In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Carlton have ranged from a low of 1 °F (−17 °C) in January to a high of 80 °F (27 °C) in July, although a record low of −45 °F (−43 °C) was recorded in January 1912 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 0.87 inches (22 mm) in February to 4.34 inches (110 mm) in September.
There were 12,064 households out of which 32.60% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.50% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.30% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.50 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the county the population was spread out with 25.40% under the age of 18, 7.70% from 18 to 24, 28.40% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 15.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 102.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $40,021, and the median income for a family was $48,406. Males had a median income of $38,788 versus $25,555 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,073. About 5.40% of families and 7.90% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.20% of those under age 18 and 9.30% of those age 65 or over.