Clay County, Minnesota

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Clay County
Former Federal Courthouse and Post Office in Moorhead, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Clay County
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 46°54′N 96°29′W / 46.9°N 96.49°W / 46.9; -96.49
Country United States
State Minnesota
FoundedMarch 8, 1862 (created)
1872 (organized)[1]
Named forHenry Clay
SeatMoorhead
Largest cityMoorhead
Area
 • Total1,053 sq mi (2,730 km2)
 • Land1,045 sq mi (2,710 km2)
 • Water7.3 sq mi (19 km2)  0.7%%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total65,318
 • Density62.5/sq mi (24.1/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district7th
Websitewww.claycountymn.gov

Clay County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 United States Census, the population was 65,318.[2] Its county seat is Moorhead.[3]

Clay County is part of the Fargo, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History[edit]

The county was formed on March 8, 1862, although its government was not organized at that time. In 1872, the organization was effected. It was named for nineteenth-century political figure Henry Clay,[4] member of the United States Senate from Kentucky, and US Secretary of State. The county was originally called Breckenridge, but soon (in 1862) was changed to Clay.

Geography[edit]

Soils of Clay County[5]

Clay County lies on the western side of Minnesota. Its western boundary line abuts the eastern boundary line of the state of North Dakota (across the Red River). The Red River flows northward along the western boundary line of the county, on its way to the Hudson Bay in Canada. The Buffalo River flows west-northwesterly through the center of the county, joined by the South Branch Buffalo River west of Glyndon, before discharging into the Red on the county's western border near Georgetown. The terrain consists of rolling hills, dotted with lakes and ponds in its eastern portion.[6] The terrain slopes to the west and north, with its highest point near the southeastern corner, at 1,430' (436m) ASL.[7] The county has a total area of 1,053 square miles (2,730 km2), of which 1,045 square miles (2,710 km2) are land and 7.3 square miles (19 km2) (0.7%) are covered by water.[8]

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Protected areas[6][edit]

  • Aspen State Wildlife Management Area
  • Bjornson State Wildlife Management Area
  • Bluestone Prairie Scientific and Natural Area
  • Clay County State Wildlife Management Area
  • Cromwell State Wildlife Management Area
  • Felton Prairie Scientific and Natural Area
  • Goose Prairie State Wildlife Management Area
  • Gruhl State Wildlife Management Area
  • Hawley State Wildlife Management Area
  • Hay Creek State Wildlife Management Area
  • Highland State Wildlife Management Area
  • Hitterdal State Wildlife Management Area
  • Jeral State Wildlife Management Area
  • Magnusson State Wildlife Management Area
  • Skree State Wildlife Management Area
  • Ulen State Wildlife Management Area
  • Ulen Wildlife Refuge

Climate and weather[edit]

Moorhead, Minnesota
Climate chart (explanation)
J
F
M
A
M
J
J
A
S
O
N
D
 
 
0.7
 
 
18
0
 
 
0.6
 
 
24
6
 
 
1.3
 
 
36
19
 
 
1.4
 
 
56
33
 
 
2.8
 
 
69
45
 
 
3.9
 
 
77
55
 
 
2.8
 
 
82
60
 
 
2.6
 
 
81
57
 
 
2.6
 
 
71
47
 
 
2.2
 
 
56
35
 
 
1
 
 
37
20
 
 
0.8
 
 
22
6
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[9]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Moorhead have ranged from a low of 0 °F (−18 °C) in January to a high of 82 °F (28 °C) in July, although a record low of −48 °F (−44 °C) was recorded in January 1887 and a record high of 114 °F (46 °C) was recorded in July 1936, the latter also the highest recorded temperature in the history of Minnesota. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 0.64 inches (16 mm) in February to 3.90 inches (99 mm) in June.[9]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
186072
18709227.8%
18805,8876,298.9%
189011,51795.6%
190017,94255.8%
191019,6409.5%
192021,78010.9%
193023,1206.2%
194025,3379.6%
195030,36319.8%
196039,08028.7%
197046,58519.2%
198049,3275.9%
199050,4222.2%
200051,2291.6%
201058,99915.2%
202065,31810.7%
US Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2020[2]

2000 census[edit]

As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 51,229 people, 18,670 households, and 12,340 families in the county. The population density was 49.0/sqmi (18.9/km2). There were 19,746 housing units at an average density of 18.9/sqmi (7.30/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 93.99% White, 0.52% Black or African American, 1.44% Native American, 0.88% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.67% from other races, and 1.47% from two or more races. 3.65% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 40.4% were of Norwegian and 26.8% German ancestry.

There were 18,670 households, out of which 33.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.90% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.90% were non-families. 26.10% of all households were made up of individuals, and 10.60% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.07.

