With the establishment of the Minnesota Territory in 1849, many new settlers were attracted to Ramsey County and established farms in the northern part of the county. One of these early settlers was Heman Gibbs, whose farm is now operated as the Gibbs Museum of Pioneer and Dakotah Life in Falcon Heights. This area remained largely farmland until small villages began to appear in the late 19th century with the incorporation of North St. Paul in 1887, New Brighton in 1891, and White Bear Lake in 1921.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 170 square miles (440 km2), of which 152 square miles (390 km2) is land and 18 square miles (47 km2) (11%) is water. It is the smallest county by area in Minnesota. It has been considered completely urbanized since the 1990 United States Census.
Anoka County (north)
Washington County (east)
Dakota County (south)
Hennepin County (west)
National protected area
Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (part)
There were 201,236 households out of which 29.80% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.00% were married couples living together, 11.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.40% were non-families. 32.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.45 and the average family size was 3.16.
In the county, the population was spread out with 25.60% under the age of 18, 11.30% from 18 to 24, 30.70% from 25 to 44, 20.70% from 45 to 64, and 11.60% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 93.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.20 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $45,722, and the median income for a family was $57,747. (These figures had risen to $53,141 and $71,485, respectively, as of 2008.) Males had a median income of $39,806 versus $30,814 for females. The per capita income for the county was $23,536. About 7.40% of families and 10.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.70% of those under age 18 and 6.80% of those age 65 or over.
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