Enlarge ISBN (identifier) Saint Paul, Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
City of Minneapolis
Official seal of Minneapolis, Minnesota
Etymology: Dakota word mni ('water') with Greek polis ('city')
"City of Lakes", "Mill City", "Twin Cities" (a nickname shared with Saint Paul), "Mini Apple"
En Avant (French: 'Forward')
Location within Hennepin County
Location within Hennepin County
Minneapolis is located in Minnesota
Location within Minnesota
Minneapolis is located in the United States
Location within the United States
Minneapolis is located in North America
Minneapolis (North America)
Coordinates: 44°58′55″N 93°16′09″W / 44.98194°N 93.26917°W / 44.98194; -93.26917Coordinates: 44°58′55″N 93°16′09″W / 44.98194°N 93.26917°W / 44.98194; -93.26917
Country United States
State Minnesota
Founded byJohn H. Stevens and Franklin Steele
 • TypeWeak mayor–council[1]
 • BodyMinneapolis City Council
 • MayorJacob Frey (DFL)
 • Council PresidentLisa Bender (DFL)
 • City57.49 sq mi (148.89 km2)
 • Land54.00 sq mi (139.86 km2)
 • Water3.49 sq mi (9.03 km2)
830 ft (264 m)
 • City382,578
 • Estimate 
 • RankUS: 46th MN: 1st
 • Density7,955.67/sq mi (3,071.72/km2)
 • Metro
3,629,190 (US: 16th)[3]
 • CSA
4,014,593 (US: 16th)
Time zoneUTC–6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC–5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
55401–55488 (range includes some ZIP Codes for Minneapolis suburbs)
Area code(s)612
FIPS code27-43000
Major airportMinneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport
InterstatesI-94 (MN).svg I-35 (MN).svg I-394 (MN).svg I-35W (MN).svg
U.S. RoutesUS 52.svg US 12.svg
Public transportationMetro Transit
Websitewww.minneapolismn.gov Edit this at Wikidata

Minneapolis (/ˌmɪniˈæpəlɪs/ (About this soundlisten)) is the largest and most populous city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and the seat of Hennepin County, the state's most populous county.[4][7] As of 2019, Minneapolis has an estimated population of 429,606, making it the 46th-largest city in the United States, the 8th-largest in the Midwestern United States, and the second-most densely populated large city in the region behind Chicago.[5] Minneapolis and its neighbor Saint Paul make up the Twin Cities, with Minneapolis being the larger of the two. The Twin Cities metro and their surrounding suburbs contain about 3.64 million people, making it the third-largest economic and population center in the Midwest and the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States.[8]

Minneapolis lies on both banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the river's confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Saint Paul, the state's capital. The city is abundantly rich in water, with 13 lakes, wetlands, the Mississippi River, creeks and waterfalls; many connected by parkways in the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. Due in part to its high degree of accessibility, the city is often ranked as having one of the best park systems in the United States.[9] Minneapolis was once the world's flour milling capital and a hub for timber. The city and surrounding region is the primary business center between Chicago and Seattle, as well as the largest urban population area between the two cities. Minneapolis is home to five Fortune 500 companies, and the Twin Cities are the fifth-largest hub of major corporate headquarters in the United States.

Minneapolis has the fourth largest percentage of LGBT people in the U.S.[10][11] Noted for its strong music and performing arts scenes, Minneapolis is home to both the award-winning Guthrie Theater and the historic First Avenue nightclub. Reflecting the region's status as a center of folk, funk, and alternative rock music, the city served as the launching pad for several of the 20th century's most influential musicians, including Bob Dylan and Prince.[12][13] Minneapolis has also become noted for its underground and independent hip-hop and rap scenes, producing artists such as Lizzo, Brother Ali, Atmosphere, and Dessa.[14] Renowned for its investment in biking infrastructure, the city is frequently ranked as one of the best cities in the United States for biking.[15][16]


Before its incorporation, the city was known by several different names. The Dakota name for Minneapolis is Bdeóta Othúŋwe ('Many Lakes City').[17] The St. Paul Pioneer dubbed it facetiously "All Saints" anticipating that the town might absorb its neighbors St. Paul and St. Anthony. First west-bank settler John H. Stevens preferred "Hennepin" for the town and "Snelling" for the county. It was called "Lowell" for its water features, "Addiesville" or "Adasville" for a daughter of settler Charles Hoag, "Winona" by those who wished to preserve indigenous language, and "Brooklyn". "Albion" was recorded by the newly organized county government but a majority of residents rejected that name. The city's first schoolmaster, Hoag was searching for indigenous syllables, when he stumbled on "Indianapolis". In the St. Anthony Express, Hoag proposed "Minnehapolis," with a silent h, to combine the Dakota word for waterfall, Mníȟaȟa,[17] and the Greek word for city, polis. Express editor George Bowman and Daniel Payne dropped the h, leaving out the hah, to create Minneapolis, meaning 'city of the falls'.[18]


Dakota natives, city founded

Early map of the Minneapolis area showing Dakota paths and villages c. 1834

The Dakota Sioux were the region's sole residents when French explorers arrived in 1680. Gradually, more European-American settlers arrived, competing for game and other resources with the Native Americans. By the Treaty of Paris following the Revolutionary War, British land east of the Mississippi River became part of the United States.[19][20] In the early 19th century, the United States acquired land to the west of the river from France in the Louisiana Purchase. Fort Snelling was built in 1819 by the U.S. Army at the southern edge of present-day Minneapolis and also bordering Saint Paul as the U.S. military's most remote outpost,[21] to direct Indian trade away from the French and English to the U.S., and to prevent the Dakota and Ojibwe in the north from fighting each other.[22] The fort attracted traders, settlers and merchants, spurring growth. Agents of the St. Peters Indian Agency built at the fort enforced U.S. policy of assimilating Native Americans into European-American society, asking them to give up hunting for subsistence and to learn to plow for cultivation.[23] The U.S. government pressed the Dakota to sell their land which was ceded in a succession of treaties. The U.S. reneged on the treaties during the Civil War, resulting in hunger, war, internment, and exile of the Dakota from Minnesota.

Outwitting the fort's commandant, Franklin Steele laid his claim on the east bank of Saint Anthony Falls,[22] and Stevens built his home on the west bank.[24] The Minnesota Territorial Legislature authorized Minneapolis as a town in 1856, on the Mississippi's west bank. Minneapolis incorporated as a city in 1867 and later joined with the east-bank city of St. Anthony in 1872.[25]

Waterpower; lumber and flour milling

Minneapolis developed around Saint Anthony Falls, the highest waterfall on the Mississippi River and a source of power for its early industry. Forests in northern Minnesota were a valuable resource for the lumber industry, which operated seventeen sawmills on power from the waterfall.

Stereo sepia views of a settlement of dozens of small buildings on a river, with water on both sides of grassy island. Both images are mounted on an oblong card yellowed with age.
Stereoscopic view of Minneapolis, early 20th century

By 1871, the west river bank had twenty-three businesses, including flour mills, woolen mills, iron works, a railroad machine shop, and mills for cotton, paper, sashes, and planing wood.[26] Due to the occupational hazards of milling, six local sources of artificial limbs were competing in the prosthetics business by the 1890s.[27] The farmers of the Great Plains grew grain that was shipped by rail to the city's 34 flour mills. Millers have used hydropower elsewhere since the 1st century B.C.,[28] but the results in Minneapolis between 1880 and 1930 were so remarkable the city has been described as "the greatest direct-drive waterpower center the world has ever seen."[29]

Two men who loaded flour and a bag of flour that says Monahan's Minneapolis and a Pillsbury truck
Loading flour, Pillsbury, 1939

A father of modern milling in America and founder of what became General Mills, Cadwallader C. Washburn converted his business from gristmills to truly revolutionary technology, including "gradual reduction" processing by steel and porcelain roller mills capable of producing premium-quality pure white flour very quickly.[30][31] Some ideas were developed by William Dixon Gray[32] and some acquired through industrial espionage from Hungary by William de la Barre.[31] Charles A. Pillsbury and the C.A. Pillsbury Company across the river were barely a step behind, hiring Washburn employees to immediately use the new methods.[31] The hard red spring wheat that grows in Minnesota became valuable ($0.50 profit per barrel in 1871 increased to $4.50 in 1874),[30] and Minnesota "patent" flour was recognized at the time as the best in the world.[31]

