List of counties in Minnesota

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This is a List of counties in Minnesota. There are 87 counties in the U.S. state of Minnesota. There are also several historical counties.

On October 27, 1849 nine counties were established. Among them were Benton, Dahkotah, Itasca, Ramsey, Mahkahta, Pembina, Wabasha, Washington, and Wahnata. Of these Benton, Dakota, Itasca, Ramsey, Wabasha, and Washington still exist as their original names. With the foundation of Kittson County on March 9, 1878, Pembina County no longer existed.[1] When Minnesota was organized as a state, 57 of the present 87 counties were established. The last county to be created was Lake of the Woods County in 1923.[2]

The names of many of the counties pay tribute to the long history of exploration. Over ten counties names pay tribute to the state's various Native American groups that are resident in parts of what is now Minnesota. Another fifteen counties are named after physical geographic features, with the remainder being named after politicians.

The FIPS county code is the five-digit Federal Information Processing Standard (FIPS) code which uniquely identifies counties and county equivalents in the United States. The three-digit number is unique to each individual county within a state, but to be unique within the entire United States, it must be prefixed by the state code. This means that, for example, while Aitkin County, Minnesota is 001, Adams County, Wisconsin and Adair County, Iowa are also 001. To uniquely identify Aitkin County, Minnesota, one must use the state code of 27 plus the county code of 001; therefore, the unique nationwide identifier for Aitkin County, Minnesota is 27001. The links in the column FIPS County Code are to the Census Bureau Info page for that county.[3]

Alphabetical listing[edit]

FIPS code
County seat
Aitkin County001Aitkin1857Pine County, Ramsey CountyWilliam Alexander Aitken (1785-1851), early fur trader with Ojibwe Indians16,2021,819.30 sq mi
(4,712 km2)
State map highlighting Aitkin County
Anoka County003Anoka1857Ramsey CountyA Dakota word meaning "both sides"330,844423.61 sq mi
(1,097 km2)
State map highlighting Anoka County
Becker County005Detroit Lakes1858Cass County, Pembina CountyGeorge Loomis Becker (1829-1904), former state senator and third mayor of Saint Paul (1856–1857)32,5041,310.42 sq mi
(3,394 km2)
State map highlighting Becker County
Beltrami County007Bemidji1866Unorganized Territory, Itasca County, Pembina County, Polk CountyGiacomo Beltrami, Italian explorer who explored the northern reaches of Mississippi River in 1823.44,4422,505.27 sq mi
(6,489 km2)
State map highlighting Beltrami County
Benton County009Foley1849One of nine original counties; formed from residual St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory.Thomas Hart Benton (1782–1858), former United States Senator from Missouri (1821-1851)38,451408.28 sq mi
(1,057 km2)
State map highlighting Benton County
Big Stone County011Ortonville1862Pierce CountyBig Stone Lake, a lake located in the county5,269496.95 sq mi
(1,287 km2)
State map highlighting Big Stone County
Blue Earth County013Mankato1853Unorganized Territory, Dakota CountyBlue Earth River, a river that flows through Minnesota64,013752.36 sq mi
(1,949 km2)
State map highlighting Blue Earth County
Brown County015New Ulm1855Blue Earth CountyJoseph Renshaw Brown (1805-1870), member of Minnesota territorial legislature (1854-55) and prominent pioneer25,893610.86 sq mi
(1,582 km2)
State map highlighting Brown County
Carlton County017Carlton1857Pine County,
Saint Louis County
Rueben B. Carlton (1812-1863), early settler and state senator (1857-1858)35,386860.33 sq mi
(2,228 km2)
State map highlighting Carlton County
Carver County019Chaska1855Hennepin County, Sibley CountyJonathan Carver (1710–1790), early explorer and cartographer of the Mississippi river.91,042357.04 sq mi
(925 km2)
State map highlighting Carver County

