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Old 03-27-2010, 02:52 AM
 
66 posts, read 134,637 times
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How does Minneapolis compare to Seattle? My wife and I currently live in northwest Washington, and we like it here very much. We may have to relocate in 4-5 years (maybe longer) time because of the very small job market here. By then I will have my Master of Science Degree in Information Technology. If we have to move, then we can either move to Seattle or somewhere else. We live too far from Seattle to commute.

I figure that is must be easier to find jobs in Minneapolis because of less competition. I mean most people probably just think Minneapolis is too cold and stay away from there. Whereas, Seattle is more popular because of the moderate weather, and ocean and mountains. I personally love cold weather, so it's not a problem for me.

But does Minneapolis have a great outdoors environment? I mean are there plenty of hiking trails, walking trails, trees, lakes, parks, etc.? Is it as clean as Seattle? Is it as low crime as Seattle?

Some of the good points of northwest Washington are:


- Great outdoors environment for hiking, walking, biking, fishing, skiing, etc.

- Very clean

- Low Crime

- Ocean

- Mountains

Of course northwest Washington has some bad points like:

- Meddling "environmentalists" who want to stop growth and prosperity because they supposedly want to save the environment and endangered animals. When in reality they are probably against growth because it may inconvenience them in some way (ex: more traffic, more neighbors, etc.). I mean I am all for controlled growth but these people are radical. However, Seattle is already built up so the "environmentalists" can't do much about it now.

- Anti-growth politics here keep the job market very small. Doesn't apply to Seattle because it's already built up and has a good job market.

- Radically liberal politics. I voted for Obama but I am not radically liberal or conservative.

- Predominantly cloudy weather for 7 months of the year with bouts of sunshine here and there. Other 5 months are pretty sunny though.

- Lack of good restaurants. This is probably due to the whole anti-growth thing. Doesn't apply to Seattle.

So how does Minneapolis compare? What are the good points and bad points? What things about it are better than northwest Washington, and what things are worse?

Any responses will be appreciated.

Thank you.
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Old 03-27-2010, 10:12 AM
 
Location: Columbus OH
1,200 posts, read 1,698,730 times
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I think Minneapolis and Seattle are very comparable in many regards, but there are several obvious differences.

By most surveys, Minneapolis and Seattle are often ranked very high in terms of quality of life, well-educated and well-read population. Both cities are relatively laid-back.

Minneapolis (and the greater metro) has an outstanding parks system. Minneapolis doesn't have Puget Sound or Lake Washington, but the Chain of Lakes in SW Mpls has four interconnected lakes that is a very unique amenity--kind of like 4 Green Lakes all connected to one another. Plus There are extensive parkways along Minnehaha Creek and the Mississippi River. The parks in the central city contribute to an active citizenry as biking, jogging, walking in the central city is very popular.
The city also has a vibrant arts/music/theater/dance scene, with lots of strong vibrant neighborhoods (Uptown, Lyn-Lake, Northeast, Seward) plus a decent downtown population that is growing.
The economy is very diverse, with 18 or 19 Fortune 500 firms HQ'd here--Firms such as Target, Best Buy, General Mills, 3M, Medtronic, US Bank and Cargill.

The population tends to be somewhat liberal--Minnesota is generally a blue state, although it is trending purple--particularly in the second tier suburbs and ex-urbs.

The differences? Minneapolis is in the Midwest, and by definition, lacks the glamour of a coastal city, not to mention the tourism and national identity that Seattle has. Obviously--winter is colder, but we definitely get more sunshine. There are no mountains or oceans, but Lake Superior and Minnesota's North Shore is beautiful (and about 2.5 hours drive away), plus the north woods and lakes and are well-known for canoeing/camping/fishing/boating etc... (BWCA/Voyageurs Nat Pk). There's also the St Croix National Scenic Riverway--which has great rock-climbing and canoeing within a short drive of the Twin Cities.
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Old 03-27-2010, 12:17 PM
 
