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St. Louis County, Minnesota facts for kids

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Saint Louis County
Saint Louis County Courthouse
Saint Louis County Courthouse
Map of Minnesota highlighting Saint Louis 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 February 20, 1855
Named for Saint Louis River
Seat Duluth
Largest city Duluth
 • Total 6,860 sq mi (17,800 km2)
 • Land 6,247 sq mi (16,180 km2)
 • Water 612 sq mi (1,590 km2)  8.9%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 32/sq mi (12/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 8th

Saint Louis County (abbreviated St. Louis County) is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 200,226. Its county seat is Duluth. It is the largest county by total area in Minnesota. It is largest in the United States east of the Mississippi River.

Saint Louis County is included in the Duluth, MN-WI Metropolitan statistical area. Major industries include pulpwood production and tourism. Surface mining of high-grade iron-ore remains an important part of the economy of the Iron Range. Parts of the Bois Forte and Fond du Lac Indian reservations are in the county.


St. Louis County was created on March 3, 1855 by acts of the territorial legislature. It was named for the St. Louis River, the largest river entering Lake Superior. It is a major river flowing through the county. As of 1860 the population was only 406. By 1870 it was 4,561. According to the state census, by 1895 the population had grown to 78,575.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,860 square miles (17,800 km2), of which 6,247 square miles (16,180 km2) is land and 612 square miles (1,590 km2) (8.9%) is water. By area, it is the largest county in Minnesota and the second largest in the United States east of the Mississippi River.

St. Louis County is known for its spectacular natural beauty. It includes Voyageurs National Park,Superior National Forest and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It is the gateway to the North Shore of Lake Superior. St. Louis county has 1,000 lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers and trout streams.

Saint Louis County has one of the most important fresh water ports in the United States, located in Duluth on Lake Superior. The county is part of the Iron Range, which has a significant taconite mining industry. Three-fourths of the iron ore in the United States comes from this area.

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