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St. Cloud
Buildings on 5th Avenue in downtown in 2008
Buildings on 5th Avenue in downtown in 2008
"The Granite City"
Location within Stearns, Benton, and Sherburne Counties
Location within Stearns, Benton, and Sherburne Counties
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Country United States
State Minnesota
Counties Stearns, Benton, Sherburne
Founded 1856
 • City 41.05 sq mi (106.33 km2)
 • Land 40.00 sq mi (103.61 km2)
 • Water 1.05 sq mi (2.72 km2)
1,030 ft (314 m)
 • City 65,842
 • Estimate 
 • Rank US: 525th MN: 10th
 • Density 1,711.38/sq mi (660.77/km2)
 • Urban
110,621 (US: 281st)
 • Metro
194,418 (US: 222nd)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
56301, 56302, 56303, 56304, 56393, 56397, 56398
Area code(s) 320
FIPS code 27-56896
GNIS feature ID 2396483
Red River cart in Saint Cloud, Minnesota
Red River cart at Saint Cloud, 1887
Downtown Saint Cloud, 2007

St. Cloud is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota and the largest population center in the state's central region. Its population is 68,462 according to the 2019 US census estimates, making it Minnesota's tenth largest city. St. Cloud is the county seat of Stearns County and was named after the city of Saint-Cloud, France (in Île-de-France, near Paris), which was named after the 6th-century French monk Clodoald.

Though mostly in Stearns County, St. Cloud also extends into Benton and Sherburne counties, and straddles the Mississippi River. It is the center of contiguous urban area, with Waite Park, Sauk Rapids, Sartell, St. Joseph, Rockville, and St. Augusta directly bordering the city, and Foley, Rice, Kimball, Clearwater, Clear Lake, and Cold Spring nearby. The St. Cloud metropolitan area had a population of 202,996 at the 2020 census. It has been listed as the fifth-largest metro with a presence in Minnesota, behind Minneapolis–St. Paul, Duluth–Superior, Fargo-Moorhead, and Rochester. But the entire St. Cloud area is entirely in Minnesota, while most of Fargo-Moorhead's population is in North Dakota and Superior, Wisconsin, contributes significant population to the Duluth area.

St. Cloud is 65 miles (105 km) northwest of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis–St. Paul along Interstate 94, U.S. Highway 52 (conjoined with I-94), U.S. Highway 10, Minnesota State Highway 15, and Minnesota State Highway 23. The St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) is made up of Stearns and Benton Counties. The city was included in a newly defined Minneapolis–St. Paul–St. Cloud Combined Statistical Area (CSA) in 2000. St. Cloud as a whole has never been part of the 13-county MSA comprising Minneapolis, St. Paul, Bloomington and parts of western Wisconsin.

St. Cloud State University, Minnesota's third-largest public university, is located between the downtown area and the Beaver Islands, which form a maze for a two-mile stretch of the Mississippi. The approximately 30 undeveloped islands are a popular destination for kayak and canoe enthusiasts and are part of a state-designated 12-mile stretch of wild and scenic river.

St. Cloud owns and operates a hydroelectric dam on the Mississippi, the state's largest city-owned hydro facility, that can produce almost nine megawatts of electricity, about 10% of the total electricity generated by 11 Mississippi hydro dams in Minnesota.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1870 2,161
1880 2,462 13.9%
1890 7,686 212.2%
1900 8,663 12.7%
1910 10,600 22.4%
1920 15,873 49.7%
1930 21,000 32.3%
1940 24,173 15.1%
1950 28,410 17.5%
1960 32,415 14.1%
1970 39,691 22.4%
1980 42,566 7.2%
1990 48,812 14.7%
2000 59,108 21.1%
2010 65,842 11.4%
2019 (est.) 68,462 4.0%
U.S. Decennial Census
2018 Estimate

2020 census

As of the 2020 census, there were 68,881 people and 26,374 households residing in the city. The population density was 1,644.5 inhabitants per square mile (634.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 77.1% White, 14.6% African American, 0.6% Native American, 3.4% Asian, and 3.4% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.2% of the population.

