Expats moving to Minneapolis in America's Midwest are really relocating to two cities in one: Minneapolis and Saint Paul – the state capital. With only the Mississippi River separating them, the 'Twin Cities' form the centre of a large metropolitan area sprawling across the flat Minnesota landscape.
Living in Minneapolis as an expat
The abundance of water in Minneapolis combined with the city’s many parks create a beautiful blue-and-green patchwork landscape, connected by numerous bike and walking paths. Besides plenty of greenery to enjoy, there is so much to see and do here. The city has a rich cultural life and a thriving music and theatre scene, as well as many excellent restaurants and a booming coffee shop culture.
As one of the largest cities in the Midwest, Minneapolis is an important economic centre in the US, with the main industries being finance, commerce, transportation and healthcare. The city is therefore attracting plenty of new residents and even expats looking to further their careers in the Twin Cities.
Those living closer to the city centre will have easy access to the public transport network which consists of buses, light rail and a commuter rail line. Those living and working downtown can also use the Minneapolis Skyway System, which is a series of pedestrian bridges connecting 80 city blocks. There are many restaurants and shops along these passageways, and it makes navigating the city in the chilly winters much easier.
Cost of living in Minneapolis
The 2023 Mercer Cost of Living survey ranks Minneapolis as the 67th most expensive city for expats out of 227 cities surveyed, making it more affordable than the likes of New York City, Dallas and Philadelphia. Suburban accommodation and utilities are affordable, and the general cost of living in Minneapolis is low in comparison to other US cities.
Families and children in Minneapolis
Parents will be pleased to know that there is a wide selection of good public and private schools to choose from. The main campus of the University of Minnesota is also located here, along with a number of smaller colleges and universities. Most neighbourhoods in Minneapolis are well equipped with everything children might need, from recreational centres and community swimming pools to museums and libraries.
Climate in Minneapolis
The climate in Minneapolis is classified as continental, and the weather is characterised by harsh winters and moderate to hot summers. In winter, snowfall is abundant and temperatures typically fall below freezing. Rainfall is a common occurrence throughout the year, but the wettest month of the year is June.
New arrivals in Minneapolis are likely to notice a sense of community and pride among the residents. They should have no problem meeting people if they are willing to participate in community activities. Minneapolis is known for its friendly inhabitants, and with the help of a bit of 'Minnesota nice', it should not take long for the Twin Cities to feel like home.
►For information on finding a home in the Twin Cities, see Accommodation in Minneapolis
►For information on the different transport options in the Twin Cities, see Getting Around in Minneapolis
"Minneapolis is a beautiful city with a fancy downtown, woods, lakes, and nice people. Minnesota is one of the most economically developed states and the quality of life is higher than in many other states. I wish my home country had the same life quality."
Find out more about the expat experience in Minneapolis in our interview with Armenian expat Emma.
Are you an expat living in Minneapolis?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Minneapolis. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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