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Becker County, Minnesota facts for kids

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Becker County
1913 Prairie School Carnegie library designed by Claude and Starck in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
1913 Prairie School Carnegie library designed by Claude and Starck in Detroit Lakes, Minnesota.
Map of Minnesota highlighting Becker County
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Minnesota
Founded March 18, 1858 (created)
1871 (organized)
Named for George Loomis Becker
Seat Detroit Lakes
Largest city Detroit Lakes
 • Total 1,445 sq mi (3,740 km2)
 • Land 1,315 sq mi (3,410 km2)
 • Water 130 sq mi (300 km2)  9.0%%
 • Total 35,183
 • Estimate 
35,219 Increase
 • Density 25.9/sq mi (10.0/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 7th

Becker County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 35,183. Its county seat is Detroit Lakes. Part of the White Earth Indian Reservation extends into the county. The county was created in 1858 and organized in 1871.


Becker County became a county on March 18, 1858. It was named after George Loomis Becker. Becker was one of three men elected to congress when Minnesota became a state, but since Minnesota could only send two, Becker elected to stay behind, and he was promised to have a county named after him.

The city of Detroit Lakes was founded by Colonel George Johnston in 1871, the city grew quickly with the construction of the Northern Pacific Railroad. Colonel Johnston had led settlers entirely hailing from the New England states to settle in this region. In 1877, an election finally decided that Detroit Lakes, then known as Detroit, was to become the county seat. Detroit won the election by a ninety percent majority. Frazee, Lake Park, and Audubon were also in the running for the county seat.

Callaway WMA 2016 Wiki Version
Soils of Callaway WMA area

In 1884, Detroit Lakes had many businesses such as the Hotel Minnesota, the Lakes Hotel, a bank, a newspaper, and an opera house. The first courthouse was built that year also. In 1885, the first County Fire Department was constructed. In 1903, the Soo Line Railroads built a rail line through the county. Only one book has been published about Becker County, "History of Becker" was written by A.H. Wilcox in 1907.

Detroit Lakes is the home of one of three to five Grand Army of the Republic Parks in the Nation. The City of Detroit Lakes rededicated the GAR Park on April 15, 2015, marking the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the death of President Lincoln. The rededication was sponsored by Colonel Tom Mortenson and his wife Pam, representing the Women's Relief Corps who spearheaded community support for the effort that included new signage for the Park, and a time capsule to be opened on the 200th anniversary.<>


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,445 square miles (3,740 km2), of which 1,315 square miles (3,410 km2) is land and 130 square miles (340 km2) (9.0%) is water.

Becker County has much diversity in its topographical features. Becker County is home to several hundred lakes, many acres of fertile farm land, and forested areas. Much of the land consists of hills and deciduous trees.

Major highways

  • US 10.svg U.S. Highway 10
  • US 59.svg U.S. Highway 59
  • MN-34.svg Minnesota State Highway 34
  • MN-87.svg Minnesota State Highway 87
  • MN-113.svg Minnesota State Highway 113
  • MN-224.svg Minnesota State Highway 224
  • MN-225.svg Minnesota State Highway 225

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

Climate and weather

Weather chart for Detroit Lakes, Minnesota
temperatures in °F
precipitation totals in inches
source: The Weather Channel

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Detroit Lakes have ranged from a low of −2 °F (−19 °C) in January to a high of 82 °F (28 °C) in July, although a record low of −46 °F (−43 °C) was recorded in February 1936 and a record high of 107 °F (42 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 0.53 inches (13 mm) in February to 4.44 inches (113 mm) in June.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 386
1870 308 −20.2%
1880 5,218 1,594.2%
1890 9,401 80.2%
1900 14,375 52.9%
1910 18,840 31.1%
1920 22,851 21.3%
1930 22,503 −1.5%
1940 26,562 18.0%
1950 24,836 −6.5%
1960 23,959 −3.5%
1970 24,372 1.7%
1980 29,336 20.4%
1990 27,881 −5.0%
2000 30,000 7.6%
2010 32,504 8.3%
2020 35,183 8.2%
2021 (est.) 35,219 8.4%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020
USA Becker County, Minnesota age pyramid
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 US census data

As of the 2000 census, there were 30,000 people, 11,844 households, and 8,184 families in the county. The population density was 22.8/sqmi (8.81/km2). There were 16,612 housing units at an average density of 13 per square mile (5/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.35% White, 0.19% Black or African American, 7.52% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.24% from other races, and 2.32% from two or more races. 0.77% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.2% were of German, 26.0% Norwegian and 5.2% Swedish ancestry.

There were 11,844 households, of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.1% were married couples living together, 7.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.9% were non-families. 26.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.6% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.02.

The county population contained 26.6% under age 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 24.9% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% 65 or older. The median age was 39. For every 100 females there were 99.4 males. For every 100 females 18 and over, there were 97.8 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $34,797, and the median income for a family was $41,807. Males had a median income of $29,641 versus $20,693 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,085. About 8.5% of families and 12.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.4% of those under 18 and 11.8% of those 65 and over.


A country road in Becker County in summer



  • Atlanta Township
  • Audubon Township
  • Burlington Township
  • Callaway Township
  • Carsonville Township
  • Cormorant Township
  • Cuba Township
  • Detroit Township
  • Eagle View Township
  • Erie Township
  • Evergreen Township
  • Forest Township
  • Green Valley Township
  • Hamden Township
  • Height of Land Township
  • Holmesville Township
  • Lake Eunice Township
  • Lake Park Township
  • Lake View Township
  • Maple Grove Township
  • Osage Township
  • Pine Point Township
  • Riceville Township
  • Richwood Township
  • Round Lake Township
  • Runeberg Township
  • Savannah Township
  • Shell Lake Township
  • Silver Leaf Township
  • Spring Creek Township
  • Spruce Grove Township
  • Sugar Bush Township
  • Toad Lake Township
  • Two Inlets Township
  • Walworth Township
  • White Earth Township
  • Wolf Lake Township

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

In popular culture

Becker County is the setting for the 2006 independent film Sweet Land, though it was filmed in Chippewa County.

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Becker para niños

Black History Month on Kiddle
Distinguished African-American Artists:
Sharif Bey
Hale Woodruff
Richmond Barthé
Purvis Young
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