A Region Positioned for Growth

With a combined population of about 274,000, the Duluth-Superior Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) represents the economic heart of northeast Minnesota’s Arrowhead Region.

Located just south of the Canadian border and approximately two hours north of Minneapolis-St. Paul, the Duluth-Superior MSA serves as the shipping, commercial and manufacturing epicenter of northern Minnesota.

Situated in the heart of North America on the westernmost tip of Lake Superior, the Port of Duluth-Superior provides easy access to international shipping lanes via the St. Lawrence Seaway.

Natural resource-based industries such as iron and timber remain active and important components of the regional economy, although this area has also benefited in recent years from significant growth among a cluster of employers in the manufacturing, metal fabrication, clean energy technology, aerospace, telecommunications, education, healthcare and transportation sectors.

Additional highlights include an international airport strategically located along major great circle routes from Asia and Europe, a top-rated convention center, two world-class healthcare systems, outstanding cultural and recreational amenities, a wide variety of first-rate historic and tourist attractions and vibrant downtown areas in the many unique communities across the Northland.

quick facts

Quick Facts

Regional population of about 257,000 (age 25 and older)

International seaport and airport access

Productive, loyal workforce

Competitively-priced, reliable power

Superb quality of life




91.6% high school graduates (age 25 and above)

32.7% bachelor degree or higher (age 25 and above)

Two public universities (one with a medical school), two private colleges, and eleven community and technical colleges

Excellent K-12 public, private and charter schools

2015 ACT scores surpassed state and national averages


Health Care

18 hospitals in region

Two world-class health systems (St. Luke’s and Essentia)



Affordable Housing and Other Statistics

Average selling price: $166,600

Median selling price: $142,000

Average monthly rent: $634

Cost of living index: 102-103

Northeast Minnesota has the lowest crime rate in the state



Some of the most competitively-priced electric utility rates in the nation

Robust electric power distribution network

High-speed internet access with a fully developed fiber optics network, large bandwidth and SONET ring redundancy

Natural gas network

Efficient oil and propane gas delivery

Abundant freshwater, timber, and mineral resources, with well-established access roads and supply chain infrastructure