Rochester, Minnesota facts for kids

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Rochester, Minnesota
City
City of Rochester
Downtown Rochester reflected in south Silver Lake
Downtown Rochester reflected in south Silver Lake
Flag of Rochester, Minnesota
Flag
Official seal of Rochester, Minnesota
Seal
Nickname(s): Roch, Med City
Motto: "First Class City, First Class Service"
Location of the city of Rochesterwithin Olmsted County, Minnesota
Location of the city of Rochester
within Olmsted County, Minnesota
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Olmsted
Founded 1854
Area
 • City 54.75 sq mi (141.80 km2)
 • Land 54.59 sq mi (141.39 km2)
 • Water 0.16 sq mi (0.41 km2)  0.29%
Elevation 1,030 ft (401.4 m)
Population (2010)
 • City 106,769
 • Estimate (2015) 112,225
 • Rank US: 250th MN: 3rd
 • Density 1,955.8/sq mi (755.1/km2)
 • Urban 107,677 (US: 288th)
 • Metro 215,884 (US: 206th)
 • CSA 255,047
Time zone CST (UTC-6)
 • Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP codes 55901, 55902, 55903, 55904, 55905, 55906
Area code(s) 507
FIPS code 27-54880
GNIS feature ID 0650180
Website www.rochestermn.gov

Rochester is a city in the U.S. State of Minnesota and is the county seat of Olmsted County. Located on the Zumbro River's south fork, the city has a population of 106,769 according to the 2010 United States Census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the 2015 population was 112,225. It is Minnesota's third-largest city and the largest city located outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2015, the Rochester metropolitan area has a population of 213,873. It is the home of Mayo Clinic and one of IBM's largest facilities.

History

2009-0528-MN-Rochester-oldCH
Old City Hall

Rochester was founded in 1854, and platted in 1855. Rochester developed as a stagecoach stop between Saint Paul, Minnesota, and Dubuque, Iowa. When the railroad arrived in the 1860s, it brought new residents and business opportunities. In 1863, Dr. William W. Mayo arrived as the examining surgeon for draftees in the Civil War. The community was named after Rochester, New York.

On August 21, 1883, the Great Tornado demolished much of Rochester, leaving 37 dead and about 200 injured. As there was no medical facility at the time, Mayo and his two sons worked together to care for the wounded. Donations of $60,000 were collected and the Sisters of St. Francis, assisted by Mayo, opened a new facility named St. Marys Hospital in 1889. The Mayo practice grew and is today among the largest and most well-respected medical facilities in the world. Many famous people from around the world, including former Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, George H. W. Bush, Gerald Ford, and Ronald Reagan, have visited Rochester as patients of the Mayo Clinic. Rochester has also been hit by two F4 tornadoes since 1950 (the first on May 10, 1953 and the other on September 16, 1962.) Rochester celebrated its sesquicentennial in 2004.

Geography

Rochester lies alongside the South Fork of the Zumbro River. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 54.75 square miles (141.80 km2), of which 54.59 square miles (141.39 km2) of it is land and 0.16 square miles (0.41 km2) is water. The city is located 85 miles (137 km) southeast of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Rochester is in Olmsted County, one of only four counties in Minnesota without a natural lake. Artificial lakes exist in the area, including Silver Lake, a dammed portion of the South Fork Zumbro River just below the convergence with Silver Creek near the city center. Silver Lake was once used as a cooling pond when the coal-burning power plant was operated by Rochester Public Utilities, at the lake. When operational, the RPU coal plant's heated water output prevented the lake from generally freezing over during the winter months; attracting large numbers of migrating giant Canada geese.

Rochester has many parks; the largest being Silver Lake and Soldiers Field. A major flood in 1978 led the city to embark on an expensive flood-control project that involved altering many nearby rivers and streams.

Downtown Rochester seen from Quarry Hill Park.

Climate

Rochester features a humid continental climate, with hot summers and very cold winters. The city features four distinct seasons. Rochester sees on average 30 inches (760 mm) of rainfall and 48 inches (120 cm) of snowfall per year. Significant snow accumulation is common during the winter months. Spring and fall are transitional seasons, with a general warming trend during the spring and a general cooling trend during the fall. However, it is not uncommon to see some snowfall during the early months of spring and the later months of fall. Rochester is the second windiest city in the United States, with wind speeds averaging 12.6 mph. January and April are the windiest months on average, according to The Weather Channel.