Not until later did consumers discover the value in the bran (which contains wheat's vitamins, minerals and fiber) that "...Minneapolis flour millers routinely dumped" into the Mississippi.[33] After 1883, a Minneapolis miller virtually started a new industry when he began to sell bran byproduct as animal feed.[34] Millers cultivated relationships with academic scientists, especially at the University of Minnesota. Those scientists backed them politically on many issues, such as in the early 20th century when health advocates in the nascent field of nutrition criticized the flour "bleaching" process.[31] At peak production, a single mill at Washburn-Crosby made enough flour for 12 million loaves of bread each day;[35] by 1900, 14.1 percent of America's grain was milled in Minneapolis.[30][31] Further, by 1895, through the efforts of silent partner William Hood Dunwoody, Washburn-Crosby exported four million barrels of flour a year to the United Kingdom.[36] When exports reached their peak in 1900, about one third of all flour milled in Minneapolis was shipped overseas.[36]

Corruption, bigotry, social movements, urban renewal

group of men holding pipes confronting police on street seen from above
Battle between striking teamsters and police, Minneapolis general strike of 1934

Known initially as a kindly physician, Doc Ames led the city into corruption during four terms as mayor just before 1900.[37] The gangster Kid Cann was famous for bribery and intimidation during the 1930s and 1940s.[38] The city made dramatic changes to rectify discrimination as early as 1886 when Martha Ripley founded Maternity Hospital for both married and unmarried mothers.[39]

Different forms of bigotry played roles during the first half of the 20th century. In 1910, a Minneapolis developer started writing restrictive covenants based on race and ethnicity into his deeds. Copied by other developers, the practice prevented minorities from owning or leasing such properties. Though such language was prohibited by state law in 1953 and by the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968, restrictive covenants against minorities remained in many Minneapolis deeds as recently as 2017.[40] The Ku Klux Klan succeeded by entering family life, but effectively was a force in the city only from 1921 until 1923.[41] After Minnesota passed a eugenics law in 1925, the proprietors of Eitel Hospital sterilized about one thousand people at the Faribault State Hospital.[42]

From the end of World War I until 1950, Minneapolis was a "particularly virulent" site of anti-semitism. A hate group known as the Silver Legion of America recruited members in the city and held meetings around 1936 to 1938.[43] Answering bigotry against Jewish doctors, Mount Sinai Hospital opened in 1948 as the first hospital in the community to accept members of minority races and religions on its medical staff.[44][43]

A dozen men in hats sitting on public benches facing an avenue of older stone buildings
The Gateway District in 1939

When the country's fortunes turned during the Great Depression, the violent Teamsters Strike of 1934 resulted in laws acknowledging workers' rights.[45] A lifelong civil rights activist and union supporter, mayor Hubert Humphrey helped the city establish fair employment practices and a human relations council that interceded on behalf of minorities by 1946.[46] In the 1950s, about 1.6% of the population of Minneapolis was nonwhite.[47] Minneapolis contended with white supremacy, participated in desegregation and the civil rights movement, and in 1968 was the birthplace of the American Indian Movement.[48]

During the 1950s and 1960s, as part of urban renewal, the city razed about 200 buildings across 25 city blocks (roughly 40% of downtown), destroying the Gateway District and many buildings with notable architecture, including the Metropolitan Building. Efforts to save the building failed but are credited with sparking interest in historic preservation in the state.[49]

On May 25, 2020, police officer Derek Chauvin was seen on tape kneeling on George Floyd's neck for 8 minutes, resulting in his death. This incident sparked national unrest, riots, and mass protests.[50] The Twin Cities experienced prolonged unrest in 2020 largely as a cultural reckoning on topics of racial injustice.[51]

panoramic view of Saint Anthony Falls and the Mississippi riverfront in 1915
Mississippi riverfront and Saint Anthony Falls in 1915. At left, Pillsbury, power plants and the Stone Arch Bridge. Today the Minnesota Historical Society's Mill City Museum is in the Washburn "A" Mill, across the river just to the left of the falls. At center left are Northwestern Consolidated mills. The tall building is Minneapolis City Hall. In the right foreground are Nicollet Island and the Hennepin Avenue Bridge.

Geography and climate

Downtown skyline in view over Lake Calhoun and its dock
View of downtown Minneapolis across Bde Maka Ska[52]

The history and economic growth of Minneapolis are tied to water, the city's defining physical characteristic, which was brought to the region during the last ice age 10,000 years ago. Ice blocks deposited in valleys by retreating glaciers created the lakes of Minneapolis.[53] Fed by a receding glacier and Lake Agassiz, torrents of water from a glacial river cut the Mississippi riverbed and created the river's only waterfall, Saint Anthony Falls, important to the early settlers of Minneapolis.[54]

Lying on an artesian aquifer[55] and flat terrain, Minneapolis has a total area of 58.4 square miles (151.3 km2) and of this 6% is water.[56] Water supply is managed by four watershed districts that correspond to the Mississippi and the city's three creeks.[57] Twelve lakes, three large ponds, and five unnamed wetlands are within Minneapolis.[57]

Battered by logs in the river and reduced by quarrying of its limestone, Spirit Island at one time marked the river at Saint Anthony Falls, until white settlement erased its Dakota tradition. The United States Army Corps of Engineers removed the island from the river in 1960.[58]

The city center is located at 45° N latitude.[59] The city's lowest elevation of 686 feet (209 m) is near where Minnehaha Creek meets the Mississippi River. The site of the Prospect Park Water Tower is often cited as the city's highest point[60] and a placard in Deming Heights Park denotes the highest elevation. A spot at 974 feet (297 m) in or near Waite Park in Northeast Minneapolis, however, is corroborated by Google Earth as the highest ground.


The Minneapolis skyline rises to its highest point at the center of the image, with the three tallest buildings standing out against a clear blue sky. Before the skyline are trees, university buildings, and residential complexes.
The Minneapolis skyline seen from the Prospect Park Water Tower in July 2014
Climate chart (explanation)
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: [61]


Minneapolis experiences a hot-summer humid continental climate (Dfa in the Köppen climate classification),[62] typical of southern parts of the Upper Midwest, and is situated in USDA plant hardiness zone 4b, with small enclaves of the city classified as being zone 5a.[63][64][65] The city features cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers. As is typical in a continental climate, the difference between average temperatures in the coldest winter month and the warmest summer month is great: 60.1 °F (33.4 °C).

According to the NOAA, Minneapolis's annual average for sunshine duration is 58%.[66]

The city experiences a full range of precipitation and related weather events, including snow, sleet, ice, rain, thunderstorms, and fog. The highest recorded temperature was 108 °F (42 °C) in July 1936 while the lowest was −41 °F (−41 °C) in January 1888. The snowiest winter on record was 1983–84, when 98.6 inches (250 cm) of snow fell,[67] and the least snowy winter was 1890–91, when only 11.1 inches (28 cm) fell.[68]

Climate data for Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport (1981–2010 normals,[a] extremes 1871–present)[b]
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 58
Mean maximum °F (°C) 43.1
Average high °F (°C) 23.7
Average low °F (°C) 7.5
Mean minimum °F (°C) −15.0
Record low °F (°C) −41
Average precipitation inches (mm) 0.90
Average snowfall inches (cm) 12.2
trace 0
trace 0.6
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 8.9 7.4 9.3 10.7 11.5 11.3 10.2 9.7 9.8 9.2 8.7 9.8 116.5
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 8.4 6.8 5.4 2.0 0.1 0 0 0 0 0.6 5.2 9.3 37.8
Average relative humidity (%) 69.9 69.5 67.4 60.3 60.4 63.8 64.8 67.9 70.7 68.3 72.6 74.1 67.5
Average dew point °F (°C) 4.1
Mean monthly sunshine hours 156.7 178.3 217.5 242.1 295.2 321.9 350.5 307.2 233.2 181.0 112.8 114.3 2,710.7
Percent possible sunshine 55 61 59 60 64 69 74 71 62 53 39 42 59
Average ultraviolet index 1 2 3 5 7 8 8 7 5 3 2 1 4
Source: NOAA (relative humidity, dew point and sun 1961−1990)[70][71][72]


Racial composition 2010[74] 1990[75] 1970[75] 1950[75]
White 63.8% 78.4% 93.6% 98.4%
 —Non-Hispanic 60.3% 77.5% 92.8%[76] n/a
Black or African American 18.6% 13% 4.4% 1.3%
Hispanic or Latino (of any race) 10.5% 2.1% 0.9%[76] n/a
Asian 5.6% 4.3% 0.4% 0.2%
Other race 5.6% n/a n/a n/a
Two or more races 4.4% n/a n/a n/a

