Saint Paul is the capital and second-most populous city of the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of 2017, the city’s estimated population was 309,180. Saint Paul is the county seat of Ramsey County, the smallest and most densely populated county in Minnesota. The city lies mostly on the east bank of the Mississippi River in the area surrounding its point of confluence with the Minnesota River, and adjoins Minneapolis, the state’s largest city. Known as the “Twin Cities”, the two form the core of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, the 16th-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with about 3.6 million residents.
As of the census of 2010, there were 285,068 people, 111,001 households, and 59,689 families residing in the city. The population density was 5,484.2 inhabitants per square mile (2,117.5/km2). There were 120,795 housing units at an average density of 2,323.9 per square mile (897.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.1% white, 15.7% African American, 1.1% Native American, 15.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.9% from other races, and 4.2% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 9.6% of the population.
There were 111,001 households of which 30.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.1% were married couples living together, 14.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 46.2% were non-families. 35.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.33.
The median age in the city was 30.9 years. 25.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 13.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.6% were from 25 to 44; 22.6% were from 45 to 64; and 9% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.9% male and 51.1% female.
The Ford Motor Company’s Twin Cities Assembly Plant in 2006
The Minneapolis–Saint Paul–Bloomington area employs 1,570,700 people in the private sector as of July 2008, 82.43 percent of which work in private service providing-related jobs.
Major corporations headquartered in Saint Paul include Ecolab, a chemical and cleaning product company which was named in 2008 by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal as the eighth best place to work in the Twin Cites for companies with 1,000 full-time Minnesota employees, and Securian Financial Group Inc.
The 3M Company is often cited as one of Saint Paul’s companies, though it is located in adjacent Maplewood. 3M employs 16,000 people throughout Minnesota. St. Jude Medical, a manufacturer of medical devices, is directly across the northern border of Saint Paul in Little Canada, though the company’s address is listed in Saint Paul.
In winter months, Saint Paul hosts the Saint Paul Winter Carnival, a tradition that began in 1886 when a New York reporter called Saint Paul “another Siberia.” Attended by 350,000 visitors annually, the event showcases ice sculpting, an annual treasure hunt, winter food, activities, and an ice palace. The Como Zoo and Conservatory and adjoining Japanese Garden are popular year-round. The historic Landmark Center in downtown Saint Paul hosts cultural and arts organizations. The city’s notable recreation locations include Indian Mounds Park, Battle Creek Regional Park, Harriet Island Regional Park, Highland Park, the Wabasha Street Caves, Lake Como, Lake Phalen, and Rice Park, as well as several areas abutting the Mississippi River. The Irish Fair of Minnesota is also held annually at the Harriet Island Pavilion area. And the country’s largest Hmong American sports festival, the Freedom Festival, is held the first weekend of July at McMurray Field near Como Park.
The city is associated with the Minnesota State Fair in nearby Falcon Heights just west of Saint Paul’s Como Park neighborhood and southeast of the University of Minnesota Saint Paul Campus. Though Fort Snelling is on the Minneapolis side of the Mississippi River bluff, the area including Fort Snelling State Park and Pike Island is managed by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources headquartered in the city.
The Minnesota Centennial Showboat was anchored in the Mississippi River along Harriet Island. Saint Paul is the birthplace of cartoonist Charles M. Schulz (Peanuts), who lived in Merriam Park from infancy until 1960. Schulz’s Snoopy cartoon inspired giant, decorated Peanuts sculptures around the city, a Chamber of Commerce promotion in the late 1990s. Other notable residents include writer F. Scott Fitzgerald, playwright August Wilson, who premiered many of the ten plays in his Pittsburgh Cycle at the local Penumbra Theater, painter LeRoy Neiman, and photographer John Vachon.
The Ordway Center for the Performing Arts hosts theater productions and the Minnesota Opera is a founding tenant. RiverCentre, attached to Xcel Energy Center, serves as the city’s convention center. The city has contributed to the music of Minnesota and the Twin Cities music scene through various venues. Great jazz musicians have passed through the influential Artists’ Quarter, first established in the 1970s in Whittier, Minneapolis, and moved to downtown Saint Paul in 1994. Artists’ Quarter also hosts the Soapboxing Poetry Slam, home of the 2009 National Poetry Slam Champions. At The Black Dog, in Lowertown, many French or European jazz musicians (Evan Parker, Tony Hymas, Benoît Delbecq, François Corneloup) have met Twin Cities musicians and started new groups touring in Europe. Groups and performers such as Fantastic Merlins, Dean Magraw/Davu Seru, Merciless Ghosts, and Willie Murphy are regulars. The Turf Club in Midway has been a music scene landmark since the 1940s. Saint Paul is also the home base of the internationally acclaimed Rose Ensemble. As an Irish stronghold, the city boasts popular Irish pubs with live music, such as Shamrocks, The Dubliner, and O’Gara’s. The internationally acclaimed Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra is the nation’s only full-time professional chamber orchestra. The Minnesota Centennial Showboat on the Mississippi River began in 1958 with Minnesota’s first centennial celebration.
Saint Paul hosts a number of museums, including the University of Minnesota’s Goldstein Museum of Design, the Minnesota Children’s Museum, the Schubert Club Museum of Musical Instruments, the Minnesota Museum of American Art, the Traces Center for History and Culture, the Minnesota History Center, the Alexander Ramsey House, the James J. Hill House, the Minnesota Transportation Museum, the Science Museum of Minnesota, and the Twin City Model Railroad Museum.