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Winona County, Minnesota facts for kids

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Winona County
Winona County Courthouse
Winona County Courthouse
Map of Minnesota highlighting Winona 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 23, 1854
Named for Winona, a female cousin of Wabasha, who was the last of three successive chiefs of the Mississippi band of Dakota with that name.
Seat Winona
Largest city Winona
 • Total 642 sq mi (1,660 km2)
 • Land 626 sq mi (1,620 km2)
 • Water 15 sq mi (40 km2)  2.4%%
 • Estimate 
 • Density 82/sq mi (32/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district 1st

Winona County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 51,461. Its county seat is Winona.

Winona County comprises the Winona, MN Micropolitan Statistical Area.


The name of the county is said to derive from a Dakota legend regarding a woman, referred to as Winona, who was betrothed to marry a warrior whom she did not love. Rather than marry him, she is said to have leapt to her death from a rock now called "Maiden's Rock" on Lake Pepin. This legend is colloquially referred to as the Winona legend.

Maiden Rock at Lake Pepin
Maiden Rock, from which legend has it the Dakota maiden named Winona leapt to her death.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 642 square miles (1,660 km2), of which 626 square miles (1,620 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (2.4%) is water.

Native vegetation based on NRCS soils information

Bodies of water

  • Airport Lake - Winona
  • Bartlet Lake - Winona
  • Bollers Lake - Goodview
  • Hunters Lake - Winona
  • Lake Goodview - Goodview
  • Lake Winona - Winona
  • Rileys Lake - vast majority in Winona, west edge in Goodview
  • Mississippi River - forms county's eastern border with Wisconsin
  • Whitewater River - flows northeast from the western side of the county

Major highways

  • I-90.svg Interstate 90
  • US 14.svg U.S. Highway 14
  • US 61.svg U.S. Highway 61
  • MN-43.svg Minnesota State Highway 43
  • MN-74.svg Minnesota State Highway 74
  • MN-76.svg Minnesota State Highway 76
  • MN-248.svg Minnesota State Highway 248

Public airports

  • Winona Municipal Airport - Max Conrad Field

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 9,208
1870 22,319 142.4%
1880 27,107 21.5%
1890 33,797 24.7%
1900 35,686 5.6%
1910 33,398 −6.4%
1920 33,653 0.8%
1930 35,144 4.4%
1940 37,795 7.5%
1950 39,841 5.4%
1960 40,937 2.8%
1970 44,409 8.5%
1980 46,256 4.2%
1990 47,828 3.4%
2000 49,985 4.5%
2010 51,461 3.0%
Est. 2015 50,885 −1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
1790-1960 1900-1990
1990-2000 2010-2015
USA Winona County, Minnesota age pyramid
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data

As of the census of 2000, there were 49,985 people, 18,744 households, and 11,696 families residing in the county. The population density was 80 people per square mile (31/km²). There were 19,551 housing units at an average density of 31 per square mile (12/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.80% White, 0.77% Black or African American, 0.19% Native American, 1.87% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.53% from other races, and 0.81% from two or more races. 1.37% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 41.8% were of German, 13.9% Norwegian, 9.9% Polish and 7.4% Irish ancestry.

There were 18,744 households out of which 30.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.30% were married couples living together, 7.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.60% were non-families. 28.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.46 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the county, the population was spread out with 22.80% under the age of 18, 18.60% from 18 to 24, 25.10% from 25 to 44, 20.50% from 45 to 64, and 13.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 95.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $38,700, and the median income for a family was $49,845. Males had a median income of $31,926 versus $23,406 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,077. About 5.60% of families and 12.00% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.80% of those under age 18 and 9.30% of those age 65 or over.

In 2016, Winona county planning commissioners voted to approve new permits for existing commercial dog breeding operations, also known as "puppy mills", despite overwhelming evidence of animal cruelty and neglect. Due to the high number of kennels in the county, Winona county has earned the dubious title "Puppy Mill Capital of Minnesota".

Micropolitan Statistical Area

See also: List of metropolitan areas of the United States

The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has designated Winona County as the Winona, MN Micropolitan Statistical Area (µSA). The OMB designated Winona, Minnesota as the principal city of the µSA. The United States Census Bureau ranked the µSA as the 582nd most populous Core Based Statistical Area of the United States as of July 1, 2012.




  • Dresbach
  • Elba
  • Fremont
  • Hart
  • Hillsdale
  • Homer
  • Mount Vernon
  • New Hartford
  • Norton
  • Pleasant Hill
  • Richmond
  • Rollingstone
  • Saratoga
  • St. Charles
  • Utica
  • Warren
  • Whitewater
  • Wilson
  • Wiscoy

Census-designated place

Other unincorporated communities

Ghost towns

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