Template talk:Minnesota

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WikiProject Minnesota (Rated Template-class, High-importance)
WikiProject iconThis template is within the scope of WikiProject Minnesota, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of articles related to Minnesota on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
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Criterial for major/minor cities[edit]

What are the criteria (i.e. population figures) for calling a city a 'major city' or a 'smaller city?' Not just MN, though. Is there a standard figure that's used on wiki? If anyone can tell me I'd appreciate it because I'd like to add some info, but I don't know exactly where to put it--Hraefen 07:17, 11 November 2005 (UTC)

Since no one has responded to my question above, I have made an executive decision to remove from the "smaller cities" section all cities with populations under 10,000. I removed International Falls, Montevideo, Pipestone and Wabasha. I think 10,000 is setting the bar pretty low. If you disagree with this decision, pleas discuss here rather thn reverting.--Hraefen Talk 23:32, 8 July 2006 (UTC)
Several cities listed in smaller cities have populations exceeding that of St. Cloud. What population cutoff should we use for large cities? Appraiser 04:50, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Maybe it should be "Metro Areas", instead of "Major cities". If it was just straight by population then it would pretty much be a list of suburbs. -Ravedave (help name my baby) 06:30, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
Actually you are wrong on the st.cloud stat, and so is the article. Half is in one county and half is in another, so it is often split into two seperate entries, its actually the 3rd largest area with 115k people. This place seems to be the problem, I think: [1] Maybe we can find a source without the (part) style. -Ravedave (help name my baby) 06:43, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
After some on-line research, here's what I've concluded: The St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area has a total population of about 181,000 [2]; the population within the city limits (which includes portions in Sherburne County, Stearns County, and Benton County) is about 64,308 [3] and breaking it down, 6726 in Benton, 6629 in Sherburne, and 50,877 in Stearns = 64,232 [4]. So, I propose we change the heading from Major Cities to Major Cities and Metropolitan Areas, since St. Cloud has some significance that sets it apart from places like Plymouth (70,455) or Brooklyn Park (71,048). Appraiser 14:37, 14 November 2006 (UTC)
I see I added the stearns and total together.. -Ravedave (help name my baby) 22:57, 14 November 2006 (UTC)

Should Townships be added to smaller cities over 10,000? It seems to me that unincorporated townships shouldn't be listed no matter how large they are, they aren't cities.--Appraiser 00:55, 4 February 2007 (UTC)

The US Postal Service counts particularly large townships as cities. White Bear Township is the obvious example, and "Find All Cities in a Zip Code" for 55110 gives White Bear Township as an acceptable name, while Grant Township is not. Additionally, White Bear Township is, legally, a class of township called an "urban township" by the state, and the state has given WBT special development powers. So really, it functions pretty much like a city. Anyway, this is the only case of a township being having over 10,000 people in it, so it's not like will be a big problem.
All that aside, I don't think that having suburbs mixed in with distinct cities works well on this template. I've made the case below for metro-area cities to be considered differently. -- Afiler (talk) 23:01, 13 August 2008 (UTC)


Should there be an attractions section? Maybe a spot for large parks and stuff like the mall of america. -Ravedave 23:20, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

I think that's worth considering. Including that may push the template towards become more cluttered, but it seems like a noteworthy topic. We might have to come up with some kind of criteria for what attractions to include, though.--Daveswagon 04:37, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

U.S. state templates[edit]

Wikipedia:WikiProject U.S. states/state templates lists and displays all 50 U.S. state (and additional other) templates. It potentially can be used for ideas and standardization. //MrD9 07:20, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Replace "Rivers" with "Lakes"?[edit]

Does anyone think it would be a good idea to replace the "Rivers" link in the template with one for "Lakes"? The state is noteable for its lakes, not its rivers. I suppose we could have both, but I'd rather keep the template clean.--Daveswagon 04:41, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

Standardization of state templates[edit]

There is currently an ongoing discussion regarding standardization of state templates (primarily regarding layout and styling) at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. states/state templates. An effort was made earlier this year to standardize Canadian province templates (which mostly succeeded). Lovelac7 and I have already begun standardizing all state templates. If you have any concerns, they should be directed toward the discussion page for state template standardization. Thanks! — Webdinger BLAH | SZ 22:51, 27 August 2006 (UTC)