Cass County021Walker1851Dakota County, Pembina County, Mankahto County, Wahnata CountyLewis Cass (1782–1866), senator from Michigan(1845–1857) and United States Secretary of State(1831–1836)28,5672,017.60 sq mi
(5,226 km2)
State map highlighting Cass County
Chippewa County023Montevideo1870Pierce County, Davis CountyChippewa River, a river that flows through Minnesota12,441582.80 sq mi
(1,509 km2)
State map highlighting Chippewa County
Chisago County025Center City1851Washington County, Ramsey CountyChisago Lake, a lake located in the county53,887417.63 sq mi
(1,082 km2)
State map highlighting Chisago County
Clay County027Moorhead1862Pembina CountyHenry Clay (1777-1852), Kentucky statesman and ninth secretary of state of the United States (1825–1829)58,9991,045.24 sq mi
(2,707 km2)
State map highlighting Clay County
Clearwater County029Bagley1902Beltrami CountyClearwater River and lake, both features located in the state8,695994.71 sq mi
(2,576 km2)
State map highlighting Clearwater County
Cook County031Grand Marais1874Lake CountyNamed for Civil War veteran Major Michael Cook of Faribault, who was also a territorial and state senator 1857-625,1761,450.60 sq mi
(3,757 km2)
State map highlighting Cook County
Cottonwood County033Windom1857Brown CountyCottonwood River11,687639.99 sq mi
(1,658 km2)
State map highlighting Cottonwood County
Crow Wing County035Brainerd1857Ramsey CountyCrow Wing River62,500996.57 sq mi
(2,581 km2)
State map highlighting Crow Wing County
Dakota County037Hastings1849One of nine original counties.From the Dakota language, after a local tribe Dakota, meaning "Allies"398,552569.58 sq mi
(1,475 km2)
State map highlighting Dakota County
Dodge County039Mantorville1855Rice County, Unorganized TerritoryHenry Dodge (1782–1867), twice governor of Wisconsin.[9]20,087439.50 sq mi
(1,138 km2)
State map highlighting Dodge County
Douglas County041Alexandria1858Cass County, Pembina CountyStephen Arnold Douglas (1813-1861), former United States Senator from Illinois (1847-1861)36,009634.32 sq mi
(1,643 km2)
State map highlighting Douglas County
Faribault County043Blue Earth1855Blue Earth CountyJean-Baptiste Faribault (1775-1860), early settler and fur trader14,553713.63 sq mi
(1,848 km2)
State map highlighting Faribault County
Fillmore County045Preston1853Wabasha CountyMillard Fillmore (1800-1874), thirteenth president of the United States (1850-1853)20,866861.25 sq mi
(2,231 km2)
State map highlighting Fillmore County
Freeborn County047Albert Lea1855Blue Earth County, Rice CountyWilliam S. Freeborn (1816-1900), member of the Territorial Legislature31,255707.64 sq mi
(1,833 km2)
State map highlighting Freeborn County
Goodhue County049Red Wing1853Wabasha County, Dakota CountyJames Madison Goodhue, the first newspaper editor in Minnesota.[10]46,183758.27 sq mi
(1,964 km2)
State map highlighting Goodhue County
Grant County051Elbow Lake1868Stevens County, Wilkin County, Traverse CountyUlysses S. Grant (1822-1885), eighteenth president of the United States (1869-1877)6,018546.41 sq mi
(1,415 km2)
State map highlighting Grant County
Hennepin County053Minneapolis1852Dakota CountyFather Louis Hennepin (1626-1705), early explorer of the Twin Cities area in the 17th Century1,152,425556.62 sq mi
(1,442 km2)
State map highlighting Hennepin County
Houston County055Caledonia1854Fillmore CountySam Houston (1793–1863), the second and fourth president of the Republic of Texas and seventh governor of Texas19,027558.41 sq mi
(1,446 km2)
State map highlighting Houston County
Hubbard County057Park Rapids1883Cass CountyLucius Frederick Hubbard (1836-1913), ninth governor of Minnesota (1882-1887)20,428922.46 sq mi
(2,389 km2)
State map highlighting Hubbard County
Isanti County059Cambridge1857Ramsey CountyA division of the Dakotas called the Izatys, meaning [those that] dwell at Knife Lake, after where they resided.37,816439.07 sq mi
(1,137 km2)
State map highlighting Isanti County
Itasca County061Grand Rapids1849One of nine original counties; formed from residual La Pointe County, Wisconsin Territory.Lake Itasca, source of the Mississippi River (located in northwestern Minnesota).45,0582,665.06 sq mi
(6,902 km2)
State map highlighting Itasca County
Jackson County063Jackson1857Brown CountyHenry Jackson, member of the first territorial legislature and the first merchant in St. Paul10,266701.69 sq mi
(1,817 km2)
State map highlighting Jackson County
Kanabec County065Mora1858Pine CountyFrom the Ojibwe language Kan-a-bec-o-si-pi (Ginebigo-ziibi), meaning Snake River, which flows through the county16,239524.93 sq mi
(1,360 km2)
State map highlighting Kanabec County
Kandiyohi County067Willmar1858Meeker County, Renville County, Pierce County, Davis County, Stearns CountyFrom the Sioux language for "buffalo fish"42,239796.06 sq mi
(2,062 km2)
State map highlighting Kandiyohi County
Kittson County069Hallock1879Pembina CountyNorman Kittson (1814-1888), businessman and mayor of Saint Paul (1858-1859)4,5521,097.08 sq mi
(2,841 km2)
State map highlighting Kittson County
Koochiching County071International Falls1906Itasca CountyFrom the Ojibwe language Gojijiing (Place of inlets), which was the Cree name for Rainy Lake and Rainy River.13,3113,102.36 sq mi
(8,035 km2)
State map highlighting Koochiching County
Lac qui Parle County073Madison1871Redwood CountyA French phrase meaning "lake which talks".7,259764.87 sq mi
(1,981 km2)
State map highlighting Lac qui Parle County
Lake County075Two Harbors1856Itasca CountyLake Superior, which forms one of its edges10,8662,099.16 sq mi
(5,437 km2)
State map highlighting Lake County
Lake of the Woods County077Baudette1923Beltrami CountyLake of the Woods, a lake located within the county.4,0451,296.70 sq mi
(3,358 km2)
State map highlighting Lake of the Woods County
Le Sueur County079Le Center1853Dakota CountyPierre-Charles Le Sueur (1657-1704), fur trader and early explorer of the Minnesota River Valley27,703448.50 sq mi
(1,162 km2)
State map highlighting Le Sueur County
Lincoln County081Ivanhoe1873Lyon CountyAbraham Lincoln (1809-1865), sixteenth president of the United States (1861-1865)5,896537.03 sq mi
(1,391 km2)
State map highlighting Lincoln County
Lyon County083Marshall1871Redwood CountyNathaniel Lyon (1818–1861), United States Army general during the Civil War25,857714.17 sq mi
(1,850 km2)
State map highlighting Lyon County
McLeod County085Glencoe1856Carver County, Sibley CountyMartin McLeod early pioneer and member of the territorial legislature (1849–1856)36,651491.91 sq mi
(1,274 km2)
State map highlighting McLeod County
Mahnomen County087Mahnomen1906Norman CountyAn Ojibwa word meaning "wild rice".5,413556.14 sq mi
(1,440 km2)
State map highlighting Mahnomen County
Marshall County089Warren1879Kittson CountyWilliam Rainey Marshall (1825-1896), fifth governor of Minnesota (1866-1870)9,4391,772.24 sq mi
(4,590 km2)
State map highlighting Marshall County
Martin County091Fairmont1857Faribault County, Brown CountyMorgan Lewis Martin (1805-1887), delegate to Congress from Wisconsin Territory20,840709.34 sq mi
(1,837 km2)
State map highlighting Martin County
Meeker County093Litchfield1856Davis CountyBradley B. Meeker (1813–1873), Associate Justice of the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court (1849–1853)23,300608.54 sq mi
(1,576 km2)
State map highlighting Meeker County
Mille Lacs County095Milaca1857Ramsey CountyMille Lacs Lake, a lake located within the county.26,097574.47 sq mi
(1,488 km2)
State map highlighting Mille Lacs County
Morrison County097Little Falls1856Benton CountyWilliam & Allan Morrison, fur trading brothers[11]33,1981,124.50 sq mi
(2,912 km2)
State map highlighting Morrison County
Mower County099Austin1855Rice CountyJohn Edward Mower (1815–1879), member of the Minnesota territorial legislature in the 1850s39,163711.50 sq mi
(1,843 km2)
State map highlighting Mower County

