Ramsey County, Minnesota

Last updated
Ramsey County
Saint Paul City Hall.jpg
Map of Minnesota highlighting Ramsey County.svg
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Minnesota in United States.svg
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 45°01′N93°06′W / 45.02°N 93.1°W / 45.02; -93.1
CountryFlag of the United States.svg United States
StateFlag of Minnesota.svg  Minnesota
FoundedOctober 27, 1849 [1]
Named for Alexander Ramsey
Seat Saint Paul
Largest citySaint Paul
  Total170 sq mi (400 km2)
  Land152 sq mi (390 km2)
  Water18 sq mi (50 km2)  11%%
  Density3,342/sq mi (1,290/km2)
Time zone UTC−6 (Central)
  Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts 4th, 5th
Website www.ramseycounty.us

Ramsey County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 508,640, [2] making it the second-most populous county in Minnesota. Its county seat and largest city is Saint Paul, [3] the state capital. The county was founded in 1849 and is named for Alexander Ramsey, the first governor of the Minnesota Territory. [4]


Ramsey County is included in the Minneapolis–Saint Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area. It is the smallest and most densely populated county in Minnesota, as well as one of the most densely populated counties in the United States. [5]

Soils of Ramsey County Ramsey Co Pie Chart No Text Version.pdf
Soils of Ramsey County
Soils of Tamarack Nature Center Tamarack Nature Center New Wiki Version.JPG
Soils of Tamarack Nature Center


With the establishment of the Minnesota Territory in 1849, nine counties, including Ramsey County, were created. In 1849, Ramsey County included all of what later became the present-day counties of Ramsey, Anoka, Isanti, and Kanabec; and part of Washington, Pine, Carlton, Aitkin, Mille Lacs, and Hennepin. One of Ramsey County's early settlers was Heman Gibbs, whose farm is now operated as the Gibbs Museum of Pioneer and Dakotah Life (Gibbs Farm [7] ) in Falcon Heights. Ramsey County 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. [8]

Government and politics

Ramsey County is overwhelmingly Democratic in presidential elections, having not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1924. In 2020, Democratic nominee Joe Biden received the largest share of the vote for any candidate in the county’s history, with over 71%.

County Sheriff

The Ramsey County Sheriff is the top law enforcement official in Ramsey County. The Ramsey County Sheriff is elected for a four-year term via an election running concurrent with the federal mid-term elections.

The current sheriff is Bob Fletcher, who won the general election for Ramsey County Sheriff on November 6, 2018.

Providing safety in Ramsey County is a collaborative effort across multiple agencies. The Ramsey County Sheriff's office provides a number of unique services across the county as mandated by law. This includes detention for court and other court services. This also includes safety, rescue and law enforcement on the waterways.

Proactively, the Sheriff's office provides multiple safety classes and coordinates community volunteer efforts.

The sheriff's office provides patrol and investigation for communities without local police forces and is available as backup for all communities. An emergency 911 call will send the appropriate agency according to the caller's location and law enforcement availability.

CommunityLaw EnforcementFire ProtectionAmbulance
Arden HillsRamsey County SheriffLake Johanna FireAllina Medical Transport
Falcon HeightsRamsey County SheriffSaint Paul FireSaint Paul Fire
Gem LakeWhite Bear Lake PoliceWhite Bear Lake FireWhite Bear Lake Fire
LauderdaleSaint Anthony PoliceSaint Paul FireSaint Paul Fire
Little CanadaRamsey County SheriffLittle Canada Fire & RescueAllina Medical Transport
MaplewoodMaplewood PoliceMaplewood FireMaplewood Fire
Minnesota State FairgroundsMinnesota State Fair PoliceSaint Paul FireSaint Paul Fire
Mounds ViewMounds View PoliceSBM FireAllina Medical Transport
New BrightonNew Brighton Police DivisionNew Brighton Fire DivisionAllina Medical Transport
North OaksRamsey County SheriffLake Johanna FireAllina Medical Transport
North Saint PaulNorth Saint Paul PoliceNorth Saint Paul FireLakeview Emergency Medical
RosevilleRoseville PoliceRoseville FireAllina Medical Transport
Saint AnthonySaint Anthony PoliceSaint Anthony FireHennepin EMS
Saint PaulSaint Paul PoliceSaint Paul FireSaint Paul Fire
ShoreviewRamsey County SheriffLake Johanna FireAllina Medical Transport
University of Minnesota-St. PaulUniversity PoliceSaint Paul FireSaint Paul Fire
Vadnais HeightsRamsey County SheriffVadnais Heights FireAllina Medical Transport
White Bear LakeWhite Bear Lake PoliceWhite Bear Lake FireWhite Bear Lake Fire
White Bear TownshipRamsey County SheriffWhite Bear Lake FireWhite Bear Lake Fire

