Minneapolis is the county seat of Hennepin County, and the larger of the Twin Cities, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States. As of 2016, Minneapolis is the largest city in the state of Minnesota and 46th-largest in the United States with an estimated population of 413,651. Minneapolis and Saint Paul anchor the second-largest economic center in the Midwest, after Chicago.
Minneapolis lies on both banks of the Mississippi River, just north of the river’s confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Saint Paul, the state’s capital. The city is abundantly rich in water, with thirteen lakes, wetlands, the Mississippi River, creeks and waterfalls, many connected by parkways in the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. It was once the world’s flour milling capital and a hub for timber. The city and surrounding region is the primary business center between Chicago and Seattle, with Minneapolis proper containing America’s fifth-highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies. As an integral link to the global economy, Minneapolis is categorized as a global city. Noted for its strong music and performing arts scenes, Minneapolis is home to both the award-winning Guthrie Theater and the historic First Avenue nightclub. Reflecting the region’s status as an epicenter of folk, funk, and alternative rock music, the city served as the launching pad for several of the 20th century’s most influential musicians, including Bob Dylan and Prince.
Minneapolis, MN Schools
Minneapolis’ collegiate scene is dominated by the main campus of the University of Minnesota where more than 50,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students attend 20 colleges, schools, and institutes. The graduate school programs ranked highest in 2007 were counseling and personnel services, chemical engineering, psychology, macroeconomics, applied mathematics and non-profit management. A Big Ten school and home of the Golden Gophers, the University of Minnesota is the fourth largest campus among U.S. public 4-year universities in terms of enrollment.
Minneapolis currently has two light rail lines and one commuter rail line. The METRO Blue Line LRT serves 34,000 riders daily and connects the Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport and Mall of America in Bloomington to downtown. Most of the line runs at surface level, although parts of the line run on elevated tracks (including the Franklin Avenue and Lake Street/Midtown stations) and approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) of the line runs underground, including the Lindbergh terminal subway station at the airport.
Minneapolis’ second light rail line, the METRO Green Line shares stations with the Blue Line in downtown Minneapolis, and then at the Downtown East station, travels east through the University of Minnesota, and then along University Avenue into downtown Saint Paul. Construction began in November 2010 and the line began service on June 14, 2014. The third line, the Southwest Line (Green Line extension), will connect downtown Minneapolis with the southwestern suburb of Eden Prairie. Completion is expected sometime in the late 2010s. A northwest LRT is planned along Bottineau Boulevard (Blue Line extension) from downtown to Brooklyn Park and Maple Grove.
The 40-mile Northstar Commuter rail, which runs from Big Lake through the northern suburbs and terminates at the multi-modal transit station at Target Field, opened on November 16, 2009. It uses existing railroad tracks and serves 2,600 daily commuters.
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