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Dakota County, Nebraska facts for kids

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Dakota County
Dakota County courthouse in Dakota City
Dakota County courthouse in Dakota City
Map of Nebraska highlighting Dakota County
Location within the U.S. state of Nebraska
Map of the United States highlighting Nebraska
Nebraska's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Nebraska
Founded 7 March 1855
Named for Dakota people
Seat Dakota City
Largest city South Sioux City
 • Total 267 sq mi (690 km2)
 • Land 264 sq mi (680 km2)
 • Water 3.2 sq mi (8 km2)  1.2%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 76.5/sq mi (29.5/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 3rd

Dakota County is a county in the U.S. state of Nebraska. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 21,582. Its county seat is Dakota City.

Dakota County is part of the Sioux City, IA–NE–SD Metropolitan Statistical Area.

In the Nebraska license plate system, Dakota County is represented by the prefix 70 (it had the 70th-largest number of vehicles registered in the county when the license plate system was established in 1922). In August 2009, the Dakota County Board of Commissioners reversed a decision to abandon this system for alphanumeric plates upon introduction of new license plates in 2011. Douglas, Lancaster, and Sarpy Counties remain the only counties with alphanumeric plates in the state.


Succeeding cultures of indigenous peoples lived along the Missouri River for thousands of years. By 1775, the Omaha people had migrated west of the Missouri, where they established a major settlement, which they called Ton-wa-tonga, meaning the Big Village. It had about 1100 residents. From here, the Omaha controlled fur trading on the upper Missouri River with other tribes and with French-Canadian traders, often called voyageurs. The Omaha were the first of the Northern Plains tribes to have adopted an equestrian culture.

Dakota County was formed by European-American settlers in 1855. They named it after the historic Dakota Sioux tribe, who were powerful in the area of Nebraska and South Dakota. By this time, the Omaha were concentrated further south in what became the state of Nebraska.

In 1885, the county went to the United States Supreme Court in Dakota County v. Glidden over a dispute with issuing bonds.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 267 square miles (690 km2), of which 264 square miles (680 km2) is land and 3.2 square miles (8.3 km2) (1.2%) is water. It is the second-smallest county in Nebraska by area.

The county is separated from South Dakota on the northeast and Iowa on the east by the Missouri River. The surface consists of rolling prairies and bottom lands.

Dakota County, Ne
Dakota county and features

Major highways

  • I-129.svg Interstate 129
  • US 20.svg U.S. Highway 20
  • US 75.svg U.S. Highway 75
  • US 77.svg U.S. Highway 77
  • N-9.svg Nebraska Highway 9
  • N-12.svg Nebraska Highway 12
  • N-35.svg Nebraska Highway 35
  • N-110.svg Nebraska Highway 110

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 819
1870 2,040 149.1%
1880 3,213 57.5%
1890 5,386 67.6%
1900 6,286 16.7%
1910 6,564 4.4%
1920 7,694 17.2%
1930 9,505 23.5%
1940 9,836 3.5%
1950 10,401 5.7%
1960 12,168 17.0%
1970 13,137 8.0%
1980 16,573 26.2%
1990 16,742 1.0%
2000 20,253 21.0%
2010 21,006 3.7%
2018 (est.) 20,083 −4.4%
US Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2013

As of the 2020 United States Census The racial makeup of the county was 43.3% non-hispanic white, 7.4% African American, 2.8% Asian and 40.8% hispanic.

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 21,006 people and 7,314 households residing in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 85% White, 4.8% Black or African American, 4.1% Native American, 3.3% Asian, 0.6% Pacific Islander, and 2.2% from two or more races. 39.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. Non-Hispanic Whites were 48.4% of the population.

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 20,253 people, 7,095 households, and 5,087 families residing in the county. The population density was 77 people per square mile (30/km2). There were 7,528 housing units at an average density of 28 per square mile (11/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 78.84% White, 0.62% Black or African American, 1.86% Native American, 3.08% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 12.91% from other races, and 2.62% from two or more races. 22.62% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 28.0% were of German and 10.5% Irish ancestry.

There were 7,095 households, out of which 39.90% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.60% were married couples living together, 11.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.30% were non-families. 22.90% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.30.

The county population contained 30.50% under the age of 18, 10.10% from 18 to 24, 29.40% from 25 to 44, 20.10% from 45 to 64, and 9.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,834, and the median income for a family was $43,702. Males had a median income of $28,341 versus $22,035 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,125. About 9.20% of families and 11.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.60% of those under age 18 and 8.60% of those age 65 or over.




Unincorporated communities

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Dakota (Nebraska) para niños

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