As of the 2010 U.S. census, the racial composition was as follows:[77][78]

European Americans make up about three-fifths of Minneapolis's population. This community is predominantly of German and Scandinavian descent. There are 82,870 German Americans in the city, making up over one-fifth (23.1%) of the population. The Scandinavian-American population is primarily Norwegian and Swedish. There are 39,103 Norwegian Americans, making up 10.9% of the population; there are 30,349 Swedish Americans, making up 8.5% of the city's population. Danish Americans are not nearly as numerous as there are 4,434 of them, making up only 1.3% of the population. Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish Americans together make up 20.7% of the population. This means that ethnic Germans and Scandinavians together make up 43.8% of Minneapolis's population, and make up the majority of Minneapolis's non-Hispanic white population. Other significant European groups in the city include those of Irish (11.3%), English (7.0%), Polish (3.9%), French (3.5%) and Italian (2.3%) descent. African Americans make up 18.6% of the city's population, with a large fraction hailing from Rust Belt cities such as Chicago and Gary, Indiana, over the past three decades.[80]

Person entering the front of the American Swedish Institute
American Swedish Institute. Immigrants from Scandinavia arrived beginning in the 1860s.

There are 10,711 individuals who identify as multiracial in Minneapolis: People of black and white ancestry number at 3,551, and make up 1.0% of the population. People of white and Native American ancestry number at 2,319, and make up 0.6% of the population. Those of white and Asian ancestry number at 1,871, and make up 0.5% of the population. Lastly, people of black and Native American ancestry number at 885, and make up 0.2% of Minneapolis's population.

As early as the 16th century, Dakota tribes, mostly the Mdewakanton, were known as permanent settlers near their sacred site of St. Anthony Falls.[25] New settlers arrived during the 1850s and 1860s in Minneapolis from New England, New York, Bohemia[81] (now the Czech Republic)[82] and Canada, and, during the mid-1860s, immigrants from Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark began to call the city home. Migrant workers from Mexico and Latin America also interspersed.[83] Other immigrants came from Germany, Poland, Italy, and Greece. Many Central European immigrants settled in the Northeast neighborhood of the city, which to this day remains diverse and is known for its Czech[84] (see Czech Americans) and Polish cultural heritage. Jews from Central and Eastern Europe, and Russia began arriving in the 1880s and settled primarily on the north side of the city before moving in large numbers to the western suburbs in the 1950s and 1960s.[85] Asians came from China, the Philippines, Japan, and Korea. Two groups came for a short while during U.S. government relocations: Japanese during the 1940s, and Native Americans during the 1950s. From 1970 onward, Asians arrived from Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Thailand. Beginning in the 1990s, a sizable Latino population arrived, along with immigrants from the Horn of Africa, especially Somalia.[86] Like other major cities, the metropolitan area has been an immigrant gateway that had a 127% increase in foreign-born residents between 1990 and 2000.[87]

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates the population of Minneapolis to be 422,331 as of 2017, a 10.4% increase since the 2010 census.[88] The population grew until 1950, when the census peaked at 521,718, and then declined until about 1990 as people moved to the suburbs.

Among U.S. cities as of 2006, Minneapolis has the fourth-highest percentage of gay, lesbian, or bisexual people in the adult population, with 12.5% (behind San Francisco, and slightly behind both Seattle and Atlanta).[89][90] In 2012, The Advocate named Minneapolis the seventh gayest city in America.[91] In 2013, the city was among 25 U.S. cities to receive the highest possible score from the Human Rights Campaign, signifying its support for LGBT residents.[92]

Racial and ethnic minorities in the city lag behind white counterparts in education, with 15.0% of blacks and 13.0% of Hispanics holding bachelor's degrees compared to 42.0% of the white population. The standard of living is on the rise, with incomes among the highest in the Midwest, but median household income among minorities is below that of whites by over $17,000. Regionally, home ownership among minority residents is half that of whites, though Asian home ownership has doubled. In 2000, the poverty rate for whites was 4.2%; for blacks it was 26.2%; for Asians, 19.1%; Native Americans, 23.2%; and Hispanics, 18.1%.[87][93][94]

In December 2018, the Minneapolis City Council voted to end single-family zoning citywide. At the time, 70% of residential land was zoned for detached single-family homes. The New York Times explains that the United States, as a whole, is suffering from an acute shortage of affordable places to live, particularly in urban areas where economic opportunity is concentrated, leading to rising homelessness rates and housing prices. Studies have found that single-family neighborhoods exacerbates the problem of the rising cost of housing by limiting the supply of available units.[95] Many Minneapolis blocks today date to before the 1920s, with duplexes or small apartment buildings next to single-family homes. For years, those older buildings were considered "nonconforming" to the cities' ordinances. Under Minneapolis's new plan, that distinction will end as townhomes, duplexes and apartments will become the preferred norm. Therefore, most improvements of these ideas are not new, but rather retroactively undoing typical notions and policies set in the past. Slate Magazine explained that single-family home zoning was devised as a legal way to keep black Americans and other minorities from moving into certain neighborhoods, and it still functions as an effective barrier today.[96] Thus, zoning was used as an indirect way to enact residential racial segregation. Further, Politico Magazine explains that single-family-only neighborhoods, which were common of city and suburban planning for years, and have been components of the American dream: streets lined with stand-alone houses, green lawns and plenty of room. Minneapolis' new plan would reshape the urban streetscape around walking and mass transit.[97] Minneapolis's approach has been to upzone every single-family neighborhood at once. In addition to cost, single-family neighborhoods constrain the economic potential of cities by limiting growth and contributes to climate change, by necessitating sprawl and long commutes. Increasing housing density, which can be measured as the number of dwelling units per acre of residential area, not including streets, open space, or other non-residential space, can be a way that cities can become more environmentally sustainable.[98]


One author described racial disparities as the most significant challenge facing Minneapolis in the first decades of the 21st century, claiming that the city's Indigenous and minority populations had fared worse than the city's white population for many measures of well being, such as health outcomes, academic achievement, income, and home ownership.[99] Several other commentators and observers have also written about historic racism and socioeconomic disparities in the city.[100][101][102] In 2015, police shot and killed Jamar Clark, a Black Minneapolis resident, leading to several weeks of protests in North Minneapolis.[103] In 2020, a number of riots and protests broke out in the city following the killing of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a police officer on May 25 after police were called because Floyd allegedly used counterfeit money at a convenience store. An eyewitness video showed a police officer kneeling on Floyd's neck until he lost consciousness and later died.[104] While many protesters and gatherings in May and June 2020 were peaceful, clashes between police forces and protesters culminated in three evenings from May 28 to May 30 of widespread property damage, looting, and fires. Estimates of property damage were upwards of $500 million, making the unrest in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area the second most destructive in United States history after the 1992 Los Angeles riots.[105] Floyd's death and the resulting unrest in Minneapolis inspired a global protest movement in support of Black Lives Matter and to end systemic racism and police brutality.[106][107]


The Dakota people, the original inhabitants of the area where Minneapolis now stands, believed in the Great Spirit and were surprised that not all European settlers were religious.[109] More than 50 denominations and religions have an established presence in Minneapolis: According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 70% of the population of the city identified themselves as Christians, with 46% professing attendance at a variety of churches that could be considered Protestant (most of whom being Lutheran due to the city's German and Scandinavian heritage), and 21% professing Roman Catholic beliefs.[110][111] The same study says that other religions (including Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and Hinduism) collectively make up about 5% of the population, and 23% claimed no religious affiliation.

