With a population of just over 5.3 million residents the state of Minnesota ranks 21st overall in the U.S. in terms of total population. However, it ranks 12th in terms of total area, which makes it rank 31st in terms of population density – nearly 60% of the entire state lives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Statistical Area, also known as the Twin Cities. Minnesota as a territory was first formed in 1849; nine years later, thanks to a huge influx of new settlers around the St. Paul area, the state was admitted to the Union as a state. Though originally known primarily as a major part of the American breadbasket during the 19th century, during the end of the 1800’s and the start of the 20th century the state saw the rise of manufacturing and an influx of new residents to more metropolitan areas, causing farming to become less prevalent in the state.
Thanks to its location in the extreme northern United States, Minnesota has few interstates running across it. The only major north-south interstate is I-35, which runs through Minneapolis and St. Paul; major east-west interstates include I-90 and I-94, with I-90 running through the southern portion of the state (and because of its route it is perhaps the most heavily-traveled interstate in Minnesota) while I-94 runs through the Twin Cities. Because of these few interstates and its location, auto transport prices are generally higher per-mile into or out of Minnesota. Prices tend to increase further during the winter months, where prevalent snowfall in the state causes many shippers to migrate to more southern routes and eschew transporting through northern areas. This is especially true in Minnesota, where there are fewer people shipping to and from at any given time.
Average daily summer temperatures around the state barely reach into the upper 70’s – it’s a fairly cold state, all things considered. There is relatively little snowfall during the summer and Minnesota is actually known for its beautiful summer weather. However, during the winter months the weather takes a drastic turn for the worse; most areas in the state rarely get above freezing during the day, with average overnight lows barely break double digits. Minnesota, for this reason, is one of several no-go states for many shippers operating during the winter months, and because of this pickup windows in and out of Minnesota might be stretched a few more days to compensate for the lack of carrier coverage at that time.
Minnesota grew on the back of agriculture and mining during the mid-to-late 19th century, though since industry became a prevalent economic sector – especially manufacturing and raw material processing – the state’s economy has strengthened over the years. What makes Minnesota interesting, economically, is that many economists consider the state a mini United States in the sense that its economic output closely matches that of the United States on the whole; this makes it easy for researchers and trend-finders to conduct their research and find new economic trends. Other major sectors of the economy include retail, technology manufacturing and research, agriculture still, banking and finance, pharmaceuticals and healthcare.
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