Minneapolis–Saint Paul is a metropolitan area built around the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers. The area is commonly known as the Twin Cities or The Cities for its two largest cities, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, being the city with the highest population and state capital of Minnesota respectively, along with the surrounding suburbs. It is a classic example of twin cities in the sense of geographical proximity. There are many different definitions of the region, many refer to the Twin Cities as the seven-county region which is governed under the Metropolitan Council planning organization. The United States Office of Management and Budget officially designates 16 counties as the Minneapolis-St. Paul–Bloomington MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area the 16th largest in the United States. The entire region known as the Minneapolis-St. Paul MN-WI Combined Statistical Area, has a population of 3,797,883 the 14th largest, according to 2013 Census estimates. Despite the Twin moniker, the two cities are independent municipalities with defined borders and are quite distinct from each other. Minneapolis is somewhat younger with modern skyscrapers, while Saint Paul has been likened to a European city with quaint neighborhoods and a vast collection of well preserved late-Victorian architecture.St. Paul travel guide Minneapolis was influenced by its early Scandinavian and Lutheran heritage and hosts the largest Somali population in North America. St. Paul was influenced by its early French, Irish and German Catholic roots and currently hosts a thriving Hmong population.

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