Benson County
Benson County Courthouse
Map of North Dakota highlighting Benson County
Location within the U.S. state of North Dakota
Map of the United States highlighting North Dakota
North Dakota's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 48°04′N 99°22′W / 48.07°N 99.36°W / 48.07; -99.36
Country United States
State North Dakota
FoundedMarch 9, 1883 (created)
June 4, 1884 (organized)
Named forBertil W. Benson
SeatMinnewaukan
Largest communityFort Totten
Area
 • Total1,439 sq mi (3,730 km2)
 • Land1,389 sq mi (3,600 km2)
 • Water51 sq mi (130 km2)  3.5%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total5,964
 • Estimate 
(2021)
5,809
 • Density4.1/sq mi (1.6/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districtAt-large
Websitewww.bensoncountynd.com

Benson County is a county in the U.S. state of North Dakota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 5,964.[1] Its county seat is Minnewaukan.[2] The county was created on March 9, 1883[3] by the Dakota Territory legislature, and was named for Bertil W. Benson, a Dakota Territory legislator at the time. The county government was organized on June 4, 1884, and its boundary lines were altered by two legislative actions in 1885.[4]

White Horse Hill National Game Preserve and much of the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation are located within the county.

Geography

Much of the east boundary line of Benson County is delineated by the shore of Devils Lake, a closed-capture lake which would spill into the Sheyenne River in an overflow condition. The North Fork Sheyenne River flows southeasterly through the lower SW portion of the county.

The terrain of Benson County consists of rolling hills dotted with lakes, ponds and drainages.[5] The terrain slopes to the east, and its highest point is on the lower portion of its west boundary line, at 1,624' (495m) ASL.[6] The county has a total area of 1,439 square miles (3,730 km2), of which 1,389 square miles (3,600 km2) is land and 51 square miles (130 km2) (3.5%) is water.[7]

Adjacent counties

Major highways

Protected areas

Lakes

[5]

Demographics

This section needs to be updated. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (August 2021)
Historical population
Census Pop.
18902,460
19008,320238.2%
191012,68152.4%
192013,0953.3%
193013,3271.8%
194012,629−5.2%
195010,675−15.5%
19609,435−11.6%
19708,245−12.6%
19807,944−3.7%
19907,198−9.4%
20006,964−3.3%
20106,660−4.4%
20205,964−10.5%
2021 (est.)5,809−2.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]
1790-1960[9] 1900-1990[10]
1990-2000[11] 2010-2020[1]

2000 census

As of the 2000 census, there were 6,964 people, 2,328 households, and 1,701 families in the county. The population density was 5 people per square mile (2/km2). There were 2,932 housing units at an average density of 2 per square mile (1/km2). The racial makeup of the county was mostly White (50.85%) and Native American (48.05%). In addition, 0.10% are Black/African American, 0.01% are Asian, 0.01% are Pacific Islander, 0.16% are from other races, and 0.82% are from two or more races. 0.79% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.2% were of Norwegian and 14.8% German ancestry.

There were 2,328 households, out of which 38.00% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.50% were married couples living together, 16.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.90% were non-families. 24.50% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.97 and the average family size was 3.48.

The county population contained 36.10% under the age of 18, 7.80% from 18 to 24, 23.30% from 25 to 44, 19.40% from 45 to 64, and 13.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 31 years. For every 100 females there were 102.10 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 102.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $26,688, and the median income for a family was $31,558. Males had a median income of $23,056 versus $17,862 for females. The per capita income for the county was $11,509. About 24.40% of families and 29.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.90% of those under age 18 and 16.70% of those age 65 or over.

2010 census

As of the 2010 census, there were 6,660 people, 2,233 households, and 1,628 families in the county.[12] The population density was 4.8 inhabitants per square mile (1.9/km2). There were 2,950 housing units at an average density of 2.1 per square mile (0.81/km2).[13] The racial makeup of the county was 55.0% American Indian, 43.4% white, 0.2% from other races, and 1.4% from two or more races. Those of Hispanic or Latino origin made up 1.2% of the population.[12] In terms of ancestry, 22.0% were Norwegian, 18.0% were German, 5.0% were Irish, and 0.6% were American.[14]

Of the 2,233 households, 41.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.3% were married couples living together, 20.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 27.1% were non-families, and 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.98 and the average family size was 3.46. The median age was 31.6 years.[12]

The median income for a household in the county was $30,479 and the median income for a family was $34,597. Males had a median income of $31,729 versus $25,253 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,545. About 26.1% of families and 35.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 48.3% of those under age 18 and 16.9% of those age 65 or over.[15]