County Attorney

The Ramsey County Attorney prosecutes felony crimes which are committed within the jurisdiction of Ramsey County. The current County Attorney is John Choi, who was elected in 2010.

County Commissioners

The county commission elects a chair who presides at meetings. Commissioners as of November 20, 2019:

DistrictCommissionerIn office sinceCurrent term expires on December 31 of
1stNicole Joy Frethem20192020
2ndMary Jo McGuire20132020
3rdTrista MatasCastillo20192022
4thToni Carter (Chair)20052022
5thRafael Ortega19952022
6thJim McDonough20002022
7thVictoria Reinhardt19972020
Presidential elections results
Presidential elections results [9]
Year Republican Democratic Third parties
2020 26.1% 77,37671.5%211,6202.4% 6,981
2016 26.0% 70,89465.1%177,7389.0% 24,511
2012 31.1% 86,80066.3%184,9382.5% 7,084
2008 32.1% 88,94266.0%182,9742.0% 5,470
2004 35.6% 97,09663.0%171,8461.3% 3,635
2000 35.9% 87,66956.7%138,4707.4% 18,139
1996 29.3% 66,95458.7%133,87812.0% 27,381
1992 27.1% 68,20652.0%130,93221.0% 52,777
1988 37.8% 88,73661.2%143,7671.0% 2,393
1984 40.0% 95,66759.2%141,6230.9% 2,153
1980 33.9% 78,86053.6%124,77412.5% 29,110
1976 37.9% 86,48058.6%133,6823.5% 7,905
1972 45.6% 95,71651.6%108,3922.8% 5,843
1968 32.8% 64,06862.6%122,5684.6% 9,020
1964 29.7% 56,89869.9%133,9480.4% 746
1960 41.5% 77,40858.2%108,4640.4% 655
1956 47.7% 80,70151.9%87,7840.3% 554
1952 44.4% 76,09354.7%93,7830.9% 1,494
1948 34.2% 48,14262.8%88,5283.0% 4,217
1944 39.7% 53,05258.9%78,7591.5% 1,933
1940 41.3% 57,09357.2%78,9901.5% 2,082
1936 23.4% 30,55366.0%86,28610.6% 13,889
1932 35.7% 38,58961.2%66,1283.0% 3,263
1928 47.8% 53,05451.2%56,8071.0% 1,049
1924 47.7%39,56610.1% 8,40742.2% 35,046
1920 58.6%40,20430.8% 21,11010.6% 7,273
1916 35.1% 13,31758.7%22,2916.2% 2,353
1912 12.7% 4,10938.4%12,43148.9% 15,810 [10]
1908 54.6%16,55638.3% 11,6137.0% 2,131
1904 70.2%18,26922.5% 5,8607.3% 1,889
1900 56.3%15,38440.0% 10,9313.8% 1,030
1896 57.7%17,52239.7% 12,0482.7% 817
1892 42.0% 11,30747.6%12,81710.4% 2,802


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. [11] It is the smallest county by area in Minnesota. It has been considered completely urbanized since the 1990 United States Census. [12]

