MPLS/ST PAUL Metro Area
Minneapolis–Saint Paul is a major metropolitan area built around the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers. The area is commonly known as the Twin Cities for its two largest cities, Minneapolis, the city with the largest population in Minnesota, and Saint Paul, the state capital. It is a classic example of twin cities in the sense of geographical proximity. Together the two cities anchor the second-largest economic center in the Midwest, behind Chicago.
There are several different definitions of the region. Many refer to the Twin Cities as the seven-county region which is governed under the Metropolitan Council regional governmental agency and planning organization. The United States Office of Management and Budget officially designates 16 counties as the Minneapolis-St. Paul–Bloomington MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area, the 16th largest in the United States. The entire region known as the Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI Combined Statistical Area, has a population of 3,797,883, the 14th largest, according to 2013 Census estimates.
Despite the Twin moniker, the two cities are independent municipalities with defined borders and are quite distinct from each other. Minneapolis is somewhat younger with modern skyscrapers, while Saint Paul has been likened to a European city with quaint neighborhoods and a vast collection of well preserved late-Victorian architecture.
Minneapolis was influenced by its early Scandinavian and Lutheran heritage and hosts the largest Somali population in North America. St. Paul was influenced by its early French, Irish and German Catholic roots and currently hosts a thriving Hmong population.
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