The county population contained 25.00% under the age of 18, 17.10% from 18 to 24, 25.70% from 25 to 44, 19.30% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $37,889, and the median income for a family was $49,192. Males had a median income of $34,176 versus $23,149 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,557. About 7.40% of families and 13.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.30% of those under age 18 and 7.50% of those age 65 or over.

Government and Politics[edit]

In national elections, Clay County has been a swing district for several decades. From 1992 to 2020, it has voted for the winner of the presidential election.

Presidential election results
Presidential elections results[14]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 46.7% 15,043 50.7% 16,357 2.6% 839
2016 46.1% 13,543 44.1% 12,971 9.8% 2,884
2012 44.7% 12,920 52.7% 15,208 2.6% 758
2008 40.9% 11,978 57.0% 16,666 2.1% 615
2004 51.8% 14,365 46.8% 12,989 1.4% 383
2000 50.1% 11,712 43.4% 10,128 6.5% 1,518
1996 41.1% 8,764 49.1% 10,476 9.8% 2,079
1992 41.2% 9,666 41.9% 9,845 16.9% 3,967
1988 47.8% 10,380 51.5% 11,186 0.6% 139
1984 52.6% 11,565 46.8% 10,294 0.5% 119
1980 46.4% 10,447 39.7% 8,940 13.9% 3,121
1976 47.5% 10,317 50.1% 10,876 2.4% 515
1972 54.4% 11,089 44.5% 9,076 1.2% 235
1968 47.8% 7,910 48.2% 7,987 4.0% 663
1964 37.4% 6,085 62.4% 10,161 0.2% 39
1960 53.3% 8,278 46.6% 7,241 0.2% 25
1956 52.8% 6,783 47.1% 6,057 0.1% 15
1952 58.7% 7,178 41.2% 5,036 0.2% 20
1948 38.6% 4,302 59.4% 6,624 2.0% 219
1944 45.4% 4,392 54.1% 5,230 0.5% 52
1940 41.2% 4,450 58.3% 6,295 0.4% 48
1936 29.9% 2,880 65.3% 6,282 4.8% 459
1932 29.2% 2,556 67.8% 5,938 3.1% 270
1928 61.1% 5,057 37.8% 3,128 1.1% 87
1924 44.6% 3,081 6.4% 439 49.1% 3,396
1920 73.0% 4,943 19.7% 1,335 7.3% 493
1916 44.8% 1,549 49.6% 1,716 5.6% 193
1912 18.0% 549 30.9% 942 51.2% 1,561
1908 58.7% 1,857 35.6% 1,125 5.8% 182
1904 78.2% 2,185 13.9% 388 8.0% 223
1900 59.5% 1,903 36.4% 1,165 4.2% 133
1896 44.4% 1,594 53.1% 1,908 2.5% 90
1892 40.2% 959 24.9% 594 34.9% 833
County Board of Commissioners[15]
Position Name District Term Ending
Commissioner Jenna Kahly District 1 2024
Commissioner Frank Gross District 2 2024
Commissioner and Vice Chairperson Jenny Mongeau District 3 2022
Commissioner and Chairperson Kevin Campbell District 4 2022
Commissioner David Ebinger District 5 2024
State Legislature (2020-2021)
Position Name Affiliation District
  Senate Kent Eken[16] Democratic District 4
  House of Representatives Ben Lien[17] Democratic District 4A
  House of Representatives Paul Marquart[18] Democratic District 4B
U.S Congress (2020-2021)
Position Name Affiliation District
  House of Representatives Michelle Fischbach[19] Republican 7th
  Senate Amy Klobuchar[20] Democrat N/A
  Senate Tina Smith[21] Democrat N/A

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated places[edit]

Unincorporated communities[edit]

Townships[edit]

Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 US census data

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Clay County, Minnesota". www.census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 17, 2021.
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 83.
  5. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 57-60. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  6. ^ a b Clay County MN Google Maps (accessed March 6, 2019)
  7. ^ ""Find an Altitude/Clay County MN" Google Maps (accessed March 6, 2019)". Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  9. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Moorhead MN". The Weather Channel. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
  10. ^ "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved October 6, 2014.
  14. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
  15. ^ "Board of Commissioners | Clay County, MN - Official Website". claycountymn.gov. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  16. ^ "MN State Senate". www.senate.mn. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  17. ^ "Rep. Ben Lien (04A) - Minnesota House of Representatives". www.house.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  18. ^ "Rep. Paul Marquart (04B) - Minnesota House of Representatives". www.house.leg.state.mn.us. Retrieved June 25, 2020.
  19. ^ "Representative Michelle Fischbach". fischbach.house.gov. Retrieved February 20, 2021.
  20. ^ "U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar". www.klobuchar.senate.gov. Retrieved June 24, 2020.
  21. ^ "Home". Senator Tina Smith. Retrieved June 24, 2020.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 46°54′N 96°29′W / 46.90°N 96.49°W / 46.90; -96.49