Stearns County, Minnesota

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Stearns County, Minnesota
Stearns County Courthouse.jpg
Stearns County Courthouse
Map of Minnesota highlighting Stearns County
Location in the U.S. state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded February 20, 1855[1]
Named for Charles Thomas Stearns
Seat St. Cloud
Largest city St. Cloud
Area
 • Total 1,390 sq mi (3,600 km2)
 • Land 1,343 sq mi (3,478 km2)
 • Water 47 sq mi (122 km2), 3.4%
Population (est.)
 • (2016) 155,652
 • Density 112/sq mi (43/km²)
Congressional districts 6th, 7th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Website www.co.stearns.mn.us

Stearns County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 150,642.[2] Its county seat is Saint Cloud.[3] The county was founded in 1855. It was originally named after Isaac Ingalls Stevens, later changed to the name Stearns, after Charles Thomas Stearns.

Stearns County is part of the St. Cloud, MN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is also included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI Combined Statistical Area.

History[edit]

The area that is currently Stearns County was formerly occupied by numerous indigenous tribes, such as the Sioux (Dakota), Chippewa (Ojibwe) and Winnebago (Ho-chunk). The first large immigration was of German Catholics in the 1850s. Early arrivals also came from eastern states. Originally, the county was supposed to be named Stevens County after Governor Isaac Ingalls Stevens who conducted an area expedition in 1853. However, due to a clerical error, the county was named Stearns after Charles Thomas Stearns who was a member of the Territorial Council. (Later, the area two counties west was named Stevens County, to compensate for this clerical error.)

Geography[edit]

Native vegetation based on NRCS soils information[4]
Soils of Padua area, Stearns County

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,390 square miles (3,600 km2), of which 1,343 square miles (3,480 km2) is land and 47 square miles (120 km2) (3.4%) is water.[5]

The eastern border of Stearns County is the Mississippi River. The land consists of rolling hills, scenic lakes, prairies, savannas and woodlands of a mixture of coniferous and deciduous trees. Stearns is one of 17 Minnesota savanna region counties with more savanna soils than either prairie or forest soils.

Example of native vegetation

There are 166 lakes in Stearns County.

Major highways[edit]

Adjacent counties[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1860 4,505
1870 14,206 215.3%
1880 21,956 54.6%
1890 34,844 58.7%
1900 44,464 27.6%
1910 47,733 7.4%
1920 55,741 16.8%
1930 62,121 11.4%
1940 67,200 8.2%
1950 70,681 5.2%
1960 80,345 13.7%
1970 95,400 18.7%
1980 108,161 13.4%
1990 118,791 9.8%
2000 133,166 12.1%
2010 150,642 13.1%
Est. 2016 155,652 [6] 3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[7]
1790-1960[8] 1900-1990[9]
1990-2000[10] 2010-2016[2]
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data

As of the 2000 census, there were 133,166 people, 47,604 households, and 32,132 families residing in the county. The population density was 99 people per square mile (38/km²). There were 50,291 housing units at an average density of 37 per square mile (14/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.99% White, 0.83% Black or African American, 0.26% Native American, 1.58% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.47% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. 1.37% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 56.9% were of German and 9.4% Norwegian ancestry.

There were 47,604 households out of which 35.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.30% were married couples living together, 7.50% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.50% were non-families. 23.60% 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 2.64 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the county, the population was spread out with 25.70% under the age of 18, 16.10% from 18 to 24, 28.00% from 25 to 44, 19.10% from 45 to 64, and 11.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 101.20 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.80 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $42,426, and the median income for a family was $51,553. Males had a median income of $34,268 versus $23,393 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,211. About 4.30% of families and 8.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.70% of those under age 18 and 8.60% of those age 65 or over.

Communities[edit]

Cities[edit]

Townships[edit]

Stearns County vote
by party in presidential elections
[11]
Year Republican Democratic
2016 59.8% 47,617 32.1% 25,576
2012 54.8% 43,015 42.8% 33,551
2008 52.3% 41,194 45.3% 35,690
2004 55.2% 41,726 43.2% 32,659
2000 51.9% 32,402 39.7% 24,800
1996 39.0% 21,474 44.0% 24,238
1992 37.9% 22,502 36.1% 21,451
1988 52.8% 27,529 45.7% 23,798
1984 58.5% 30,216 40.6% 20,944
1980 48.3% 24,888 42.4% 21,862
1976 40.9% 19,574 52.3% 25,027
1972 45.8% 18,951 46.7% 19,315
1968 45.9% 15,422 47.6% 15,990
1964 40.4% 13,009 59.3% 19,063
1960 41.5% 13,522 58.4% 19,026

Census-designated place[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Politics and government[edit]

Since 1980 Stearns County has supported the Republicans in 9 of the last 10 presidential elections. It has becoming increasingly supportive of Republicans in the early twenty-first century with Donald Trump receiving 59.8% of the vote, the most for any presidential candidate since at least 1960.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved March 19, 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. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 49-52. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  6. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017. 
  7. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  8. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 25, 2014. 
  11. ^ http://uselectionatlas.org/RESULTS/

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 45°33′N 94°37′W / 45.55°N 94.61°W / 45.55; -94.61