Those who arrived from New England were for the most part Christian Protestants, Quakers, and Universalists.[109] The oldest continuously used church in the city, Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, was built in the Nicollet Island/East Bank neighborhood in 1856 by Universalists and soon afterward was acquired by a French Catholic congregation.[112] The first Jewish congregation in Minneapolis was formed in 1878 as Shaarai Tov (though it has been known since 1920 as Temple Israel) and in 1928 built a synagogue in the East Isles neighborhood.[85] St. Mary's Orthodox Cathedral was founded in 1887, opened a missionary school in 1897, and in 1905 created the first Russian Orthodox seminary in the U.S.[113] Edwin Hawley Hewitt designed both St. Mark's Episcopal Cathedral and Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church on Hennepin Avenue just south of downtown.[114] The first basilica in the United States, and co-cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, the Basilica of Saint Mary near Loring Park was named by Pope Pius XI in 1926.[109]

Religion in Minneapolis (2014)[115]
Religion Percent
No affiliation

The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Decision magazine, and World Wide Pictures film and television distribution were headquartered in Minneapolis from the late 1940s into the 2000s.[116] Jim Bakker and Tammy Faye met while attending the Pentecostal North Central University and began a television ministry that by the 1980s reached 13.5 million households.[117] Today, Mount Olivet Lutheran Church in southwest Minneapolis is the nation's second-largest Lutheran congregation, with about 6,000 attendees.[118] Christ Church Lutheran in the Longfellow neighborhood, designed by Eliel Saarinen with an education building by his son Eero Saarinen, is a National Historic Landmark.[119]

During the 1950s, members of the Nation of Islam created a temple in north Minneapolis,[120] and the first Muslim mosque was built in 1967.[121] In 1972 a relief agency resettled the first Shi'a Muslim family from Uganda. By 2004, between 20,000 and 30,000 Somali Muslims made the city their home.[122] In 1972 after the death of Shunryū Suzuki, Minnesotans at the San Francisco Zen Center invited Buddhist monk Dainin Katagiri to move from California to Minneapolis—by one account, a place he thought nobody else would want to go. He founded a lineage which today includes three Sōtō Zen centers among the city's nearly 20 Buddhist and meditation centers.[123][124] Atheists For Human Rights has its headquarters in the Shingle Creek neighborhood in a geodesic dome.[125] Minneapolis has had a chartered local body of Ordo Templi Orientis since 1994.[126] Hindus are served by multiple temples in Minneapolis and the Hindu Temple of Minnesota in Maple Grove.[127]


Large Capella tower and U.S. Bancorp towers reflection
White U.S. Bank towers reflected in the Capella Tower

The Minneapolis–St. Paul area is the third largest economic center in the Midwest, behind Chicago and Detroit.[8] During the city's formative years, millers had to pay cash for wheat during the growing season and then hold it until it was needed for flour. This required large amounts of capital, which stimulated the local banking industry and made Minneapolis a major financial center.[128] The economy of Minneapolis today is based in commerce, finance, rail and trucking services, health care, and industry. Smaller components are in publishing, milling, food processing, graphic arts, insurance, education, and high technology. Industry produces metal and automotive products, chemical and agricultural products, electronics, computers, precision medical instruments and devices, plastics, and machinery.[129] The city at one time produced farm implements.[130]

The Twin Cities metropolitan area has the fifth highest concentration of major corporate headquarters in the country, with five Fortune 500 corporations headquartered within the city limits of Minneapolis: Target, U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy, Ameriprise Financial and Thrivent Financial.[131][132] As of 2015, the city's largest employers downtown are Target, Wells Fargo, HCMC, Hennepin County, Ameriprise, U.S. Bancorp, Xcel Energy, the city of Minneapolis, RBC Wealth Management, the Star Tribune newspaper, Capella Education Company, Thrivent, CenturyLink, ABM Industries, and the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.[133]

two approximately 30-story towers made of glass windows on a downtown street, other towers visible in background
Target Corporation's 361,000 employees operate 1,801 stores throughout the U.S.[134]

Foreign companies with U.S. offices in Minneapolis include Accenture, Bellisio Foods (now part of Charoen Pokphand Foods),[135] Canadian Pacific, Coloplast,[136] RBC[137] and Voya Financial.[138] In its 2018 survey for expatriate executives,[139] The Economist ranked Minneapolis the third-most expensive city in North America and 26th in the world.[140]

The Twin Cities contribute 63.8% of the gross state product of Minnesota. Measured by gross metropolitan product per resident ($62,054), Minneapolis is the fifteenth richest city in the U.S.[141] The area's $199.6 billion gross metropolitan product and its per capita personal income rank thirteenth in the U.S.[142] Recovering from the nation's recession in 2000, personal income grew 3.8% in 2005, though it was behind the national average of 5%. The city returned to peak employment during the fourth quarter of that year.[143]

The Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis serves Minnesota, Montana, North and South Dakota, and parts of Wisconsin and Michigan. The smallest of the 12 regional banks in the Federal Reserve System, it operates a nationwide payments system, oversees member banks and bank holding companies, and serves as a banker for the U.S. Treasury.[144] The Minneapolis Grain Exchange, founded in 1881, is still located near the riverfront and is the only exchange for hard red spring wheat futures and options.[145]


Minneapolis's cultural organizations draw creative people and audiences to the city for theater, visual art, writing and music. The community's diverse population also continues to manage a long tradition of charitable support through progressive public social programs, VOLAGs and volunteering, as well as through private and corporate philanthropy.[146][147]

Visual arts

The Walker Art Center, one of the five largest modern art museums in the U.S., sits atop Lowry Hill, near the downtown area. The size of the center was doubled with an addition in 2005 by Herzog & de Meuron, and expanded with the conversion of a 15 acres (6.1 ha) park designed by Michel Desvigne, located across the street from the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.[148]

Known as Mia since its 100th anniversary, the Minneapolis Institute of Art, designed by McKim, Mead & White in 1915 in south central Minneapolis, is the largest art museum in the city, with 100,000 pieces in its permanent collection. New wings, designed by Kenzo Tange and Michael Graves, opened in 1974 and 2006, respectively, for contemporary and modern works, as well as more gallery space.[149]

center of imposing facade of a block-long, white classical building
Mia is open daily and offers free admission to its collection of 90,000 objects spanning 20,000 years.[150]

The Weisman Art Museum, designed by Frank Gehry for the University of Minnesota, opened in 1993. An addition that doubled the size of the galleries, also designed by Gehry, opened in 2011.[151] The Weisman Art Museum offers free admission.[152] The Museum of Russian Art opened in a restored church in 2005[153] and exhibits a collection of 20th-century Russian art as well as lecture series, seminars, social functions and other special events.

USA Today voted the Northeast Minneapolis Arts District as the nation's best art district in 2015, citing 400 independent artists, a center at the Northrup King Building, and recurring annual events like Art-A-Whirl every spring, and the Fine Arts Show Art Attack and Casket Arts Quad's Cache open studio events in November.[154][155]

Theater and performing arts

Minneapolis has been a cultural center for theatrical performances since the mid 1800s. Early theaters included the Pence Opera House,[156] the Academy of Music, the Grand Opera House, the Lyceum, and later the Metropolitan Opera House, which opened in 1894.[157]

The city is second only to New York City in terms of the number of theater companies per capita[158] and is the third-largest theater market in the United States.[159] Theater companies and troupes such as the Illusion, Jungle, Mixed Blood, Penumbra, Mu Performing Arts, Bedlam Theatre, Blackout Improv, HUGE Improv Theater, the Brave New Workshop, the Minnesota Dance Theatre, Red Eye Theater, Skewed Visions, Theater Latté Da, In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre, Lundstrum Center for the Performing Arts and the Children's Theatre Company are based in Minneapolis.

The Guthrie Theater, the area's largest theater company, occupies a three-stage complex overlooking the Mississippi, designed by French architect Jean Nouvel.[149] The company was founded in 1963 by Sir Tyrone Guthrie as a prototype alternative to Broadway, and it produces a wide variety of shows throughout the year.[160][161] Minneapolis purchased and renovated the Orpheum, State, and Pantages Theatres vaudeville and film houses on Hennepin Avenue, which are now used for concerts and plays.[162] A fourth renovated theater, the former Shubert, joined with the Hennepin Center for the Arts to become the Cowles Center for Dance and the Performing Arts, home to more than one dozen performing arts groups.[163][164] The city is home to Minnesota Fringe Festival, which features hundreds of performances and productions each year.[165]


Prince, in a frock and jacket, smiles with a hand to his left ear.
Recording artist Prince studied at the Minnesota Dance Theatre through the Minneapolis Public Schools.[166][167]

The Minnesota Orchestra plays classical and popular music at the city's Orchestra Hall under music director Osmo Vänskä[168]—a critic writing for The New Yorker in 2010 described it as "the greatest orchestra in the world."[169] The orchestra was nominated in 2013 for its recording of "Sibelius: Symphonies Nos. 2 & 5," and it won a Grammy Award in 2014 for "Sibelius: Symphonies Nos 1 & 4."[170][171] Vänskä departed in 2013 when a labor dispute remained unresolved, which forced the cancellation of concerts scheduled for Carnegie Hall.[172] After a 15-month lockout, a contract settlement resulted in the return of the performers, including Vänskä, to Orchestra Hall in January 2014.[173]