St. Cloud is the principal city of the St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area, a metropolitan area that covers Sherburne, Benton and Stearns counties and had a combined population of 202,996 at the 2020 census, an increase of 6.67% since 2010.

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 65,842 people, 25,439 households, and 13,348 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,644.4 inhabitants per square mile (634.9/km2). There were 27,338 housing units at an average density of 682.8 per square mile (263.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.6% White, 7.8% African American, 0.7% Native American, 3.7% Asian, 0.8% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.4% of the population.

There were 25,439 households, of which 25.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 37.6% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.5% had a male householder with no wife present, and 47.5% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.95.

The median age in the city was 28.8 years. 18.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 23.9% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 25.5% were from 25 to 44; 21.5% were from 45 to 64; and 10.3% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 51.5% male and 48.5% female.

Average income

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, as of May 2020 the annual mean wage for 99,600 employees across all occupations in St. Cloud was $50,800. The median hourly wage was $24.42.


The city is home to:

  • the St. Cloud State University Division I ice hockey teams. Men's Husky Hockey competes in the National Collegiate Hockey Conference. Women's Husky Hockey competes in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association. The men's team has made nine NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Championship appearances, notably advancing to the 2013 Frozen Four in Pittsburgh, Penn. The 2012-13 team's co-captain and fifth-year forward, Drew LeBlanc, was named WCHA Player of the Year and earned numerous national honors, including the Hobey Baker Award, the most prestigious award in men's college hockey. The 2013 team also earned a share of the WCHA league title and its symbol, the century-old MacNaughton Cup. The Huskies play in the 5,763-seat Herb Brooks National Hockey Center, which underwent a $18 million renovation and expansion in 2012–13.
  • the St. Cloud Norsemen, a Tier II junior hockey team at the Municipal Athletic Complex.
  • the Granite City Lumberjacks, a Tier III junior hockey team in nearby Sauk Rapids.
  • the St. Cloud Rox (formerly the River Bats) of the Northwoods League, a collegiate summer baseball league. The Rox play at Joe Faber Field in St. Cloud and were founded in 2012.
  • the Saint Cloud Area Roller Dolls, a flat-track roller derby league founded in 2011.
  • the Saint Cloud River Runners club, who put on the Lake Wobegon Trail Marathon, an annual event in central Minnesota. The race is used as a Boston-qualifying event for runners who want a straight, quiet, scenic, mostly flat route in the early spring.


The city of St. Cloud is part of the St. Cloud Area School District, which serves St. Cloud, St. Augusta, Clearwater, Waite Park, St. Joseph, Haven Township, and parts of Sauk Rapids. The district has eight elementary schools, a new K-8 school in St. Joseph, and two major public high schools, St. Cloud Technical High School and St. Cloud Apollo High School. St. Cloud also has a major private high school, Cathedral High School. Both public high schools offer a broad selection of Advanced Placement courses and rank high in the state in the number of AP tests taken and of test takers. St. Cloud Tech opened in 1917 across from a city park and Lake George. In 2019, it moved to a new 69-acre, 104-million facility on the southwest edge of the city. The historic 1917 building has been acquired for use by city government. Apollo opened in 1970 and serves the expanding north side of the city. Other high schools and secondary schools that serve the city of St. Cloud include St. Robert Bellarmine's Academy, St. Cloud Christian School, Immaculate Conception Academy, St. John's Preparatory School, St. Cloud Alternative Learning Center, and charter school STRIDE Academy, which is K-8. The nearby cities of Sauk Rapids and Sartell also have their own school districts and high schools, bringing the number of public high schools in the metropolitan area to four.


St. Cloud is home to several higher education institutions, including Minnesota's third-largest university, St. Cloud State University. St. Cloud State's fall 2020 enrollment was 12,607, in a year affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

St. Cloud's other post-secondary institutions and campuses include St. Cloud Technical and Community College (SCTCC) and Rasmussen College. Neighboring Sartell is home to a campus of the Duluth-based College of St. Scholastica, and the College of St. Benedict and St. John's University are in neighboring St. Joseph and nearby Collegeville, respectively.