St. vs. Saint[edit]

This is minor, but I think consistency is desirable for an encyclopedia. Saint is spelled out for 2 names, but not for the other 6 names with Saint in them; the articles for all the places, except Saint Paul, abbreviate the name as St. in the actual title. Here is how they're currently spelled in the template:

  • Saint Paul
  • Saint Cloud
  • North St. Paul
  • St. Louis Park
  • St. Peter
  • South St. Paul
  • West St. Paul
  • St. Louis county

I propose we just abbreviate to St. in all the names. Nathanm mn 18:21, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

I changed Saint Cloud to St. Cloud because I noticed that city ordinances use the abbreviation. P.Haney 03:08, 22 September 2007 (UTC)


Someone recently added the "view", "discuss", and "edit" navigation capability. I think that will severely increase the amount of vandalism and undesirable editing the template receives, since it will be much easier for novices to find it. I propose reverting that addition. Anyone agree or disagree?--Appraiser 12:46, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

  • I reverted the edit because it broke the link to Saint Paul (capital). I would like to see Template US state navigation box have a hide option. What do you think?-Susanlesch 16:41, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I use good-sized monitors, so probably would never hide it myself, but if other people have a reason to do so, that would be fine. I see that the Template:US state navigation box now has a Tnavbar-header in it, so I suppose I need to take my objection there. I still think we're likely to get many more undesirable edits to the template with the Tnavbar-header on it.--Appraiser 19:57, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
  • At the discussion Wikipedia talk:WikiProject U.S. states/state templates#Straw Polls, it was agreed not to use the Show/Hide form for these boxes, but you're welcome to continue that discussion on that talk page. --CapitalR 23:16, 8 March 2007 (UTC)
  • I'm not too worried about people using the view/discuss/edit tag for vandalism at this point. I say we see how it goes for now instead of pre-emptively removing those options. --CapitalR 23:17, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

Great River Road[edit]

The Great River Road travels through multiple states. It's not A road so much as a collection of roads and areas traveling along the entire Miss River. It's historical as well as geographical.


Six distinct regions ~ or Destination Areas ~ with unique travel experiences have been identified along the Minnesota Great River Road,

—Preceding unsigned comment added by Flyingember (talkcontribs)

Read more carefully - "Six distinct regions ~ or Destination Areas ~ with unique travel experiences have been identified along the Minnesota Great River Road" -Ravedave 15:43, 25 October 2007 (UTC)


(NOTE: removed becuase it's a copy vio -Ravedave 05:22, 27 October 2007 (UTC))

All regions are of archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational or scenic characteristic.

It's historical and a way to tie together the whole Mississippi river region using a simple designation. Like the interstates each state manages a section of road and has signs under the individual state.

--flyingember. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Flyingember (talkcontribs) 15:55, 25 October 2007 (UTC)

This still has absolutely nothing with being a region of Minnesota. You don't hear anyone say "I'm from the great river road region" because it doesn't exist. -Ravedave 05:22, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

That isn't an argument. How many people say they're from Coteau des Prairies? Regions are wide in variety; this one crosses a whole part of the country. It's the area along the Mississippi River in 9-10 states. Not is the river, not is one road, but the area along. TThis is the only state template without it as well. -flyingember —Preceding comment was added at 14:38, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Wikipedia cannot be used as a reference. You can't provide a reference that this is a region, so logically it should be removed from the other states as well. -Ravedave 16:11, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
The Great River Road is not a region or subregion, but a feature or cluster of features along the Mississippi, particularly the Hiawatha valley of the SE Minnesota region. Kablammo 16:48, 27 October 2007 (UTC) On the general question of regions, see Talk:Geography_of_Minnesota#Regions. Kablammo 19:19, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Regions redux[edit]

Does the "regions" section of the template mean 'political regions', 'geographical regions' or 'cultural regions' or all of the above? -Ravedave (talk) 15:21, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

In this context I've always thought of it as geographic, but I'm not married to the idea. What are you thinking?--Appraiser (talk) 15:34, 29 July 2008 (UTC)

Rework/splitting out metro cities?[edit]

I'm thinking the "smaller cities" section might be a bit more readable if cities in the "Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area" were split out as "Metro cities"; this would also allow changing the criteria for non-metro cities so as to include places like International Falls. This also would probably better serve non-Minnesotans are looking to use this template. How many people outside of Minnesota have heard of International Falls, in comparison to, say, East Bethel?