According to DownBeat, for 25 years the Dakota Jazz Club has been one of the world's best jazz venues. Newer on the scene, Crooners in northeast Minneapolis also won world's best in 2020.[174]

Singer and multi-instrumentalist Prince was born in Minneapolis and lived in the area most of his life.[175] After Jimmy Jam and his 11-piece Mind & Matter broke through discrimination that had created a race barrier downtown, Prince reached a global multiracial audience with his combination of indecency and religion.[176] An authentic musical prodigy enriched by a music program at The Way Community Center, Prince learned to operate a Polymoog at Sound 80 for his first album that became a sonic element of the Minneapolis sound.[177] With fellow local musicians, many of whom recorded at Twin/Tone Records,[178] Prince helped make First Avenue and the 7th Street Entry prominent venues for both artists and audiences.[179]

Night downtown, shot tilted to right
In 1970, Allan Fingerhut saw the potential for the nightclub that became First Avenue & 7th Street Entry which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2020.[180]

Other artists from Minneapolis include Hüsker Dü and The Replacements, who were pivotal in the U.S. alternative rock boom during the 1980s. Their respective frontmen Bob Mould and Paul Westerberg developed successful solo careers.[181] The city is home to the MN Spoken Word Association and independent hip hop label Rhymesayers Entertainment and has garnered attention for rap, hip hop and spoken word.[182] Underground Minnesota hip hop acts such as Atmosphere and Manny Phesto frequently comment about the city and Minnesota in song lyrics.[183][184]

Tom Waits released two songs about the city, "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" (Blue Valentine, 1978) and "9th & Hennepin" (Rain Dogs, 1985), and Lucinda Williams recorded "Minneapolis" (World Without Tears, 2003). In 2008, the century-old MacPhail Center for Music opened a new facility designed by James Dayton.[185]

Locally and internationally recognized Minneapolis electronic dance music artists include Woody McBride,[186] Freddy Fresh[187] and DVS1.[188]

Minneapolis is home to three opera companies: Minnesota Opera, Mill City Summer Opera and Really Spicy Opera, known for its productions of new musicals and operas.[189]


Minneapolis is the third-most literate city in the U.S.[190] and hosted the founding of Open Book, the largest literary and book arts center in the country. The Center consists of the Loft Literary Center, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts and Milkweed Editions, which The New York Times called the country's largest independent nonprofit literary publisher.[191] The Center exhibits and teaches both contemporary art and traditional crafts of writing, papermaking, letterpress printing and bookbinding.[191] Publishers located in Minneapolis include Coffee House Press and the University of Minnesota Press.


Five story brick building; painted sign "bank's" on one side
Alight (formerly the American Refugee Committee) is located on the top floor of the Bank's building.

Philanthropy and charitable giving are part of the community.[192] More than 40% of adults in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul area give time to volunteer work, the highest percentage of any large metropolitan area in the United States.[193] The metropolitan area gives 13% of its total charitable donations to the arts and culture. The majority of the estimated $1 billion recent expansion of arts facilities was contributed privately.[194]

The oldest foundation in Minnesota, The Minneapolis Foundation invests and administers over 900 charitable funds and connects donors to nonprofit organizations.[195]

Alight helps 2.5 million refugees and displaced persons each year in Asili-Democratic Republic of Congo, Jordan, Myanmar, Pakistan, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Thailand and Uganda.[196] In 2011, Target Corporation was listed 42nd in a list of the best 100 corporate citizens in CR magazine for corporate responsibility officers.[197] Catholic Charities USA is one of the largest providers of social services locally.[198]


West Broadway Avenue was a cultural center during the early 20th century but by the 1950s, flight to the suburbs began, and streetcars closed down.[199] One of the largest urban food deserts in the United States was in North Minneapolis, where, as of mid-2017, 70,000 people had only two grocery stores.[200] Wirth Co-op since opened in 2017 but closed within a year. North Market opened in 2017.[201][202]

As of 2019, Minneapolis-based chefs have won James Beard Foundation Awards: Ann Kim, chef at Young Joni, Pizza Lola and Hello Pizza, won in 2019.[203] Founder of the Sioux Chef, Sean Sherman won two James Beard prizes in 2019: the leadership award and best cookbook. Steve Hoffman won the James Beard distinguished writing award for "What Is Northern Food?."[204] Other winners: 2008 rising star chef Gavin Kaysen won again in 2018, Spoon & Stable; Alexander Roberts, Restaurant Alma; and Isaac Becker, 112 Eatery. Also in venues that have closed, Tim McKee won at La Belle Vie, and Paul Berglund at Bachelor Farmer.[205][206] Andrew Zimmern won in 2010, 2013 and 2017 for Outstanding Personality/Host on Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern and for his television program On Location in 2012.[207] When thirteen chefs and restaurants were nominated for James Beard awards in 2017, The Wall Street Journal named Minneapolis one of the ten best places to visit in the world.[208]

A broad, bright kitchen space with mostly silver and gray tones and warm yellow lights and several chefs at various stations preparing food
Team USA, including Gavin Kaysen (of Spoon and Stable, kitchen pictured), Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud, won a silver medal in the 2015 Bocuse d'Or.[209]

Julia Moskin wrote about New Nordic cuisine, chef Paul Berglund and the Bachelor Farmer, and the restaurants La Loma, Tilia, the Red Stag Supper Club, Fika and Haute Dish in The New York Times in 2012. She said Minneapolis chefs served trendy Nordic ingredients like root vegetables, fish roe, wild greens, venison, dried mushrooms, and seaweed.[210] Two months later, Bon Appétit featured the Bachelor Farmer, Piccolo, Saffron, Salty Tart, and Smack Shack/1029 Bar, writing about New Nordic cuisine and the Scandinavian heritage of Minneapolis.[211] Minneapolis is noted for its East African cuisine due to a wave of Somali immigration which started in the 1990s.[212] In 2018, Food & Wine named Spoon and Stable one of the 40 most important restaurants of the past 40 years.[213] As of 2019, chefs and bakers at eight of nine Kim Bartmann Minneapolis restaurants use heritage grains from Sunrise Four Mill.[214]

USA Today reader's choice decided that Minneapolis–Saint Paul was the best local food scene in 2015.[215] Four fine dining restaurants closed during 2015 and 2016: La Belle Vie, Vincent, Brasserie Zentral, and Saffron.[216][217] Bachelor Farmer closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and later that year 60-year landmark Fuji Ya also closed.[206][218] Food & Wine named Brewer's Table at Surly Brewing one of its ten 2016 restaurants of the year.[219] Also in 2016, Food & Wine named Eat Street Social, Constantine, and Coup d'État three of the best cocktail bars in the U.S.[220] Young Joni was selected one of the GQ top ten new restaurants and one of Eater's twelve best new restaurants of 2017.[221][222] Esquire put Hai Hai on its list of America's best restaurants in 2018, and Grand Café and Marco Zappia of Martina both earned special mentions.[223]


Professional sports teams in Minneapolis
Team Sport League Since Venue (capacity) Championships
Minnesota Lynx Basketball Women's National Basketball Association 1999 Target Center (18,798) 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017
Minnesota Timberwolves Basketball National Basketball Association 1989 Target Center (18,798)
Minnesota Twins Baseball Major League Baseball 1961 Target Field (39,500) 1987, 1991
Minnesota Vikings American Football National Football League 1961 U.S. Bank Stadium (66,655)[224] 1969 (NFL)
Center Sylvia Fowles scoring a basket, wearing blue, Mystics players in red, fans packed into surrounding seats
The Minnesota Lynx defeat the Washington Mystics at Target Center in 2018.

Minneapolis is home to four professional sports teams. The Minnesota Timberwolves brought NBA basketball back to Minneapolis in 1989, followed by the Minnesota Lynx in 1999. Both basketball teams play in the Target Center. In recent years, the Lynx have been the most successful sports team in the city and a dominant force in the WNBA, reaching the WNBA Finals in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2017 and winning in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017.[225]

The Minnesota Vikings football team and the Minnesota Twins baseball team have played in the state since 1961. The Vikings were an NFL expansion team, and the Twins were formed when the Washington Senators relocated to Minnesota. The Twins have won 11 division titles (1969, 1970, 1987, 1991, 2002–04, 2006, 2009, 2010, and 2019), three American League Pennants (1965, 1987 and 1991) and the World Series in 1987 and 1991. The Twins have played at Target Field since 2010. The Vikings played in the Super Bowl following the 1969, 1973, 1974, and 1976 seasons (Super Bowl IV, Super Bowl VIII, Super Bowl IX and Super Bowl XI, respectively), losing all four games.

