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Hennepin County, Minnesota facts for kids

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Hennepin County
County of Hennepin
The Hennepin County Government Center, located in the county seat of Minneapolis. Its stylized letter "H" shape serves as the logo for Hennepin County.
The Hennepin County Government Center, located in the county seat of Minneapolis. Its stylized letter "H" shape serves as the logo for Hennepin County.
Official logo of Hennepin County
Map of Minnesota highlighting Hennepin 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 6, 1852
Named for Louis Hennepin
Seat Minneapolis
Largest city Minneapolis
 • Total 607 sq mi (1,570 km2)
 • Land 554 sq mi (1,430 km2)
 • Water 53 sq mi (140 km2)  8.7%%
 • Total 1,281,565
 • Estimate 
1,267,416 Decrease
 • Density 2,313/sq mi (893/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Area code 612, 763, 952
Congressional districts 3rd, 5th

Hennepin County ( hen-Ə-pin) is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. Its county seat is Minneapolis, the state's most populous city. The county is named in honor of the 17th-century explorer Father Louis Hennepin. The county's eastern side is influenced by Minneapolis with its financial and manufacturing activity. The western side of the county is mostly suburbs and rural communities, along with some farms, covered with extensive woods, hills, and lakes.

Hennepin County is included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of the 2020 census, the population was 1,281,565. It is the most populous county in Minnesota, and the 34th-most populous county in the United States; more than one in five Minnesotans live in Hennepin County. The center of population of Minnesota is in Hennepin County, in the city of Minneapolis.


Hennepin County was created in 1852 by the Minnesota Territorial Legislature. Father Louis Hennepin's name was chosen because he originally named St. Anthony Falls and recorded some of the earliest accounts of the area for the Western world. Hennepin County's early history is closely linked to the establishment of the cities of Minneapolis and St. Anthony. The history of Hennepin County is cataloged at the Hennepin History Museum, located in Minneapolis.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 607 square miles (1,570 km2), of which 554 square miles (1,430 km2) is land and 53 square miles (140 km2) (8.7%) is water. Hennepin is one of 17 Minnesota counties with more savanna soils than either prairie or forest soils, and is one of only two Minnesota counties with more than 75% of its area in savanna soils (the other is Wright County).

The highest waterfall on the Mississippi River, the Saint Anthony Falls (discovered by Louis Hennepin) is in Hennepin County next to downtown Minneapolis, but in the 19th century, the falls were converted to a series of dams. Barges and boats now pass through locks to move between the parts of the river above and below the dams.

Adjacent counties

National protected areas


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 12,849
1870 31,566 145.7%
1880 67,013 112.3%
1890 185,294 176.5%
1900 228,340 23.2%
1910 333,480 46.0%
1920 415,419 24.6%
1930 517,785 24.6%
1940 568,899 9.9%
1950 676,579 18.9%
1960 842,854 24.6%
1970 960,080 13.9%
1980 941,411 −1.9%
1990 1,032,431 9.7%
2000 1,116,200 8.1%
2010 1,152,425 3.2%
2020 1,281,565 11.2%
2021 (est.) 1,267,416 10.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2020
USA Hennepin County, Minnesota age pyramid
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data
Hennepin County jail
Located across the street from the Government Center, the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility serves as the county jail


As of the 2010 Census, there were 1,152,425 people, 475,913 households, and 272,885 families living in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 74.4% White, 11.8% Black or African American, 0.9% Native American, 6.2% Asian, 3.4% from other races, and 3.2% from two or more races. 6.7% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

According to the 2010–2015 American Community Survey, the largest ancestry groups were German (26.3%), Norwegian (12.6%), Irish (10.8%), and Swedish (8.3%).


At the 2000 Census, there were 1,116,200 people, 456,129 households, and 267,291 families living in the county. The population density was 774/km2 (2,005/mi2). There were 468,824 housing units at an average density of 325/km2 (842/mi2). The racial makeup of the county was 80.53% White, 8.95% Black or African American, 1.00% Native American, 4.80% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.06% from other races, and 2.60% from two or more races. 4.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 456,129 households, out of which 28.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.30% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.40% were non-families. 31.80% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the county 24.00% of the population was under the age of 18, 9.70% was between 18 and 24, 33.70% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 11.00% were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 97.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $51,711, and the median income for a family was $65,985 (these figures had risen to $60,115 and $79,970 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Accounting for inflation, these figures rise again to $76,202.87 for individuals, and $92,353.46 for households, adjusted for 2014 dollars. Males had a median income of $42,466 versus $32,400 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,789. About 5.00% of families and 8.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.50% of those under age 18 and 5.90% of those age 65 or over.

Hennepin County is the wealthiest county in Minnesota and one of the 100 highest-income counties in the United States.

Besides English, languages with significant numbers of speakers in Hennepin County include Arabic, Hmong, Khmer, Lao, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.

Religious statistics

In 2010 statistics, the largest religious group in Hennepin County was the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, with 215,205 Catholics worshipping at 73 parishes, followed by 124,732 ELCA Lutherans with 106 congregations, 59,811 non-denominational adherents with 103 congregations, 20,286 UMC Methodists with 42 congregations, 18,836 Missouri Synod Lutherans with 34 congregations, 16,941 PC-USA Presbyterians with 21 congregations, 16,230 Converge Baptists with 26 congregations, 16,128 AoG Pentecostals with 32 congregations, 12,307 UCC Christians with 20 congregations, and 8,608 Reform Jews with 3 congregations. Altogether, 54.3% of the population was claimed as members by religious congregations, although members of historically African-American denominations were underrepresented due to incomplete information. In 2014, Hennepin County had 708 religious organizations, the 16th most out of all US counties.


