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Anoka, Minnesota facts for kids

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Main Street in downtown Anoka, July 2009
Main Street in downtown Anoka, July 2009
"Halloween Capital of the World"
Location of the city of Anokawithin Anoka County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Anoka
within Anoka County, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Anoka
Founded 1844
Incorporated March 2, 1878
 • Total 7.17 sq mi (18.57 km2)
 • Land 6.66 sq mi (17.25 km2)
 • Water 0.51 sq mi (1.32 km2)  7.07%
879 ft (268 m)
 • Total 17,142
 • Estimate 
 • Density 2,634.59/sq mi (1,017.24/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (Central)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 763
FIPS code 27-01720
GNIS feature ID 0639396
Website City of Anoka

Anoka ( ə-NOH-kə) is a city in and the county seat of Anoka County, Minnesota, United States. Its population was 17,142 at the 2010 census. Anoka is the "Halloween Capital of the World" because it hosted one of the first Halloween parades in 1920. It continues to celebrate the holiday each year with several parades. Anoka is a northern suburb of the Twin Cities. U.S. Highways 10 / 169 and State Highway 47 are three of Anoka's main routes, and it has a station on the Northstar Commuter Rail line to Minneapolis.


The site which is now Anoka was first settled by immigrants in 1844. By the mid-1850s Anoka had grown to include a school, a store and a flour mill. In 1856, C. C. Andrews described Anoka as a "large and handsome village" and noted that pine logs were floated down the Rum River to sawmills there. The city was formally incorporated in 1878. The name Anoka was derived from two Indian words. The native Dakota used A-NO-KA-TAN-HAN, meaning "on both sides", or "from both sides", referring to its location on the banks of the Rum River. The native Ojibwa used ON-O-KAY, meaning "working waters".

Anoka makes a strong claim for providing the first volunteers to the Union Army during the Civil War, noted by a small historical plaque standing at the corner of West Main Street and Park Street. Alexander Ramsey, Minnesota's governor in 1861, was in Washington, D.C. when Fort Sumter was fired upon. He immediately offered a regiment to the War Department, and telegraphed former governor Willis Gorman and Lieutenant Governor Ignatius L. Donnelly that same morning. Gorman, attending a district court session in Anoka, received the note by messenger from St. Paul and called a court recess, asking for volunteers. Aaron Greenwald, who has an "island" named after him on Lake George, and five others stepped forward; Greenwald was the first to sign. He died July 2, 1863, during the 1st Minnesota Regiment's famous charge at Gettysburg.


Anoka lies at the confluence of the Rum and Mississippi Rivers, about 20 miles (30 km) northwest of Minneapolis. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.21 square miles (18.67 km2), of which, 6.70 square miles (17.35 km2) is land and 0.51 square miles (1.32 km2) is water. Adjacent communities include Dayton, Ramsey, Andover, Coon Rapids, and Champlin. The USGS tracks the city by the ID 639396 and the coordinates of 45°11′52″N, 093°23′14″W.


The Anoka County Courthouse and Government Center in downtown Anoka, July 2009
Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 2,706
1890 4,252 57.1%
1900 3,769 −11.4%
1910 3,972 5.4%
1920 4,287 7.9%
1930 4,851 13.2%
1940 6,426 32.5%
1950 7,396 15.1%
1960 10,562 42.8%
1970 13,298 25.9%
1980 15,634 17.6%
1990 17,192 10.0%
2000 18,076 5.1%
2010 17,142 −5.2%
2019 (est.) 17,549 2.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 17,142 people, 7,060 households, and 4,202 families living in the city. The population density was 2,558.5 inhabitants per square mile (987.8/km2). There were 7,493 housing units at an average density of 1,118.4 per square mile (431.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 88.0% White, 4.7% African American, 1.0% Native American, 1.8% Asian, 1.6% from other races, and 3.0% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.2% of the population.

There were 7,060 households, of which 29.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.6% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 5.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.5% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.34 and the average family size was 2.95.

