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The 2000 Census showed that Dakota County had a population of 355,904 people. This represented 7.23% of the total population of Minnesota, making it the state's 3rd most populous county (out of 87 counties).

From the Census Estimates for 2009<1>, Dakota had a population of 396,500 people. This is an increase of 11.41% since the 2000 Census.

The following table shows the recent changes in population. Other than 2000, the population counts have been estimated by the Census Bureau.

Since 2000
Year-to-Year Change
2010398,552+11.98%+0.52% since 2009
2009396,500+11.41%+0.76% since 2008
2008393,528+10.57%+0.83% since 2007
2007390,284+9.66%+1.21% since 2006
2006385,604+8.34%+1.14% since 2005
2005381,256+7.12%+1.2% since 2004
2004376,747+5.86%+1.29% since 2003
2003371,955+4.51%+1.02% since 2002
2002368,205+3.46%+1.26% since 2001
2001363,622+2.17%+2.17% since 2000
2000355,904The Last Census

Dakota County had 133,750 Housing Units<2> at the time of the 2000 Census.

The 2000 Census shows that Dakota County has a total area<3> of 586 square miles [1,518 km²]. Of this total, 569 square miles [1,475 km²] of the area is land, with the balance (2.86%) being water (16.75 square miles [43.38 km²]).

Using the above population and land area values, Dakota County had a population density of 624 people per square mile [241.3 people/km²], making it the state's 4th most densely populated county (out of 87 counties).

US Census QuickFacts

The Census Bureau has created documents containing demographic information that are called QuickFacts. A QuickFact that is specific to Dakota County is available. The QuickFact also contains a comparison between Dakota and the state of Minnesota.

Click here for the Dakota County QuickFact (QF-27037).

Below are some of the communities that are located in Dakota County:

(2009 Est)
(2000 Census)
Change in
Apple ValleyQF-270190050,13245,52710.11%
Inver Grove HeightsQF-273107634,00829,75114.31%
South Saint PaulQF-276149219,49820,167-3.32%
West Saint PaulQF-276970018,80519,405-3.09%
Mendota HeightsQF-274169611,67411,4342.1%

Below are the counties that adjoin and form the boundaries of Dakota County. A link to their specific Census QuickFact has been provided.

(2009 Est.)
(2000 Census)
Change in
GoodhueQF-27049   SE45,83644,1273.87%
HennepinQF-27053   NW1,156,2121,116,2003.58%
RamseyQF-27123   N506,278511,035-0.93%
RiceQF-27131   S62,72356,66510.69%
ScottQF-27139   W131,93989,49847.42%
WashingtonQF-27163   NE231,958201,13015.33%
Pierce (WI)QF-55093   E40,08136,8048.9%

The Mississippi River runs along the eastern border of the county.

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U.S. Census Bureau
Census QuickFact for Dakota County

Footnotes ...

<1>On a yearly basis, the US Census Bureau creates an estimate of the county's population. Keep in mind that this is an estimate and not an actual count. The last physical count was the 2000 Census and the next count will be for the 2010 Census.

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<2>A Housing Unit is a broad term for those places where people live (whether occupied or temporarily vacant), such as a house, an apartment, a mobile home, or an area that is considered as a separate living quarter. Separate living quarters (consisting of one or more rooms) are considered to be those places where people live, sleep and eat separately from others and that have access to the outside (either directly or by a shared hallway).

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<3>The area value has been supplied by the US Census Bureau and it can be different than the geographic boundaries of Dakota. The value given by the Census Bureau reflects their statistical (or sampling) requirements.

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<4>All Quarter-dollar coin images from the United States Mint.

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