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    The land of the Viking fans, as Minnesota football fans like to dub themselves, Minnesota represents one of the larger states of the Midwest north, with a strong Scandinavian American community. That said, Minnesota has been seeing a big growth of migration among Asian and Hispanic communities as well. The state is very famous for being the land of lakes, dotted with water bodies up and down the territory. Much of the state's population is focused around the capitol region of St. Paul, but Minneapolis is also a major urban center as well.

    Minnesota has major industries in agriculture, mining and natural resources, forestry, outdoor tourism, and a growing technology and biotechnology market as well. The state also hits the top contenders for ethanol production as well. Major sports in hockey and football also add to the local economy as well.

    By area, Minnesota is America's 12th biggest state. On the other hand, it's home to 5.4 million, making it the 21st most populous state. The economy produces more than $250 billion each year, and, even in the difficult times of the past few years, MN has maintained a relatively low unemployment rate of about 5%.

    Places to Live

    The average single family home in MN is worth about $175,000 and lists for about $200,000. Of course, cities like Edina, Minnetonka, and Stillwater tend to be more expensive, with median sales prices ranging between a half million to one million dollars. Wadena, Austin, and Fergus Falls are more affordable; you can likely find a home for about $125,000.

    If you're looking to raise a family in Minnesota, this article by Nerd Wallet has some helpful suggestions. It recommends places like Waconia, Sartell, and Woodbury, MN. Cities are graded on the quality of public schools, affordability, and general livability.


    Population: 382,578

    Minneapolis is the 48th biggest city in the US, but its impact in business is much larger - it is home to many Fortune 500 companies like Target and U.S. Bancorp. The economy is dominated by jobs in financial services, healthcare, and rail & trucking. Other large employers are the University of Minnesota, financial giant Wells Fargo, and Macy's.

    Saint Paul

    Population: 285,068

    St. Paul is the state capital, and, along with Minneapolis, it makes up MN's twin cities. Minneapolis-St. Paul is the 16th biggest American metropolitan area with a population of nearly 3.5 million. 3M is commonly associated with the city, and St. Jude Medical is another major company and employer within St. Paul.


    Population: 106,769

    Rochester is the biggest city in MN that is not part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro. Major employers include the Mayo Clinic, IBM, and Walmart.

    Minnesota Banks & Financial Institutions

    No matter where you live, finding the right bank is crucial to leading a productive fiscally responsible life. Residents of MN have many choices in this regard, including homegrown financial giant U.S. Bank. Below, we'll cover local community banks, credit unions, and national banks that maintain a local presence. Your choice will depend on your exact needs along with coverage in your neighborhood and place of business. We've also provided links to our reviews where applicable.

    Banks with headquarters in MN:

    1. 21st Century Bank
    2. Bank of Zumbrota
    3. CenBank
    4. Eastwood Bank
    5. First National Bank of Minnesota
    6. Great Northern Bank
    7. Lake Elmo Bank
    8. Pine Island Bank
    9. Sherburne State Bank
    10. Woodland Bank

    Local Credit Unions:

    1. Wings Financial Credit Union
    2. Affinity Plus FCU
    3. US FCU
    4. Hiway FCU
    5. TruStone Financial FCU
    6. Central Minnesota FCU
    7. Mayo Employees CU
    8. SPIRE FCU
    9. Postal Credit Union
    10. City & County CU

    National banks with local branches:

    1. Bank of the West
    2. LaSalle Federal Savings Bank
    3. TCF National Bank Colorado
    4. Wells Fargo

    Of course, you'll want to compare offers from numerous banks, credit unions, and other financial institutions. RateZip.com's free financial search engine is a great place to start; you can compare rates on mortgages, auto loans, certificates of deposit (CDs), and more!

    Home Loans in MN

    For those considering buying a home in Minnesota, considering loans shouldn't be done without the help of RateZip.com. The website provides up-to-date comparison mortgage rate comparisons, allowing buyers to land the best loans available to them in Minnesota. The most common types of home loans in the state are fixed rate mortgages, adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), FHA and VA loans, and jumbo mortgages.

    Refinancing Your Home in Minnesota

    With today's low rates, many have either refinanced or are considering doing so. One program that you should be aware of is the home affordable refinance program, better known as HARP. Through this program, you can refinance your mortgage even if you owe more than the home is currently worth. If you're underwater - and many Americans are following the housing crash - you'll want to see if you can take advantage of today's historically low mortgage rates!

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