Maybe all you know about Minneapolis is that it’s Prince’s home town, or that it’s one of the famous Twin Cities. Moving to Minneapolis can be a major change for anyone who has lived in a more forgiving winter climate, but there are so many great things about Minneapolis, that it’s hard to count those frigid Minnesota winters as a reason not to live there.
Minneapolis is actually the bigger of the Twin Cities although St. Paul is actually the capitol. U.S. News & World Report currently ranks Minneapolis, birthplace of Peanuts creator Charles Shulz, #9 on their list of Best Places to Live in the U.S, and actors like Vince Vaughn and the Coen brothers who grew up in this city would likely agree!
The job market is strong in this area. The average salary in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area is about $5,000 more than the national average, with growth in the tech industry, especially for women. Companies like Medtronic, Boston Scientific, Upsher-Smith, Xcel Energy, and more have headquarters in the metropolitan area. In fact, 17 Fortune 500 Companies are located in the greater Twin Cities area.
In addition, there are many jobs in food service, retail, and other areas which do not require secondary education degrees. Companies like General Mills and 3M employ many Minneapolis residents as well.
There are also plenty of jobs in health care and social assistance, the top industry in the area, leading the job market with ¼ of the jobs in the market.
The unemployment rate was just 3.3% in 2017, lower than the national average. It fell to just 2.3% in mid-2018 and dipped further to just 2.0% by the end of that year.
Overall, Minneapolis is rated as a healthier job market than metro areas of similar size. This is good news for the diverse industries in the area, including manufacturing, trade, mining, logging, and construction.
Over 283,000 Minneapolis residents are employed in the health care and social assistance field, while a significant number are employed n food service and accommodation services.
There are 35,000 students in 75 Minneapolis schools and another 40,000 in 58 schools within the adjoining St. Paul School District.
As far as public schools go, you will have a lot of really good choices. Wayzata Public School District is rated the#1 Best School District. This school system, with 11,000 students in 17 schools, was also rated #2 of 342 institutions as the Best Places to Teach in Minnesota. Number 2 on that list was the Minnetonka Public School District. It accommodates over 10,000 students in 10 schools and is located near beautiful Lake Minnetonka. Students can participate in K-12 Spanish and Chinese immersion, extensive online learning, and computer coding for students as young as K-5.
Within the same area, there are nearly 650 private schools enrolling 94,000 students. This figure may seem high, but it includes summer programs and over 450 daycare centers and preschools. There is a 92% acceptance rate overall for Minneapolis private schools with a student-teacher ratio of 12:1.
There’s no shortage of colleges and universities in the Twin Cities area. Macalester College #1 Best Colleges in Minneapolis-St. Paul, with the University of Minnesota ranking #2 and the University of St. Thomas at number 3. Walden University, the well-known online university with students from 150 countries around the world, is based in Minneapolis. There is also an Aveda Institute in Minneapolis.
You wouldn’t immediately think of Minneapolis as an outdoor activity mecca, but its residents take advantage of the 22 lakes and outdoor parks whenever the weather allows.
You can rent a paddleboard, canoe, or kayak when the weather is warm. Abundant areas for walking trails, public rose gardens, and biking are found along the Mississippi River. Minneapolis has more Mississippi shoreline than any other city on the river and makes good use of it!
In the winter, enjoy ice fishing, snowboarding, or skiing. While visiting the famous Mall of America may not be something you want to do every weekend, it is a sight to behold and definitely a good way to get out and about during the winter months.
Art galleries and outdoor sculpture parks can be enjoyed any time of year, and there are many music venues in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area includes small places like 7th St. Entry and … and the larger ones like U.S. Bank Stadium, Target Field, and TCF Bank Stadium with capacities from 42,524 to 66,655.
The weather in Minneapolis is cold, so comfort food reigns supreme! Cheese-stuffed burgers and other pub food can be found just about anywhere. Hotdishes, otherwise known as casseroles, are another local favorite. Walleye is the fish of choice and completes many different dishes in Minneapolis.
You’ll see a lot of Scandinavian foods like meatballs, pickled herring, bread, cheeses, sausages featured in local restaurants, and plenty of locally harvested foods, especially wild rice that can be found in everything from pancakes to soups. There’s a thriving coffee scene to warm you up as well.
Minneapolis has a high percentage of affordable homes for a major metropolis. There are programs in place to help low- to middle-income families buy homes. The city is concerned with keeping home ownership an attainable goal for its working residents, regardless of income.
Low-cost housing for artists can also be found in the form of lofts all over the city. This program has received some criticism since there are certainly more needy individuals, but the city maintains that keeping artists in the area is good for Minneapolis’s historical and cultural scene.
No shortage of transportation options exists in Minneapolis! They include eco-friendly, affordable options as well as more traditional ones. Downtown is compact, so any transportation method you choose will get you there quickly.
Minneapolis is gorgeous for walking when weather permits, and when it doesn’t, make use of the Skyway System which connects downtown buildings of all kinds with 9 miles worth of enclosed bridges.
Other transportation options include:
- Nice Ride bike sharing, complete with dedicated bike lanes all over the city
- Car Sharing – Zipcars
- Inexpensive bus fares
- A local Amtrak station
Still, other commuters choose to drive. Parking in a large city can be a nightmare, but Minneapolis offers a convenient parking spot reservation app to make it a little easier on everyday drivers.
Known for extremely cold winters, Minneapolis claims the coldest average temperature of any major U.S. metropolis. Record lows have reached -41°F with an average low in January, the coldest month, of 7.5°F. These temperatures are comparable to Anchorage, Alaska!
Minneapolis has mild, even hot summers, though, and overall the city experiences a broad range of weather, including humidity, thunderstorms, drought, flood, wind and lots of sunshine throughout the year, regardless of the temperature.
And of course, if you need storage in the Minneapolis area, please view our Minneapolis storage locations.