From reporter Laura Yuen:
When Cathy Schaefer moved to Minneapolis more than two years ago, she didn’t feel welcomed.
“People would say, ‘Oh, we should get together some time,’” said Schaefer, a native New Yorker. “And I’d be like, ‘Yes! That would be great because I have no friends!’”
Then she would never hear from them.
Shaefer’s experience is a common one. Minnesotans may take pride in their reputation for friendliness, but many others consider “Minnesota Nice” a backhanded compliment and a social critique. The locals are loyal and neighborly, yet they tend to keep outsiders at a comfortable distance.
Many young transplants — whether from South Dakota or South America — say making friends and finding a sense of community is daunting.
Although the problem is hard to measure, business leaders and others who track economic growth are concerned. They say Minnesotans are not doing enough to welcome newcomers into their fold, and that can have consequences for the state’s economic future.
Read the rest of Laura Yuen’s series here.
(MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson)