Washington County, Minnesota facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
|Founded||October 27, 1849|
|Named for||George Washington|
|• Total||423 sq mi (1,100 km2)|
|• Land||384 sq mi (990 km2)|
|• Water||38 sq mi (100 km2) 9.1%%|
| • Estimate
|• Density||696.8/sq mi (269.0/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 (Central)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−5 (CDT)|
|Congressional districts||2nd, 4th, 6th|
Washington County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 267,568, making it the fifth-most populous county in Minnesota. Its county seat is Stillwater. The largest city in the county is Woodbury, the eighth-largest city in Minnesota and the fourth-largest Twin Cities suburb.
Washington County is included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area.
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.
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.
- Chisago County (north)
- Polk County, Wisconsin (northeast)
- St. Croix County, Wisconsin (east)
- Pierce County, Wisconsin (southeast)
- Dakota County (southwest)
- Ramsey County (west)
- Anoka County (northwest)
National protected areas
- Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (part)
- Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway (part)
|U.S. Decennial Census
The ethnic makeup of the country, according to the 2010 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 in the county. The population density was 620/sqmi (239/km2). There were 87,446 housing units at an average density of 228/sqmi (87.9/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.
The county population contained 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.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 201,130 people, 71,462 households, and 54,668 families in the county. The population density was 524/sqmi (202/km2). There were 73,635 housing units at an average density of 192/sqmi (74.0/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.
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.
The county population contained 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
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
- Birchwood Village
- Cottage Grove
- Forest Lake
- Hastings (partly in Dakota County)
- Lake Elmo
- Lake St. Croix Beach
- Lakeland Shores
- Marine on St. Croix
- Oak Park Heights
- Pine Springs
- St. Marys Point
- St. Paul Park
- Stillwater (county seat)
- White Bear Lake (partly in Ramsey County)
- Grey Cloud Island
- West Lakeland
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.
According to the County's 2019 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, the top employers in the county are:
|#||Employer||# of Employees|
|1||Andersen Corporation (Bayport)||3,022|
|2||Independent School District 833||2,605|
|3||Woodwinds Healtheast Campus||1,429|
|4||Washington County Government||1,290|
|6||Independent School District 834||1,143|
|8||Independent School District 831||1,074|
|10||Lakeview Memorial Hospital (Stillwater)||868|
Images for kids
|Mary the Jewess|