Adjacent counties

National protected area


Ramsey County is served by several interstate highways, including Interstate 35 and Interstate 94. I-35 has two routes through Ramsey County. I-35E enters the county from Dakota County to the south and proceeds north through Saint Paul, where it intersects I-94, then continues north to Little Canada, where it runs east concurrently with I-694 for several miles before turning north through North Oaks to Washington County. I-35W crosses from Minneapolis to the west through Saint Anthony before turning north through New Brighton, where it intersects I-694, and then to Anoka County where it goes on to rejoin I-35E in Washington County. [13]

Near the western edge of the county, I-94 enters from Minneapolis where it runs almost parallel to University Avenue until it meets I-35E in Saint Paul and continues east to Washington County. I-494 passes through the southeast corner of the county between Dakota and Washington Counties. From Anoka County in the west, I-694 takes a path through New Brighton, where it meets I-35W, to the junction with I-35E in Little Canada and finally to Washington County in the east. [13]

Ramsey County is also accessible by several U.S. Highways, in particular US 10, US 52, and US 61. US 10 enters from Washington County in the south and continues north to meet I-94 just east of Saint Paul where it turns west to run concurrently with I-94, I-35E, I-694, and finally I-35W before continuing northwest to Anoka County. US 52 runs from South Saint Paul in Dakota County north to downtown Saint Paul where it meets I-94 and turns west to run concurrently with it all the way to the North Dakota border. From the south, US 61 runs concurrently with US 10 and then I-94 until it continues northeast on surface streets through the East Side of Saint Paul. From Saint Paul, US 61 continues north through Maplewood and White Bear Lake before crossing the border into Washington County. [13]

In addition to these federal highways, Ramsey County is served by a number of Minnesota State Highways, including MN 36 and MN 51 which are divided highways for much of their length. [13]

The county also has jurisdiction over 264.108 miles of County State Aid Highways as well as 21,031 miles of county roads and 59 bridges that are maintained and monitored by the Public Works Department of Ramsey County. [14]

Major highways


Ramsey County is a major freight hub along BNSF's Northern Transcon route, as well as being served by Union Pacific and Canadian Pacific. [15]

Amtrak offers daily intercity passenger rail service on the Empire Builder from Union Depot in Saint Paul. [16] Light rail service is provided by Metro, a light rail and bus rapid transit system operated by Metro Transit that connects several communities in Ramsey and Hennepin Counties. [17]


The primary airport serving Ramsey County is Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport, located in neighboring Hennepin County. The only airport located in Ramsey County is Saint Paul Downtown Airport, a smaller commercial airport with three runways primarily used for general aviation and military operations. [18]


Historical population
1850 2,227
1860 12,150445.6%
1870 23,08590.0%
1880 45,89098.8%
1890 139,796204.6%
1900 170,55422.0%
1910 223,67531.1%
1920 244,5549.3%
1930 286,72117.2%
1940 309,9358.1%
1950 355,33214.6%
1960 422,52518.9%
1970 476,25512.7%
1980 459,784−3.5%
1990 485,7655.7%
2000 511,0355.2%
2010 508,640−0.5%
2020 (est.)554,847 [19] 9.1%
U.S. Decennial Census [20]
1790-1960 [21] 1900-1990 [22]
1990-2000 [23] 2010-2019 [2]
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data USA Ramsey County, Minnesota age pyramid.svg
Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data


As of the 2010 Census, there were 508,640 people, 202,691 households, and 117,799 families living in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 70.1% White, 11.0% Black or African American, 0.8% Native American, 11.7% Asian, 2.9% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races. 7.2% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

According to the 2010–2015 American Community Survey, the largest ancestry groups were was German (26.0%), Irish (11.5%), Norwegian (9.9%), and Swedish (7.4%). [24]


At the 2000 Census, there were 511,035 people, 201,236 households, and 119,936 families living in the county. The population density was 3,281 people per square mile (1,267/km2). There were 206,448 housing units at an average density of 1,325 per square mile (512/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 77.37% White, 7.61% Black or African American, 0.83% Native American, 8.77% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 2.45% from other races, and 2.90% from two or more races. 5.28% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

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.




