The Twin Cities comprise the 15th largest metropolitan area in the country with a population of over 3,000,000. The city of Minneapolis alone had a population of 373,943 two years ago. The City of Lakes is an apropos title for Minneapolis, which boasts 24 lakes within city limits. The prevalence of water led an early Greek settler to give the city its name ("mine" means water, and "polis" means city in Greek). Its residents like to claim being "halfway to the north pole," as the City of Lakes sits directly on the 45th parallel.
The average income in the Twin Cities is a healthy 25% above the national average, at $40,915 per capita. A strong business-based economy has made its home there for many years, thanks to these economic factors:
- Heavy industry and manufacturing companies are thriving in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
- Of the Fortune 500, 16 major companies are located in the Twin Cities, making it one of the largest commercial centers between Chicago and Los Angeles.
- Many large private companies are headquartered in or near the City of Lakes.
- Minneapolis is also the banking center of the Midwest, with 7 large banks and even a branch of the Federal Reserve residing there.
Professionals in information and computer technology will also find good employment outlook in the Twin Cities, with over 1,300 high-tech firms calling this part of Minnesota home. The region's economic development will depend on science, venture capital, and insurance companies in the coming years.
For more information on colleges and universities in Minnesota, explore our Minnesota state page.