Murray County101Slayton1857Brown CountyWilliam Pitt Murray (1825–1910), Minnesota statesman and member of the territorial legislature (1852–1855) and 18578,725704.43 sq mi
(1,824 km2)
State map highlighting Murray County
Nicollet County103St. Peter1853Dakota CountyJoseph Nicolas Nicollet (1786–1843), early explore and cartographer of the Upper Mississippi River32,727452.29 sq mi
(1,171 km2)
State map highlighting Nicollet County
Nobles County105Worthington1857Brown CountyWilliam H. Nobles, member of the Minnesota territorial legislature in 1854 and 185621,378715.39 sq mi
(1,853 km2)
State map highlighting Nobles County
Norman County107Ada1881Polk CountyThe early Norwegian, also known as Norman, settlers.6,852876.27 sq mi
(2,270 km2)
State map highlighting Norman County
Olmsted County109Rochester1855Fillmore County, Wabasha County, Rice CountyDavid Olmsted, first mayor of Saint Paul and member of territorial legislature (1849-1850)144,248653.01 sq mi
(1,691 km2)
State map highlighting Olmsted County
Otter Tail County111Fergus Falls1858Pembina County, Cass CountyOtter Tail Lake, a lake located within the county57,3031,979.71 sq mi
(5,127 km2)
State map highlighting Otter Tail County
Pennington County113Thief River Falls1910Red Lake CountyEdmund Pennington (b. 1848), executive of the Minneapolis, St. Paul and Sault Ste. Marie Railroad13,930616.54 sq mi
(1,597 km2)
State map highlighting Pennington County
Pine County115Pine City1856Chisago County, Ramsey CountyThe giant forests of Eastern White Pine and Red Pine that flourish in the county29,7501,411.04 sq mi
(3,655 km2)
State map highlighting Pine County
Pipestone County117Pipestone1857Brown CountyName of a sacred Dakota quarry of red pipestone found in the county9,596465.89 sq mi
(1,207 km2)
State map highlighting Pipestone County
Polk County119Crookston1858Pembina CountyJames K. Polk (1795-1849), eleventh president of the United States (1845-1849)31,6001,970.37 sq mi
(5,103 km2)
State map highlighting Polk County