Population by decade

Communities

Cities and CDPs have population included as of 2020, and townships have the population as of 2020. The largest community by far is Fort Totten, followed by Leeds, Maddock and the county seat, Minnewaukan. There are nine cities in the county. The largest township by a 60% margin is Mission (935), which is on the south shore of Devils Lake and is popular for vacationing, as well as gambling at the Spirit Lake Casino and Resort. It is within the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation. It is followed by Wood Lake Township (471), immediately to the south of Mission Township and also included in the reservation. The third largest is Lallie Township (325), to the west of Fort Totten on the south shore of Devils Lake and within the reservation.

Cities

Census-designated place

Unincorporated communities

Townships

Politics

Typical of many counties in the state where a significant share of the population is Native American, Benson County leans Democratic in presidential elections. Prior to 2020, no Republican candidate had won the majority of the county's votes since Ronald Reagan in 1984. However, George W. Bush in 2000 & Donald Trump in 2016 both won a plurality of the county's votes.

United States presidential election results for Benson County, North Dakota[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 1,094 55.79% 822 41.92% 45 2.29%
2016 929 46.20% 842 41.87% 240 11.93%
2012 868 40.24% 1,235 57.26% 54 2.50%
2008 773 32.56% 1,569 66.09% 32 1.35%
2004 1,002 44.61% 1,196 53.25% 48 2.14%
2000 1,055 48.98% 952 44.20% 147 6.82%
1996 850 39.13% 1,059 48.76% 263 12.11%
1992 874 33.30% 1,126 42.90% 625 23.81%
1988 1,316 43.42% 1,691 55.79% 24 0.79%
1984 1,729 51.41% 1,599 47.55% 35 1.04%
1980 2,149 59.91% 1,119 31.20% 319 8.89%
1976 1,689 45.34% 1,973 52.97% 63 1.69%
1972 2,050 55.09% 1,635 43.94% 36 0.97%
1968 1,707 46.86% 1,772 48.64% 164 4.50%
1964 1,489 36.67% 2,566 63.20% 5 0.12%
1960 2,259 50.84% 2,181 49.09% 3 0.07%
1956 2,340 55.67% 1,851 44.04% 12 0.29%
1952 3,192 69.63% 1,353 29.52% 39 0.85%
1948 1,920 44.33% 2,216 51.17% 195 4.50%
1944 1,726 43.04% 2,261 56.38% 23 0.57%
1940 2,485 45.85% 2,898 53.47% 37 0.68%
1936 1,020 19.02% 3,343 62.33% 1,000 18.65%
1932 1,170 23.79% 3,650 74.23% 97 1.97%
1928 2,621 53.80% 2,194 45.03% 57 1.17%
1924 1,870 45.00% 246 5.92% 2,040 49.09%
1920 3,540 81.10% 680 15.58% 145 3.32%
1916 1,210 53.30% 922 40.62% 138 6.08%
1912 515 26.13% 594 30.14% 862 43.73%
1908 1,363 67.81% 553 27.51% 94 4.68%
1904 1,111 85.59% 143 11.02% 44 3.39%
1900 1,084 75.49% 319 22.21% 33 2.30%



Education

School districts include:[17]

K-12:

Elementary districts:

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Benson County, North Dakota". www.census.gov. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved March 26, 2022.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  3. ^ Another source shows the county's creation in 1879: ND Government - State History/Benson County (accessed February 13, 2019)
  4. ^ "Dakota Territory, South Dakota, and North Dakota: Individual County Chronologies". Dakota Territory Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2006. Archived from the original on April 2, 2018. Retrieved February 2, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Benson County ND Google Maps (accessed February 13, 2019)
  6. ^ ""Find an Altitude" Google Maps - Benson County ND (accessed February 13, 2019)". Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved February 14, 2019.
  7. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on January 29, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  8. ^ "United States Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  9. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  10. ^ Forstall, Richard L., ed. (March 27, 1995). "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  11. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. April 2, 2001. Retrieved January 27, 2015.
  12. ^ a b c "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  13. ^ "Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  14. ^ "Selected Social Characteristics in the US – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  15. ^ "Selected Economic Characteristics – 2006-2010 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 12, 2018.
  17. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Benson County, ND" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved July 23, 2022. - Text, 2010 map, 2010 text list

Coordinates: 48°04′N 99°22′W / 48.07°N 99.36°W / 48.07; -99.36