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Dickinson County, Iowa facts for kids

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Dickinson County
Dickinson County Courthouse
Dickinson County Courthouse
Map of Iowa highlighting Dickinson County
Location within the U.S. state of Iowa
Map of the United States highlighting Iowa
Iowa's location within the U.S.
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Country  United States
State  Iowa
Founded 1857
Named for Daniel S. Dickinson
Seat Spirit Lake
Largest city Spirit Lake
Area
 • Total 404 sq mi (1,050 km2)
 • Land 381 sq mi (990 km2)
 • Water 23 sq mi (60 km2)  5.8%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total 17,703
 • Density 43.82/sq mi (16.919/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 4th

Dickinson County is a county located in the U.S. state of Iowa. As of the 2020 census, the population was 17,703. The county seat is Spirit Lake. The county was organized in 1857 and is named in honor of Daniel S. Dickinson, a U.S. Senator for New York.

Dickinson County comprises the Spirit Lake, IA Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Geography

PostcardSpiritLakeRegionIowa1907
A picture postcard postmarked Okoboji Iowa Aug 1 1907

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 404 square miles (1,050 km2), of which 381 square miles (990 km2) is land and 23 square miles (60 km2) (5.8%) is water. It is the smallest county by land area in Iowa, and the fifth-smallest by total area.

A region known as the Iowa Great Lakes is in Dickinson County, making it a popular vacation destination for Iowans, and explaining the recent high population growth in the area. The lakes include West Okoboji Lake, East Okoboji Lake, and Spirit Lake.

Major highways

  • US 71.svg U.S. Highway 71
  • Iowa 9.svg Iowa Highway 9
  • Iowa 86.svg Iowa Highway 86

Adjacent counties

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 180
1870 1,389 671.7%
1880 1,901 36.9%
1890 4,328 127.7%
1900 7,995 84.7%
1910 8,137 1.8%
1920 10,241 25.9%
1930 10,982 7.2%
1940 12,185 11.0%
1950 12,756 4.7%
1960 12,574 −1.4%
1970 12,565 −0.1%
1980 15,629 24.4%
1990 14,909 −4.6%
2000 16,424 10.2%
2010 16,667 1.5%
2020 17,703 6.2%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2018
DickinsonCountyIowaPop2020
Population of Dickinson County from US census data

2020 census

The 2020 census recorded a population of 17,703 in the county, with a population density of 43.6672/sq mi (16.8600/km2). 96.84% of the population reported being of one race. 92.71% were non-Hispanic White, 0.45% were Black, 2.29% were Hispanic, 0.12% were Native American, 0.46% were Asian, 0.01% were Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander and 3.96% were some other race or more than one race. There were 13,691 housing units of which 7,976 were occupied.

2010 census

The 2010 census recorded a population of 16,667 in the county, with a population density of 43.7385/sq mi (16.8875/km2). There were 12,849 housing units, of which 7,554 were occupied.

Communities

Cities

Unincorporated community

Townships

Dickinson County is divided into twelve townships:

  • Center Grove
  • Diamond Lake
  • Excelsior
  • Lakeville
  • Lloyd
  • Milford
  • Okoboji
  • Richland
  • Silver Lake
  • Spirit Lake
  • Superior
  • Westport

Population ranking

The population ranking of the following table is based on the 2010 census of Dickinson County.

county seat

Rank City/Town/etc. Municipal type Population (2010 Census)
1 Spirit Lake City 4,840
2 Milford City 2,898
3 Arnolds Park City 1,126
4 Lake Park City 1,105
5 Okoboji City 807
6 Orleans City 608
7 Terril City 367
8 Wahpeton City 341
9 West Okoboji City 289
10 Superior City 130
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