Litchfield is among the largest of a series of "whistle stop" towns built along a railway extending west from Minneapolis in the nineteenth century. U.S. Route 12 follows the rail route, which is still active.
As of the census of 2010, there were 6,726 people, 2,747 households, and 1,749 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,518.3 inhabitants per square mile (586.2 /km2). There were 2,930 housing units at an average density of 661.4 per square mile (255.4 /km2). The racial makeup of the city was 95.8% White, 0.5% African American, 0.1% Native American, 0.1% Asian, 2.6% from other races, and 0.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.2% of the population.
There were 2,747 households of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 10.7% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 36.3% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 2.98.
The median age in the city was 39.6 years. 24.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 7.3% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 23.9% were from 25 to 44; 25.6% were from 45 to 64; and 18.4% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.
Ole Halverson Ness - Founded the first Lutheran church (Ness Lutheran Church) and school in Meeker County. Ole paid the first teacher, John Blackwell to teach his children and any others that wanted to attend school in his home. The town of Litchfield was originally named Ripley after Dr. Ripley, but was then changed to "Ness" in honor of Ole Halverson Ness, Esq. Buried the first five victims of the U.S. Dakota War on the Ness Lutheran Church grounds. Having been a six year veteran of the Norwegian Army, Ole supervised the construction of the Forest City Stockade which provided shelter to 240 settlers during the U.S. Dakota War.
Gale Sondergaard – (1899–1985) Academy Award winning actress 1936 (first woman to win a best supporting actress award)
Hester Sondergaard – (1903–1994) Starred in Hollywood films Naked City, Seeds of Freedom and Jigsaw. Sister of Gale Sondergaard.
Mary Angell Lamb Tacot – (XXXX–1990) Broadway star (stage name Mary Angell) who traveled with a theater company in 1924.
William A. Nolen – (1928-1986) Surgeon and Author that wrote a syndicated medical advice column that appeared in McCall's magazine for many years. Appeared multiple times on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show.
Dorothea S. Kopplin – Author of "Something To Live By", teacher, and 1949 Minnesota Mother of the Year. Owner of the "Rosemary Home", her last wish was to provide housing to nursing students and business women in memory of her daughter Rosemary who died at the age of six from leukemia.
Michael Shaw - Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, Mid-America Music Hall of Fame, first open heart surgery survivor, operation by Drs. Lillihei and Lewis.
Terry Shaw - Minnesota Music Hall of Fame and author of Terry Tales and Terry Tales 2 (books on the history of Litchfield).
Anne Hanson - First living woman in the history of the 42nd Infantry Division to receive a Purple Heart.
Eddie "King" Roeser - Founding member, Bass Guitar & Vocals, Original member of Urge Overkill, an alternative rock band. Their cover of Neil Diamond's song "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" appeared prominently in the movie Pulp Fiction, and became a hit in 1994. Urge Overkill
Wally Pikal - Born in 1927. Entertainer and musician. MN Music Hall of Fame Inductee, resident of Litchfield, MN for more than 30 years. During his career, Pikal has been on The Tonight Show, The Mike Douglas Show and Bozo the Clown. Played with such notables as Frank Sinatra Jr, Conway Twitty, and Victor Borge.
Dan Sperry - Magician, illusionist, anti-conjuror. Born in August 1985, his signature style of magic is called "Shock Illusion" where he performs cutting edge magic incorporating razor blades, needles; broken glass, voodoo and industrial shredders.
Joe Paddock - Poet, oral historian and environmental writer. His books include: Soil and Survival, Handful of Thunder: A Prairie Cycle, A Sort of Honey, Boar's Dance, Keeper of the Wild, Earth Tongues, and Circle of Stones.
Nancy Paddock - Poet and environmental writer who has also written plays. Her book "Trust the Wild Heart" was a finalist for the 2006 Minnesota Book Award in poetry.
Floyd Warta - LHS Drama teacher, starred in state and national ads including TV. Played Santa for Arctic Cat ads.