Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota and the center of finance, industry, trade, and transportation for the Upper Midwest. Minneapolis is home to 368,383 people (1990). Minneapolis is just west of St. Paul, its "Twin City". The City's area is 59 square miles (153 square kilometers), including five square miles (13 square kilometers) of inland water. Minneapolis is the second coldest city in the United States, with an average annual temperature of 45 F (7 C). Minneapolis has four distinct seasons with moderate spring and fall weather. Summer is comfortable because lakes and trees serve as natural air conditioners. Average monthly temperature for August is 71 F (22 C).
Historically, Minneapolis was founded to process Minnesota grain with the tremendous power-generating capabilities of St. Anthony Falls. Large mills were established along the river. These mills eventually became the international corporations of Pillsbury, General Mills and Cargill which are still headquartered in Minneapolis. Today, Minneapolis is also a center for graphic arts, electronics and instruments as well as a transportation center and distribution point for the Upper Midwest. Banking, insurance, and other services are important. Major industries include machinery and metal fabricating, plastics, computers, and publishing. Minneapolis, with 7 hospitals and the University of Minnesota, is a nationally known medical center and produces many high technology medical products. Bloomington also houses the nation's largest shopping mall, the "Mall of America."
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