Minneapolis is located in close proximity to St Paul, the state capital of Minnesota. It’s a large urban area (fourteenth largest in the US) that covers around 151 square kilometers. The significant number of lakes, rivers and parks that form a defining part of the urban landscape ensure that many areas of the city have plenty of appealing green space.
Local government in Minneapolis consists of a mayor and the Minneapolis City Council. Like other cities in the US, Minneapolis is also governed by state law and federal law. The city is a financial success story, second in the Midwest only to Chicago with respect to the size and vibrancy of its economy. A number of large corporations (Fortune 500 companies) have their headquarters located in Minneapolis, including Target, Thrivent Financial and Xcel Energy.
Prominent economic sectors include healthcare, transport, finance and industry, along with a number of other employment opportunities. The city is ethnically diverse, with just over half the population is classed as Caucasian; Black American, Native American and Asian people also having a significant presence in Minneapolis, as do expatriates. Like the rest of the US, the main language spoken in Minneapolis is English.
Severe winters and hot, sultry summers typify the climate in Minneapolis. Defined as having a “humid continental climate”, its geographical position means that Minneapolis is landlocked and many miles away from the moderating influence of Lake Superior. All four seasons are typified by specific weather events and Minneapolis residents can expect to experience rain, snow, sleet, fog, ice, thunderstorms, and high temperatures during the course of the year.
Snow is an annual event during the winter, with heavy, protracted snowfall expected along with consistently sub-zero temperatures. Spring sees the gradual diminution of snowfall, coupled with an increased risk of tornadoes. Summer brings greater warmth (temperatures are often between 25 and 30°C) and thunderstorms are common. As summer gives way to autumn (known as “fall” in the US), temperatures start to fall and thunderstorms begin to give way to rain and fog.
Luckily, the city is well prepared for the vagaries of the weather, so expats moving to Minneapolis should have no problem settling in and dealing effectively with the meteorological challenges the area presents.
One of the key advantages of property hunting in Minneapolis is that much of it can be done online before relocation takes place. Realtors and hotels regularly advertise accommodation on the webs, so short listing appropriate properties is a straight forward process.
Smaller properties (one or two-bed apartments) have an average rental price of around 1,800 USD a month, making them a relatively expensive option compared with renting a larger property; four and five bedroom homes cost around 2,000 USD dollars a month to rent.
Depending on what your family needs, it’s often more cost-effective to rent a spacious, detached house in the suburbs than it is to lease a more compact inner city apartment. There is a strong expat community in Minneapolis, so wherever you’re located, there will be the chance to meet up with like-minded people. The relatively low cost of living and high standard of educational provision and local services make moving to Minneapolis an attractive option, particularly for parents with school-aged children.
There are a number of Minneapolis-based organizations that can provide assistance for foreigners looking to move there. Provided you have a relevant visa and permission to remain, finding accommodation and accessing suitable services is quite simple. The Minneapolis City Council, too, has plenty of useful information available for new residents in the city.