The area of Minnesota was partially included in the original territory of the United States, being part of lands ceded by four states to the United States and designated in 1787 as the "Territory northwest of the River Ohio." The United States acquired the remainder of the area from France in 1803 as part of the Louisiana Purchase and by a convention signed with Great Britain in 1818 that extended the northern boundary along the 49th parallel westward from a line drawn due north from the source of the Mississippi River. Minnesota Territory was organized on March 3, 1849, from unorganized area formerly within Iowa and Wisconsin territories. The territory included all of the present-day state of Minnesota, the eastern part of North Dakota and South Dakota, and a small part of Nebraska. Minnesota Territory was reduced in size in 1854 when the portion in present-day Nebraska was included in Nebraska Territory. Minnesota was admitted to the Union on May 11, 1858, as the 32nd state, with generally the same boundary as the present state. The remaining part of Minnesota Territory was not assigned until the organization of Dakota Territory in 1861; in 1860 census reports, the area was identified as "unorganized Dakota."
Census data for Minnesota are available beginning with the 1850 census. The 1850 population is for the entire area of Minnesota Territory, including population in area not in the present state.
Data for the legally established state of Minnesota are available beginning with the 1860 census.
See: Geographic Terms & Concepts
Counties & County Equivalents
There are 87 counties in Minnesota. All counties are functioning governmental units, each governed by a county board of commissioners.
Minnesota has 2,760 county subdivisions which are recognized as minor civil divisions (MCDs). There are 1,785 active townships and 23 inactive townships. There are 845 incorporated places which are independent of any county subdivision creating 893 county subdivisions that serve as MCDs. There are 56 unorganized territories. In addition, there are three county subdivisions not defined covering water area. Each township is governed by a board of supervisors.
Koochiching County is covered entirely by unorganized territories and independent places. Lake of the Woods County is shown as having 23 nonfunctioning townships as part of an agreement between the county and the Census Bureau.
Places (Incorporated Cities, Towns & Census Designated Places (CDPs))
Minnesota has 906 places; 854 incorporated places and 52 census designated places (CDPs). The incorporated places are all cities. Nine cities – Aurora, Beardsley, Calumet, Johnson, Kinney, Marble, Nashwauk, Ortonville, and Taconite – are dependent within county subdivision. There are 845 cities that are independent of any township or unorganized territory.
Alphabetical List of Cities, Towns, CDPs and Other Populated Places
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q, R | S | T | U, V | W, X, Y, Z
Minnesota Civil Features
Minnesota Civil Features: Political Subdivisions, Native Areas, Land Grants, etc. - sorted by Census Class Codes.
Metropolitan and Micropolitan Stastical Areas
There are 5 Metropolitan and 15 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in Minnesota. MN Metopolitan & Micropolitan Areas
Minnesota ZIP Code Tabulation Areas
There are 890 ZIP Code tabulation areas (ZCTAs) in Minnesota. View Minnesota ZIP Codes and ZIP Code Maps.
Minnesota has 339 unified school districts. View Minnesota Public and Private Schools.
Minnesota has 8 congressional districts. An interactive map shows the contact information for each Representative as well as the boundaries for each Minnesota district. View Map of Minnesota Congressional Districts.
State Legislative Districts
There are 67 state senate districts and 134 state house districts in Minnesota.
American Indian Areas
Minnesota has 13 federally recognized American Indian areas. There are 11 federally recognized American Indian area reservations, 8 with off-reservation trust land. There is one trust land. In addition, there is one off-reservation trust land associated with a reservation in a neighboring state.