Major highways

  • I-35W.svg Interstate 35W
  • I-94.svg Interstate 94
  • I-394.svg Interstate 394
  • I-494.svg Interstate 494
  • I-694.svg Interstate 694
  • US 12.svg US Highway 12
  • US 52.svg US Highway 52
  • US 169 (MN).svg US Highway 169
  • US 212 (MN).svg US Highway 212
  • MN-5.svg Minnesota State Highway 5
  • MN-7.svg Minnesota State Highway 7
  • MN-47.svg Minnesota State Highway 47
  • MN-55.svg Minnesota State Highway 55
  • MN-62.svg Minnesota State Highway 62
  • MN-65.svg Minnesota State Highway 65
  • MN-77.svg Minnesota State Highway 77
  • MN-100.svg Minnesota State Highway 100
  • MN-101.svg Minnesota State Highway 101
  • MN-121.svg Minnesota State Highway 121
  • MN-252.svg Minnesota State Highway 252
  • MN-610.svg Minnesota State Highway 610
  • Hennepin County Route 17.svg Hennepin County Road 17 (France Avenue)
  • Hennepin County 61.svg Hennepin County Road 61
  • Hennepin County 81.svg Hennepin County Road 81
  • Hennepin County 122.svg Hennepin County Road 122
  • Other county roads


  • Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) serves the Twin Cities area. It is the 17th-busiest airport in the United States by passenger traffic and serves as a hub for Delta Air Lines.
  • Crystal Airport (MIC) is a public airport in Crystal.
  • Flying Cloud Airport (FCM) is a public airport in Eden Prairie.


The Hennepin History Museum, established in 1957, provides exhibits related to the history of the county. Records of Hennepin County are available for research use. They include school records, district and municipal court files, county attorney files, Hennepin County Sheriff records, birth and death records, marriage records, tax lists, and agency history records.



Unorganized territory


Major companies and employers

As the economic center of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest, Hennepin County is home to many major companies in a diverse section of industries. As of the 2018 estimate, there are twelve Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Hennepin County, five of which are located in Minneapolis.

Fortune 500 Companies in Hennepin County
Company Name National Rank Revenue ($millions),

2018 Estimate

Headquarters City Industry
UnitedHealth Group 5 201,159 Minnetonka Managed Healthcare
Target 39 71,879 Minneapolis General Retailing
Best Buy 72 42,151 Richfield Electronics Retailing
U.S. Bancorp 122 23,996 Minneapolis Banking and Finance
SuperValu 180 16,009 Eden Prairie Food Distribution and Retailing
General Mills 182 15,619.8 Golden Valley Food Processing
C.H. Robinson 193 14,869.4 Eden Prairie Transportation
Ameriprise Financial 252 12,075 Minneapolis Financial Services
Xcel Energy 266 11,404 Minneapolis Electricity and Natural Gas Utility
Thrivent Financial 343 8,527.9 Minneapolis Financial Services
Mosaic 382 7,409.4 Plymouth Fertilizer Manufacturing
Polaris 496 5,504.8 Medina Snowmobile Manufacturing
Tree Map of Employment by Industries in Hennepin County, Mn (2015)
Tree Map of Employment by Industries in Hennepin County (2015)

Hennepin County is also home to several major private companies such as Carlson and Cargill, both located in Minnetonka, the latter of which is the largest privately owned company in the United States.

Along with these major companies, Hennepin County also contains several large employers, as listed below. According to the 2016 American Community Survey, the largest overall industries in Hennepin County are healthcare and social assistance (96,511 workers), manufacturing (80,324), and retail trade (75,861).

Largest employers in Hennepin County
Employer Number of Employees Industry
University of Minnesota 18000 Education
Target Stores Inc 10000 Retail
Pharmacy at Park Nicollet 9000 Healthcare
Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital 8200 Healthcare
Park Nicollet Clinic 8000 Healthcare
M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Medical Center 8000 Healthcare
M Health Fairview University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital 7658 Healthcare
Ameriprise Financial Inc 7000 Financial Services
Park Nicollet Urgent Care 7000 Healthcare
Best Buy Inc 6000 Electronics Retail

Economic indicators

According to the 2016 American Community Survey, the average household income in Hennepin County is $71,200. The GINI Index for 2016 was 0.461, lower than the national average of 0.485. As of 2016, nearly 132,000 residents of Hennepin County were living under the poverty line, a full 10.9% of the county. This figure is lower than the national average of 14%.


Colleges and universities in the county include:

  • Augsburg University in Minneapolis
  • Dunwoody College of Technology in downtown Minneapolis
  • Hamline University - Minneapolis campus in St. Louis Park
  • Hennepin Technical College in Brooklyn Park and Eden Prairie
  • Metropolitan State University in downtown Minneapolis and Brooklyn Park
  • Minneapolis College of Art and Design in Minneapolis
  • Minneapolis Community and Technical College in downtown Minneapolis
  • Minnesota State University, Mankato - Twin Cities campus in Edina
  • Normandale Community College in Bloomington
  • North Central University in downtown Minneapolis
  • North Hennepin Community College in Brooklyn Park
  • Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington
  • St. Cloud State University - Twin Cities campus in Plymouth
  • Saint Mary's University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis
  • University of Minnesota - Twin Cities campus in Minneapolis
  • University of St. Thomas - Minneapolis campus in downtown Minneapolis

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