Minnesota celebrates 163rd Statehood Day

Tuesday marks 163 years since Minnesota was admitted into the Union, making it the 32nd state.

Minnesota’s application for statehood was submitted to President James Buchanan in January, but the Library of Congress notes that the application became entangled with the controversial issue of Kansas’ statehood, delaying the process for several months until it was finally approved by Congress.

The Minnesota Historical Society notes people in Minnesota didn’t get word of statehood being approved until two days later, on May 13, 1858.

Most people didn’t start moving into Minnesota until the second half of the 19th century when they began realizing the value of the state’s woodlands and fertile prairie. Between 1850 and 1857, the Library of Congress says Minnesota’s population skyrocketed from just over 6,000 people to more than 150,000. In addition to New England lumbermen, immigrants from Norway, Sweden, Finland and others poured into the area.

Today, Minnesota is home to more than 5.6 million people, which makes it the 22nd most populous state, according to the most recent Census Bureau estimates.