Minnesota is a U.S. state in the Midwestern United States. Minnesota was carved out of the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory and admitted to the Union as the 32nd state on May 11, 1858. Known as the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", the state's name comes from a Dakota word for "clear water".
Minnesota is the 12th biggest in size and the 21st most populous of the U.S. States. Nearly 60% 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 cleared, farmed and settled; and the less populated North Woods, used for mining, forestry, and recreation.
Minnesota is known for its relatively mixed social and political orientations and its high rate of civic participation and voter turnout. It ranks among the healthiest states, and has a highly literate population. The large majority of residents are of Scandinavian and German descent. The state is known as a center of Scandinavian American culture. In recent decades, substantial influxes of Asian, African, and Latin American immigrants have joined the descendants of European settlers and the original Dakota, Ojibwe, and Ho-Chunk inhabitants.