For non-metro cities, I would suggest using the Zip Code population, rather than the population of the municipality itself, since many smaller cities have townships that are essentially tiny suburbs. For example, I just looked up the zip code for International Falls, and got the population of zip 56649 at census.gov.

A sampling of cities that would be put over the 10,000 using this method:

City Municipal Pop. Zip Pop.
Grand Rapids 7,764 19,799
Detroit Lakes 7,348 15,047
Thief River Falls 8,410 12,340
St. Peter 9,747 12,232
International Falls 6,703 10,774

As example of a city that doesn't get pushed over the 10,000 mark, take Morris, which goes from 5,068 to 6,739. Depending on your perspective, that may be a good or bad, but it shows that some (but not all) cities have a significantly larger population than what's in the municipality proper.

I would also point out that being too slavish to the exact numbers may not be the best plan. If a city were to fall below 10,000 because of population losses, I don't think that makes it any less deserving of being on the list. Conversely, if 3 rural townships with 4,000 people in them each were to merge into one new city, does that suddenly make them more deserving of being on the list? Probably not.

- Afiler (talk) 22:46, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

Here's my suggested template format. This doesn't include any cities under 10,000, but they'd be easy to fit in the "Other Cities" section; the cities in bold all have populations over 60,000, the same division as before. The "Metropolitan Areas" are the US Census Metropolitan Statistical Areas where the major city is in Minnesota; this means that Moorhead is listed in "Other Cities" because it's not the major city in the Fargo-Moorhead MSA, and East Grand Forks and La Crescent are not included at all as they don't make the 10,000 criterion.
- Afiler (talk) 00:19, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Zip codes really have nothing to do with municipalities; they're just convenient lines for the USPS to divide up its workload, so I am not in favor of including populations outside of the city limits. It doesn't matter much to me whether the metro cities are listed separately as you have done or not, but "other cities" needs to be limited by some objective measure (such as population) as it was before. Otherwise we'll be getting every podunk such as Tenney, Minnesota added, and Townships are not cities; they are governed by the counties that contain them and should not be listed under "cities".--Appraiser (talk) 13:54, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Perhaps you're focusing too much on municipalities. If someone's address is Detroit Lakes, MN, it's likely that they consider themselves from Detroit Lakes. I don't think this template is about the structure of local government entities in Minnesota. If everyone were as precise about language as you're suggesting we be, then no one would use phrases like "the lowest prices in town", they'd have to say "the lowest prices in the 13-county Metropolitan Statistical Area". - Afiler (talk) 23:02, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
The standard format for geography articles is basing them on municipalities, and municipality articles almost never include the populations of the ZIP Codes (ZCTAs. If the template listing is based on the ZIP Code population, either (1) a ton of work will need to be done, adding ZCTA populations to these cities, and to all the other cities statewide, to bring them into conformity with these big cities, or (2) the listing will seem pointless, because the cities will be listed otherwise than the population; as someone who's worked with geography articles nationwide, I don't know of anywhere nationwide where the ZCTA population is preferred over the actual municipal population; I don't see how/why Minnesota cities should be any different from everything else nationwide. Nyttend (talk) 21:11, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
My intention certainly isn't to make the listing seem "pointless", and I'm not talking about listing populations on this template, of course. The idea is just to make it more useful. Many state templates don't use rigid population guidelines, and there's a certain amount of judgment used. My suggestion was just trying to find some middle ground between arbitrary population criteria and completely judgment-based. - Afiler (talk) 16:12, 17 August 2008 (UTC)
Furthermore, the standard format for US state templates is (1) listing cities, as it's done now, (2) listing metro areas, or (3) listing them both, but separately. For examples of these, see (1) {{North Dakota}}, (2) {{California}}, and (3) {{Ohio}}. Listing cities by metro area, other than the principal cities after which the metros are named, is confusing. Nyttend (talk) 21:19, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
Regardless of precedent, the suggesstion above is easier to read/follow than the one in the article. It needs a little work on the Metropolitan areas and cities ( some new lines ) format, but dividing up cities by metro areas in the format above seems a no-brainer PirateArgh!!1! 21:30, 16 August 2008 (UTC)
I think the template should remain as-is until/unless agreement is reached to change them all nationwide. We shouldn't have one state template composed arbitrarily different from the rest, and in many places there is a significant difference between living within city limits and across the street in a township. City limits can affect property values, zoning, schools, water supplies, public services, etc. We should not blur the lines willy-nilly.--Appraiser (talk) 13:39, 18 August 2008 (UTC)

