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Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota facts for kids

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Lake of the Woods County
US-Canada border monument no. 919
US-Canada border monument no. 919
Map of Minnesota highlighting Lake of the Woods 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 November 28, 1922 (created by vote)
January 1, 1923 (organized)
Named for Lake of the Woods (lake)
Seat Baudette
Largest city Baudette
 • Total 1,775 sq mi (4,600 km2)
 • Land 1,298 sq mi (3,360 km2)
 • Water 477 sq mi (1,240 km2)  27%%
 • Total 3,763
 • Estimate 
3,823 Increase
 • Density 2.9/sq mi (1.1/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 7th
Website Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota

Lake of the Woods County is a county in the northwestern part of the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 3,763, making it the second-least populous county in Minnesota. Its county seat is Baudette.

The county contains the Northwest Angle, the northernmost point of the Lower 48 States, and the U.S. portion of Lake of the Woods, shared with Canada. The county also includes the exclave of Elm Point. Since Alaska has no counties, Lake of the Woods is the northernmost county in the United States. It is also the only county in the United States with four words in its name, although there is a parish in Louisiana called St. John the Baptist Parish, and the United States Census Bureau treats parishes as county equivalents for census purposes.


Lake of the Woods County was named after the lake that covers a large portion of the county. Jacques de Noyon, a Frenchman who came from Trois Rivières, (Quebec), explored this area in 1688 and became the first European to view the lake. He named the lake Lac aux Îles which means "Lake of the Islands" in English.

In 1885 the region of Lake of the Woods got its first settler, Wilhelm Zippel, who was a German immigrant and a fisherman. He settled on the south shore of the lake in a place now called Zippel Bay. Shortly after, Alonzo Wheeler settled on a point on the southwest side of the lake which is now called Wheeler's Point.

A terrible wildfire, which has come to be known as the Baudette Fire of 1910, broke out in October of that year, burning 300,000 acres (1,200 km2) and destroying the towns of Spooner, Baudette, Graceton, Pitt, Williams, and Cedar Spur. Lake of the Woods County was founded January 1, 1923, with Baudette as the original county seat. Lake of the Woods County is also known as Minnesota's youngest county. This county was organized on November 28, 1922, when residents voted to separate the northern Townships.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,775 square miles (4,600 km2), of which 1,298 square miles (3,360 km2) is land and 477 square miles (1,240 km2) (27%) is water.

Major highways

  • MN-11.svg Minnesota State Highway 11
  • MN-72.svg Minnesota State Highway 72
  • MN-172.svg Minnesota State Highway 172

Adjacent counties and districts


Historical population
Census Pop.
1930 4,194
1940 5,975 42.5%
1950 4,955 −17.1%
1960 4,304 −13.1%
1970 3,987 −7.4%
1980 3,764 −5.6%
1990 4,076 8.3%
2000 4,522 10.9%
2010 4,045 −10.5%
2015 (est.) 3,923 −3.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015
USA Lake of the Woods County, Minnesota age pyramid
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data

As of the census of 2000, there were 4,522 people, 1,903 households, and 1,267 families residing in the county. The population density was 4 people per square mile (1/km²). There were 3,238 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.21% White/Caucasian, 0.29% Black/African American, 1.13% Native American, 0.24% Asian, 0.11% from other races, and 1.02% from two or more races. 0.64% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 26.2% were of Norwegian, 22.3% German, 8.9% Swedish, 5.8% American and 5.0% English ancestry according.

There were 1,903 households, out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.40% were married couples living together, 5.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.40% were non-families. 29.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 2.93.

In the county, the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 5.70% from 18 to 24, 25.10% from 25 to 44, 27.20% from 45 to 64, and 17.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 101.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.60 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $32,861, and the median income for a family was $38,936. Males had a median income of $30,469 versus $24,813 for females. The per capita income for the county was $16,976. About 6.70% of families and 9.80% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.30% of those under age 18 and 10.60% of those age 65 or over.




Although all the townships are named, as of 2001, there are no township governments. All the townships are officially part of unorganized territory.

  • Angle Township
  • Baudette Township
  • Beaver Dam Township
  • Boone Township
  • Chilgren Township
  • Cloverdale Township
  • Eugene Township
  • Forest Area Township
  • Gudrid Township
  • Hiwood Township
  • Kiel Township
  • Lakewood Township
  • McDougald Township
  • Meadowland Township
  • Myhre Township
  • Norris Township
  • Noyes Township
  • Park Township
  • Pioneer Township
  • Potamo Township
  • Prosper Township
  • Rapid River Township
  • Rulien Township
  • Spooner Township
  • Swiftwater Township
  • Township 157-30
  • Township 158-30
  • Victory Township
  • Wabanica Township
  • Walhalla Township
  • Wheeler Township
  • Zippel Township

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Condado de Lake of the Woods para niños

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