Pope County121Glenwood1862Pierce County, Cass County, Unorganized TerritoryJohn Pope (1822–1892), United States Army general during the Dakota War of 186210,995670.14 sq mi
(1,736 km2)
State map highlighting Pope County
Ramsey County123Saint Paul1849One of nine original counties; formed from residual St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory.Alexander Ramsey (1815-1903), second governor of Minnesota (1860-1863)508,640155.78 sq mi
(403 km2)
State map highlighting Ramsey County
Red Lake County125Red Lake Falls1896Polk CountyRed Lake River, a river that flows through Minnesota.4,089432.43 sq mi
(1,120 km2)
State map highlighting Red Lake County
Redwood County127Redwood Falls1862Brown CountyRedwood River, a river that flows through Minnesota.16,059879.73 sq mi
(2,278 km2)
State map highlighting Redwood County
Renville County129Olivia1855Nicollet County, Pierce County, Sibley CountyJoseph Renville (1779-1846), interpreter for early explorations of the Louisiana Purchase15,730982.92 sq mi
(2,546 km2)
State map highlighting Renville County
Rice County131Faribault1853Dakota County, Wabasha CountyHenry Mower Rice (1816-1894), former United States Senator from Minnesota (1858-1863)64,142497.57 sq mi
(1,289 km2)
State map highlighting Rice County
Rock County133Luverne1857Brown CountyA large rocky plateau located within the county, known as "the mound."9,687482.61 sq mi
(1,250 km2)
State map highlighting Rock County
Roseau County135Roseau1894Kittson County, Beltrami CountyRoseau River and Roseau Lake, both of which are located nearby15,6291,662.51 sq mi
(4,306 km2)
State map highlighting Roseau County
Saint Louis County137Duluth1855Itasca County, NewtonSaint Louis River, a river that flows through Minnesota200,2266,225.16 sq mi
(16,123 km2)
State map highlighting Saint Louis County
Scott County139Shakopee1853Dakota CountyWinfield Scott (1786–1866), United States Army general who served from (1808–1861)129,928356.68 sq mi
(924 km2)
State map highlighting Scott County
Sherburne County141Elk River1856Benton CountyMoses Sherburne (1813–1873), Associate Justice of the Minnesota Territorial Supreme Court (1853-1857)88,499436.30 sq mi
(1,130 km2)
State map highlighting Sherburne County
Sibley County143Gaylord1853Dakota CountyHenry Hastings Sibley (1811-1891), first governor of Minnesota (1858-1860)15,226588.65 sq mi
(1,525 km2)
State map highlighting Sibley County
Stearns County145St. Cloud1855Cass County, Nicollet County, Pierce County, Sibley CountyCharles Thomas Stearns (1814-1888), early settler of St. Cloud and member of the Minnesota territorial legislature (1849-1858)150,6421,344.52 sq mi
(3,482 km2)
State map highlighting Stearns County
Steele County147Owatonna1855Rice County, Blue Earth County, Le Sueur CountyFranklin Steele (1813-1880), early settler of Minneapolis and developer of Saint Anthony Falls36,576429.55 sq mi
(1,113 km2)
State map highlighting Steele County
Stevens County149Morris1862Pierce County, Unorganized TerritoryIsaac Ingalls Stevens (1818-1862), first governor of Washington Territory (1853-1857)9,726562.06 sq mi
(1,456 km2)
State map highlighting Stevens County
Swift County151Benson1870Chippewa CountyHenry Adoniram Swift (1823-1869), third governor of Minnesota (1863-1864)9,783743.53 sq mi
(1,926 km2)
State map highlighting Swift County
Todd County153Long Prairie1855Cass CountyJohn Blair Smith Todd, commander of Fort Ripley (1849-56); general in the Civil War; delegate in Congress from Dakota Territory (1861 and 1863-65); governor of Dakota Territory (1869-71)24,895942.02 sq mi
(2,440 km2)
State map highlighting Todd County
Traverse County155Wheaton1862Pierce County, Unorganized TerritoryLake Traverse, a lake located in the county.3,558574.09 sq mi
(1,487 km2)
State map highlighting Traverse County
Wabasha County157Wabasha1849One of nine original counties.Named after M'dewakanton Dakota Indian Chief Wabasha III21,676525.01 sq mi
(1,360 km2)
State map highlighting Wabasha County
Wadena County159Wadena1858Cass County, Todd CountyWadena Trading Post, in turn for a Ojibway word meaning "a little round hill".13,843535.02 sq mi
(1,386 km2)
State map highlighting Wadena County

