Washington County, Minnesota facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Washington County, Minnesota
Map
Map of Minnesota highlighting Washington County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the USA highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Statistics
Founded October 27, 1849
Seat Stillwater
Largest City Woodbury
Area
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

423 sq mi (1,096 km²)
384 sq mi (995 km²)
38 sq mi (98 km²), 9.1%
PopulationEst.
 - (2015)
 - Density

251,597
620/sq mi (239/km²)
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website: www.co.washington.mn.us
Named for: George Washington

Washington County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 238,136, making it the fifth-most populous county in Minnesota. Its county seat is Stillwater. The county was established in 1849.

Washington County is included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Native vegetation based on NRCS soils information
Bellwin Foundation Neighborhood Afton New Wiki Version
Soils of Bellwin Foundation area

History

StCroixAboveAfton
A view of the forested St. Croix River valley, looking south towards Afton

Washington County was one of the nine original counties created when the Minnesota Territory was organized in 1849. The county was officially established October 27, 1849, named after George Washington.

Early development in the area was on the St. Croix River, which now forms the boundary with Wisconsin on the county's eastern side. The river not only provided a means of transportation to move people upstream, but also move logs downstream. The area was heavily forested and the early economy was dependent on the logging and lumber industries.

The first settlement and seat was named Dacotah, and was located as early as 1838 in what is now northern Stillwater, where Brown's Creek flows into the St. Croix River. The creek's name is from the founder of this settlement, Joseph Renshaw Brown. However, a sawmill was built at Marine-on-St.-Croix in 1839, and another was built in the current location of downtown Stillwater in 1844. The success of these soon attracted the settlers from Dacotah, and Stillwater became the county seat in 1846.

During this early period, the region was part of the Wisconsin Territory, but Wisconsin became a state in 1848. Brown and other leaders called together settlers in this now-ungoverned territory to what has become known as the "Stillwater Convention" on August 26, 1848. Held in John McKusick’s store, the settlers drafted a Memorial to Congress that a new territory be created with the name “Minnesota,” and elected Henry Hastings Sibley to deliver this citizen’s petition to the U.S. Congress. Because of this convention, Stillwater calls itself the “Birthplace of Minnesota.”

After officially becoming a territory, growth continued, with the first Sheriff of Washington County appointed by Governor Alexander Ramsey in 1849, and the county's school district founded in 1850.

After the forests were depleted, the economy of Washington County became primarily agricultural. With the growth of neighboring Ramsey County and St. Paul, some of Washington County developed based on tourism and recreation, as with Mahtomedi and Landfall. Late in the 20th century, the population greatly increased with the suburban expansion of St. Paul.

Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 423 square miles (1,100 km2), of which 384 square miles (990 km2) is land and 38 square miles (98 km2) (9.1%) is water. It is the fourth-smallest county in Minnesota by land area and fifth-smallest by total area.

Major highways

  • I-35.svg Interstate 35
  • I-94.svg Interstate 94
  • I-494.svg Interstate 494
  • I-694.svg Interstate 694
  • US 8.svg US Highway 8
  • US 10.svg US Highway 10
  • US 12.svg US Highway 12
  • US 61.svg US Highway 61
  • MN-36.svg Minnesota State Highway 36
  • MN-95.svg Minnesota State Highway 95
  • MN-96.svg Minnesota State Highway 96
  • MN-97.svg Minnesota State Highway 97
  • MN-120.svg Minnesota State Highway 120
  • MN-244.svg Minnesota State Highway 244
  • List of county roads

Adjacent counties

National protected areas

  • Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (part)
  • Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway (part)

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,056
1860 6,123 479.8%
1870 11,809 92.9%
1880 19,563 65.7%
1890 25,992 32.9%
1900 27,808 7.0%
1910 26,013 −6.5%
1920 23,761 −8.7%
1930 24,753 4.2%
1940 26,430 6.8%
1950 34,544 30.7%
1960 52,432 51.8%
1970 83,003 58.3%
1980 113,571 36.8%
1990 145,896 28.5%
2000 201,130 37.9%
2010 238,136 18.4%
Est. 2015 251,597 5.7%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015
USA Washington County, Minnesota age pyramid
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data

2010

The ethnic makeup of the country, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, was the following:

  • 87.77% White
  • 3.60% Black
  • 0.49% Native American
  • 5.07% Asian
  • >0.01% Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
  • 2.10% Two or more races
  • 0.97% Other races
  • 3.41% Hispanic or Latino (of any race)

As of the census of 2010, there were 238,136 people, 87,446 households, and 64,299 families residing in the county. The population density was 607 people per square mile (235/km²). There were 87,446 housing units at an average density of 223 per square mile (86/km²). 39.4% were of German, 14.4% Irish, 13.0% Norwegian, and 9.9% Swedish ancestry. There were 87,446 households out of which 38.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 60.6% were married couples living together, 9.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.5% were non-families. 21.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the county, the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 6.2% from 18 to 24, 32.90% from 25 to 44, 28.7% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 98.02 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.03 males. The median income for a household in the county was $79,735, and the median income for a family was $92,497. The per capita income for the county was $36,786. About 5.2% of the population was below the poverty line.

According to the 2007-2011 American Community Survey, of the county's population 25 years and over, 1.4% had less than 9th grade education, 2.8% held 9th to 12th grade with no diploma, 23.6% had High school graduate or equivalent, 22.2% held Some college with no degree, 27.0% had bachelor's degree, and 13.0% earned Graduate or professional degree.

2000

As of the census of 2000, there were 201,130 people, 71,462 households, and 54,668 families residing in the county. The population density was 514 people per square mile (198/km²). There were 73,635 housing units at an average density of 188 per square mile (73/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 93.63% White, 1.83% Black or African American, 0.39% Native American, 2.14% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.60% from other races, and 1.37% from two or more races. 1.94% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 32.7% were of German, 11.1% Norwegian, 9.8% Irish and 7.5% Swedish ancestry.

There were 71,462 households out of which 41.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.80% were married couples living together, 8.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.50% were non-families. 18.70% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.77 and the average family size was 3.19.

In the county, the population was spread out with 29.40% under the age of 18, 6.80% from 18 to 24, 32.90% from 25 to 44, 23.20% from 45 to 64, and 7.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 98.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $66,305, and the median income for a family was $74,576 (these figures had risen to $78,067 and $90,867 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $49,815 versus $33,804 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,148. About 2.00% of families and 2.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.50% of those under age 18 and 4.10% of those age 65 or over.

Points of interest

  • Afton State Park
  • Afton Alps Ski Area
  • Gateway State Trail
  • William O'Brien State Park
    Soils of Wm OBrien State Park

Regional (county) parks

  • Big Marine Park Reserve
  • Cottage Grove Ravine Regional Park
  • Lake Elmo Park Reserve
  • Pine Point Park
  • Point Douglas Park
  • St. Croix Bluffs Regional Park
  • Square Lake County Park

Communities

Wash Co Courthouse 2
Washington County Courthouse

Cities

Townships

  • Baytown
  • Denmark
  • Grey Cloud Island
  • May
  • Stillwater
  • West Lakeland

Unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

Records

Washington County records are available for research use. They include school records, Welfare Board records, County Auditor records, Probate Court files, Stillwater Municipal Court files, birth and death records, marriage, naturalization, deed records, and agency histories.


Washington County, Minnesota Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.