Saint Paul, located in east-central Minnesota along the banks of the Mississippi River, has been Minnesota's capital city since 1849, first as capital of the Territory of Minnesota, and then as state capital since 1858.
Saint Paul is adjacent to Minnesota's most populous city, Minneapolis; they and their suburbs are known collectively as the Twin Cities metropolitan area, the thirteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States and home to about 60% of the state's population. The remainder of the state is known as "Greater Minnesota" or "Outstate Minnesota".
The state has eighteen cities with populations above 50,000 (based on 2009 estimates). In descending order of size they are Minneapolis, Saint Paul, Rochester, Duluth, Bloomington, Plymouth, Brooklyn Park, Saint Cloud, Eagan, Maple Grove, Coon Rapids, Eden Prairie, Burnsville, Woodbury, Blaine, Lakeville, Minnetonka, and Apple Valley. Of these only Rochester, Duluth, and Saint Cloud are outside the Twin Cities metropolitan area.
Minnesota's population continues to grow, primarily in the urban centers. The populations of metropolitan Sherburne and Scott Counties doubled between 1980 and 2000, while 40 of the state's 87 counties lost residents over the same decades.
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