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Interesting Minnesota Facts

Minnesota is a midwestern state that’s a neighbor to Canada and Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes.

What is Minnesota famous for?

  • The state is famous for its natural and cultural beauty.
  • It’s a mix of wilderness, waterways, hiking trails, and cultural attractions like art museums, historic sites, and heritage festivals.


Quick Facts

Capital: Saint Paul

Population: 5.6 million

Nickname: The North Star State, The Gopher State

Key Cities: Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Duluth, Bloomington, Rochester

Postal Abbreviation: MN

Major Industries: Agriculture, manufacturing, mining, bioscience, fishing



How did Minnesota get its name: The name Minnesota means “cloudy water” or “sky-tinted water.”

Related: Minnesota State History

It comes from the Sioux words “minni” (meaning water) and “sotah” (meaning sky-tinted or cloudy). The name was first given to the Minnesota River.


Date admitted to the Union: Tuesday, May 11, 1858


Size: 86,943 sq. miles

Lowest point: Lake Superior at 601 feet

Highest point: Eagle Mountain at 2,301 feet

Counties: 87

Famous locations: Mall of America, Gooseberry Falls State Park, Minnehaha Park, Superior National Forest, North Shore Scenic Drive, Minneapolis Institute of Art


How many lakes does Minnesota have?

Minnesota is nicknamed “The Land of 10,000 Lakes,” but it has at least 11,842 lakes of 10 acres or more. If you count smaller lakes, the number goes up to as many as 15,000. 

Famous People from Minnesota

Prince – singer, born and raised in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Scott Fitzgerald – author, born in Saint Paul, Minnesota

Bob Dylan – singer, born in Duluth, Minnesota

Judy Garland – actress, born in Grand Rapids, Minnesota

Charles M. Schulz – cartoonist, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Jessica Biel – actress, born in Ely, Minnesota

Fun Facts about Minnesota

  • Minnesota is known for its lakes and forests, but it’s also home to the Twin Cities: Saint Paul and Minneapolis.
  • The Twin Cities are home to many Fortune 500 companies, including Best Buy, General Mills, Target, and Land ‘o Lakes.
  • The Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota is the largest mall in the United States. It’s 9.5 million square feet—the size of 78 football fields!
  • Minnesota hosted the first intercollegiate basketball game on February 9, 1895.
  • The Metrodome in Minneapolis is the only stadium in the country to host a World Series, a Super Bowl, and an NCAA Final Four Basketball Championship.
  • Minnesota inventions include water skis, the stapler, Scotch tape, Wheaties cereal, the automatic pop-up toaster, rollerblades, and Snickers.
  • The state of Minnesota has made many important contributions to the medical field. The first open heart surgery and the first bone marrow transplant in the U.S. were performed at the University of Minnesota.mayo-clinic-minneapolis
  • Rochester, Minnesota is home to the Mayo Clinic, which is world famous for its expert doctors and new medical discoveries.
  • The popular game The Oregon Trail was created in Minnesota.
  • In Minnesota, there are 201 mud lakes, which are basically shallow lakes with an average depth of 3 to 5 feet.
  • The first modern armored cars were built in Minnesota.
  • Minnesota has more coastline than the combined states of California, Florida, and Hawaii.
  • The first dedicated children’s section was established at the Minneapolis Public Library.
  • Minneapolis has the world’s longest skyway system.
  • Alexander Anderson invented the American version of the puffed rice cake here.
  • Old City Hall’s clocks have faces that are larger than Big Ben’s.
  • The Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden in Minnesota is the country’s oldest public wildflower garden.
  • Minneapolis has the highest number of golfers per capita of any US city.
  • With so many lakes, it is not surprising that there is 1 recreational boat per 6 people in Minnesota. No other state comes close to this number.
  • Until it fell in 1869 and was rebuilt by a concrete spillway, St. Anthony Falls in Minneapolis was the only large natural waterfall on the Upper Mississippi River.

More US state facts.