Unincorporated communities


Ramsey County records [ permanent dead link ] are available for research use. They include school records, district and municipal court files, Board of Commissioners records, County Auditor records, Court of Common Pleas, probate court records, Saint Paul City Council records, and agency histories.

See also

Related Research Articles

Interstate 94 (I-94) is an east–west Interstate Highway connecting the Great Lakes and northern Great Plains regions of the United States. Its western terminus is in Billings, Montana, at a junction with I-90; its eastern terminus is in Port Huron, Michigan, where it meets with I-69 and crosses the Blue Water Bridge into Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, where the route becomes Ontario Highway 402. It thus lies along the primary overland route from Seattle to Toronto, and is the only east–west Interstate highway to have a direct connection to Canada. I-94 intersects with I-90 several times: at its western terminus; Tomah to Madison in Wisconsin; in Chicago, and in Lake Station, Indiana. Major cities that I-94 connects to are Billings; Bismarck; Fargo; Minneapolis–Saint Paul; Madison; Milwaukee; Chicago; and Detroit.

Hennepin County, Minnesota County in Minnesota

Hennepin County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census the population was 1,152,425. It is the most populous county in Minnesota and the 32nd-most populous county in the United States; more than one in five Minnesotans live in Hennepin County. Its county seat is Minneapolis, the state's most populous city. The county is named in honor of the 17th-century explorer Father Louis Hennepin. Hennepin County is included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area. The center of population of Minnesota is in Hennepin County, in the City of Minneapolis.

Anoka County, Minnesota County in the United States

Anoka County is the fourth-most-populous county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 United States census, the population was 330,854. The county seat and namesake of the county is the city of Anoka, which is derived from the Dakota word anokatanhan meaning "on both sides," referring to its location on the banks of the Rum River. The largest city in the county is the city of Blaine, the thirteenth-largest city in Minnesota and the eighth-largest Twin Cities suburb.

Anoka, Minnesota City in Minnesota, United States

Anoka is a city in and the county seat of Anoka County, Minnesota, United States. Its population was 17,142 at the 2010 census. Anoka is the "Halloween Capital of the World" because it hosted one of the first Halloween parades in 1920. It continues to celebrate the holiday each year with several parades. Anoka is a northern suburb of the Twin Cities. U.S. Highways 10 / 169 and State Highway 47 are three of Anoka's main routes, and it has a station on the Northstar Commuter Rail line to Minneapolis.

Fridley, Minnesota city in Anoka County, Minnesota, USA

Fridley is a city in Anoka County, Minnesota, United States. Its population was 27,208 at the 2010 census. Fridley was incorporated in 1949 as a village, and became a city in 1957. It is part of the Twin Cities metropolitan area. Fridley is a "first ring" or "inner ring" suburb in the northern part of the Twin Cities. Fridley connects with the city of Minneapolis at its southern border. Neighboring first-ring suburbs are Columbia Heights to the south and Brooklyn Center to the west across the Mississippi River.

Brooklyn Park, Minnesota City in Minnesota, United States

Brooklyn Park is the sixth largest city in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The city is on the west bank of the Mississippi River, upstream from downtown Minneapolis in northern Hennepin County. Brooklyn Park is a northwest suburb of the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

Blaine, Minnesota City in Minnesota, United States

Blaine is a city in Anoka and Ramsey counties in the State of Minnesota, United States. The population was 57,186 at the 2010 census. The city is located mainly in Anoka County, and is part of the Minneapolis–Saint Paul metropolitan area.

