

Minnesota Facts – History

  1. The Minnesota name originated from Sioux (Dakota language) “Minnesota” for Mississippi’s main tributary, the Minnesota river, meaning sky-tinted water.
  1. The earliest known settlers followed large herds of wildlife during the last glacial period.
  2. These early settlers arrived before the Dakota, Anishinabe, and the other settlers of Native American origin.
  3. The building of Fort Snelling, to protect the US territorial interests, promoted settlements in Minnesota territory. 
  4. The settlers used St. Anthony Falls to power sawmills in present-day Minneapolis. Other settlers proceeded downriver to the present-day Saint Paul.
  5. Minnesota became a territory in 1849.
  6. Minnesota joined the Union in 1858 as the 32nd state to do so.
  7. Saint Anthony Falls sparked the growth of Minneapolis. The existence of innovative milling methods in this state led to its nickname “the milling capital of the world.”
  8. Minnesota’s economy was heavily dependent on Fur trading, Iron mining, Railroad transport, logging, and farming during its early days. Today healthcare, banking, and computers are the main drivers of Minnesota’s economy.
  9. Minnesota’s nicknames include the “North Star State,” the ” Gopher State,” and “the Land of 10,000 Lakes”.

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Minnesota Facts – Geography

  1. Minnesota is the 12th largest state in the United States, with 225,370 km².
  2. This state is a Midwestern US state occupying a region in the US known as the Upper Midwest. [1]
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  1. The state shares the northeast border (Lake Superior water border) with Wisconsin and Michigan. It also borders Wisconsin to the east, South and North Dakota to the west, Iowa to the South, and Two Canadian provinces to the North(Manitoba and Ontario).
  2. The Gopher State contains some of the oldest rocks on this planet–80% as old as the planet. [2]
  3. Southeastern Minnesota is covered with streams and steep hills.
  4. Minnesota’s highest point is in Eagle Mountain at 701 m above sea level. The lowest is the shores of Lake Superior, with an elevation of 183 m.
  5. Hibbing, a rural part of northeastern Minnesota, is where two Continental divides [3] meet, forming a triple watershed [4].
  6. The precipitation drains into the  Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean via the Mississippi River, St. Lawrence Seaway, and the Hudson Bay watershed.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. Also known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, Minnesota has 11,842 lakes which are 10 acres large.
  2. This state experiences a variety of weather due to its location in the Upper Midwest.
Credits: Memedroid
  1. The state’s portion of Lake Superior is the largest at 3,896km² and deepest at 393 in the country. Lake Superior is the world’s largest freshwater lake.
  2. Minnesota is home to 6,564 natural streams and rivers.
  3. The Gopher State is home to the Mississippi River’s source, Lake Itasca. [5]
  4. As the Mississippi River finds its way to the Iowa border, it’s joined with the Minnesota River(at Fort Snelling),  St. Croix River (near Hastings), and Chippewa River (at Wabasha), plus many smaller streams.
  5. In the bed of the glacial Lake Agassiz lies the Red River, which drains the state’s northeast region to the Hudson Bay(In Canada). [6]
  6. Minnesota has the largest wetlands by area of any US state except Alaska–nearly 42,900km².
  7. This state receives varying rainfall. The northwest gets about 18 inches while the southeast receives over 32 inches of rainfall.

Minnesota Facts – Plants And Animals Life

  1. The official state tree of Minnesota is the Norway Pine. Morel is the official state mushroom, Pinky Lady’s Slipper is the official state flower, and the state fruit is the Honeycrisp Apple.
  2. Minnesota is home to three North American biomes: Boreal forest, Big Woods deciduous forest, and the Prairie grasslands.
  3. In Northern Minnesota, old-growth forest is housed at the Superior National Forest and Chippewa National Forest.
  4. The Boundary Water Canoe Wilderness Area in the Superior National Forest has 1,600km² of unlogged land.
  5. The continuous logging has affected native animals, including the Elk, Bison, pine marten, bobcat, and bobcat.
  6. The most popular game animal in Minnesota is the white-tailed deer.
Credits: Unsplash
  1. The North Star State is home to the largest population of timberwolves of any US state except Alaska.
  2. The state is home to a healthy population of moose and black bears.
  3. Since it is located in the Mississippi Flyway, Minnesota hosts migratory waterfowl such as ducks and geese. It also hosts game birds such as Turkey, pheasants, and grouse. [7]
  4. Snowy Owl, Red-tailed hawk, and the Bald Eagle make up Minnesota’s birds of prey.
  5. The lakes contain sport fish such as bass, walleye, northern pike, and muskellunge. 
  6. The northern map turtles also live in Minnesota’s rivers. 
  7. The lakes in the state’s southeast region also boast a large brook, rainbow, and brown trout population.

