DAKOTA COUNTY 

Dakota County is among the medium-sized counties (population wise) located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.  Compared to Hennepin County’s more than a million population, Dakota County is indeed a small-sized county but it is considered Minnesota’ s third most populous county.

The County’s 593 square-mile area has been strategically divided into 1/3 each for urban, rural and suburban.



Dakota County was founded in 1849 and its county seat located in Hastings since 1857.  Dakota County is expected to experience a continuous population growth considering the movement of development outside of the urban areas of the Twin Cities to more suburban municipalities.  The County has already experienced a 30% population growth from 1990 to 2000.


 Cities and Lakes 

Dakota County is a county of many lakes with the major ones located in the county’s northern portion.  Among the lakes covered by the County include Lakes Rebecca, Isabelle and Bullfrog Ponds in Hastings; Fish Lake, Holland Lake, Jensen Lake and Blackhawk Lake in Eagan; Thompson Lake in St. Paul, Mud Hen Lake in Ravenna Township, Lake Byllesby in Randolph Township, Crystal Lake in Burnsville and Chub Lake in Eureka Township.


Dakota County is composed of the cities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Coates, Eagan, Farmington, Hampton, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, Miesville, New Trier, Northfield, Randolph, Rosemount, St. Paul South and West, Sunfish Lake and vermillion.


 Population profile 

Dakota County is slightly congested compared to Hennepin County with a population of 355,904 as of the 2000 Census.  Most of the population is centered at the major suburbs like Lakeville, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Eagan and Rosemount. 


Majority of its inhabitants are Whites (91.36%), Asians (2.89%), Blacks and African Americans (2.27%) and a mixture of Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and those from other races. More than half of the 131,151 households consist of married couples (59.20%) while around 21.70% of the total households consist of individuals.


Dakota County’s population is quite young with an average age of 35 years, with 29.20% below 18 years old and 7.40% over 65 years old.  An estimated 34.30% of its residents are within the ages of 25 to 44 years old.


The regular household in the County has an average income of $61,863 with the male population earning more ($46,827) than the females ($32,189).  With a per capita income of $27,008, the County has less people living below poverty level.  Only 3.30% of the entire population and 2.40% of the total number of families in Dakota County are living below the poverty line.



The life, growth and history of Dakota County have been highly influenced by the three rivers of Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix.  Oak Prairie as well as savannas originally lined up the County lands which used to be part of the American Indians territory.  However, the area was claimed by a fur trader (named Nicholas Perrot) for France.


It is included in the original counties, nine in all, which were created by the Minnesota Territory legislature way back in 1849.  The county seat was not originally in Hastings but was in Kaposia (in 1853) and Mendota (in 1854) prior to that.



The county government of Dakota is in charge of all matters pertaining to the administration functions of the county including record maintenance, public works, electoral and judicial functions.  However, the county government of Dakota does more than that as it has remained the access point for most programs implemented by the State.


Just like Hennepin County, Dakota County has seven commissioners who take care of the management operations as well as policy implementation in the county.



Dakota County’s educational services are provided by Independent School District 191 and 196.  However, those planning for corporate relocation and employment relocation in the area can also opt for the Dakota County technical College.

The County is known for its libraries including the Burnhaven Library located in Burnsville, the Galaxie Library located in Apple Valley, the Farmington Library located in Farmington, the Heritage Library located in Lakeville, the Pleasant Hill Library located in Hastings, the City of Suth St. Paul Library located in St. Paul (South), the Wentworth Library located in St. Paul (West), the Wescott Library located in Eagan and the Inver Glen Library located in Inver Grove Heights.

 Housing and Taxation 

Housing is a priority concern in Dakota County and this should be good news for those who want to relocate in any suburb in the County. If you are a new property owner then check with the country assessor if you are qualified to apply for homestead property status.  An application form is available online or at the Dakota County Assessing Services. 


Dakota County is known for assessing the lowest rate on property taxes.  However, it is eyeing a property tax increase of 4.9% for 2008 which is really a minimal increase compared to the other counties in the metro area.  The County’s property tax collection is used to finance a third of the total budget of the county which was $340.2 million in 2007.


There are various housing programs in the county like the Supportive Housing Unit which can help new residents acquire suitable housing units for them whether they opt for a condominium, homes for sale, apartments or purchase a real estate property.  

Under the Supportive Housing Unit are various housing programs like the US Housing & Urban Development Grant, the Family Homeless Prevention Assistance Program, the Youth Services and the Homeless Management Information System.


There are more than 1,800 affordable housing units for rent under the administration of the Community Development Agency which is located in Eagan, Minnesota.  Those who would like to rent homes can also check with the Agency for available units.

If you are a new resident in Dakota County, one of your first requirements would be a new home for you and your family.  So whether you plan to rent a home or purchase real estate property, make sure you deal only with reputable real estate agents who can give you the best deal in town.

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