A group of third-graders at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. (Star Tribune photo)

Minnesota houses 562 museums whose economic impact totaled $674 million in 2011 according to a just released study by  economic researchers at the University of Minnesota Extension, a century-old partnership between the University and federal, state and county governments.

The economic impact included $250 million in wages earned by an estimated 5,300 employees. Capital improvements totaled $157 million and tourism generated $53 million, according to the study. An announcement of the results also noted that an estimated 1.7 million people visited museums last year and spent an average of $24.35 each.

You can see the full study here.