Minnesota Facts – Demographics

  1. Residents of Minnesota are popularly called Minnesotans.
  2. Minnesota is the 22nd largest state by population. It has a population of over 5,706 398.
  3. This state’s capital city is Saint Paul city. But Minneapolis is the most populous city. 
Credits: Unsplash
  1. Saint Paul’s population is over 310,368.
  2. The Minnesota state capitol building in St. Paul city was built between 1896 and 1905.
  3. The Minnesota-Saint paul metropolitan area is the 11th largest in the Midwest.
  4. Hibbing City is the largest city by area in Minnesota.
  5. The median age in this state is nearly 38 years.
  6. In terms of religion, in Minnesota, 74% are Christians, 5% are non-Christians, while 20% don’t subscribe to any faith.
  7. The major group in this state is the whites, making up over 80% of the population.
  8. Downtown Minneapolis is famous for its nightlife.
  9. Rogers City is the fastest growing city in this state, with a population growth rate of around 69 percent.
  10. This state is home to eleven Indian nations, including Bois Forte, Leech Lake, Fond du Lac, Grand Portage, Mille Lacs, White Earth, Red Lake, Lower Sioux, Prairie Islands, Upper Sioux, and Shakopee.
  11. Hamline University in Minnesota hosted the first intercollegiate basketball game against the University of Minnesota.
Credits: University of Minnesota Twin Cities
  1. Minneapolis public library is one of the largest libraries in Hennepin county.

Minnesota Facts – Economy

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  1. Minnesota had a domestic growth product of about 415,392 million US dollars in 2021.
  2. Tourism generates $16 billion in gross sales.
  3. Nearly 49% of Minnesotans are college-educated.
  4. Minnesota is the state boasting the first bone marrow transplant.
  5. The Bloomington mall of America is the largest in the country, with 78 football fields (9.5 million square feet).
  6. Minnesota is home to approximately 8 300 manufacturing industries. 
  7. Healthcare is a key component of the state’s economy. 
  8. The North Star State is home to Mayo Clinic, which provides healthcare services to patients.
  9. Minnesota inventions such as the pacemaker. Water skis, and Scotch tape.
  10. The state has about 210 mining firms. 
  11. Like National Parks, this state is home to famous Museums like the Minnesota Institute of Arts in the Twin Cities. 
  12. Pine Bend Refinery is the largest of any state that doesn’t produce crude oil.
  13. The Walker art museum in the Twin Cities is among the top five contemporary art museums in the country.
  14. Metrodome  in Minneapolis is the only stadium in the US that has hosted the NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship, the World Series, and the Super Bowl.
Credit: Unsplash@Daniel McCullough
  1. The North Star state produces approximately 46 million Turkeys annually. More than the population of California!
  2. The state has about 909 528 boats. That’s more than the population of both South and North Dakota.
  3. You need a recreational boat license to operate a motorized boat.
  4. Minnesota harvests fish (per year) that can fill the beds of 10 384 Ford F-150 pickups—18.9 million pounds of fish.
  5. The Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources manages 3,134,900 acres of land.
  6. UnitedHealth Group is the largest company in Minnesota, with over $226.26 billion.
  7. Other top companies in the state include Target, Best Buy, 3M, CHS, US Bancorp, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, General Mills, Supervalu, Ecolab, etc.

Famous Locations in Minnesota 

  1. Superior National Forest —in Northern Minnesota houses the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness and the town of Ely, which has the International Wolf Center.
  2. North Shore Scenic Drive has several top parks in Minnesota, such as Grand Portage State Park, Split Rock Lighthouse, etc.
  1. Voyageurs National park is one of the best campgrounds in the state.
  2. Como Park zoo and conservatory.
  3. Munsinger Clemens Garden in St. Cloud has about 80 000 annual plants.
  4. Minnesota Institute of Art.
  5. Gooseberry falls state park.
  1. Duluth Aerial Lift Bridge.
  2. Itasca State Park.