The median age in the city was 37.6 years. 21.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 28.7% were from 25 to 44; 26.3% were from 45 to 64; and 13.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 49.8% male and 50.2% female.

Arts and culture

Museums and other points of interest


Top employers

According to Anoka's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, its top employers were:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Federal Cartridge 1,242
2 Anoka-Hennepin School District 11 1,221
3 Pentair 1,217
4 Anoka County Government Center 1,140
5 Anoka Metro Regional Treatment Center 479
6 Wells Fargo 373
7 Anoka Technical College 324
8 DecoPac, Inc. 300
9 Mate Precision Tooling 300
10 Firestone Building Products 201

Museums and other points of interest


Higher education institutions in Anoka include Anoka Technical College. One of the two main Anoka-Ramsey Community College campuses is in neighboring Coon Rapids.

Most Anoka elementary and secondary students attend schools in Anoka-Hennepin School District 11. District 11 secondary schools in Anoka are Anoka High School and Secondary Technical Education Program or S.T.E.P. High School. The Middle School is Anoka Middle School for the Arts, formerly known as Fred Moore Middle School for the Performing Arts. Anoka Middle School for the Arts has two campuses: Fred Moore Campus (formerly Fred Moore Middle School for the Performing Arts), and Washington Campus (formerly Washington Elementary School). The District 11 elementary schools in Anoka are Franklin Elementary School, Lincoln Elementary School, and Wilson Elementary School. District 11 is the largest school district in the state of Minnesota and includes parts of twelve other municipalities besides Anoka. Some students attend public schools in other school districts chosen by their families under Minnesota's open enrollment statute, or students come from places such as Brooklyn Park under the NWISD Magnet Program.

Anoka has several private schools for all ages, including St. Stephens Catholic School.



U.S. Highways 10 / 169 and State Highway 47 are three of Anoka's main routes, and it has a station on the Northstar Commuter Rail line to Minneapolis, which opened in 2009.

Notable people

  • Flora Aldrich, physician and writer
  • Stub Allison, American college football coach
  • Dale Arnold, sportscaster, co-host of the WEEI-FM Dale & Holley (with Keefe) Show and the Boston Bruins pre- and postgame shows on NESN, resided in Anoka
  • Michele Bachmann, U.S. Representative from Minnesota's 6th District, was raised in Anoka and graduated from Anoka High School in 1974
  • Gretchen Carlson, former Fox News Channel anchor, 1989's Miss America, and celebrity spokesperson for March of Dimes
  • Larry Constantine, computer software pioneer and author, was raised in Anoka and graduated from Anoka High School in 1961
  • Jake Deitchler, Olympic wrestler, graduated from Anoka High School in 2008
  • Herbert Funk Goodrich, a former judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, was born in Anoka
  • Anna Arnold Hedgeman, first African American to earn a B.A. from Hamline University and the first African American woman to hold a mayoral cabinet position in the history of New York.
  • Garrison Keillor, radio host of A Prairie Home Companion and author, born in Anoka and graduated from Anoka High School
  • Ernest A. Larsen, Minnesota state legislator and educator
  • Tom Mangan, Minnesota state legislator and educator
  • Steve Nelson, son of Anoka High School head football coach Stan Nelson, linebacker for the New England Patriots in the late 1970s
  • Brandon Paulson, U.S. Olympic wrestler, 1996 silver medalist, graduated from Anoka High School in 1992
  • Briana Scurry, United States women's national soccer team goalie, graduated from Anoka High School in 1990
  • Sean Sherk, former UFC lightweight champion
  • Richard K. Sorenson, master sergeant, USMC, was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism in the Marshall Islands of the South Pacific in February 1944 Rick Sorenson Park in downtown Anoka is named for him.
  • Matt Sorteberg (born 1986), professional ice hockey defenceman
  • Robert Stewart Sparks, Los Angeles, California, city council member, 1925–27
  • Joe Tanner, Brooklyn Park, (born 1959), comedian and dementia activist
  • Bill Tuttle, major league baseball player of the 1950s and 1960s
  • Dick Wildung, player for the Green Bay Packers

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See also

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