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Rice County, Minnesota facts for kids

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Rice County
Rice County Courthouse
Rice County Courthouse
Map of Minnesota highlighting Rice 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 5, 1853
Named for Henry Mower Rice
Seat Faribault
Largest city Faribault
 • Total 516 sq mi (1,340 km2)
 • Land 496 sq mi (1,280 km2)
 • Water 20 sq mi (50 km2)  3.9%%
 • Total 67,097
 • Estimate 
67,262 Increase
 • Density 135.3/sq mi (52.2/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts 1st, 2nd
Henry Mower Rice, one of Minnesota's first senators and the namesake of the county

Rice County is a county located in the south central portion of the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 67,097. Its county seat is Faribault.

Rice County comprises the Faribault-Northfield, MN Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI Combined Statistical Area.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has an area of 516 square miles (1,340 km2), of which 496 square miles (1,280 km2) is land and 20 square miles (52 km2) (3.9%) is water. The Cannon River flows northeastwardly through the county, collecting the Straight River in Faribault. The North Fork of the Zumbro River has its headwaters in the county's southeastern part. Rice is one of 17 Minnesota savanna counties with more savanna soils than either prairie or forest soils.

East of Nerstrand Private Lands Wiki Version
Soils east of Nerstrand State Park


  • Cannon Lake: almost entirely in Warsaw Township, but the far western part extends into Morristown Township
  • Caron Lake: in Shieldsville Township
  • Cedar Lake: in Shieldsville Township
  • Circle Lake: in Forest Township
  • Crystal Lake: in Cannon City Township
  • Duban Lake: in Erin Township
  • Dudley Lake: in Wells Township
  • Fox Lake: in Forest Township
  • French Lake: mostly in Wells Township, but the western part extends into Shieldsville Township
  • Hatch Lake: in Wheatland Township
  • Horseshoe Lake: eastern third is in Morristown Township; the rest is in Le Sueur County
  • Hunt Lake: in Shieldsville Township
  • Kelly Lake: in Wells Township
  • Mazaska Lake: in four different townships: Wells, Shieldsville, Forest, and Erin
  • Metogga Lake: in Wheatland Township
  • Mud Lake: in Shieldsville Township
  • Phelps Lake: all of the northern Phelps Lake is in Wheatland Township; the northern third of the southern Phelps Lake is in Wheatland Township and the rest is in Erin Township
  • Rice Lake: in Shieldsville Township
  • Roberds Lake: in Wells Township
  • Sakatah Lake: eastern half is in Morristown Township; western half is in Le Sueur County
  • Shields Lake: northern half is in Erin Township and the southern half is in Shieldsville Township
  • Sprague Lake: in Morristown Township
  • Union Lake: souther half is in Forest Township; northern half is in Webster Township
  • Weinberger Lake: in Morristown Township
  • Wells Lake: mostly in Wells Township, but the southern part extends into Warsaw Township
  • Willing Lake: in Shieldsville Township

Major highways

  • I-35.svg Interstate 35
  • MN-3.svg Minnesota State Highway 3
  • MN-13.svg Minnesota State Highway 13
  • MN-19.svg Minnesota State Highway 19
  • MN-21.svg Minnesota State Highway 21
  • MN-60.svg Minnesota State Highway 60
  • MN-99.svg Minnesota State Highway 99
  • MN-246.svg Minnesota State Highway 246
  • MN-298.svg Minnesota State Highway 298
  • MN-299.svg Minnesota State Highway 299

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 7,543
1870 16,083 113.2%
1880 22,481 39.8%
1890 23,968 6.6%
1900 26,080 8.8%
1910 25,911 −0.6%
1920 28,307 9.2%
1930 29,974 5.9%
1940 32,160 7.3%
1950 36,235 12.7%
1960 38,988 7.6%
1970 41,582 6.7%
1980 46,087 10.8%
1990 49,183 6.7%
2000 56,665 15.2%
2010 64,142 13.2%
2015 (est.) 65,400 2.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015
USA Rice County, Minnesota age pyramid
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data

As of the census of 2000, there were 56,665 people, 18,888 households, and 13,353 families residing in the county. The population density was 114 people per square mile (44/km²). There were 20,061 housing units at an average density of 40 per square mile (16/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.59% White, 1.31% Black or African American, 0.43% Native American, 1.46% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.87% from other races, and 1.30% from two or more races. 5.50% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.1% were of German, 14.7% Norwegian, 7.2% Irish and 5.3% Czech ancestry.

There were 18,888 households out of which 36.50% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.10% were married couples living together, 8.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.30% were non-families. 23.90% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.30% under the age of 18, 15.80% from 18 to 24, 27.40% from 25 to 44, 20.20% from 45 to 64, and 11.40% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 101.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.30 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $48,651, and the median income for a family was $56,407. Males had a median income of $36,771 versus $26,151 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,695. About 4.00% of families and 6.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.70% of those under age 18 and 10.70% of those age 65 or over.

Parks and recreation

  • Ackman Park 3 miles (4.8 km) west of Faribault
  • Albers Park in Webster
  • Cannon River Wilderness Area 4 miles (6.4 km) north of Faribault
  • Caron Park in Cannon City
  • Falls Creek Park 1-mile (1.6 km) east of Faribault
  • Heron Island in Shieldsville
  • Hirdler Park 10 miles (16 km) west of Faribault
  • Kalina Park in Wheatland
  • King Mill Park in Faribault
  • Shager Park 2 miles (3.2 km) west of Faribault




  • Bridgewater Township
  • Cannon City Township
  • Erin Township
  • Forest Township
  • Morristown Township
  • Northfield Township
  • Richland Township
  • Shieldsville Township
  • Walcott Township
  • Warsaw Township
  • Webster Township
  • Wells Township
  • Wheatland Township
  • Wheeling Township

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

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