Overview of Minnesota City Government

The Legislature has described cities as the type of government that “most efficiently provides governmental services in areas intensively developed for residential, commercial, industrial, and governmental purposes.” Minnesota cities are diverse, provide a wide range of services to their citizens, and form a powerful, grassroots governmental system that maintains a close relationship with its constituents.

The 2010 U.S. census estimates that about 82 percent of the people in Minnesota live in cities, even though cities only cover about 4.9 percent of the state’s land area. Since cities are where most people live, the basic goal of city government is to provide services. In many parts of the state, cities are the main governmental entities.

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