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How We Rate...

Where Minnesota ranks in everything from health to wealth, hotness to happiness

How We Rate...

(page 3 of 3)


Big business: 1st

The Twin Cities are home to 21 Fortune 500 companies, the country’s highest concentration per capita.

Moonlighting: 4th

Michele Bachmann once infamously said she was proud that Minnesota is the “workingest state,” as nine percent of us work two jobs. (We also rank second in percentage of couples in which both spouses work.)

Time-wasting: 21st

Nearly 43 percent of Minnesotans are Facebooking at work.

Industry: 45th

[Nevada is 1st, Wisconsin is 46th] Logging just 33.5 hours a week, we’re among the least workaholic states in the nation.

All aboard: 14th

Just 3.3 percent of us take public transportation to work—not great, but better than Wisconsin at 1.8 percent.

Entrepreneurism: 46th

We may be ahead of the pack in engaging the global, innovation-based economy (ranking 13th in building a new economy and 8th in fostering an ideal business climate). We just aren’t starting many companies ourselves.

Wages: 43rd

Of the 45 states with a state minimum wage, our rate of $6.15 an hour gives us the dubious distinction of being one of just four states undercutting the federal minimum of $7.25.

Commute: 35th

At 22 minutes, our average trip to work is hardly speedy, though it clocks in at almost a third less than the typical New Yorker’s.


Bookish: 3rd

Minneapolis has slipped from first place in the annual America’s Most Literate Cities ranking. But its abundant bookstores, a still-strong Star Tribune, and decent libraries add up to a whole lot of noses in books around here.

Broke students: 4th

We crave education here—we just can’t afford it: 72 percent of our college grads leave school saddled with an average of $25,558 in debt.

Brainiest: 4th

[Raleigh-Durham is 1st, San Francisco is 2nd, Boston is 3rd] But you probably already knew that. In fact, based on bachelor’s degrees, voter participation, and other signs of intelligence, the Twin Cities ranks above many noted college towns, though we still can’t explain Jesse Ventura.

Teacher Salaries: 20th

Sure we pay our teachers a bit more than average, but that’s less impressive when you consider that our income in Minnesota is well above average (11th highest). And since salaries usually reflect regional income differences (Connecticut and California pay their teachers the most), our teachers may be the ones really getting left behind.

School funding: 15th

[Wyoming, with a low population, ranks as the most education-friendly, Tennessee the least]We may not dole out the most funding per student, but we do well in distributing it wisely to ensure equal access.

Top high schools: 31st

Our kids may be above average, but not our high schools, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report. None have made the “gold-medal” list. 

ACT scores: 1st

[Iowa is 2nd, Wisconsin is 3rd] We are so ready for college. Now all we have to do is pay for it.

Artsiest: 2nd

Plays—and sculptures and paintings, etc.—are indeed the thing here, thanks to the Legacy Amendment: Our total legislative appropriation for the arts is second only to that of New York.

Wanna know the details? For source information, go to mnmo.com/howwerate 

Comments may be edited for length, clarity, or appropriateness.

Old to new | New to old
Mar 18, 2011 10:55 am
 Posted by  ricked42

Wish I could get the whole How We Rate article to post online for my non-Minnesotan friends. We read the piece and there are so many other important rankings that should be shared.

Mar 31, 2011 03:24 pm
 Posted by  Kim B

This is a wonderful piece! Can't wait to get the April issue. Thanks for compiling fun features like this!

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