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Minnesota is a state in the upper Midwestern United States that borders the Great Lakes. It is the 12th most populated state in the United States and the 22nd most populous in terms of area, with about 5.7 million persons. In Minnesota, more than half of the population lives in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan region, sometimes known as the "Twin Cities," which serves as the state's political, economic, and cultural epicentre. The Twin Cities are one of the twenty most populous metropolitan areas in the United States. Duluth, Mankato, Moorhead, Rochester, and St. Cloud are some of the other major metropolitan regions in Minnesota. A diverse range of landscapes characterise Minnesota's geography, which includes western prairies, which are now dominated by intensive agriculture; deciduous forests in the southeast, which are now partially cleared, cultivated, and resolved; and the less populated North Woods, which are used for mining, forestry, and recreation. Approximately one-third of the state is covered by forest, and the area is renowned as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes" because it has more than 14,000 bodies of fresh water and are at least ten hectares in size.

Inhabitants of Minnesota, which derives its name from the Dakota language, have lived there since the Woodland era (11th century BCE), when it was first settled by diverse indigenous peoples. In the period between 200 and 500 CE, two sections of the indigenous Hopewell tradition emerged: the Laural Complex in the northern hemisphere and the Tremplau Hopewell in the lower Mississippi River Valley. The Upper Mississippian culture that developed as a result, which included the Oneota people and other Siouan speakers, survived until the arrival of Europeans in the early seventeenth century. Europeans arrived in the area for the first time in the 16th century, when French explorers and missionaries encountered the Dakota, Ojibwe, and different Anishinaabe tribes. Much of what is now Minnesota was a part of the enormous French possession of Louisiana, which the United States bought in 1803 and established as its own independent country. Following a number of territorial reorganisations, Minnesota Territory was joined the union as the 32nd state in 1858, becoming the 32nd state. Minnesota's official motto, L'Étoile du Nord, is the only state motto in French; it translates as "The Star of the North" and was adopted shortly after statehood to honour the state's early French settlers as well as the state's position as the northernmost state in the contiguous United States of America.

Minnesota, being a part of the American frontier, drew immigrants and homesteaders from all over the nation, and the state's development was first based on forestry, agriculture, and railways, before diversifying into other industries. European immigrants continued to pour into the United States in large numbers into the early twentieth century, particularly from Scandinavia, Germany, and Central Europe; many were associated with the failed revolutions of 1848, and their arrival helped to shape the state's emergence as a major centre of labour and social activism. Because of Minnesota's rapid industrialization and urbanisation, the state experienced significant social, economic, and political transformations during the American Progressive Era of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The state was at the forefront of labour rights, women's suffrage, and political reform during this period. This history is reflected in Minnesotan politics, culture, and identity, which continue to be very progressive by national standards despite the state's small size.

With a considerable movement away from traditional sectors such as agriculture and resource extraction and toward services, finance, and health care, Minnesota's economy has seen tremendous diversification since the late twentieth century. As well as being home to 11 federally recognised Native American reservations (seven Ojibwe, four Dakota), the state has long been known as a melting pot of Scandinavian and German cultures. As a result of increased internal mobility and immigration from Latin America, Asia, the Horn of Africa, and the Middle East in recent decades, the city has grown more multi-cultural in nature. It boasts the biggest number of Somali Americans in the country, as well as the second-largest Hmong community. Minnesota has one of the greatest quality of living indices in the country, and the state has one of the highest levels of education in the country. On measures such as employment, median income, public safety, and government, it is rated among the top states in the nation.