Minnesota (U.S.A.)

2017-04-07 11:03:53 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Minnesota is a state in the midwestern and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U.S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, and is known by the slogan "Land of 10,000 Lakes". Its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord (French: Star of the North).

Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 21st most populous of the U.S. states; nearly 60 percent of its residents live in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area (known as the "Twin Cities"), the center of transportation, business, industry, education, and government and home to an internationally known arts community. The remainder of the state consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture; deciduous forests in the southeast, now partially cleared, farmed and settled; and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation.

Minnesota is known for its progressive political orientation and its high rate of civic participation and voter turnout. Until European settlement, Minnesota was inhabited by the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, the large majority of the European settlers emigrated from Scandinavia and Germany, and the state remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture. In recent decades, immigration from Asia, the Horn of Africa, and Latin America has broadened its historic demographic and cultural composition. Minnesota's standard of living index is among the highest in the United States, and the state is also among the best-educated and wealthiest in the nation.

Geography

Minnesota is the second northernmost U.S. state (after Alaska). Its isolated Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods county is the only part of the 48 contiguous states lying north of the 49th parallel. The state is part of the U.S. region known as the Upper Midwest and part of North America's Great Lakes Region. It shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and a land and water border with Wisconsin to the east. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota are to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are to the north. With 86,943 square miles (225,180 km2), or approximately 2.25 percent of the United States, Minnesota is the 12th-largest state.

Climate

Minnesota experiences temperature extremes characteristic of its continental climate, with cold winters and hot summers. The lowest temperature recorded was −60 °F (−51 °C) at Tower on February 2, 1996, whereas the highest was 114 °F (46 °C) at Moorhead on July 6, 1936. Meteorological events include rain, snow, blizzards, thunderstorms, hail, derechos, tornadoes, and high-velocity straight-line winds. The growing season varies from 90 days per year in the Iron Range to 160 days in southeast Minnesota near the Mississippi River, and average temperatures range from 37 to 49 °F (3 to 9 °C). Average summer dew points range from about 58 °F (14 °C) in the south to about 48 °F (9 °C) in the north. Average annual precipitation ranges from 19 to 35 inches (48 to 89 cm), and droughts occur every 10 to 50 years.

Population

From fewer than 6,120 people in 1850, Minnesota's population grew to over 1.7 million by 1900. Each of the next six decades saw a 15 percent increase in population, reaching 3.4 million in 1960. Growth then slowed, rising 11 percent to 3.8 million in 1970, and an average of 9 percent over the next three decades to 4.9 million in the 2000 Census. The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Minnesota was 5,489,594 on July 1, 2015, a 3.5 percent increase since the 2010 United States Census. The rate of population change, and age and gender distributions, approximate the national average. Minnesota's center of population is in Hennepin County.

Industry and commerce

Minnesota's earliest industries were fur trading and agriculture. The city of Minneapolis grew around the flour mills powered by St. Anthony Falls. Although less than one percent of the population is now employed in the agricultural sector,[80] it remains a major part of the state's economy, ranking sixth in the nation in the value of products sold.[81] The state is the U.S.'s largest producer of sugar beets, sweet corn, and green peas for processing, and farm-raised turkeys. Minnesota is also a large producer of corn and soybeans.[82] Minnesota has the most food cooperatives per capita in the United States.[83] Forestry remains strong, including logging, pulpwood processing and paper production, and forest products manufacturing. Minnesota was famous for its soft-ore mines, which produced a significant portion of the world's iron ore for over a century. Although the high-grade ore is now depleted, taconite mining continues, using processes developed locally to save the industry. In 2004, the state produced 75 percent of the country's usable iron ore.[82] The mining boom created the port of Duluth which continues to be important for shipping ore, coal, and agricultural products. The manufacturing sector now includes technology and biomedical firms in addition to the older food processors and heavy industry. The nation's first indoor shopping mall was Edina's Southdale Center and its largest is Bloomington's Mall of America.

Minnesota is one of 42 U.S. states with its own lottery; its games include Powerball, Mega Millions, Hot Lotto (all three multi-state), Northstar Cash and Gopher 5.

Fine and performing arts

Minnesota's leading fine art museums include the Minneapolis Institute of Art, the Walker Art Center, the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum, and the The Museum of Russian Art (TMORA). All are located in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Orchestra and the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra are prominent full-time professional musical ensembles that perform concerts and offer educational programs to the Twin Cities' community. The world-renowned Guthrie Theater moved into a new Minneapolis facility in 2006, boasting three stages and overlooking the Mississippi River. Attendance at theatrical, musical, and comedy events in the area is strong. In the United States, the Twin Cities' number of theater seats per capita ranks behind only New York City; with some 2.3 million theater tickets sold annually. The Minnesota Fringe Festival is an annual celebration of theatre, dance, improvisation, puppetry, kids' shows, visual art, and musicals. The summer festival consists of over 800 performances over 11 days in Minneapolis, and is the largest non-juried performing arts festival in the United States.

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