The Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul make up Minnesota’s population and economic center. Native Americans called the area home long before European settlers arrived. Once they did, St. Paul grew out of the northernmost landing spot on the Mississippi River. Just a few miles upriver, Minneapolis grew up around the only waterfall on the entire run of the river. Early industrialists used the water of St. Anthony Falls to power the mills where they milled grain and sawed timber. From those early mills grew today’s multifaceted economic powerhouse. Thanks to our diverse energy portfolio, Minnesota industries benefit from electricity that’s cheaper than on the coasts.
Today, with the Twin Cities as the economic center and dynamic companies across the state, 17 Fortune 500 companies call Minnesota home: UnitedHealth Group, Target, Best Buy, CHS, 3M, US Bancorp, Supervalu, General Mills, Ecolab, C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Land O Lakes, Ameriprise Financial, Xcel Energy, Hormel Foods, Mosaic, Thrivent Financial, St Jude Medical – as does the largest privately held corporation in the United States, Cargill.
The state is known for our leadership in medical devices, health informatics, food production, sustainability, mining, 3D printing, agriculture and retailing, among other industries.
- Per-capita GDP ranks #14 in the country.
- Labor force participation rate: 68.9% compared with 62.9% nationally.
- Compared with a nationwide unemployment rate of 4.7%, Minnesota’s is just 3.9% — and in the Twin Cities it’s just 3.6% (December 2016).