Itasca County
Itasca County Courthouse
Itasca County Courthouse
Map of Minnesota highlighting Itasca County
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 47°31′N 93°38′W / 47.51°N 93.63°W / 47.51; -93.63
Country United States
State Minnesota
FoundedOctober 27, 1849[1]
Named forLake Itasca
SeatGrand Rapids
Largest cityGrand Rapids
Area
 • Total2,928 sq mi (7,580 km2)
 • Land2,668 sq mi (6,910 km2)
 • Water260 sq mi (700 km2)  8.9%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total45,014
 • Estimate 
(2022)
45,205 Increase
 • Density16.9/sq mi (6.5/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional district8th
Websitewww.co.itasca.mn.us

Itasca County (/ˈtæskə/ eye-TASS-kə)[2] is a county located in the Iron Range region of the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2020 census, the population was 45,014.[3] Its county seat is Grand Rapids.[4] The county is named after Lake Itasca, which is in turn a shortened version of the Latin words veritas caput, meaning 'truth' and 'head', a reference to the source of the Mississippi River. Portions of the Bois Forte and Leech Lake Indian reservations are in the county.

History

The boundary of Itasca County was first formed in 1849, upon the creation of the Minnesota Territory. It was originally a much larger county, which covered many of today's northeastern Minnesota counties. The original Itasca County stretched over Cook, Lake, Saint Louis, Koochiching, eastern Lake of the Woods, eastern Beltrami, Itasca, northern Aitkin, and northern Carlton counties, today in Minnesota.

Itasca County was originally named for Lake Itasca (no longer in the county's present borders), which was determined to be the true source of the Mississippi River. After many disputes over finding the source of the Mississippi River, Henry Schoolcraft set out to find its true source in 1832. Once he came upon its true source, he decided to name this 'Lake Itasca.' The Mississippi River flows from its small beginnings at Lake Itasca, where it can be crossed on foot.[5] It flows past Bemidji, through Itasca County, and continues to the Gulf of Mexico.

Geography

The terrain of Itasca County is hilly, heavily wooded, and studded with lakes and ponds.[6] It generally slopes to the east, with its highest areas on its upper west border, at 1,437 ft (438 m) ASL.[7] The county has a total area of 2,928 square miles (7,580 km2), of which 2,668 square miles (6,910 km2) is land and 260 square miles (670 km2) (8.9%) is water.[8] It is the third-largest county in Minnesota by land area.

The landscape in Itasca County varies greatly. The low plains, rolling hills, and wetlands occur where there was glacial activity in the past. This area is known greatly for being forested, and has been for centuries. The different forests are made up of trees such as pines, spruces, hardwoods, cedar, and tamarack. The many large forests in the area make forestry and logging major sectors in the economy.

In Itasca County there are many different bodies of water from big lakes, to small creeks, to major rivers. Over 1400 lakes are located within the county. These bodies of water help support many different wildlife species such as different birds and small mammals. Major bodies of water in the county include Lake Winnibigoshish, Pokegama Lake, Deer Lake, the Mississippi River, Bowstring Lake, and the Blandin Paper Mill Reservoir.

Major highways

Adjacent counties

Protected areas

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.Note
185097
186051−47.4%
18709688.2%
188012429.2%
1890743499.2%
19004,573515.5%
191017,208276.3%
192023,87638.7%
193027,22414.0%
194032,99621.2%
195033,3211.0%
196038,00614.1%
197035,530−6.5%
198043,06921.2%
199040,863−5.1%
200043,9927.7%
201045,0582.4%
202045,014−0.1%
2022 (est.)45,205[9]0.4%
U.S. Decennial Census[10]
1790-1960[11] 1900-1990[12]
1990-2000[13] 2010-2020[3]

2020 Census

Itasca County Racial Composition[14]
Race Num. Perc.
White (NH) 40,166 89.23%
Black or African American (NH) 174 0.4%
Native American (NH) 1,497 3.33%
Asian (NH) 145 0.32%
Pacific Islander (NH) 2 0.004%
Other/Mixed (NH) 2,412 5.4%
Hispanic or Latino 618 1.4%

2000 census

Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 census data

As of the census of 2000, there were 43,992 people, 17,789 households, and 12,381 families in the county. The population density was 16.5 per square mile (6.4/km2). There were 24,528 housing units at an average density of 9.19 per square mile (3.55/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 94.64% White, 0.16% Black or African American, 3.40% Native American, 0.27% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.16% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. 0.60% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 25.6% were of German, 13.8% Norwegian, 7.7% Finnish, 7.2% Swedish, 6.2% Irish, 5.0% United States or American and 5.0% English ancestry.

