This may come as a surprise but not all of the midwest states are the same. I know people who live on the coasts refer to the midwest as the "flyover states" but those of us from the midwest know better. Each state has something to be proud of and has something that makes it unique. What are some of the major differences between Iowa and Minnesota?

1. Lakes... Minnesota has a bunch of them and Iowa, not so much.

That's not to say Iowa doesn't have lakes ( but Minnesota is covered in them. Minnesota is known for being the "land of 10,000 lakes", that's sort of's closer to 12,000. For comparison, 8.4% of Minnesota is covered by water, while Iowa is at 0.7%. That's not to say Iowa doesn't have water. If you're interested in fishing, there's an abundance of ponds, streams, and reservoirs to choose from.

Now if every ice fisherman/woman in Minnesota could just remember to throw away all of their debris left behind, at the end of the ice fishing season... Even with a deadline, it's insane the amount of junk that gets left on the ice. However, that's a different story for a different time.

2. Cost of Living: It's less expensive to live in Iowa!

This is actually a really big difference between the two states, according to reports. For example, the cost of living in Minneapolis is 27.3% higher than living in Iowa City. Now Minneapolis might pay slightly more, for doing the same job. However, the difference is only 13.2%.

3. Weather

It obviously can get extremely cold in both states. All of the Midwest can get pretty cold for that matter. Iowa does hold bragging rights over the neighbors to the north when it comes to average temperature. According to Iowa ranks as the 15th coldest state while  Minnesota is number 4. Honestly, when it gets as cold as both of these states in the winter months, there probably isn't much to brag about.

4. Sports

Minnesota is home to 4 major professional sports teams, a professional soccer team, and an abundance of Division 1 Hockey programs. Plus there's the University of Minnesota, the largest D1 college program in the state.  If you have a favorite sport and want to root for a team from Minnesota (sadly I fall in this category) there is a team for you. Let the heartbreak begin.

Iowa does not have a major sports professional team to call their own. However, that does allow for a melting pot of different fans. On my first interview in Iowa, my fiance and I went out to dinner, during an NFL playoff game, and saw 6 different NFL jerseys all in one restaurant. There's something really cool about not having to stick with the home team and getting to cheer for whoever you want. Now...the Hawkeyes are something else. As much love as Minnesotans have for their home teams, there's just something different about the love Iowa has for the Hawkeyes. Kinnick Stadium is a nuthouse on Saturdays with the black and gold showing loud and proud.

Northwestern v Iowa
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5. Iowa Nice vs. Minnesota NiceBeing in Iowa for only a week I needed a little help from co-workers and friends with this one.

Iowa nice is generally a willingness to help each other. If your car dies at a gas station and you need a jump, it's pretty easy to find someone to help you out. If you're on vacation for a week and need someone to mow your lawn, a lot of your neighbors will do it for free.  You can actually pull over and ask for directions if needed. When my fiance and I were at Olive Garden our first night here, our sever told us to come back and sit at the bar anytime, so she can hear about our new jobs, and how Iowa has been treating us.

Minnesota nice is a little bit different. Minnesota nice is a little more over polite-ness. Never try to get in an argument. Avoid conflict at all costs and then send a text or email saying how you really felt. Minnesotans won't accept anything until they've been offered it 3 times and don't even think about a goodbye without it taking 10 minutes.

Now don't get me wrong, Minnesotans will give you directions to where you need to go and help you jump-start your car, but they can be a very tight-knit group. Especially when it comes to who they invite to their house. They'll make you a tater tot hot dish and drop it off at your house or workplace. Just don't expect an invitation to their house until they've gotten to know everything about you.

"The Flyover State's" they call us. I hate that. We may not always get the most national recognition, or have the most tourism, and very few celebrities live here year-round, but the midwest has so much to offer. Well, except for Nebraska.

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