Which U.S. Cities are the True Twins? – Math with Bad Drawings


Since 2019, I have actually resided in Minnesota’s “twin” cities.

( Well, I reside in among them. Ridiculous to have a home in both.)

Twinhood is an unique relationship, for cities as much as for individuals. Sure, we might tease each other, grow rivalrous, orjockey for statewide supremacy by falsifying the results of the 1890 census In the end, our bond is strong.

So what, precisely, makes Minneapolis and St. Paul the title of “Twin Cities”? Well, undoubtedly twinhood has to do with more than numbers, however in mathematical terms:

  1. They’re huge (each more than 300,000 individuals).
  2. They’re close together (the downtowns are just 7 miles apart).
  3. They’re comparable in population (Minneapolis has to do with 38% bigger).

The outcome is an unique type of balance. Each city is huge enough to control a city– yet neither is huge enough to control the other.

Still, I can’t withstand a blasphemous idea. Are we actually the twins? Or simply a set of twins? To certify as twins, let’s state that 2 cities need to fulfill these 3 requirements (somewhat unwinded variations of the Minnesota relationship):

Star Tribune column pitch Copy

Now, here comes the puzzle. It’s a two-part obstacle:

  1. Find a total list of all sets of U.S. cities that fulfill this meaning ( at the majority of 10 miles apart, with a minimum of 200,000 individuals each, and populations within an element of 2).
  2. From this list of twin cities, make a convincing and sound case for which set is worthy of to be called THE twin cities.

I will hand-choose a winner (or arbitrarily select, if there are a lot of great entries) and send them a totally free copy of my book Math with Bad Drawings, with a customized signature

Oh, wait, more fitting: I’ll hand-choose 2 winners (They need not be twins.)

EDIT 12/20/2023: Thanks for the entries, everybody! I’ll reveal winners in the brand-new year.

( NOTE: Answers to # 1 will vary somewhat depending upon what information sets you utilize. Responses to # 2 might vary significantly depending upon your individual requirements.)



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