The Minnesota Wild of the NHL play in St. Paul at the Xcel Energy Center.[226] The MLS soccer team Minnesota United FC played the 2017 and 2018 seasons at the University of Minnesota's TCF Bank Stadium,[227] and relocated to Allianz Field in St. Paul.[228]

Other professional teams have played in Minneapolis in the past: First playing in 1884, the Minneapolis Millers baseball team produced the best won-lost record in their league at the time and contributed fifteen players to the Baseball Hall of Fame. During the 1920s, Minneapolis was home to the NFL team the Minneapolis Marines, later known as the Minneapolis Red Jackets.[229] During the 1940s and 1950s the Minneapolis Lakers basketball team, the city's first in the major leagues in any sport, won six basketball championships (1948, 1949, 1950, 1952, 1953 and 1954) in three leagues to become the NBA's first dynasty before moving to Los Angeles.[230] The American Wrestling Association, formerly the NWA Minneapolis Boxing & Wrestling Club, operated in Minneapolis from 1960 until the 1990s.[231]

The 1,750,000-square-foot (163,000 m2) U.S. Bank Stadium was built for the Vikings for about $1.122 billion, over half financed by Vikings owner Zygi Wilf and private investment. Called "Minnesota's biggest-ever public works project," the stadium opened in 2016 with 66,000 seats, expandable to 70,000 for the 2018 Super Bowl.[232] Two thousand high-definition televisions are dominated by two scoreboards, the league's 10th largest, that together measure 12,560 square feet (1,167 m2) and are each larger than a city house lot.[232] Thanks to a state-of-the-art Wi-Fi network, fans can order food and drink and have them delivered to their seats or ready for pickup.[233] Season tickets sold out before the 2016 football season began and are still unavailable.[234] U.S. Bank Stadium will also feature rollerblading nights and will host concerts and events.[232]

The downtown Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome, demolished beginning in January 2014 to make way for U.S. Bank Stadium, was the largest sports stadium in Minnesota from 1982 to 2013.[235]

Major sporting events hosted by the city include the 1985 and 2014 Major League Baseball All-Star Games, the 1987 and 1991 World Series, Super Bowl XXVI in 1992 and Super Bowl LII in 2018, the 1951, 1992, 2001 and 2019 NCAA Division 1 Men's Basketball Final Four as well as the 1995 NCAA Women's Division 1 Final Four. Minneapolis also hosted the 1998 World Figure Skating Championships.[236][237][238] Minneapolis has made it to the international round finals to host the Summer Olympic Games three times, being beaten by London in 1948, Helsinki in 1952 (when the city finished in second place), and Melbourne in 1956. U.S. Bank stadium has hosted the AMA Motocross Championship since 2017.[239] The city hosted the 2017 and 2018 X Games and the 2018 WNBA All-Star Game.[240] The 2020 X Games scheduled for July 17–19 were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.[241]

Since the 1930s, the Golden Gophers have won national championships in baseball, boxing, football, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, indoor and outdoor track, swimming, and wrestling.[242] The Gophers women's ice hockey team is a six-time NCAA champion and seven-time national champion winning in 2000, 2004, 2005, 2012, 2013, 2015, and 2016.[243][244]

Parks and recreation

Minnehaha Falls is part of a 193-acre (78 ha) city park rather than an urban area, because its waterpower was overshadowed by that of St. Anthony Falls a few miles farther north.[245][246]

The Minneapolis park system has been called the best-designed, best-financed, and best-maintained in America.[247] The parks are governed and operated by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, an independent park district. Foresight, donations and effort by community leaders enabled Horace Cleveland to create his finest landscape architecture, preserving geographical landmarks and linking them with boulevards and parkways.[248] The city's Chain of Lakes, consisting of seven lakes and Minnehaha Creek, is connected by bike, running, and walking paths and used for swimming, fishing, picnics, boating, and ice skating. A parkway for cars, a bikeway for riders, and a walkway for pedestrians runs parallel along the 52 miles (84 km) route of the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway.[249]

Theodore Wirth is credited with the development of the parks system.[250] His goal was to establish a park within walking distance of every child in the city.[251] Today, 16.6% of the city is parks and there are 770 square feet (72 m2) of parkland for each resident, ranked in 2008 as the most parkland per resident within cities of similar population densities.[252][253] In its 2019 ParkScore ranking, the Trust for Public Land reported that Minneapolis had the No. 3 best park system among the 100 most populous U.S. cities.[254]

Three women, two smiling, and a man with his hand pointing into the air leading a large group of runners past Lake Calhoun and some observers
The 2006 Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Parks are interlinked in many places and the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area connects regional parks and visitor centers. The country's oldest public wildflower garden, the Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary, is located within Theodore Wirth Park. Wirth Park is shared with Golden Valley and is about 90% the size of Central Park in New York City.[255] Site of the 53-foot (16 m) Minnehaha Falls, Minnehaha Park is one of the city's oldest and most popular parks, receiving over 500,000 visitors each year.[246] Henry Wadsworth Longfellow named Hiawatha's wife Minnehaha for the Minneapolis waterfall in The Song of Hiawatha, a bestselling and often-parodied 19th century poem.[256] The five-mile, hiking-only Winchell Trail along the Mississippi River, with its gorge views and access, offers a rustic hiking experience in the city.[257]

Runner's World ranks the Twin Cities as America's sixth best city for runners.[258] The Twin Cities Marathon run in Minneapolis and Saint Paul every October draws 250,000 spectators. The 26.2-mile (42.2 km) race is a Boston and USA Olympic Trials qualifier. The organizers sponsor three more races: a Kids Marathon, a 1-mile (1.6 km), and a 10-mile (16 km).[259]

The American College of Sports Medicine ranked Minneapolis and its metropolitan area the nation's first, second, or third "fittest city" every year from 2008 to 2016, ranking it first from 2011 to 2013.[260] In other sports, five golf courses are located within the city, with the nationally ranked Hazeltine National Golf Club and Interlachen Country Club in nearby suburbs.[261] Minneapolis is home to more golfers per capita than any other major U.S. city.[262] The state of Minnesota has the nation's highest number of bicyclists, sport fishermen, and snow skiers per capita. While living in Minneapolis, Scott and Brennan Olson founded (and later sold) Rollerblade, the company that popularized the sport of inline skating.[263]


Two young persons seated on the ground watching two women dancing with fire
Spring art party, North Commons Park, Willard-Hay, one of the 81 neighborhoods of Minneapolis

Minneapolis is a stronghold for the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party (DFL), an affiliate of the Democratic Party. The Minneapolis City Council holds the most power and represents the city's thirteen districts called wards. The city adopted instant-runoff voting in 2006, first using it in the 2009 elections.[264] The council has 12 DFL members and one from the Green Party.[265] Election issues in 2013 included funding for a new Vikings stadium over which some incumbents lost their positions.[264] That year, Minneapolis elected Abdi Warsame, Alondra Cano, and Blong Yang, the city's first Somali-American, Mexican-American, and Hmong-American city councilpeople, respectively.[264][266][267]

Jacob Frey of the DFL is the current mayor of Minneapolis. The office of mayor is relatively weak but has some power to appoint individuals such as the chief of police. Parks, taxation, and public housing are semi-independent boards and levy their own taxes and fees subject to Board of Estimate and Taxation limits.[268] Lisa Bender is the current president of the City Council.[269]

In 2018, the city council passed the Minneapolis Comprehensive 2040 Plan and submitted it for Metropolitan Council approval. Watched nationally, the plan rezones predominantly single-family residential neighborhoods for triplexes to increase affordable housing, seeks to reduce the effects of climate change, and tries to rectify some of the city's racial disparities.[270][271] After the Metropolitan Council approved the plan,[272] in November 2019 the city council voted unanimously to allow duplexes and triplexes citywide.[273] The Brookings Institution called it "a relatively rare example of success for the YIMBY agenda" and "the most wonderful plan of the year."[274]

At the federal level, Minneapolis proper sits within Minnesota's 5th congressional district, which has been represented since 2018 by Democrat Ilhan Omar, one of the first two practicing Muslim women and the first Somali-American in Congress. Both of Minnesota's two U.S. Senators, Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, were elected or appointed while living in Minneapolis and are also Democrats.[275]

