skip to content
Primary navigation

Overview

When you consider everything it takes to compete and succeed in the dynamic North American market, few states can match the advantages of a Minnesota location.

Minnesota at a Glance

Minnesota flag

Land Area: 208,820 square kilometers.

Population: 5.4 million. 

Labor Force: 2.9 million. 

Gross State Product: $289 billion (17th in the United States, tied for 18th in the world). 

Per Capita Gross State Product: $53,340 (14th in the United States). 

Annual Exports: $33 billion to 208 countries.

Foreign Investment in Minnesota

Nearly 720 foreign companies operate in Minnesota, employing nearly 101,000 people. In fact, Minnesota is a business location for about 15 percent of all foreign-owned companies operating in the United States.

In the past two years alone, foreign-owned companies have invested $337 million in 31 projects and created 1,670 jobs in the process.

Prominent Companies

Company logosMany Minnesota-based companies are recognized worldwide.

Minnesota is home to 17 companies on the Fortune 500 list of the nation's largest publicly-traded firms.

Several Minnesota companies make the Forbes list of the nation's largest privately-held firms, including Cargill, one of the world's largest multinationals with operations in 67 countries.

That track record of success in the national and international marketplace is what sets Minnesota apart from other states. Our reputation for innovation and success is known and respected the world over.

See more about Minnesota's Major Companies.

Major Industries

Manufacturing 

Man assembling partsManufacturing is the backbone of Minnesota's economy. The state is especially strong in high-tech manufacturing, including computers and electronics, medical devices and vehicles.

  • Food processing is a manufacturing mainstay and many of Minnesota's most recognized brands on on grocery shelves in the Americas, Asia-Pacific, China and Europe.
  • Manufactured exports were about $20 billion in 2014.

See more about Minnesota's Manufacturing Industries.

Biosciences

Two men in a pharmacyMinnesota is an international leader in biosciences and consistently ranks among the top U.S. states in key life science indicators. 

  • The state's reputation as a medical device and technology pioneers dates back 75 years and is recognized around the world. Several of the nation's most innovative medical device companies have a headquarters or significant presence here, including Medtronic, Starkey Laboratories, Inc., Boston Scientific, St. Jude Medical and 3M Healthcare.
  • Other key bioscience sectors include pharmaceutical, biologics, human health microbiology, medical genomics, proteomics, stem cell research, bioinformatics and animal science research.

See more about Minnesota's Biosciences Industries.

Clean Technology and Renewable Energy

Ranked in the top five sates for clean technology and renewable energy, Minnesota has thriving industry clusters in green chemistry and biomaterials, green building technologies, wind and solar power, biofuels, and water filtration and conservation.

  • Water Technology - Many of the world's largest water and wastewater treatment companies have headquarters in Minnesota, including Pentair, 3M, and Ecolab. With $730 million in foreign sales, Minnesota is among the top 10 exporters of water and wastewater treatment technology in the United States.
  • Wind Power - Minnesota ranks 7th in the United States for installed wind capacity, with about 3,000 megawatts.
  • Solar Power - Aggressive government policies favoring renewable energy coupled with commercial interest from multinational giants like 3M and scores of smaller companies are driving steady growth in solar power.

See more about Minnesota's Clean Tech Industries.

See more about all of Minnesota's Major Industries and Sectors.

Workforce

Minnesota's most important asset - and its key competitive advantage for companies of all kinds - is a workforce known for high skill, high productivity, high motivation and low absenteeism. The state's labor force participation rate (70.4 percent) is the third-highest in the nation. It exceeds the U.S. rate of 63.3 percent and is higher than the rates of several foreign countries.


     Labor Force Participation Rate Comparisons

Education

A high-quality workforce can only come from a high-quality education system. The state has more than 200 public and private universities, colleges and technical schools that enroll about 385,000 students each year. 

The University of Minnesota ranks 13th in the nation for research and development expenditures ($847 million) across all fields. See more about Education in Minnesota.

Percentage of population with HS diploma or higher and Bachelor's degree or higher, 2013     

Logistics and Infrastructure

Minnesota ranks 2nd in the nation for the quality of our transportation infrastructure.

Airports - The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport serves 135 nonstop destinations, including 114 domestic and 21 international markets.

Railroads - Twenty railroad companies operate 4,444 route miles of track throughout Minnesota

Ports and Waterways - The state has four ports on Lake Superior. The Port of Duluth, a multi-modal container facility, serves ocean-going ships, including ships sailing to and from Europe and South America.  The Mississippi River system has five ports and stretches more than 222 miles, providing access to the Gulf of Mexico.

Highways - Minnesota has the fifth-largest highway system in the United States.

See more about Logistics and Infrastructure.

Supply Chain

A key logistical advantage to a Minnesota location is the ability to source raw materials, components and finished products from a tremendous wealth of supplies within the state. Our Made in Minnesota manufacturers supply chain database makes it easy for Minnesota companies to find and be found by homegrown suppliers. Use the Made in Minnesota Database.

Taxes and Incentives

Minnesota exempts capital equipment used in the manufacturing process from the sales tax. There are also several other major exemptions for businesses, including fees for equipment installation and repair; utilities, chemicals and gases used for industrial production; and most services.

Personal property like machinery and inventory are exempt from the property tax, resulting in a lower effective tax rate for real and personal property. 

The state's single sales apportionment formula greatly reduces corporate income tax liability for companies doing business in the state, especially manufacturers.

See more about Minnesota's Financial Incentives.

We're At Your Service

When you invest in Minnesota, we invest heavily in your success - and not just in the beginning. We're with you for the long-term. We're partners. That's our pledge.

Opening Doors. Making connections. Finding resources. Solving problems. We're always there when you need us. It starts with expert assistance, devotion to customer service, and responsiveness to your company's specific needs. 

All the Answers - Our Business First Stop Assistance Team leads companies step-by-step through site location and development processes, paving the way for a smooth and successful launch.

We're Shovel-Ready - Our Shovel-Ready Certified Sites make it easy for companies to launch on a tight time frame by assuring that the most time consuming legal, technical and regulatory aspects of site development are already complete. See more about Shovel-Ready Sites.

Workforce Training - Minnesota is recognized nationally for its close collaboration with business and industry on worker training and development, ensuring that companies have a ready supply of highly-skilled workers. See more about Workforce Training.

International Expertise - Once you've expanded operations into Minnesota, the foreign trade experts at the Minnesota Trade Office can assist with market and industry insights and technical advice, especially in markets you might be targeting from your North American location. We've also got foreign offices in Europe, South America, China and Korea. See more about the Minnesota Trade Office.

Map of world representatives

back to top