Climate data for Rochester, Minnesota
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 58
(14.4)
63
(17.2)
82
(27.8)
92
(33.3)
106
(41.1)
105
(40.6)
108
(42.2)
100
(37.8)
100
(37.8)
93
(33.9)
77
(25)
63
(17.2)
108
(42.2)
Average high °F (°C) 24
(-4.4)
28
(-2.2)
40
(4.4)
57
(13.9)
69
(20.6)
78
(25.6)
84
(28.9)
81
(27.2)
71
(21.7)
58
(14.4)
42
(5.6)
27
(-2.8)
54.9
(12.73)
Average low °F (°C) 8
(-13.3)
12
(-11.1)
24
(-4.4)
36
(2.2)
47
(8.3)
57
(13.9)
61
(16.1)
59
(15)
50
(10)
38
(3.3)
26
(-3.3)
12
(-11.1)
35.8
(2.13)
Record low °F (°C) −42
(-41.1)
−35
(-37.2)
−31
(-35)
5
(-15)
20
(-6.7)
31
(-0.6)
40
(4.4)
32
(0)
22
(-5.6)
−6
(-21.1)
−24
(-31.1)
−39
(-39.4)
−42
(-41.1)
Rainfall inches (mm) 0.87
(22.1)
0.83
(21.1)
1.89
(48)
3.23
(82)
3.62
(91.9)
4.69
(119.1)
4.57
(116.1)
4.53
(115.1)
3.46
(87.9)
2.24
(56.9)
1.93
(49)
1.22
(31)
33.08
(840.2)
Snowfall inches (cm) 12
(30)
9
(23)
9
(23)
3
(8)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
1
(3)
6
(15)
13
(33)
53
(135)
Source #1: weatherbase.com
Source #2: U.S. climate data

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 1,424
1870 3,953 177.6%
1880 5,103 29.1%
1890 5,321 4.3%
1900 6,843 28.6%
1910 7,844 14.6%
1920 13,722 74.9%
1930 20,621 50.3%
1940 28,312 37.3%
1950 29,885 5.6%
1960 40,663 36.1%
1970 53,766 32.2%
1980 57,890 7.7%
1990 70,745 22.2%
2000 85,806 21.3%
2010 106,769 24.4%
Est. 2015 112,225 5.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
2015 Estimate

According to the 2005–2007 American Community Survey conducted by the United States Census Bureau, there were 95,179 people, 39,203 households, and 23,831 families in the city.

There were 42,049 housing units. There were 39,203 households out of which 49.8% were married couples. About 31.6% had children under the age of 18. About 2.5% were made up of a male householder with no wife present and about 8.5% were made up of a female householder with no husband present. In addition, 39.2% of all households were non-family households and 32.6% of households were made up of householders living alone. And 8.7% of households were made up of someone living alone who was 65 years of age and over. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.04.

As of the 2005–2007 American Community Survey, the median household income was $57,957 and the median family income was $74,467. The per capita income was $30,977. About 5.9% of families and 8.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.5% of those under age 18 and 5.1% of those aged 65 or over.

As of the 2011-2015 American Community Survey, the median household income was $68,023. .

In terms of ancestry, the 2005–2007 American Community Survey found German Americans to be the largest single ethnic group in Rochester, making up 35.5% of the city's population. Norwegian Americans made up 15.9%, while Irish Americans contributed to 11.6% of the city's populace. English Americans made up 8.2% of the population and Swedish Americans were 5.0% of the city's population.

In the mid-1980s Rochester had fewer than 40 Hmong persons. The 1990 United States Census counted 200 Hmong persons in Rochester. This increased to 300 by 1998. Cathleen Jo Faruque, author of "Migration of Hmong to Rochester, Minnesota: Life in the Midwest," wrote in 2003 that there was "every indication that this trend will continue".

