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Polk County, Wisconsin facts for kids

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Polk County
Polk County Highway Department in Balsam Lake
Polk County Highway Department in Balsam Lake
Map of Wisconsin highlighting Polk County
Location within the U.S. state of Wisconsin
Map of the United States highlighting Wisconsin
Wisconsin's location within the U.S.
Country  United States
State  Wisconsin
Founded 1853
Named for James K. Polk
Seat Balsam Lake
Largest city Amery
Area
 • Total 956 sq mi (2,480 km2)
 • Land 914 sq mi (2,370 km2)
 • Water 42 sq mi (110 km2)  4.4%%
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 44,205
 • Estimate 
(2020)
43,794
 • Density 46.240/sq mi (17.853/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 7th

Polk County is a county in the U.S. state of Wisconsin. As of the 2010 census, the population was 44,205. Its county seat is Balsam Lake. The county was created in 1853.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 956 square miles (2,480 km2), of which 914 square miles (2,370 km2) is land and 42 square miles (110 km2) (4.4%) is water.

Adjacent counties

Major highways

  • US 8.svg U.S. Highway 8
  • US 63.svg U.S. Highway 63
  • WIS 35.svg Highway 35 (Wisconsin)
  • WIS 46.svg Highway 46 (Wisconsin)
  • WIS 48.svg Highway 48 (Wisconsin)
  • WIS 64.svg Highway 64 (Wisconsin)
  • WIS 65.svg Highway 65 (Wisconsin)
  • WIS 87.svg Highway 87 (Wisconsin)
  • WIS 243.svg Highway 243 (Wisconsin)

Airports

  • Amery Municipal Airport (KAHH) serves the county and surrounding communities.
  • L.O. Simenstad Municipal Airport (KOEO).

National protected area

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,400
1870 3,422 144.4%
1880 10,018 192.8%
1890 12,968 29.4%
1900 17,801 37.3%
1910 21,367 20.0%
1920 26,870 25.8%
1930 26,567 −1.1%
1940 26,197 −1.4%
1950 24,944 −4.8%
1960 24,968 0.1%
1970 26,666 6.8%
1980 32,351 21.3%
1990 34,773 7.5%
2000 41,319 18.8%
2010 44,205 7.0%
2020 (est.) 43,794 −0.9%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790–1960 1900–1990
1990–2000 2010–2020
USA Polk County, Wisconsin age pyramid
2000 Census Age Pyramid for Polk County

As of the 2000 census, there were 41,319 people, 16,254 households, and 11,329 families residing in the county. The population density was 45 people per square mile (17/km2). There were 21,129 housing units at an average density of 23 per square mile (9/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 97.64% White, 0.15% Black or African American, 1.06% Native American, 0.26% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 0.67% from two or more races. 0.80% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 31.4% were of German, 18.6% Norwegian, 11.3% Swedish, 5.5% Irish and 5.3% American ancestry.

There were 16,254 households, out of which 32.10% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 7.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.30% were non-families. 25.20% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the county, the population was spread out, with 26.20% under the age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 27.70% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 15.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 99.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.50 males.

In 2017, there were 400 births, giving a general fertility rate of 56.0 births per 1000 women aged 15–44, the 14th lowest rate out of all 72 Wisconsin counties.

Communities

Cities

Villages

Towns

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Education

  • Amery School District
  • Clayton School District
  • Clear Lake School District
  • Frederic School District
  • Luck School District
  • Osceola School District
  • St. Croix Falls School District
  • Unity School District

Notable residents

  • Arnold Franz Brasz (1888–1966), a prominent painter, sculptor, and printmaker was born in Polk County on July 19, 1888
  • George A. Nelson (1873-1962) — the 1936 candidate for Vice President of the United States of the Socialist Party of America was born in rural Polk County and was a dairy farmer there.

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