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New Brighton
"The City That Works For You"
Location of the city of New Brightonwithin Ramsey County, Minnesota
Location of the city of New Brighton
within Ramsey County, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Ramsey
Incorporated 1891
 • Total 7.09 sq mi (18.35 km2)
 • Land 6.50 sq mi (16.82 km2)
 • Water 0.59 sq mi (1.53 km2)
879 ft (268 m)
 • Total 21,456
 • Estimate 
 • Density 3,503.16/sq mi (1,352.67/km2)
Time zone Central Time Zone
ZIP code
Area code(s) 651
FIPS code 27-45430
GNIS feature ID 0648506
Website City of New Brighton

New Brighton is a city in Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States. It is a suburb of the Twin Cities. The population was 21,456 at the 2010 census.


In the 18th century, Mdewakanton Dakota tribes lived in the vicinity of New Brighton's marshy lakes, harvesting wild rice. The Dakota eventually settled a village near Long Lake at Rice Creek and a smaller encampment just east of Silver Lake Road on 3rd Street NW. Immigrants from Britain and France settled a small village in 1858 which included a general store, school and mission church. As railroads were established in the area, millers in Minneapolis formed the Minneapolis Stockyards and Packing Company in 1888. The company supplied home, agriculture, and business needs. The venture included Minneapolis figures such as streetcar magnate Thomas Lowry, flour millers John Sargent Pillsbury, Senator William D. Washburn, ex-Minneapolis Mayor W.H. Eustis, and industrialist W.H. Dunwoody. As the village grew in prominence, it was incorporated on January 20, 1891. The city was given the name Brighton after Brighton, Massachusetts. The founding population was primarily English-American. Each August, a city festival celebrates this heritage, called the Stockyard Days and is held at Long Lake Park.

As the streetcar system expanded in the early 20th century, immigrant and first-generation groups from Eastern Europe and Germany began moving outwards from Northeast Minneapolis. New Brighton and St. Anthony residents also continue to celebrate this ethnic heritage with an annual Polka Dance Party which began in 1892.

In the 1920s, a local farmer said he heard a rumor that gold bars were buried along the eastern shore of Long Lake by bootleggers. This rumor spread and in the following years launched a mini "gold rush" along Long Lake to find the treasure.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.06 square miles (18.29 km2), of which 6.46 square miles (16.73 km2) is land and 0.60 square miles (1.55 km2) is water. Rice Creek flows through the northern part of the city.

New Brighton is located at the intersection of Interstate Highways 35W and 694. It is geographically incongruent. From north to south it is not even, and east to west it is even in only a few places. A piece of the city sits on the east side of Interstate 35W isolated from the rest of the city.

Nearby places include Arden Hills, Shoreview, Roseville, Saint Anthony Village, Columbia Heights, Fridley, Mounds View, and Minneapolis.

New Brighton has several parks, including Richard J. Hansen Park, Freedom Park, Sunny Square Park, Creek View Park, Meadow Wood Park, Hidden Oaks Park, Silver Oaks Park, Innsbruck Park, Veterans Park, Vermont Park, and Long Lake Regional Park. Bur oak trees over 200 years old and native prairie grass such as Big Bluestem can be found in Long Lake Park. Remnants of old farmsteads can be found at Long Lake Park as well (look for lilacs and rose bushes in the middle of the woods).

New Brighton is almost exactly halfway between the equator and the north pole, with a latitude of 45 degrees.

New Brighton is part of east–central Minnesota's glacial plain sandpile, which was flattened by glaciers during the most recent glacial advance. During the last glacial period, massive ice sheets at least 0.62 miles (1 km) thick ravaged the landscape of the town and sculpted its current terrain which can be easily seen in Long Lake Regional Park within the city. The Wisconsin glaciation left 12,000 years ago. These glaciers covered all of Minnesota except the far southeast, an area characterized by steep hills and streams that cut into the bedrock. Since the New Brighton landscape is still recovering from the weight of the glaciers and going through post-glacial rebound and the turmoil this created, the landscape is poorly drained created the numerous lakes and rivers found in the city. Long Lake itself is the remnants of the glaciers, as it was a chunk of ice that was left behind, melted, and created the lake in the hole it occupied.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 355
1900 350 −1.4%
1910 375 7.1%
1920 368 −1.9%
1930 500 35.9%
1940 658 31.6%
1950 2,218 237.1%
1960 6,448 190.7%
1970 19,507 202.5%
1980 23,269 19.3%
1990 22,207 −4.6%
2000 22,206 0.0%
2010 21,456 −3.4%
2019 (est.) 22,753 6.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 21,456 people, 8,915 households, and 5,731 families residing in the city. The population density was 3,321.4 inhabitants per square mile (1,282.4/km2). There were 9,479 housing units at an average density of 1,467.3 per square mile (566.5/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.2% White, 4.1% African American, 1.4% Native American, 4.8% Asian, 2.2% from other races, and 2.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.2% of the population.

There were 8,915 households, of which 28.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.3% were married couples living together, 10.8% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.2% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.7% were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.8% 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 2.89.

The median age in the city was 40.7 years. 21.1% of residents were under the age of 18; 9.4% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.5% were from 25 to 44; 27.2% were from 45 to 64; and 17.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.3% male and 51.7% female.


Groundwater is pumped from 12 deep wells, ranging from 300 to 1,000 feet (300 m) deep. The groundwater is located in three aquifers: Prairie du Chien, Jordan and Mt. Simon/Hinckley. New Brighton’s water is classified as very hard with 17 to 20 grains per gallon (290 to 340 g/m³). Water hardness is due principally to calcium and magnesium and water is generally harder in areas where calcium and magnesium rich limestone rocks are present. New Brighton pumps some of its water from aquifers in dolomite/limestone rock formation.

Groundwater pollution was discovered in the late 1980s in New Brighton along with Arden Hills and St. Anthony, which came from chemical dumping at the nearby Twin Cities Army Ammunition Plant. Following litigation settlement, the U.S. Army provided New Brighton and the surrounding northern suburbs with clean water supplies and new systems to monitor and filter pollution.

Additional contamination was discovered in 2015. The city has switched wells until the contaminants can be cleaned.

In the 1993 film In the Line of Fire, assassin-in-training Leary (John Malkovich) pretends to be from Minneapolis. He is unprepared when asked by a Minneapolitan which high school he attended. Leary answers New Brighton High School. The questioner replies that there is no New Brighton High School, but she can't remember the name of the high school in New Brighton. This exchange proves to be important for the plot.

Government: Schools:


Four public schools are located in New Brighton: Bel Air Elementary School, Sunnyside Elementary, Highview Middle School, and Irondale High School; additionally, until 2005, when it was converted into a community education center, there was a fifth public school located in New Brighton: Pike Lake Kindergarten Center, now known as Pike Lake Education Center. All of these schools are part of the Mounds View Public Schools (District 621).

Nearby private high schools attended by residents include Totino-Grace in Fridley, Minnehaha Academy in Minneapolis, or Breck School in Golden Valley. High school students in a portion of eastern New Brighton attend nearby Mounds View High School. A small fraction of New Brighton students attend Wilshire Park Elementary and Saint Anthony Village Middle and High Schools in nearby Saint Anthony Village, as part of New Brighton is served by ISD 282.

See also

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