4,139 posts, read 5,531,033 times
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AWESOME! You Americans have it all, believe me, the grass is not greener elsewhere.
@ Viper 2 : I'm not a radical too, but I think moderate environmentalists have a point:
Opinion: What American Population Will Look Like in 2050 - AOL News
I think in the future excessive demographic growth might jeopardize the quality of life you still enjoy in metro areas like Seattle and Minneapolis.
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Old 03-27-2010, 04:15 PM
 
Location: Winnetka, IL & Rolling Hills, CA
1,273 posts, read 2,789,850 times
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Minnesota's economy is not in good shape. IT in the Midwest is concentrated around Chicago for the most part with the outposts being in Detroit, Indianapolis, Columbus, & Minneapolis. The economy in the Midwest is the worst in the country.
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Old 03-27-2010, 05:38 PM
 
66 posts, read 134,637 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by US-Traveller View Post
Minnesota's economy is not in good shape. IT in the Midwest is concentrated around Chicago for the most part with the outposts being in Detroit, Indianapolis, Columbus, & Minneapolis. The economy in the Midwest is the worst in the country.
Well there are an awful lot of IT jobs in the Minneapolis area listed on dice.com. And as far as midwest having the worst economy, I seriously doubt that. The deep south has (and has had for many many years) the worst economy of any regions in the U.S. The deep south is known for being poor compared to the rest of the country, whereas the midwest is not.
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:32 PM
 
1,213 posts, read 1,218,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viper2 View Post
Well there are an awful lot of IT jobs in the Minneapolis area listed on dice.com. And as far as midwest having the worst economy, I seriously doubt that. The deep south has (and has had for many many years) the worst economy of any regions in the U.S. The deep south is known for being poor compared to the rest of the country, whereas the midwest is not.
Yeah, US-Traveller is definately talking out of his/her rear end on that one.

As for you, I can't really say whether it is easier or more difficult to get a job in Minneapolis than Seattle, but I would definately caution against assuming it is easier because it is in some way less attractive, ergo less competitive. From a tourism standpoint, Minneapolis is certainly not in the same league as Seattle. But that rarely influences where people choose to relocate for jobs. Minneapolis has had a strong economy since the 1990's-- as another poster mentioned, around 20 forunte 500's hq'd in the metro (Cargill is actually not publicly traded, but if it were, would easily be the largest fortune 500 in the country). The Twin Cities have been a magnet for transplants as a result.

Of course, the demographic trend is that in lieu of jobs, people tend to want to live in the mildest climates, so maybe you do have a point, after all...

Which brings me to my next caution: you may think you enjoy cold weather, but you have no idea what is in store for you in Minneapolis. There is a week every winter-- could be December, could be January, could be February-- where without fail the temperatures dip into the -10 range and stay there. That is the week when cabin fever makes us all suicidal. That being said, snowshoing, skiing, skating, and ice-fishing keeps us more than fit and sane for the other five months of winter. And the Summers are definately worth the wait.

Other than that, it's a wash. Seattle has mountains and an ocean. Minneapolis has lakes and a river. Like, tons of lakes, and a big river. If that's the make-or-break, stay in Washington. If it's not, than all I can tell you is that you are going to find pretty much the exact same amenities here as you would there. And you'll find much the same liberal mindset-- especially within the city limits.

Good luck.
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:26 PM
 
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If you are not concerned about cost of living, I say go for Seattle. Minneapolis and Seattle are very familiar, but it is difficult to find something definitely better in Minneapolis than in Seattle. On the other hand, I'd venture to say Seattle has more world class natural beauty, a better built environment, warmer weather, better shopping and dining options and close proximity to Vancouver, etc. I am not saying that Minneapolis is seriously lacking in these aspects. It is just Seattle has more. So if you can afford Seattle and find a job there, there is no point wandering. I believe job situations are similar. The actual industries might differ a little, but generally quite similar. For example, Minneapolis has US Bank, Seattle has the former Washington Mutual. Minneapolis has DQ, Seattle has Starbucks, Minneapolis has Target, Seattle has Nordstrom, Minneapolis has 3M, Seattle has Microsoft and Amazon, etc. Just some examples.
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Old 03-28-2010, 07:31 PM
 