SkylineRochesterMNreflectected
Downtown Rochester reflected in the Zumbro River

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 106,769 people, 43,025 households, and 26,853 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,955.8 inhabitants per square mile (755.1/km2). There were 45,683 housing units at an average density of 836.8 per square mile (323.1/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 82.0% White, 6.3% African American, 0.3% Native American, 6.8% Asian (1.3% Indian, 1.2% Cambodian, 1.0% Chinese, 0.9% Vietnamese, 0.6% Laotian, 0.4% Korean, 0.4% Filipino, 0.2% Hmong, 0.1% Japanese, 0.1% Thai, 0.1% Pakistani), 2.0% from other races, and 2.6% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.2% of the population (3.7% Mexican, 1.3% Puerto Rican, 2.0% Other).

There were 43,025 households of which 31.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.4% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 3.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 37.6% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.04.

The median age in the city was 35 years. 24.8% of residents were under the age of 18; 8.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 29.4% were from 25 to 44; 24.8% were from 45 to 64; and 12.7% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.4% male and 51.6% female.

Arts and culture

A number of Rochester buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the historic Chateau Theatre, which in 2015 was bought by the city for preservation, and Avalon Music, formerly a hotel important in the local civil rights movement.

The Rochester Art Center is located downtown, just south of the Mayo Civic Center.

In the summer, every Thursday the city puts on "Thursdays on First" where local restaurants and artists can set up booths all along First Avenue downtown Rochester. There are a few stages where bands perform and provide entertainment. There are also a number of street musicians sitting on walls or standing on the sidewalks.

The oldest cultural arts institution in the community, Rochester Symphony Orchestra & Chorale was founded in 1919 as a professional performing arts organization called the Rochester Orchestra. Its earliest ensemble — the Lawler-Dodge Orchestra — was founded in 1912 as a volunteer orchestra, driven by Daisy Plummer, wife of world-famous Mayo Clinic physician, Dr. Henry Plummer, and directed by Harold Cooke. In early years, the Orchestra appeared in the former Chateau Theatre where they performed background music for silent movies.

Parks and recreation

RochesterMNbikepath2006-06-03
Rochester has a network of bike and pedestrian paths.

Rochester's park system is large, with more than 100 sites covering 5 square miles (13 km2). The city maintains 85 miles (137 km) of paved trails. The south terminus of the Douglas State Trail is built on an abandoned railroad grade.

Transportation

Rochester is served by three U.S. highways (U.S. 14, U.S. 52, and U.S. 63), and the southern edge of Rochester is skirted by Interstate Highway 90 and State Highway 30. Olmsted County Highway 22 is also a main highway in the city because it circles most of Rochester. A combination of skyways and subterranean walkways, subways, link most downtown buildings, which residents often use to avoid the extreme winter weather conditions. Public bus transit is run by Rochester Public Transit. Its operations are carried out by First Transit.

Rochester International Airport is located seven miles south of downtown. The airport is the second busiest commercial airport in Minnesota It has direct flights to Atlanta, Chicago, and Minneapolis.

Rochester has a shuttle service connecting to the Minneapolis St. Paul International airport by Rochester Shuttle Service and Go Rochester Direct.

Rochester has 3 taxi companies operating in town: Yellow Cab, Med City Taxi, and Rochester Taxi Inc.

A proposed Twin Cities-Rochester rail link has been the subject of a series of studies since the late 1980s. Rochester previously had service to Chicago to the southeast and to Rapid City, South Dakota to the west until the Chicago and North Western Railway's Rochester 400 streamliner ended service in 1963.

Major highways

  • US 14 – U.S. Route 14
  • US 52 – U.S. Route 52
  • US 63 – U.S. Route 63
  • I-90Interstate 90
  • MN 30 – Minnesota State Highway 30

Awards and rankings

The city had long been a fixture on Money magazine's "Best Places to Live" index, and was ranked number 67 on the 2006 list, and in the top 3, including number one multiple times, from 1993-1997.

Rochester ranked second in Quality of Life by American City Business Journal.

Rochester ranked sixth in Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine's 10 Best Cities for the Next Decade.

Golf Digest and Golf for Women both ranked Rochester as the fifth best golf market in the midwest in 2006.

In 2009, US News and World Report ranked Rochester in the Top Ten Best Places to Grow Up and ninth for Best Cities for job seeking retirees.

Rochester was ranked the 5th best city to retire in by the Milken Institute.

Images for kids


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