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Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2016, the city’s estimated population was 304,442. Saint Paul is the county seat of Ramsey County, the smallest and most densely populated county in Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state’s largest city. Known as the “Twin Cities”, the two form the core of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with about 3.52 million residents.

Founded near historic Native American settlements as a trading and transportation center, the city rose to prominence when it was named the capital of the Minnesota Territory in 1849. The Dakota name for Saint Paul is “Imnizaska”. Though Minneapolis (Bdeota) is better-known nationally, Saint Paul contains the state government and other important institutions. Regionally, the city is known for the Xcel Energy Center, home of the Minnesota Wild, and for the Science Museum of Minnesota. As a business hub of the Upper Midwest, it is the headquarters of companies such as Ecolab. Saint Paul, along with its Twin City, Minneapolis, is known for its high literacy rate. It was the only city in the United States with a population of 250,000 or more to see an increase in circulation of Sunday newspapers in 2007.

The settlement originally began at present-day Lambert’s Landing, but was known as Pig’s Eye after Pierre “Pig’s Eye” Parrant established a popular tavern there. When Lucien Galtier, the first Catholic pastor of the region, established the Log Chapel of Saint Paul (shortly thereafter to become the first location of the Cathedral of Saint Paul), he made it known that the settlement was now to be called by that name, as “Saint Paul as applied to a town or city was well appropriated, this monosyllable is short, sounds good, it is understood by all Christian denominations”.

Population: 302,398 (2016)
Area:

  • City 56.18 sq mi (145.51 km2)
  • Land 51.98 sq mi (134.63 km2)
  • Water 4.20 sq mi (10.88 km2)

Currency

United States Dollar (USD)

Geography

Saint Paul’s history and growth as a landing port are tied to water. The city’s defining physical characteristic, the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota Rivers, was carved into the region during the last ice age, as were the steep river bluffs and dramatic palisades on which the city is built. Receding glaciers and Lake Agassiz forced torrents of water from a glacial river that undercut the river valleys. The city is situated in east-central Minnesota.

The Mississippi River forms a municipal boundary on part of the city’s west, southwest, and southeast sides. Minneapolis, the state’s largest city, lies to the west. Falcon Heights, Lauderdale, Roseville, and Maplewood are north, with Maplewood lying to the east. The cities of West Saint Paul and South Saint Paul are to the south, as are Lilydale, Mendota, and Mendota Heights, although across the river from the city. The city’s largest lakes are Pig’s Eye Lake, which is part of the Mississippi, Lake Phalen, and Lake Como. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 56.18 square miles (145.51 km2), of which 51.98 square miles (134.63 km2) is land and 4.20 square miles (10.88 km2) is water.

Climate

Saint Paul has a continental climate typical of the Upper Midwestern United States. Winters are frigid and snowy, while summers are warm to hot and humid. On the Köppen climate classification, Saint Paul falls in the hot summer humid continental climate zone (Dfa). The city experiences a full range of precipitation and related weather events, including snow, sleet, ice, rain, thunderstorms, tornadoes, and fog.

Due to its northerly location in the United States and lack of large bodies of water to moderate the air, Saint Paul is sometimes subjected to cold Arctic air masses, especially during late December, January, and February. The average annual temperature of 47.05 °F (8.36 °C) gives the Minneapolis−Saint Paul metropolitan area the coldest annual mean temperature of any major metropolitan area in the continental U.S.

Economy

The Minneapolis–Saint Paul–Bloomington area employs 1,570,700 people in the private sector as of July 2008, 82.43 percent of which work in private service providing-related jobs.

Major corporations headquartered in Saint Paul include Ecolab, a chemical and cleaning product company which was named in 2008 by the Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal as the eighth best place to work in the Twin Cites for companies with 1,000 full-time Minnesota employees, Securian Financial Group Inc. and Gander Mountain, a retailer of sporting goods which operates 115 stores in 23 states.

The 3M Company is often cited as one of Saint Paul’s companies, though it is located in adjacent Maplewood, Minnesota. 3M employs 16,000 people throughout Minnesota. St. Jude Medical, a manufacturer of medical devices, is directly across the municipal border of Saint Paul in Little Canada,[66] though the company’s address is listed in Saint Paul.

The city was home to the Ford Motor Company’s Twin Cities Assembly Plant, which opened in 1924 and closed at the end of 2011. The plant was in Highland Park on the Mississippi River, adjacent to Lock and Dam No. 1, Mississippi River, which generates hydroelectric power. The site is now being cleared of all buildings and tested for contamination to prepare for redevelopment.