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Are you considering a move to Minnesota? You need to learn about the state, including the good and bad, before you start packing your belongings and renting a moving truck.

In this guide, we will give you all the ins and outs so you can decide if you should call Minnesota home.

living in minnesota infographic

Minnesota Is a Beautiful State

They call Minnesota “The Land of 10,000 Lakes.” Some people think this number cannot possibly be true, and they are right. Minnesota actually has 11.842 lakes!

Minnesota became a state in 1858 and was the 32nd state in the Union. The length of Minnesota is just over 400 miles, and it is the 12th largest state in the US.

The name of the state comes from the Dakota Indian language and means “Sky-blue waters” or “Sky-tinted waters.” The state has a population of 5.5 million.

Pros and Cons of Living in Minnesota

Now that you know a little more about the state, it is time to discuss the pros and cons of living there. We hope these will supply you with the facts you need to decide if Minnesota is your next destination to put down roots.

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Pro: Jobs Abound

One reason many people move to Minnesota is because of the job opportunities. Many Fortune 500 companies call Minnesota home, including Target, Xcel Energy, General Mills, and 3M Company.

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The unemployment rate in the state remains at or below 3%, and job opportunities are available in almost every sector. If you are looking for work, Minnesota has you covered. Top industries in the state include:

  • Healthcare
  • Hospitality
  • Financial services
healthcare workers reviewing a folder

Con: High Taxes

Regrettably, the state of Minnesota has a high tax burden. Minnesota has a progressive tax system, which means the more money you make, the higher your tax rate.

Income tax rates start at 5% and can go as high as 10% for higher earners.

Pro: Fun and Adventure

Minnesota is home to thousands of lakes, offering fun and exciting adventure during the warmer months and ice fishing in the cold.

The state is full of trees and plenty of sunshine. Some of the exciting adventures that await include the following.

  • Cross-country skiing
  • Camping
  • Ice skating
  • Rock climbing
  • Water skiing
  • Trail running
man water skiing on a lake

25 Fun Things To Do In Minnesota

  1. Mall of America: Located in Bloomington, this massive shopping center has over 500 stores, an indoor amusement park, an aquarium, and various dining options.
  2. Minneapolis Institute of Art: This world-class museum in Minneapolis offers an extensive collection of art from around the globe, including paintings, sculptures, and photography.
  3. Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness: Ideal for outdoor enthusiasts, this area offers pristine lakes, dense forests, and incredible canoeing and camping opportunities.
  4. Minnehaha Park: A beautiful urban park in Minneapolis featuring the stunning Minnehaha Falls, walking trails, and picnic areas.
  5. Minnesota State Fair: Held annually in St. Paul, this fair is famous for its food, entertainment, agricultural displays, and rides.
  6. Walker Art Center and Minneapolis Sculpture Garden: A contemporary art museum with a neighboring sculpture garden, home to the iconic “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture.
  7. Itasca State Park: Visit the headwaters of the Mississippi River and enjoy hiking, camping, and scenic drives in this historic park.
  8. Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe: An indoor amusement park within the Mall of America, featuring rides and attractions based on Nickelodeon characters.
  9. Duluth’s Lakewalk: A scenic pathway along the shore of Lake Superior in Duluth, perfect for walking, biking, and enjoying the waterfront views.
  10. Split Rock Lighthouse: This historic lighthouse on the North Shore of Lake Superior offers stunning views and a glimpse into maritime history.
  11. Guthrie Theater: A renowned theater in Minneapolis offering a variety of performances, including classic plays and contemporary productions.
  12. Minnesota Zoo: Located in Apple Valley, this zoo features a wide range of animals, interactive exhibits, and educational programs.
  13. Como Park Zoo & Conservatory: A free zoo and conservatory in St. Paul, home to a variety of animals and beautiful gardens.
  14. Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox Statues: Iconic statues in Bemidji that celebrate the folklore of the legendary lumberjack and his blue ox.
  15. Science Museum of Minnesota: Located in St. Paul, this museum offers interactive exhibits, an Omnitheater, and hands-on science activities.
  16. Cathedral of St. Paul: A stunning cathedral in St. Paul with beautiful architecture, stained glass windows, and panoramic city views.
  17. North Shore Scenic Drive: A picturesque drive along Lake Superior’s North Shore, featuring waterfalls, state parks, and charming towns.
  18. Mille Lacs Lake: A popular destination for fishing, boating, and camping, known for its clear waters and scenic beauty.
  19. Valleyfair: An amusement park in Shakopee offering thrilling rides, water attractions, and family-friendly entertainment.
  20. Foshay Tower: An iconic skyscraper in Minneapolis with an observation deck offering panoramic views of the city.
  21. Minneapolis Chain of Lakes: A network of urban lakes connected by bike and walking trails, ideal for outdoor activities and relaxation.
  22. Weisman Art Museum: A strikingly designed museum on the University of Minnesota campus, featuring contemporary art exhibits.
  23. Grand Marais: A charming town on Lake Superior’s North Shore, known for its artsy vibe, scenic beauty, and outdoor activities.
  24. Mall of America’s SEA LIFE Aquarium: An interactive aquarium within the Mall of America, home to a variety of marine life and underwater exhibits.
  25. Minneapolis’ Stone Arch Bridge: A historic bridge over the Mississippi River, offering great views of St. Anthony Falls and the downtown skyline.
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Pro: Quality Education

