Hennepin County, Minnesota

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Hennepin County, Minnesota
Hennepin County Government Center 5.jpg
The Hennepin County Government Center, located in the county seat of Minneapolis. Its stylized letter "H" shape serves as the logo for Hennepin County.
Seal of Hennepin County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Hennepin County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded March 6, 1852[1]
Named for Louis Hennepin
Seat Minneapolis
Largest city Minneapolis
 • Total 606.38 sq mi (1,571 km2)
 • Land 556.62 sq mi (1,442 km2)
 • Water 49.77 sq mi (129 km2), 8.21%
Population (Est.)
 • (2012) 1,184,576
 • Density 2,048/sq mi (774/km²)
Congressional districts 3rd, 5th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.hennepin.us

Hennepin County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census the population was 1,152,425.[2] It is the most populous county in Minnesota and the 34th-most populous county in the United States; more than one in five Minnesotans live in Hennepin County. Its county seat is Minneapolis,[3] the most populous city in the state. The county is named in honor of the 17th-century explorer Father Louis Hennepin.[4]

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

The center of population of Minnesota is located in Hennepin County, in the city of Rogers.[5]


Hennepin County was created in 1852 by the Minnesota Territorial Legislature. Father Louis Hennepin's name was chosen because he originally named St. Anthony Falls and recorded some of the earliest accounts of the area for the Western world. Hennepin County's early history is closely linked to the establishment of the cities of Minneapolis and St. Anthony.[6]


According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 606.38 square miles (1,570.5 km2), of which 556.62 square miles (1,441.6 km2) (or 91.79%) is land and 49.77 square miles (128.9 km2) (or 8.21%) is water.[7] Hennepin is one of 17 Minnesota counties with more savanna soils than either prairie or forest soils, and is one of only two Minnesota counties with more than 75 % of its area in savanna soils (the other is Wright County).[8] Native vegetation based on NRCS soils information shows:Hennepin Co Native Vegetation Pie Chart New Wiki Version.pdf The highest waterfall on the Mississippi River, the Saint Anthony Falls, discovered by Louis Hennepin, is in Hennepin County next to downtown Minneapolis, but in the 19th century, the falls were converted to a series of dams. Barges and boats now pass through locks to move between the parts of the river above and below the dams.

Major highways[edit]

Hennepin County Road 101

Hennepin County Road 62 See County roads in Hennepin County, Minnesota for the county's secondary roadways.

Adjacent counties[edit]

National protected areas[edit]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 12,849
1870 31,566 145.7%
1880 67,013 112.3%
1890 185,294 176.5%
1900 228,340 23.2%
1910 333,480 46.0%
1920 415,419 24.6%
1930 517,785 24.6%
1940 568,899 9.9%
1950 676,579 18.9%
1960 842,854 24.6%
1970 960,080 13.9%
1980 941,411 −1.9%
1990 1,032,431 9.7%
2000 1,116,200 8.1%
2010 1,152,425 3.2%
Est. 2012 1,184,576 2.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[9]
2012 Estimate[2]
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data
Located across the street from the Government Center, the Hennepin County Public Safety Facility serves as the county jail

As of the census of 2000,[10] there were 1,116,200 people, 456,129 households, and 267,291 families residing in the county. The population density was 774/km² (2,005/mi²). There were 468,824 housing units at an average density of 325/km² (842/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 80.53% White, 8.95% Black or African American, 1.00% Native American, 4.80% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 2.06% from other races, and 2.60% from two or more races. 4.07% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 22.8% were of German, 12.0% Norwegian, 7.6% Irish and 7.2% Swedish ancestry.

There were 456,129 households out of which 28.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.30% were married couples living together, 9.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.40% were non-families. 31.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.07.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.00% under the age of 18, 9.70% from 18 to 24, 33.70% from 25 to 44, 21.70% from 45 to 64, and 11.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 97.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $51,711, and the median income for a family was $65,985 (these figures had risen to $60,115 and $79,970 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $42,466 versus $32,400 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,789. About 5.00% of families and 8.30% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.50% of those under age 18 and 5.90% of those age 65 or over.

Hennepin County is the wealthiest county in the state of Minnesota and one of the 100 Highest-income counties in the United States.