St. Cloud is a regional transportation hub within Minnesota. Major roadways including Interstate Highway 94, U.S. Highway 10, and Minnesota State Highways 15 and 23 pass through the city.

Bus service within the city and to neighboring Sartell, Sauk Rapids, and Waite Park is offered through St. Cloud Metro Bus, which was recognized in 2007 as the best transit system of its size in North America. An innovative system gives transit buses a slight advantage at stoplights in order to improve efficiency and on-time performance. The Metro Bus Transit Center in the downtown area is also shared with Jefferson Lines, providing national bus service.

Bus service links downtown St. Cloud and St. Cloud State University with the western terminus of the Northstar Commuter Rail line in Big Lake, by the way of Northstar Link Commuter Bus, which in turn links to the Metro Transit bus and light rail system at Target Field Station in downtown Minneapolis.

Several rail lines run through the city, which is a stop on Amtrak's Empire Builder passenger rail line.

St. Cloud is home to St. Cloud Regional Airport, from which daily connecting flights to Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport were made on Delta Connection, operated by Mesaba Airlines, until January 1, 2010, when the service was discontinued. On December 15, 2012, Allegiant Air began nonstop flights between St. Cloud Regional Airport and Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, on McDonnell Douglas MD-80 aircraft.

Major highways

  • I-94.svg Interstate 94
  • US 10.svg U.S. Highway 10
  • MN-15.svg Minnesota State Highway 15
  • MN-23.svg Minnesota State Highway 23

Notable people

  • Halima Aden, model and first Somali-American to compete for Miss Minnesota; worked alongside Gigi Hadid, and modeled for Kanye West's fashion brand Yeezy Season 5
  • Mathew Ahmann, civil rights activist
  • Tom Burgmeier, Major League Baseball player; grew up in St. Cloud and attended Cathedral High School
  • Loren W. Collins, Minnesota jurist and legislator; mayor of St. Cloud
  • David Durenberger, Former United States Senator from Minnesota
  • Jim Eisenreich, Major League Baseball player for 1997 World Series champion Florida Marlins
  • Janice Ettle, five-time competitor at the woman's US Olympic Marathon Trials, two-time winner of Grandma's Marathon and winner of the 1985 Twin Cities Marathon
  • Howard M. Fish, retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant general, former assistant vice chief of staff of Air Force
  • Charles A. Gilman, ninth Lieutenant Governor of Minnesota
  • Janey Gohl, 1978 Miss Minnesota USA
  • Lawrence M. Hall, longest-serving Speaker of the Minnesota House of Representatives
  • Jack I. Kleinbaum, businessman, St. Cloud City Council member, and Minnesota state legislator
  • Dave Kleis, mayor of St. Cloud
  • Jim Knoblach, Republican member of the Minnesota House of Representatives
  • Franklin J. Knoll, Minnesota state legislator, lawyer, and judge
  • June Marlowe, actress notable for playing Miss Crabtree in short-film series Our Gang
  • Stephen Miller, abolitionist, Civil War veteran, Republican politician, fourth Governor of Minnesota
  • Edgar G. Mills, Wisconsin State Assemblyman and Senator
  • William P. Murphy, former Associate Justice of Minnesota Supreme Court
  • Jim Pehler, Minnesota state legislator
  • Tom Petters, former CEO and chairman of Petters Group Worldwide, convicted for involvement in a $3.65 billion Ponzi scheme
  • Reynold Philipsek, gypsy jazz guitarist
  • Alise Willoughby, BMX racer and Olympic silver medalist.
  • Michael Sauer, professional ice hockey player for New York Rangers
  • Anne Schleper, women's hockey Olympic silver medalist, 2014
  • Nate Schmidt, professional ice hockey player for NHL's Vegas Golden Knights, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets
  • Stephen Sommers, film director and alumnus of Cathedral High School and St. John's University
  • Charles Thomas Stearns, politician
  • Jane Swisshelm, newspaper owner, editor and abolitionist
  • Craig Thomas, television writer and producer, co-creator of How I Met Your Mother
  • Gene Waldorf, electrical engineer and politician
  • Nate Wolters, professional basketball player
  • Gig Young, Academy Award-winning actor, film and television star; born in St. Cloud
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