Discover the Largest City in Minnesota Now and in 2050

Written by Courtney Wennerstrom
Published: November 4, 2023
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Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota at night time

Minneapolis, Minnesota, is one half of the famous “Twin Cities,” since it is in very close proximity to its sister city, St. Paul.

©AndreyKrav/iStock via Getty Images

The gorgeous state of Minnesota is located in the northern central region of the United States, bordered by North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa. It ranks as the 12th largest state by area and is among the more populous states, making it 22nd in the country. A bit late to the game, Minnesota officially became the 32nd state to join the Union on May 11, 1858. Lovingly referred to as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” Minnesota is rich in natural beauty and touts a wealth of outdoor recreational activities. It is also celebrated for its vibrant cultural scene and maintains strong presence in the fields of technology and healthcare.

In short, Minnesota has a lot to offer both its 5.707 million residents and the approximately 77.2 million tourists who visit each year.

Let’s explore Minnesota’s largest city and anticipate its future growth over the next several decades…

The Twin Cities

First, it is worth mentioning that although Minneapolis is the largest city in the North Star State, it shares a lot of its glory with St. Paul – known as its sister or “twin” city – which happens to be the second largest in Minnesota. These two are so close geographically that their metropolitan areas essentially merge – creating one gem of a metroplex and giving them their popular sibling-themed nickname. A formidable team, these entangled world-class cities are home to an abundance of art galleries, museums, music venues, theaters, restaurants, historic landmarks, architectural wonders, and stunning natural beauty.

Before we discuss what draws people to the largest city, Minneapolis, let’s ruminate over St. Paul for a moment. After all, it is right next door and partially responsible for Minneapolis’s allure and success. As the capital city, it exudes historic charm. Replete with well-preserved neighborhoods and historic landmarks, including the Cathedral of Saint Paul, Summit Avenue, and the majestic James J. Hill House, St. Paul dazzles with Victorian-era architectural masterpieces and the many human stories that accompany them.

And like Minneapolis, St. Paul has a reputation for hosting several renowned educational institutions, including the University of St. Thomas and Macalester College. Plus, some of the University of Minnesota campus is on its soil, too. As the birthplace of F. Scott Fitzgerald, it also claims a robust literary history. Finally, it hosts the infamous Winter Carnival – one of the most iconic festivals in the nation with snow and ice sculpture contests – dating all the way back to 1886! With all of these attractions so close to Minneapolis, they really are a part of what makes the largest city in Minnesota so lovely.

What People Love about Minneapolis

Lake Harriet

Lake Harriet, in Minneapolis, is a paradise for anyone who loves nature.


Similarly to its twin, Minneapolis is a culturally-diverse and welcoming city. A thriving urban center with an plethora personal and professional opportunities, it is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. An extensive network of green spaces – encompassing over 340 miles of biking and jogging trails – provides impressive opportunities to explore and enjoy nature. Moreover, its multiple lakes – including Lake of the Isles, Lake Harriet, and the Mississippi River – make participating in water-based sports and adventures like kayaking, paddle-boarding, and ice skating easily accessible. On that note, one can hardly say enough about the opportunities for viewing and getting close to wildlife here. Just walking along the banks of the Mississippi River can afford a chance to spy a variety of birds, including mallards, common loons, Great Blue Herons, and even eagles.

When you’re ready for more culture, Minneapolis’s coolest museums, galleries, theaters, and sport teams include:


Manufacturing, health care and research, engineering, information technology, energy, and education sectors reign in Minneapolis, helping to solidify the economy and employing the majority of its residents. The medium income here is approximately $70,099 according to the US Census.

Will Minneapolis Still Be the Largest City in Minnesota in 2050?

Although Minneapolis has the lowest annual population growth rate of all of the top five cities in Minnesota, experts still predict that it will be even bigger and more diverse three decades from now than it is today – estimating that the Twin Cities will welcome over 800,000 new residents, thereby attaining a total population of four million. Most importantly, BIPOC communities are growing rapidly and will likely double by then, ultimately comprising 44% of all residents.

Top 5 Largest Cities in Minnesota: A Comparison

RankingCityPopulationAnnual Population Growth Rate (2022)Total AreaMedian Household Income


425,3360.71%57.51 mi²$70,099
#2St. Paul307,1931.27%56.18 mi²$63,483
#3Rochester121,4652.22%55.87 mi²$80,865
#4Bloomington89,2984.94%38.39 mi²$80,582
#5Duluth86,3720.21%80.15 mi²$62,184
Largest cities in Minnesota and their statistics.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © BlueGreen/

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About the Author

Courtney Wennerstrom is a writer at A-Z Animals where her primary focus is on pet wellness and the human-animal bond. As an animal welfare professional, Courtney has been writing and researching about animals for over a decade and holds an PhD (ABD) in English from Indiana University, Bloomington, where she taught for 15 years. A resident of Colorado, Courtney loves to hike, travel, and read. She finds inspiration from her rescued huskies, Sasha and Saint, and her beloved rescued cat, Mojo.

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