Foreign languages spoken by major immigrant groups in Hennepin County include Arabic, Hmong, Khmer, Lao, Russian, Somali, Spanish, and Vietnamese.[11]

Law and government[edit]

Presidential Election Results 1960–2012[12]
Year Democratic Republican
2012 62.34% 423,982 35.30% 240,073
2008 63.42% 420,958 34.81% 231,054
2004 59.33% 383,841 39.43% 255,133
2000 53.60% 307,599 39.32% 225,657
1996 54.4% 285,126 33.2% 173,887
1992 47.5% 278,648 30.6% 179,581
1988 54.4% 292,909 44.6% 240,209
1984 51.5% 272,401 48.0% 253,921
1980 47.4% 239,592 38.6% 194,898
1976 53.2% 257,380 43.8% 211,892
1972 46.5% 205,943 51.6% 228,951
1968 54.1% 220,078 41.8% 170,002
1964 60.8% 241,020 39.0% 154,736
1960 48.5% 188,250 51.3% 198,992

Like all counties in Minnesota, Hennepin is governed by an elected and nonpartisan board of commissioners. In Minnesota, county commissions usually have five members, but Hennepin, Ramsey, Dakota, Anoka and St Louis counties have seven members. Each commissioner represents a district of approximately equal population. In Hennepin the county commission appoints the medical examiner, county auditor-treasurer and county recorder. The sheriff and county attorney are also elected on a nonpartisan ticket. The county government's headquarters are in downtown Minneapolis in the Hennepin County Government Center. The county oversees the Hennepin County Library system (which merged with the Minneapolis Public Library system in 2008), and Hennepin County Medical Center.

The county commission elects a chair who presides at meetings. Commissioners as of May 14, 2014

District Commissioner In office since Current term expires in January
1st Mike Opat (chair) 1993 2017
2nd Linda Higgins 2012 2015
3rd Marion Greene 2014 2015
4th Peter McLaughlin 1991 2015
5th Randy Johnson 1979 2017
6th Jan Callison (vice chair) 2009 2017
7th Jeff Johnson 2009 2017

Key staff[edit]

Hennepin County's normal operations are coordinated by the County Administrator David Hough, Assistant County Administrator for Operations Judy Regenscheid, Assistant County Administrator for Human Services and Public Health Rex A. Holzemer, Assistant County Administrator for Health Jennifer DeCubellis, Assistant County Administrator for Public Works Debra R. Brisk, and Assistant County Administrator for Public Safety Mark Thompson. Under Administrator Hough's leadership, the number senior management positions in the county has grown by 40%.

Cities and towns[edit]

Cities Unorganized

† While mostly in Hennepin County, the city extends beyond the county border.
‡ Located in another county, but a part of the city extends into Hennepin County.


Hennepin County has major economic centers in downtown Minneapolis and Bloomington.

Target Field[edit]

In August 2006, the Board voted 4–3 to levy a 0.15% sales tax within the county to fund the majority of the cost of a baseball stadium for the Minnesota Twins. Legislation passed by the Minnesota Legislature in the waning hours of the 2005-2006 session, and signed by Governor Tim Pawlenty, authorized the county to levy the tax without a voter referendum. It also created the Minnesota Ballpark Authority which constructed and manages the stadium on behalf of the county. The tax will be in effect for 30 years, with clauses allowing it to be increased by the board of commissioners. The stadium, Target Field, opened in April 2010.


Colleges and universities in the county include:


The Hennepin History Museum, established in 1957, provides exhibits related to the history of the county. Records of Hennepin County are available for research use. They include school records, district and municipal court files, county attorney files, Hennepin County Sheriff records, birth and death records, marriage records, tax lists, and agency history records.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved March 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 155. 
  5. ^ Population and Population Centers by State: 2000
  6. ^ JoEllen Haugo and Mary Jo Laakso (2001). "History of Minneapolis". Minneapolis Public Library. Retrieved September 7, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Census 2010 Gazetteer Files". Retrieved July 2, 2013. 
  8. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 49-52. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved September 1, 2013. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^ "Welcome Languages." Hennepin County Public Library. Retrieved on July 8, 2010.
  12. ^ Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved on 2013-08-16.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°00′N 93°28′W / 45.00°N 93.47°W / 45.00; -93.47