Minnesota is a midwestern state located in the United States. The state's northern border lies on the western shore of Lake Superior, one of the five Great Lakes in North America. To the east is Wisconsin, and to the south is Iowa. In addition, North Dakota and South Dakota border Minnesota to its northwest and southwest, respectively.
Including both land area and water area, Minnesota encompasses 86,935 square miles across its borders. Of this total area, 91.5% (79,626 square miles) constitutes land, with water making up the remaining 8.5% (7,309 square miles).
The northern part of the state consists primarily of wooded areas and lowlands formed through glaciation during earlier geological eras. In contrast, many places in southern Minnesota are characterized by rocky hills and bluffs along streams that form valleys between them, such as along the Mississippi River valley near La Crescent or Rochester near Silver Creek Valley. The central region is primarily flat grassland prairie like what was once common throughout much of North America's Midwest before European settlement impacting habitats drastically through farming practices that cleared much vegetation from large portions of it before settlers arrived in the early 19th century.
As observed on the map, from Bemidji east to Grand Portage, and north to its border with Canada is the state's most rugged landscape. This area of Minnesota is dominated by the Mesabi Range of low mountains (hills) and the Misquah Hills. Located in the northern part of Cook County is Eagle Mountain – the state’s highest point, which rises to an elevation of 2,301ft (701m). The state’s lowest point is the surface of Lake Superior, at an elevation of 602ft.
This large stretch of land is frequently referred to as the Boundary Waters Region, a wilderness of lakes and rivers carved into the bedrock by the movement of glaciers, and surrounded by thick green forests.
In the west along its border with North Dakota, the Red River Valley stretches from the Canadian border to the edges of South Dakota. This relatively flat strip of land is Minnesota's most productive farmland.
Since becoming a state, Minnesota has had several major natural disasters that have impacted waterways. These rivers or lakes are often more prone to change over time due to flooding caused by storms or artificial interventions such as dams being built upstream or nearby. However, many more minor changes have occurred over time as humans have moved into different parts and made adjustments necessary for their comfort, such as leveling out hilly terrain for farmsteads or creating recreational space in otherwise natural wilderness-like parks within city limits. As a result, Minnesota's landscape is significantly different from when the explorers Pierre Radisson and Medard des Groseilleirs first visited more than three centuries ago.
The State of Minnesota is divided into 87 counties. In alphabetical order, these counties are: Aitkin, Anoka, Becker, Beltrami, Benton, Big Stone, Blue Earth, Brown, Carlton, Carver, Cass, Chippewa, Chisago, Clay, Clearwater, Cook, Cottonwood, Crow Wing, Dakota, Dodge, Douglas, Faribault, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Grant, Hennepin, Houston, Hubbard, Isanti, Itasca, Jackson, Kanabec, Kandiyohi, Kittson, Koochiching, Lac Qui Parle, Lake, Lake of the Woods, Le Sueur, Lincoln, Lyon, Mahnomen, Marshall, Martin, McLeod, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Mower, Murray, Nicollet, Nobles, Norman, Olmsted, Otter Tail, Pennington, Pine, Pipestone, Polk, Pope, Ramsey, Red Lake, Redwood, Renville, Rice, Rock, Roseau, Saint Louis, Scott, Sherburne, Sibley, Stearns, Steele, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Traverse, Wabasha, Wadena, Waseca, Washington, Watonwan, Wilkin, Winona, Wright, and Yellow Medicine.
With an area of 225,163 sq. km, Minnesota is the 12th largest and the 22nd most populous state in the USA. Located in the southeastern part of the state, at the confluence of Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers is Saint Paul – the capital city of Minnesota. It serves as a major business center in the Upper Midwest region, and hosts the Xcel Energy Center – a multi-purpose arena and home of the Minnesota Wild. St. Paul city is also known for its high literacy levels and hosts the 2nd highest number of education facilities per capita in the United States. Situated on both the banks of the Mississippi River is Minneapolis – the largest and the most populous city in Minnesota. Minneapolis serves as the cultural and commercial center of the Midwest region. The cities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis together comprise the “Twin Cities Metropolitan Area”, which also functions as the chief administrative, business, industrial, education, cultural, and transportation center of the state.
The State of Minnesota is located in the North-Central (Midwest) region of the United States. Minnesota is bordered by the states of North Dakota and South Dakota in the west; by Iowa in the south and by Wisconsin and Lake Superior in the east. It is also bordered by the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario in the north.
Regional Maps: Map of North America
|Legal Name||State of Minnesota|
|ISO 3166 Code||US-MN|
|Capital City||Saint Paul|
Minneapolis-St. Paul (2,989,669)
This page was last updated on February 13, 2023