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Chisago County, Minnesota

Chisago County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Chisago County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded September 1, 1851[1]
Named for Chisago Lake
Seat Center City
Largest city North Branch
 • Total 442 sq mi (1,145 km2)
 • Land 415 sq mi (1,075 km2)
 • Water 28 sq mi (73 km2), 6.2%
Population (est.)
 • (2013) 53,761
 • Density 130/sq mi (50/km²)
Congressional district 8th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Chisago County ( ) is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 53,887.[2] Its county seat is Center City.[3] The county's name comes from Chisago Lake.

Chisago County is included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
    • Major highways 2.1
    • Adjacent counties 2.2
    • National protected area 2.3
  • Climate and weather 3
  • Demographics 4
  • Education 5
  • Communities 6
    • Cities 6.1
    • Townships 6.2
    • Unincorporated communities 6.3
  • Arts and culture 7
  • See also 8
  • References 9
  • External links 10


Chisago County was organized in 1851. It took its name from Chisago Lake.[4]

Native vegetation based on NRCS soils information[5]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 442 square miles (1,140 km2), of which 415 square miles (1,070 km2) is land and 28 square miles (73 km2) (6.2%) is water.[6] Examples of native vegetation in the county:

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Climate and weather

Center City, Minnesota
Climate chart ()
Average max. and min. temperatures in °F
Precipitation totals in inches
Source: The Weather Channel[7]

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Center City have ranged from a low of 2 °F (−17 °C) in January to a high of 84 °F (29 °C) in July, although a record low of −38 °F (−39 °C) was recorded in January 1977 and a record high of 104 °F (40 °C) was recorded in July 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 0.89 inches (23 mm) in January to 4.48 inches (114 mm) in June.[7]


Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data

As of the 2000 census, there were 41,101 people, 14,454 households, and 11,086 families residing in the county. The population density was 98 people per square mile (38/km²). There were 15,533 housing units at an average density of 37 per square mile (14/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.21% White, 0.51% Black or African American, 0.45% Native American, 0.70% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.31% from other races, and 0.80% from two or more races. 1.15% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 31.3% were of German, 18.1% Swedish, 11.3% Norwegian and 6.9% Irish ancestry.

There were 14,454 households out of which 41.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 64.50% were married couples living together, 8.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.30% were non-families. 18.40% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.79 and the average family size was 3.18.

In the county the population was spread out with 30.20% under the age of 18, 7.10% from 18 to 24, 32.20% from 25 to 44, 20.70% from 45 to 64, and 9.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 103.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $52,012, and the median income for a family was $57,335. Males had a median income of $40,743 versus $27,653 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,013. About 3.20% of families and 5.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.40% of those under age 18 and 8.00% of those age 65 or over.





Unincorporated communities

Arts and culture

Chisago County is, like many other counties in Minnesota, strongly influenced by the German, Swedish and Norwegian immigrants that settled there in the middle of the 19th century. It was here where Vilhelm Moberg made his research for his The Emigrants suite in the 1950s. Sculptor Ian Dudley's bronze statue of the author, holding his bicycle as if ready to ride away, stands on a stepped platform in Chisago City’s town park. His fictional characters Karl-Oskar and Kristina Nilsson from Ljuder parish in Småland settled around the Lake Ki-Chi-Saga (from the Ojibwe language Ki-chi-saga-igun (Gichi-zaaga'igan in the contemporary spelling) meaning "Big Lake-with-an-outlet," which was later shortened to Lake Chisago). The heritage of the early settlers is still honored by the annual Karl Oskar Days in Lindström.

See also


  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 107. 
  5. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 61 - 64. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  6. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  7. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Center City, Minnesota". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  10. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 

External links

  • Chisago County government's website
  • Chisago County Historical Society website
  • Minnesota DOT Highway map of Chisago County

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