Waseca County161Waseca1857Steele CountyA Dakota word meaning "rich and fertile"19,136423.25 sq mi
(1,096 km2)
State map highlighting Waseca County
Washington County163Stillwater1849One of nine original counties; formed from residual St. Croix County, Wisconsin Territory.George Washington (1732-1799), first president of the United States (1789-1797)238,136391.70 sq mi
(1,014 km2)
State map highlighting Washington County
Watonwan County165St. James1860Brown CountyWatonwan River, a river that flows through Minnesota.11,211434.51 sq mi
(1,125 km2)
State map highlighting Watonwan County
Wilkin County167Breckenridge1858Cass County, Pembina CountyAlexander Wilkin (1820-1864), Minnesota politician and soldier killed in the Civil War6,576751.43 sq mi
(1,946 km2)
State map highlighting Wilkin County
Winona County169Winona1854Fillmore County, Wabasha CountyNamed after Wee-No-Nah, Sister or Cousin of Chief Wabasha III51,461626.30 sq mi
(1,622 km2)
State map highlighting Winona County
Wright County171Buffalo1855Cass County, Sibley CountySilas Wright (1795-1847), former United States Senator from New York (1833-1844)124,700660.75 sq mi
(1,711 km2)
State map highlighting Wright County
Yellow Medicine County173Granite Falls1871Redwood CountyYellow Medicine River, a river that flows through Minnesota.10,438757.96 sq mi
(1,963 km2)
State map highlighting Yellow Medicine County

Historical counties[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved 2007-09-17. 
  2. ^ "Minnesota County History". Association of Minnesota Counties. Archived from the original on 2007-08-13. Retrieved 2007-09-02. 
  3. ^ a b "EPA County FIPS Code Listing". EPA. Retrieved 2007-04-09. 
  4. ^ a b c d National Association of Counties. "NACo - Find a county". Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
  5. ^ Upham, Warren (1969). Minnesota Geographic Names. St. Paul: Minnesota Historical Society. 
  6. ^ "County Name Origins". Association of Minnesota Counties. Archived from the original on 2008-05-27. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  7. ^ "Origin of Minnesota County Name". Minnesota Secretary of State. Retrieved 2008-11-05. 
  8. ^ a b "Minnesota QuickFacts". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved 24 February 2012.  (2010 Census)
  9. ^ "Dodge County History" (PDF). Dodge County website. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  10. ^ "The History of Goodhue County". Goodhue County, Minnesota website. Retrieved 2008-02-17. 
  11. ^ MCHS - William Morrison - Fur Trader

External links[edit]