St. Louis County, Minnesota
|Saint Louis County, Minnesota|
Location in the state of Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
|Founded||February 20, 1855 |
|Named for||Saint Louis River|
6,859.91 sq mi (17,767 km²)
6,225.16 sq mi (16,123 km²)
634.75 sq mi (1,644 km²), 9.25%
32.21/sq mi (12.44/km²)
|Time zone||Central: UTC-6/-5|
Saint Louis County (abbreviated St. Louis County) is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 200,226. Its county seat is Duluth. It is the largest county by total area in Minnesota, and the second largest in the United States east of the Mississippi River; in land area alone, after Aroostook County, Maine. Major industries include pulpwood production and tourism. Surface mining of high-grade iron-ore remains an important part of the economy of the Iron Range. Parts of the Bois Forte and Fond du Lac Indian reservations are in the county.
Saint Louis County was founded on February 20, 1855 as Doty County and had its name changed to Newton County on March 3, 1855. It originally consisted of the area east and south of the Saint Louis River, while the area east of the Vermilion River and north of the Saint Louis River was part of Superior County. Superior County was renamed Saint Louis County. Then on March 1, 1856, that Saint Louis County became Lake County, and Newton County was renamed Saint Louis County and had that eastern area added to it; it was also expanded westward by incorporating parts of Itasca County, which then also included most of Carlton County. On May 23, 1857 Saint Louis County took its current shape when Carlton County was formed from parts of Saint Louis and Pine Counties.
According to the 2000 census, the county has a total area of 6,859.91 square miles (17,767.1 km2), of which 6,225.16 square miles (16,123.1 km2) (or 90.75%) is land and 634.75 square miles (1,644.0 km2) (or 9.25%) is water. By area, it is the largest county in Minnesota and the largest east of the Mississippi River; by land area, the second largest east of the Mississippi River.
Saint Louis County is known for its spectacular natural beauty. Voyageurs National Park, established in 1975, is located in its northwestern corner, on the south shore of Rainy Lake, on the Ontario, Canada border, and is popular with canoeists, kayakers, other boaters and fishermen. The county also includes parts of Superior National Forest, established in 1909, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness within it on the U.S.-Canadian border, established in 1978. The BWCAW is a 1,090,000-acre (4,400 km2) wilderness area designated for fishing, camping, hiking, and canoeing and is one of the most visited wilderness areas in the United States. Saint Louis County has over 500 lakes, including Rainy Lake, Kabetogama Lake, Namakan Lake, Sand Point Lake, and Crane Lake.
The "Hill of Three Waters" on the Laurentian Divide lies just north of Hibbing. Rain falling on this hill runs to three watersheds: Hudson Bay to the north, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the east (via Lake Superior), or the Gulf of Mexico to the south and west (via the Mississippi River).
||Koochiching County||Rainy River District, Ontario, Canada|
|Itasca County||Lake County|
|Aitkin County||Carlton County||Douglas County, Wisconsin and Lake Superior|
National protected areas
- Superior National Forest (part)
- Voyageurs National Park (part)
As of the census of 2000, there were 200,528 people, 82,619 households, and 51,389 families residing in the county. The population density was 32 people per square mile (12/km²). There were 95,800 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.86% White, 0.85% Black or African American, 2.03% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 1.35% from two or more races. 0.80% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 17.0% were of German, 13.7% Norwegian, 12.1% Finnish, 9.7% Swedish, 6.0% Irish, and 5.3% Italian ancestry according to the 2000 census.
27.60% of households included children under the age of 18, 49.30% were married couples living together, 9.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.80% were non-families. 31.20% of all households consisted of individuals and 13.00% of individuals 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.90.
The population spread by age was 22.40% under the age of 18, 11.40% from 18 to 24, 25.90% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 16.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 96.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $36,306, and the median income for a family was $47,134. Males had a median income of $37,934 versus $24,235 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,982. About 7.20% of families and 12.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.10% of those under age 18 and 8.90% of those age 65 or over.
Like all counties in Minnesota, Saint Louis County is governed by an elected and nonpartisan board of commissioners. In Minnesota, county commissions usually have five members, but Saint Louis, Hennepin, and Ramsey counties have seven members. Each commissioner represents a district of equal population.
The county commission elects a chair who presides at meetings.
Commissioners as of January 2013:
|District||Commissioner||In office since||Current term expires|
|1st||Frank Jewell||2011||December 31, 2014|
|2nd||Steve O'Neil||2005||December 31, 2016|
|3rd||Chris Dahlberg (chair)||2009||December 31, 2016|
|4th||Mike Forsman||1995||December 31, 2014|
|5th||Pete Stauber||2013||December 31, 2016|
|6th||Keith Nelson||2003||December 31, 2014|
|7th||Steve Raukar||1989||December 31, 2014|
|Election results from statewide races|
In 2007, Saint Louis County considered doing a study about dividing the county into two counties. This plan was abandoned.
This county is by far the most reliable Democratic county in the state, as no Republican or independent won this county in any statewide election since 1992. The only time a Democrat obtained less than 50% of the vote was in 1998, when Jesse Ventura of the Reform ticket won statewide and gained 24% in the county. Since 1992, the only time when a Republican obtained over 34% of the vote was in the elections of 1994 (year of Republican Revolution) when the incumbent Independent-Republican governor won the statewide vote by a landslide vote of over 60%, and when the Independent-Republican senatorial candidate won election with 49% statewide, both of which is rare in Minnesota. Since 1994, the highest percentages a Republican obtained out of the county were 39.7% from Chip Cravaack's 2010 defeat of 36-year incumbent Congressman Jim Oberstar and 33.6% from George W. Bush's re-election of 2004.
Also, Democrats have swept this county in the last 20 consecutive presidential elections. The last Republican to carry the county was Herbert Hoover in 1928. In the last five Presidential elections the Republican candidate has never received more than 34% of the county's vote.
|2008||65.10% 77,351||32.61% 38,742|
|2004||65.20% 77,958||33.55% 40,112|
|2000||59.78% 64,237||32.96% 35,420|
|1996||60.60% 60,736||25.50% 25,553|
|1992||56.80% 61,813||22.60% 24,579|
Saint Louis County is in Minnesota's 8th congressional district. For many years it was represented by Jim Oberstar, but in 2010 he was defeated after 36 years by Republican Chip Cravaack. Two years later Cravaack was defeated by Rick Nolan, who is the current Representative of the 8th district.
Cities and towns
|Unorganized territories||Ghost towns|
- National Register of Historic Places listings in St. Louis County, Minnesota
- Independent School District 2142
- "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 25 April 2011.
- Duluth News Tribune September 22, 2004, p. 2B. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Arostook County has a smaller overall area but a greater land area.
- "Census 2000 U.S. Gazetteer Files: Counties". United States Census. Retrieved 2011-02-13.
- "Lookout Mountain - Laurentian Divide Recreation Area - The Hill of Three Waters". wikimapia. 2007. Retrieved 2009-03-28.
- "U.S. Decennial Census". Census.gov. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- http://geoelections.free.fr/USA/elec_comtes/1928.htm Geographie Electorale
- The New York Times electoral map (Zoom in on Minnesota)
- St. Louis County Government site - Link
- Duluth News Tribune site
- Mn/DOT maps of Saint Louis County (Southern part of Southwest portion, Northern part of Southwest portion, Southern part of Southeast portion, Northern part of Southeast portion, Southern part of Northwest portion, Northern part of Northwest portion, Northeast portion)