Whether you are concerned about yourself or your children, you can both receive a high-quality education in Minnesota. The following are some factors that make Minnesota’s educational system superior to some other states.

  • Students in Minnesota have a high level of achievement.
  • Minnesota has a well-funded library system.
  • Minnesota schools consistently receive high marks for safety.
  • The state is home to some of the top colleges and universities in the United States.

Con: Extreme Winters

Some people are ill-prepared for Minnesota winters. They are harsh, bitter, and freezing. Temperatures regularly drop to -10 degrees.

Snow begins in October and lasts through May. In the Southwest, snowfall totals around 36 inches a year. In the Snow Belt, 70 inches or more fall. If you hate snow, Minnesota may not be the state for you!

man standing in front of house in deep snow

Con: Traffic Issues

If you live in rural areas of Minnesota, traffic issues will rarely arise. If you reside in the Twin Cities metro area, commutes can be lengthy, especially in the winter.

The Minneapolis and St. Paul areas are especially challenging to traverse. Although these areas are not as bad as the traffic in places like New York City and Washington DC., you can expect headaches over slow traffic crawls.

Pro: Housing

The housing market in Minnesota offers something for just about everyone. There are apartments, retirement homes, single-family homes, and condos.

Home prices are a little less than the national average. If you are looking for apartment living, check out the urban areas of Minnesota first. Rural areas are better for single-family homes.

multiple 6 story apartment buildings

Pro: Diversity

When people think about Minnesota, they do not consider the diversity of the state. Many are surprised to learn Minnesota has such diverse cultures. Many people living in the state are of European descent.

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There is also a large population of Hmongs. In the Twin Cities, you will find the largest population of Somali Americans.

Minnesota is a state that embraces diversity and inclusion. People feel welcome here, and some communities are especially tight-knit.

Although there is great diversity in the urban areas, rural areas remain less diverse.

Pro: The Arts

If you love everything artistic, Minnesota may start calling your name. The state is home to many art museums and festivals. The following are some of the art festivals you can experience in the state.

Minnesota is rich in art culture and will help you take your knowledge of it to the next level. Artistic freedom is alive and well in the state. You can become a part of it, with countless opportunities that let you embrace your artistic side.

men holding drums performing on stage

Pro: Healthcare

Another pro in Minnesota is the healthcare system. Minnesota was ranked as one of the best states for overall healthcare in 2018.

Minnesota is third in the nation for healthcare based on affordability, superior care, and reliability. In an analysis carried out by Medicare Guide, Minnesota was ranked number one for senior care.

Quick Facts About Minnesota

Now that you know the pros and cons of living in the state, it is time to learn a few quick facts to further pique your interest.

  • Minnesota’s nickname is “The North Star State.”
  • The biggest city is Minneapolis.
  • The state bird is the Common Loon.
  • The state flower is the Pink and White Lady Slipper.
  • Minnesota has 52 native tree species.
  • The Mall of America is one of the top tourist locations in Minnesota.
downtown Minneapolis
Minneapolis, Minnesota

Is Minnesota Right For You?

Minnesota is not for everyone, but many people love calling it home. If you have never visited the state, why not plan a trip and enjoy the sites, sounds, and experiences Minnesota has to offer?

Minnesota is an unforgettable place. Although winters are harsh, the pristine beauty of the falling snow beckons many to cozy up to the fire.

This state is full of diversity, acceptance, and inclusiveness. You will find the art scene full of vibrance and with benefits like wonderful healthcare and educational systems, why would anyone say no to living in Minnesota?

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