The Republican Party of Minnesota in January 2014 moved its state headquarters from Saint Paul to the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis.[276]

Citizens had a unique and powerful influence in neighborhood government. Neighborhoods coordinated activities under the Neighborhood Revitalization Program (NRP), which ended in 2009.[277] Minneapolis is divided into communities, each containing neighborhoods. In some cases two or more neighborhoods act together under one organization. Some areas are commonly known by nicknames of business associations.[278]

The organizers of Earth Day scored Minneapolis ninth best overall and second among mid-sized cities in their 2007 Urban Environment Report, a study based on indicators of environmental health and their effect on people.[279] Minneapolis has also been cited as one of the most environmentally responsible cities in America.[280]

The City Council passed a resolution in March 2015 making fossil fuel divestment city policy.[281] With encouragement from city administration, Minneapolis joined seventeen cities worldwide in the Carbon Neutral Cities Alliance. The city's climate plan is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 15 percent in 2015 "compared to 2006 levels, 30 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050".[282]


Traffic control officer in 1959

Early Minneapolis experienced a period of corruption in local government and crime was common until an economic downturn in the mid-1900s. Since 1950 the population decreased and much of downtown was lost to urban renewal and highway construction. The result was a "moribund and peaceful" environment until the 1990s.[283]

five protesters carrying a banner that reads "Teachers 4 Black Liv[banner not visible]". They lead a crowd filling the street. Some are walking under a skyway with green-blue windows.
Teachers union members march for justice for Philando Castile on July 19, 2016

Minneapolis has an ordinance, adopted in 2003,[285] that directs local law enforcement officers "not to 'take any law enforcement action' for the sole purpose of finding undocumented immigrants, or ask an individual about his or her immigration status."[286]

From 2006 to 2012, under chief Tim Dolan, the crime rate steadily dropped, and the police benefited from new video and gunfire locator resources, although Dolan was criticized for expensive city settlements for police misconduct.[287] While violent crime dropped (from 6,374 in 2006 to 3,720 in 2011[287]), homicides rose by 105%[288] and rape was at the highest rate among large cities.[289] U.S. News & World Report said in 2011 that Minneapolis tied with Cleveland, Ohio as the 10th most dangerous city in the United States.[290]

In 2010, a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the back of David Smith who was in handcuffs and died a week later. In the $3 million settlement police agreed to do new training on positional asphyxiation however it is unclear as of 2020 if that training takes place.[291]

A previous administration faced severe criticism after the police shooting of Jamar Clark who died in 2015. Facing new criticism when an Australian woman was murdered by a police officer in July 2017, the resignation of chief Janeé Harteau was secured, and 28-year veteran Medaria Arradondo was appointed chief of police.[292]

Terrence Floyd addresses the crowd at memorial to his brother George Floyd on 38th and Chicago.
Organizers at Powderhorn Park in 2020, when the City Council voted to dismantle MPD.

After George Floyd was killed in 2020, the city distanced itself from the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD). A growing number of entities ended their relationships with MPD beginning with the University of Minnesota, the Minneapolis Public Schools, the Walker Art Center, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and First Avenue. Law firm Dorsey & Whitney tried to lessen possible negative impact on the black community by ending its 40-year program of prosecuting misdemeanors for the city attorney. The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board's park police moved to differentiate its uniforms more from the MPD and will no longer respond to nonviolent MPD calls.[293] Governor Tim Walz initiated a civil rights investigation into the department by the Minnesota Department of Human Rights. Minneapolis City Council president Lisa Bender announced that the city should dismantle its police department and replace it with a "transformative new model of public safety."[294] Two days later, on June 7, a veto-proof majority of the city council pledged to begin the process of dismantling the MPD as it now exists, and members stated they would work with the community to develop a new system of public safety.[295]

President of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis since 2015, Bob Kroll characterized Floyd as a violent criminal and called the protests against his killing a terrorist movement.[296] Labor groups including the Minnesota Nurses Association, AFSCME Council 5, the Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, the Minnesota AFL-CIO, the state's largest teachers union Education Minnesota, and former police chief Harteau asked for Kroll's resignation.[297][298]

In 2020, the City Council voted unanimously to ask the Charter Commission to forward a ballot initiative to voters to change the city charter to remove the MPD and create a department of community safety and violence prevention.[299] The proposed amendment will not appear on ballots in November 2020, after the commission voted 10-5 to take more time to review.[300]


Primary and secondary education

Minneapolis Public Schools enroll over 35,000 students in public primary and secondary schools. The district administers about 100 public schools including 45 elementary schools, seven middle schools, seven high schools, eight special education schools, eight alternative schools, 19 contract alternative schools, and five charter schools. With authority granted by the state legislature, the school board makes policy, selects the superintendent, and oversees the district's budget, curriculum, personnel, and facilities. In 2017, the graduation rate was 66 percent.[301] Students speak over 100 different languages at home and most school communications are printed in English, Hmong, Spanish, and Somali.[302][303] Some students attend public schools in other school districts chosen by their families under Minnesota's open enrollment statute.[304] Besides public schools, the city is home to more than 20 private schools and academies and about 20 additional charter schools.[305]

Colleges and universities

Aerial of the Minneapolis campus, on both sides of the Mississippi River
The University of Minnesota Minneapolis campus

Minneapolis's collegiate scene is dominated by the main campus of the University of Minnesota where more than 50,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students attend 20 colleges, schools, and institutes.[306] The graduate school programs ranked highest in 2007 were counseling and personnel services, chemical engineering, psychology, macroeconomics, applied mathematics and non-profit management.[307]

Augsburg University, Minneapolis College of Art and Design, and North Central University are private four-year colleges. Minneapolis Community and Technical College and the private Dunwoody College of Technology provide career training. St. Mary's University of Minnesota has a Twin Cities campus for its graduate and professional programs. Two large principally online universities, Capella University and Walden University, are both headquartered in the city. The public four-year Metropolitan State University and the private four-year University of St. Thomas are among postsecondary institutions based elsewhere with additional campuses in Minneapolis.[308]


The Hennepin County Library system began to operate the city's public libraries in 2008.[309] The Minneapolis Public Library, founded by T. B. Walker in 1885,[310] faced a severe budget shortfall for 2007, and was forced to temporarily close three of its neighborhood libraries.[311] The new downtown Central Library designed by César Pelli opened in 2006.[312] Ten special collections hold over 25,000 books and resources for researchers, including the Minneapolis Collection and the Minneapolis Photo Collection.[313] At recent count, 1,696,453 items in the system are used annually and the library answers over 500,000 research and fact-finding questions each year.[314]


sandstone tower with square windows on the corner of the Nicollet Mall
WCCO-TV on the Nicollet Mall. The channel is named for Washburn Crosby Company (later, General Mills) who purchased the radio station WCCO.[315]

Five major newspapers are published in Minneapolis: Star Tribune, Finance and Commerce, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder, the university's The Minnesota Daily and MinnPost.com. Other publications are the City Pages weekly, the Mpls.St.Paul and Minnesota Monthly monthlies, and the Southwest Journal.[316]

Minneapolis has a mix of radio stations and healthy listener support for public radio. In the commercial market three radio broadcasting companies iHeartMedia (formerly Clear Channel), Entercom, and Cumulus Media operate the majority of the radio stations in the market. Listeners support three Minnesota Public Radio non-profit stations and two community non-profit stations, the Minneapolis Public Schools and the University of Minnesota each operate a station, and religious organizations run four stations.[317]

The city's first television was broadcast in 1948 by the Saint Paul station and ABC affiliate KSTP-TV 5, an NBC affiliate at the time. The first to broadcast in color was WCCO-TV 4, the CBS owned-and-operated station which is located in downtown Minneapolis.[318] WCCO-TV, FOX affiliate KMSP-TV 9 and MyNetworkTV affiliate WFTC 29 operate as owned-and-operated stations of their affiliated networks. The city and suburbs are also home to independently owned affiliates of NBC (KARE 11), PBS (KTCA-TV/KTCI-TV 2), The CW (WUCW 23) and one independent station (KSTC-TV 45).[319]

A number of movies have been shot in Minneapolis, including The Heartbreak Kid (1972),[320] Slaughterhouse-Five (1972),[321]Ice Castles (1978),[322] Foolin' Around (1980),[323] Take This Job and Shove It (1981),[324] Purple Rain (1984),[325] That Was Then, This Is Now (1985),[326] The Mighty Ducks (1992),[327] Untamed Heart (1993),[328] Beautiful Girls (1996),[329] Jingle All the Way (1996),[330] Fargo (1996),[331] and Young Adult (2011).[332] In television, two episodes of Route 66 were shot in Minneapolis in 1963 (and broadcast in 1963 and 1964).[333][334] The 1970s CBS situation comedy fictionally based in Minneapolis, The Mary Tyler Moore Show, won three Golden Globes and 31 Emmy Awards.[335]