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I think currently California has the worst economy and the South with Texas is in good shape. Many jobs are going there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viper2 View Post
Well there are an awful lot of IT jobs in the Minneapolis area listed on dice.com. And as far as midwest having the worst economy, I seriously doubt that. The deep south has (and has had for many many years) the worst economy of any regions in the U.S. The deep south is known for being poor compared to the rest of the country, whereas the midwest is not.
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:10 PM
 
Location: Between here and there
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I lived in Seattle for a few years, until January, when I moved here to the Twin Cities. Let me know if you have any other specific questions (you can DM me if you want), and I'll do my best to answer them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Viper2 View Post
I figure that is must be easier to find jobs in Minneapolis because of less competition. I mean most people probably just think Minneapolis is too cold and stay away from there.
You're leaving out all the people who are from the Twin Cities and stay there and those who are from other parts of the Midwest and move to the Twin Cities. And, of course, there are people who move from other regions. The Twin Cities metro area population is roughly the same (a little less) than that of the Seattle metro area.

I don't know what the statistics are, but there probably are more people moving to Seattle than to the Twin Cities. But what that means, in addition to competition for jobs, is job creation. Companies open up shop in places where they think they'll be able to get good employees. Heck, nobody is moving to my hometown in northeast Iowa, but all that really means is no companies are moving there either.

Quote:
But does Minneapolis have a great outdoors environment? I mean are there plenty of hiking trails, walking trails, trees, lakes, parks, etc.? Is it as clean as Seattle? Is it as low crime as Seattle?
As lots of people will tell you, there are a lot of trails and parks and lakes and whatnot in Minneapolis, but it's not like Seattle, where you can REALLY get outside, with places like Discovery Park and the proximity of the mountains and the Sound, etc. Green Lake is a good example of what parks are like in Minneapolis. Green Lake is great, and I love running around Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis, but it's not the same as getting lost in the woods in the middle of the city. And, the countryside surrounding Minneapolis isn't wilderness - it's mostly farms. You have to drive farther to get to a national forest than you do from Seattle.

I'm kinda lazy right now, so I'm not going to look for crime stats, but from what I can tell, violent crime seems to be higher than in Seattle, but property crime seems to be lower. People here don't seem nearly as worried about being burglarized as they do in Seattle (where everyone has a story about how their car or home was broken into). But, people here also don't seem to be worried about violent crime. Minneapolis isn't dangerous; Seattle is just ridiculously safe. As with most violent crime in cities, just don't be stupid. Don't sell drugs or join a gang or walk around bad neighborhoods late at night.

(Okay, I looked it up. According to Wikipedia, violent crime is indeed higher in Minneapolis. Property crime is about the same.)

As for politics, what I've noticed about the upper Midwest versus the Pacific Northwest is that people are less polarized. It's mostly liberal here, but not like in Seattle. People here are more open to listening to differing opinions, and they don't seem to assume that everyone agrees with them. Same with conservatives. People here, on both sides, aren't as radical as people in Seattle. (Radical might not be the best word here. Close-minded might be better.) This is just my impression, not based on any statistics or numbers or anything.

Weather is crappy in the Midwest except for fall and late spring. Summer is crazy hot, winter is colder than anything you ever experienced in Washington, and both seasons last way too long. (But, you'll have air conditioning and adequate snow removal, so the extreme weather will be easier on you than it would be in Seattle). Early spring is cold and muddy and dirty. There's severe weather here, too - tornadoes, thunderstorms, blizzards, floods. Seattle doesn't know weather (I was always just a little scared that Seattle would get a crazy severe storm and everyone would die, because the city is so unprepared to handle anything other than a little light drizzle, but I would still take Seattle's endless clouds over Minnesota's endless snow in the winter).
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Old 03-28-2010, 11:51 PM
 
66 posts, read 134,637 times
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We have decided that if we ever have to move someday because of employment reasons, then we will try to stay in northwestern/western Washington which of course includes Seattle. We love this area. It's a great place to live.

Thanks for the responses everyone.
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