U.S. Route 10 or U.S. Highway 10 (US 10) is an east–west United States highway located in the Midwest and Great Lakes regions of the United States. Unlike most U.S. routes with "0" as the last digit of its route number, US 10 is not a cross-country highway. US 10 was one of the original long-haul highways, running from Detroit, Michigan, to Seattle, Washington, but then lost much of its length when new Interstate Highways were built on top of its right-of-way. In 2010, its length was 565 miles (909 km).

Interstate 694 (I-694) is an east–west auxiliary Interstate Highway located in the Minneapolis – Saint Paul metropolitan area in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The western terminus of the route is at its junction with I-94, I-494, and US 52 in Maple Grove. The eastern terminus of I-694 is at its junction with I-94 and I-494 at the Woodbury–Oakdale city line. I-694 comprises the northern and northeastern portions of a beltway around the Twin Cities, with I-494 forming the remainder of the beltway. The speed limit is 60 miles per hour (95 km/h). Interstate Highways outside of the loop in Minnesota may be signed as high as 70 mph (115 km/h), but can only reach 60 mph (95 km/h) inside the loop.

Minnesota State Highway 65 is a highway in the east–central and northeast parts of the U.S. state of Minnesota, which starts at its split from I-35W, skipping past the downtown Minneapolis core, only to resume at the intersection with Washington Avenue at the north end of downtown Minneapolis to continue north to its northern terminus at its intersection with U.S. Highway 71 (US 71) in Littlefork near International Falls.

Minnesota State Highway 77 (MN 77) is a 11.403-mile-long (18.351 km) highway in Minnesota, which runs from its intersection with 138th Street in Apple Valley and continues north to its northern terminus at its interchange with State Highway 62 in Minneapolis. MN 77 is also known as Cedar Avenue.

University Avenue (Minneapolis–Saint Paul)


Minnesota State Highway 47 is a 126.872-mile-long (204.181 km) highway in east–central Minnesota, which runs from its intersection with Central Avenue in Minneapolis and continues north to its northern terminus at its intersection with U.S. Highway 169 in Aitkin.

Interstate 35E (I-35E) is an Interstate Highway in the US state of Minnesota, passing through downtown Saint Paul. It is one of two through routes for Interstate 35 through the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the other being Interstate 35W through Minneapolis. Thus, both ends of I-35E are shared with I-35W and I-35. This is one of two pairs of suffixed Interstates that has not been eliminated; I-35 also splits into I-35E and I-35W in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas.

Minnesota State Highway 280 is a 3.710-mile-long (5.971 km) highway in the Twin Cities region of Minnesota that runs from its interchange with Interstate 94/US Highway 52 in Saint Paul to its interchange with Interstate 35W in Roseville.

Interstate 94 (I-94) in the U.S. state of Minnesota runs 259 miles (417 km) east–west through the central portion of the state. The highway connects the cities of Moorhead, Fergus Falls, Alexandria, St. Cloud, Minneapolis, and Saint Paul.

U.S. Highway 10 (US 10) is a major divided highway for almost all of its length in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The route runs through the central portion of the state, following generally the alignment of the former Northern Pacific Railway and connects the cities of Moorhead, Detroit Lakes, Wadena, Little Falls, St. Cloud, Anoka, Saint Paul, and Cottage Grove. US 10 within Minnesota is 275 miles (443 km) in length.

Larpenteur Avenue is a main thoroughfare in Ramsey County, Minnesota, United States. Originally named Minneapolis Avenue, it was renamed by the Saint Paul City Council in 1904 in honor of Auguste Louis Larpenteur, a fur trader and one of the original 12 citizens in the city of Saint Paul. The west end of Larpenteur Avenue is at the border with Hennepin County in Lauderdale, immediately west of Minnesota State Highway 280. Larpenteur continues east from Lauderdale through the cities of Falcon Heights, Roseville, and Saint Paul, where it is an exit off of Interstate 35E and bisected by Lake Phalen to the east. It ends at Minnesota State Highway 120 in Maplewood at the border of Washington County.


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Coordinates: 45°01′N93°06′W / 45.02°N 93.10°W / 45.02; -93.10