Minneapolis-Saint Paul is the most populous urban area in the state of Minnesota, United States, and is composed of 186 cities and townships. Built around the Mississippi, Minnesota and St. Croix rivers, the area is also nicknamed the Twin Cities for its two largest cities, Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the former the larger and the latter the state capital. It is one of the wealthiest and well learned regions in the United States, according to the United States Census Bureau.
The area is part of a larger U.S. Census division named Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI, the country's 16th-largest metropolitan area composed of eleven counties in Minnesota and two counties in Wisconsin. This larger area in turn is enveloped in the U.S. Census combined statistical area called Minneapolis-St. Paul-St. Cloud, MN-WI with an estimated population of 3.5 million people in 2006, ranked the 13th most populous in the U.S. When Metropolitan Statistical Areas and Combined Statistical Areas are compared on the same table, Minneapolis-St. Paul is shown to be the 15th largest metro area in the country.