Arbitrary break[edit]

If the template were to be split by metro areas, there would still need to be a decision on how many or how large of cities to include. We probably don't want to include Orr, population 249, just because it's in the Duluth metro area. What's more, there would be confusion over Clearwater and St. Cloud, which exist in both the St. Cloud and the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington metro areas: would they be listed twice? Or would they be listed once, thus shorting one listing or the other? Metro area listings are best done only with the principal cities, since a community can only be a principal city for one metro area, even if (like St. Cloud) it extends into another. Nyttend (talk) 23:09, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

My thoughts on these and related matters:
  • People do not identify with their zip codes. Zip codes are an arbitrary measure, as mentioned above.
  • Oftentimes post offices addresses and zip codes cross county lines. If you ask rural folks where they live they will typically give you the township or location, and not give the post office except if they understand you to be asking for their mailing address, they may say "rural [city name]" if needed to orient an inquisitor unfamiliar with the township or location, especially if they live close to that city. But in general someone from rural x township is no more likely to say that he or she is from y city (when they do not live in that city), than outstate people are to say they are from the Twin Cities.
  • People do know what municipality they live in, whether a city or township.
  • People typically do not identify with their SMSA and many have never even heard of what it is.
  • There are many measures of population. In Minnesota, the state demographer's interim estimate of the state population differed by 150,000 from the census bureau's measurement for the same time frame. Individual municipalities estimate their populations between census dates (and those estimates often are optimistic); the tables, infoboxes, and templates should be based on census figures only; estimates can be addressed in the text only if sourced, and only if clearly delineated as estimates. Otherwise we will get wildly different figures, based on a variety of measures or estimates, which cannot be compared; this is already a problem with city infoboxes (which often are "updated" whenever a city or Chamber of Commerce broadcasts a new population estimate); it will be compounded if use measures other than actual census counts.
Kablammo (talk) 01:55, 24 August 2008 (UTC)
As to whether include cities like Orr in the sample template, I didn't, because its population doesn't exceed 10,000. My personal preference would be to not include any but the largest of cities in metro areas, but I didn't figure that would be popular. Clearwater is a good question, but in cases like that some sort of judgment could be made. My guess would be that someone could find statistics on whether more people commute from Clearwater to St. Cloud or to the Twin Cities.
As far as zip codes, the only reason I introduced that idea is because outstate cities are not sandwiched together like the square ex-township suburbs, and so they're more of a regional center. Someone from North or Roxbury Township would say they're from Thief River Falls, not North or Roxbury; this is only an issue for cities where the city might be short of the 10,000 mark, but might be seen as deserving of inclusion of this template (as seen in the first question on this page). Looking at page 3 of this PDF identifying "regional trade centers" might give you an idea of the work already done on this topic.
I agree that census numbers should be left to the Census Bureau. - Afiler (talk) 16:04, 28 August 2008 (UTC)

White Bear Township[edit]

Here's my proposal: We have a new section entitled "Large townships (Population over 5,000)"; this won't include many townships, and White Bear Township can also be added. -- (talk) 19:40, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

Largest cities[edit]

With this edit, the 'Smaller cities pop. over 10,000' section was accidentally hidden. After two years, no attempt has been made to restore the list, so it seems like it isn't really missed. Including all cities over 10,000 makes the box pretty large, anyway. So I combined the largest cities into a single list, with a threshold of 25,000, hopefully a nice average. I think 36 cities is a good number to list at once. Kennethaw88talk 23:33, 18 March 2014 (UTC)

Generally, you should ask at the talk page before going through with the edit, not the reverse. I don't disagree with you, I just reverted on instinct because I couldn't figure out what discussion you were talking about. You can go ahead and revert again, but I'd like there to be a note that states the threshold is 25K. TCN7JM 23:37, 18 March 2014 (UTC)
Ok, I just figured I'd be bold, since I wasn't removing anything visibly. Kennethaw88talk 23:45, 18 March 2014 (UTC)