There were 17,789 households, out of which 29.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.30% were married couples living together, 7.60% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.40% were non-families. 26.00% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.20% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 2.91.

The county population contained 24.40% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 24.40% from 25 to 44, 26.70% from 45 to 64, and 16.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 99.70 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $36,234, and the median income for a family was $44,025. Males had a median income of $37,066 versus $22,327 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,717. About 7.70% of families and 10.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.60% of those under age 18 and 8.80% of those age 65 or over.

Communities

Cities

Census-designated places

Unincorporated communities

Townships

Unorganized territories

Politics

Itasca County voters tended to vote strongly Democratic for about 80 years following the Great Depression, selecting the Democratic nominee in every election from 1932 through 2012, along with fellow Iron Range counties St. Louis County, Carlton County, and Lake County. However, in 2016, the county swung hard towards Donald Trump, voting Republican for the first time since 1928 and doing so by giving him a healthy majority of 54.1%.[15] In 2020, it voted for Trump once again, giving him an increased vote share of 57.4%, making it the first time the county had voted Republican two elections in a row since 1924 and 1928.

United States presidential election results for Itasca County, Minnesota[16]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 15,239 57.37% 10,786 40.61% 536 2.02%
2016 12,920 54.10% 9,015 37.75% 1,945 8.14%
2012 10,501 43.90% 12,852 53.73% 566 2.37%
2008 10,309 42.26% 13,460 55.18% 626 2.57%
2004 10,705 43.93% 13,290 54.54% 372 1.53%
2000 9,545 43.96% 10,583 48.74% 1,586 7.30%
1996 6,506 31.78% 10,706 52.29% 3,261 15.93%
1992 5,952 28.56% 9,621 46.17% 5,265 25.27%
1988 8,358 43.87% 10,517 55.20% 178 0.93%
1984 9,306 44.42% 11,455 54.68% 187 0.89%
1980 8,368 37.65% 12,134 54.59% 1,726 7.76%
1976 6,646 32.77% 12,979 64.00% 656 3.23%
1972 7,558 45.58% 8,683 52.36% 342 2.06%
1968 4,898 30.22% 10,512 64.86% 796 4.91%
1964 4,137 25.49% 12,054 74.27% 40 0.25%
1960 6,615 38.00% 10,761 61.82% 32 0.18%
1956 6,408 42.22% 8,737 57.56% 33 0.22%
1952 6,573 41.65% 9,128 57.84% 81 0.51%
1948 4,334 29.45% 9,653 65.60% 729 4.95%
1944 4,227 32.28% 8,787 67.10% 81 0.62%
1940 5,196 34.06% 9,899 64.89% 159 1.04%
1936 3,594 28.04% 8,896 69.40% 329 2.57%
1932 3,782 36.94% 5,616 54.86% 839 8.20%
1928 5,103 58.95% 3,122 36.07% 431 4.98%
1924 4,961 60.10% 496 6.01% 2,798 33.89%
1920 3,973 58.31% 1,930 28.33% 910 13.36%
1916 1,163 36.89% 1,504 47.70% 486 15.41%
1912 446 16.59% 699 25.99% 1,544 57.42%
1908 1,883 63.15% 684 22.94% 415 13.92%
1904 1,796 77.02% 293 12.56% 243 10.42%
1900 770 63.32% 413 33.96% 33 2.71%
1896 826 52.91% 724 46.38% 11 0.70%
1892 520 40.66% 686 53.64% 73 5.71%

See also

References

  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Archived from the original on June 20, 2012. Retrieved March 18, 2014.
  2. ^ "Minnesota Pronunciation Guide". Associated Press. Archived from the original on July 22, 2011. Retrieved July 4, 2011.
  3. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  4. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  5. ^ Walk Across the Mississippi River (accessed March 12, 2019)
  6. ^ a b Itasca County MN Google Maps (accessed March 12, 2019)
  7. ^ ""Find an Altitude/Itasca County MN" Google Maps (accessed March 12, 2019)". Archived from the original on May 21, 2019. Retrieved March 12, 2019.
  8. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Counties: April 1, 2020 to July 1, 2022". Retrieved April 19, 2023.
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on April 26, 2015. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Archived from the original on August 11, 2012. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on August 4, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Archived (PDF) from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  14. ^ "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – Itasca County, Minnesota".
  15. ^ "Why one Minnesota county voted for Trump". MPR News. Retrieved January 10, 2021.
  16. ^ Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Archived from the original on March 23, 2018.

47°31′N 93°38′W / 47.51°N 93.63°W / 47.51; -93.63