Famous People From Minnesota 

  • Bob Dylan-singer and songwriter, born in Duluth, Minnesota.
  • Jessica Lange -actress and producer.
  • F. Scott Fitzgerald -Novelist. Died in 1940, born in St. Paul, Minnesota.
  • Chris Prat-Actor.
  • Charles P. Strite, born in Minneapolis, invented the automatic pop-up toaster.
  • Antony Adduci was the inventor of the first lithium-powered pacemaker.
  • Wendell Anderson -33rd governor of Minnesota; a US Senator.

Common Misconceptions About Minnesota

Credits: Only In Your State

Many non-Minnesotans believe this state is a magical land crowded with lakes and extremely low temperatures. 

It’s the perfect time to learn how misleading these myths are. Here are 3 of the most common notions about Minnesota.

It’s cold all the time

While this is true for most of the year, summer temperatures are as warm as 30° C.

All Minnesotans eat Lutefisk

While this delicacy is indeed common in Minnesota, many Minnesotans don’t like it.

Minnesotans can walk into Canada at will

Yes, Minnesotans live in the suburbs of the twin cities, which is a 12-hour drive. Not that close.

Weird Laws in Minnesota 

Many of the laws below were passed a long time ago, but they still exist in many Minnesota cities, but many of them go unenforced. It is easier to pass laws than to revoke them, so some very strange laws remain on the books. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

Here are some of our favorites.

  1. Policemen must kill stray cats within the confines of the city of Hibbing.
  2. Driving a truck with dirty tires is considered a public nuisance.
  3. No tacks on sidewalks in the city of Minnetonka in Hennepin County
  4. People living in even-numbered addresses may not water their plants on odd-numbered days
  5. Don’t park airplanes in city parks
  6. Being jobless is illegal
Minnesota High School Students Sue for Jobless Aid | Courthouse News Service

Final Thoughts

As you can see, Minnesota is indeed the magical land of the Upper Midwest. Its rich history, vibrant cities, wonderful culture, and spectacular landmarks set it apart from the other midwestern states.

You can watch this video below to learn more about Minnesota facts.

Minnesota Facts And Stats

CapitalSaint Paul
Population2020 (5,706,494)
GovernorTim Walz ( Democratic Party)
Date Of AdmissionMay 11, 1858
U.S. SenatorsTina Smith ( Democratic Party)
Amy Klobuchar (Democratic Party)
US House of Representatives8 (of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameThe North Star StateThe Gopher State The land of 10,000 lakes 
State MottoL’etoile du Nord meaning Star of the North
State SongHail! Minnesota by Cyrus Northrop and Truman Rickard
State FlowerPink Lady’s Slipper
State FishWalleye
State BirdLoon
State TreeNorway Pine
State MammalWhite-Tailed Deer
State SportIce Hockey
State MineralThe Agate
State GemThe Lake Superior Agate
State FossilCastoroides Ohioensis
Neighbor StatesSouth DakotaNorth DakotaWisconsinIowaManitoba & Ontario (Canadian provinces)

Frequently Asked Questions 

What’s Minnesota Famous For?

  • Its cultural and natural beauty.
  • The wilderness, hiking trails, waterways, attraction sites such as Museums, and parks.

What are the two fascinating facts about Minnesota?

  • This state has a larger shoreline than Florida, Hawaii, and California combined.
  • Minnesota has more lakes than any state in the lower 48 states.

What are the 5 interesting facts about Minnesota?

  • In terms of size, it is the 12th largest state in the US. 
  • Its capital city is Saint Paul.
  • Minnesota achieved statehood in 1858.
  • It is located in the Upper Midwest section of North Central US.
  • Minneapolis is the state’s largest city.
  • It is home to Lake Superior, the largest freshwater lake globally. 


[1] https://www.britannica.com/place/Upper-Midwest

[2] https://www.roadsideamerica.com/tip/54833

[3] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continental_Divide_of_the_Americas

[4] https://www.hmdb.org/m.asp?m=27715#:~:text=Headwaters%20Hill%2C%20Colorado.-,Minnesota’s%20Triple%20Divide%20is%20located%20just%20to%20the%20north%20of,to%20the%20Gulf%20of%20St

[5] https://www.britannica.com/place/Mississippi-River

[6] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Agassiz

[7] https://www.audubon.org/mississippi-flyway

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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