Yellow light rail across the street from old city hall downtown
METRO Blue Line LRT downtown at Government Plaza

Half of Minneapolis–Saint Paul residents work in the city where they live.[336] Most residents drive cars, but 60% of the 160,000 people working downtown commute by means other than a single person per auto.[337] The Metropolitan Council's Metro Transit, which operates the light rail system and most of the city's buses, provides free travel vouchers through the Guaranteed Ride Home program to allay fears that commuters might otherwise be occasionally stranded if, for example, they work late hours.[338]

On January 1, 2011, the city's limit of 343 taxis was lifted.[339]

Minneapolis currently has two light rail lines and one commuter rail line. The METRO Blue Line LRT (formerly the Hiawatha Line[340]) serves 34,000 riders daily and connects the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport and Mall of America in Bloomington to downtown. Most of the line runs at surface level, although parts of the line run on elevated tracks (including the Franklin Avenue and Lake Street/Midtown stations) and approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) of the line runs underground, including the Lindbergh terminal subway station at the airport.

Minneapolis's second[341] light rail line, the METRO Green Line shares stations with the Blue Line in downtown Minneapolis, and then at the Downtown East station, travels east through the University of Minnesota, and then along University Avenue into downtown Saint Paul. Construction began in November 2010 and the line began service on June 14, 2014. The third line, the Southwest Line (Green Line extension), will connect downtown Minneapolis with the southwestern suburb of Eden Prairie. Completion is expected sometime in 2022.[342] A northwest LRT is planned along Bottineau Boulevard (Blue Line extension) from downtown to Brooklyn Park.[343] Metro Transit recorded 81.9 million boardings in 2017, slightly down from 82.6 million in 2016. The Blue Line carried 10.7 million riders in 2017, breaking its previous record annual ridership total. About 13.1 million people rode the Green Line in 2017, up 3.5% from 2016. However, these increases in light rail ridership were offset by a lower number of bus boardings: 55.7 million in 2017, compared to about 58.5 boardings in 2016.[344]

The 40-mile Northstar Commuter rail, which runs from Big Lake through the northern suburbs and terminates at the multi-modal transit station at Target Field, opened on November 16, 2009.[345] It uses existing railroad tracks and serves 2,600 daily commuters.[346] Annual ridership on the line increased to over 787,000 in 2017, up 12% from the previous year.[344]

According to the 2016 American Community Survey, 59.9% of working city of Minneapolis residents commuted by driving alone, 7.6% carpooled, 14.2% used public transportation, and 7.3% walked. About 5.1% used all other forms of transportation, including taxicab, motorcycle, and bicycle. About 5.9% of working city of Minneapolis residents worked at home.[347] In 2015, 18.2% of city of Minneapolis households were without a car, which decreased to 17.1% in 2016. The national average was 8.7 percent in 2016. Minneapolis averaged 1.35 cars per household in 2016, compared to a national average of 1.8 per household.[348]

Bike hanging sideways on a rack inside a train
Bike rack on the Blue Line

Minneapolis ranked 27th in the nation for the highest percentage of commuters by bicycle in 2011,[349] and was editorialized as the top bicycling city in "Bicycling's Top 50" ranking in 2010.[350] Ten thousand cyclists use the bike lanes in the city each day, and many ride in the winter. The Public Works Department expanded the bicycle trail system from the Grand Rounds to 56 mi (90 km) of off-street commuter trails including the Midtown Greenway, Little Earth Trail, Hiawatha LRT Trail, Kenilworth Trail, Cedar Lake Trail and the West River Parkway Trail along the Mississippi. Minneapolis also has 40 miles (64 km) of dedicated bike lanes on city streets and encourages cycling by equipping transit buses with bike racks and by providing online bicycle maps.[351] Many of these trails and bridges, such as the Stone Arch Bridge, were former railroad lines that have now been converted for bicycles and pedestrians.[352] In 2007 citing the city's bicycle lanes, buses and LRT, Forbes identified Minneapolis the world's fifth cleanest city.[353] In 2010, Nice Ride Minnesota launched with 65 kiosks for bicycle sharing,[354] and 19 pedicabs were operating downtown.[355] In 2016, Nice Ride expanded to 171 stations and 1,833 bikes[356] supplied by PBSC Urban Solutions, a Canadian company.[357]

A 2011 study by Walk Score ranked Minneapolis the ninth most walkable of 50 largest cities in the United States.[358]

The Minneapolis Skyway System, seven miles (11 km) of enclosed pedestrian bridges called skyways, link eighty city blocks downtown. Second floor restaurants and retailers connected to these passageways are open on weekdays.[359]

Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) sits on 3,400 acres (1,400 ha)[360] on the southeast border of the city between Minnesota State Highway 5, Interstate 494, Minnesota State Highway 77, and Minnesota State Highway 62. The airport serves international, domestic, charter and regional carriers[361] and is a hub and home base for Sun Country Airlines and Compass Airlines.[362] It is also the third-largest hub for Delta Air Lines, who operate more flights out of MSP than any other airline.[363] For terminals serving 25 to 40 million passengers, MSP was named the world's best airport for customer experience in North America in 2020 for the fourth consecutive year.[364] Forbes named MSP the No. 2 Best Airport in North America, behind Detroit in 2019.[365]

Health and utilities

Modern, block building in two sections each with pillars at the corners reaching above the roof. Seen from street level with trees in front.
Main entrance of Hennepin County Medical Center known as Hennepin Healthcare[366]

Minneapolis has seven hospitals, four ranked among America's best by U.S. News & World ReportAbbott Northwestern Hospital (part of Allina), Children's Hospitals and Clinics, Hennepin County Medical Center (HCMC) and the University of Minnesota Medical Center.[367] Minneapolis VA Medical Center, Shriners Hospitals for Children and Allina's Phillips Eye Institute also serve the city.[368] The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota is a 75-minute drive away.[369]

Cardiac surgery was developed at the university's Variety Club Hospital, where by 1957, more than 200 patients had survived open-heart operations, many of them children. Working with surgeon C. Walton Lillehei, Medtronic began to build portable and implantable cardiac pacemakers about this time.[370]

Hennepin Healthcare opened in 1887 as City Hospital and was also known as Minneapolis General Hospital, Hennepin County General Hospital and HCMC.[371] A public teaching hospital and Level I trauma center,[372] the HCMC safety net counted 643,739 clinic visits and 111,307 emergency and urgent care visits in 2019.[373] In prior years responsible for about 18% of Minnesota's uncompensated care,[374] HCMC provided much less uncompensated care in 2014 because, after the Affordable Care Act came into effect, its charity care declined more than bad debt went up.[375]

Funded in part by assessments on commercial properties, in 2009 Ambassadors of the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District (DID) began working on 120 blocks of downtown to improve its cleanliness, friendliness and acceptability of behavior. They are employees of Block by Block, a company in Nashville, Tennessee that serves 46 U.S. cities.[376]

Utility providers are regulated monopolies: Xcel Energy supplies electricity, CenterPoint Energy supplies gas, CenturyLink provides landline telephone service, and Comcast provides cable service.[377] The city treats and distributes water and requires payment of a monthly solid waste fee for trash removal, recycling, and drop off for large items. Residents who recycle receive a credit. Hazardous waste is handled by Hennepin County drop off sites.[377] After each significant snowfall, called a snow emergency, the Minneapolis Public Works Street Division plows over 1,000 mi (1,610 km) of streets and 400 mi (640 km) of alleys—counting both sides, the distance between Minneapolis and Seattle and back. Ordinances govern parking on the plowing routes during these emergencies as well as snow shoveling throughout the city.[378]

Notable people

Twin towns – sister cities

Minneapolis' sister cities are:[379]

See also


  1. ^ Mean monthly maxima and minima (i.e., the highest and lowest temperature readings during an entire month or year) calculated based on data at said location from 1981 to 2010.
  2. ^ Official records for Minneapolis/St. Paul were kept by the St. Paul Signal Service in that city from January 1871 to December 1890, the Minneapolis Weather Bureau from January 1891 to 8 April 1938, and at KMSP since April 9, 1938.[69]


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