The large majority of the original European settlers emigrated from Scandinavia and Germany, and the state remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture.In recent decades, immigration from Asia, the Horn of Africa, and Latin America has broadened its historic demographic and cultural composition.
Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 21st most populous of the U. states; nearly 60 percent of its residents live in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area (known as the "Twin Cities"), the center of transportation, business, industry, education, and government and home to an internationally known arts community.
The remainder of the state consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture; deciduous forests in the southeast, now partially cleared, farmed and settled; and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation.
Minnesota is known for its progressive political orientation and its high rate of civic participation and voter turnout.
Until European settlement, Minnesota was inhabited by the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe.
Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory.
The name comes from the Dakota word for "clear blue water".
Owing to its large number of lakes, the state is informally known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes".
Its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord (French: Star of the North).
The root mni (also spelled mini or minne) means "water" and "tō" ("ta") means "blue". Its isolated Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods county is the only part of the 48 contiguous states lying north of the 49th parallel. It shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and a land and water border with Wisconsin to the east.