Scott County is a county located in the U.S.
state of Minnesota.
It was organized in 1853 and named in honor
of General Winfield Scott
. As of
2000, the population was 89,498. Its county seat
is Shakopee .
is located entirely within the county and
within the cities of Prior Lake and Shakopee.
Scott County is a member of the Metropolitan Council
, and shares many
of the council's concerns about responsible growth management,
advocating for progressive development concepts such as clustering,
open-space design, and the preservation of open space and
County is a mixed rural/suburban county in the Twin
Cities metropolitan area.
The county consists of
the cities of Belle Plaine, Jordan, Elko New Market, New Prague,
Prior Lake, Savage and Shakopee and Belle Plaine, Blakeley, Cedar
Lake, Credit River, Helena, Jackson, Louisville, New Market, St.
Lawrence, Sand Creek, and Spring Lake townships. Scott County is
one of the fastest growing counties in the state of Minnesota,
having increased 55% since 1990. Scott County is 365 square miles
and is bounded on the west and north by the Minnesota River
. The Minnesota River had
supported the county's fur trading, lumbering, and farming
industries in the 1800s. Today Scott County enjoys a growing mix of
commercial, industrial, and housing development, but is still
primarily rural. Scott County is the home to several
historical, scenic, and entertainment destinations including
Park, Murphy's Landing, Elko Speedway, Mystic Lake Casino, the Renaissance Festival, and
Valleyfair Amusement Park.
Scott County was first inhabited by two bands of the Santee Sioux
(Dakota) Indians, the Mdewakanton
. They lived a semi-nomadic life that
followed a seasonal cycle. They gathered food, hunted, fished, and
planted corn. In the summer the Dakota villages were occupied but
in the winter the groups separated for hunting. They had many
permanent villages along the Minnesota River. They had many trails
leading to these settlements and to the Red River Valley
in the North, and the
Prairie du Chien to the Southeast. These trails were later used by
the fur traders and settlers, and were known as the "ox cart
trails." The area of Scott County, as well as much of
southern Minnesota, was opened for settlement by two treaties
signed at Mendota and Traverse des
Sioux, in 1851 and 1853.
These treaties removed
the Dakota Indians to reservations
in upper Minnesota.
Scott County was established and organized by an Act passed in the
legislature in March 5, 1853. The 369 square mile county was named
after General Winfield Scott
Settlers started entering the area in the mid-1850s. The Minnesota
River and the ox cart trails were the primary transportation
routes. The first settlers were Yankees, followed by groups of
, and Scandinavians
. They each brought their own
traditions and religions. Most of these settlers became farmers.
Fur trading, lumbering, and farming were Minnesota's major
industries all throughout the 1800's. With the fast-growing farms,
sprang up towns. Shakopee, the County
Seat, began in 1851 as a trading post by the Dakota Village of
Chief Shakopee (or Shakpay).
Other towns were established
alongside transportation routes. When the railroads came to
Minnesota they became the primary mode of transportation and
eventually highways were developed along the ox cart trails between
Due to urban sprawl and suburbanization this rural county is
changing dramatically. Cities are continually growing, causing an
increase in population from 57,846 in 1990 to 89,498 today, making
Scott County Minnesota's fastest growing county.
Presidential Election Results
According to the U.S. Census Bureau
, the county has a total
area of 369 square miles (955 kmÂ²), of which
357 square miles (924 kmÂ²) is land and 12 square
miles (31 kmÂ²) (3.22%) is water.The Minnesota River is the
county's boundary in both the north and the west. The broad river
valley juts through glacial sediment into some of the oldest rock
known. Now mostly farmland, it was an oak savanna and a mixture of
grass and clusters of trees that grew parallel to the river valley.
The savanna bordered the "Big Woods
hard wood forest that covered most of Minnesota before it was
logged in the mid 1800's.
Scott County Government Center
Age pyramid of county residents based
on 2000 U.S. census data.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 89,498
people, 30,692 households, and 23,970 families residing in the
county. The population density
was 251 people per square mile (97/kmÂ²). There were 31,609 housing
units at an average density of 89 per square mile (34/kmÂ²).
The racial makeup of the county was 93.65% White
, 0.92% Black
or African American
, 0.77% Native American
, 2.17% Asian
, 0.03% Pacific Islander
, 1.24% from
, and 1.21%
from two or more races. 2.66% of the population were Hispanic
of any race. 39.6% were
, 12.6% Norwegian
, 8.3% Irish
and 5.1% Swedish
ancestry according to Census 2000
There were 30,692 households out of which 45.40% had children under
the age of 18 living with them, 66.90% were married couples
living together, 7.40% had a female
householder with no husband present, and 21.90% were non-families.
16.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 4.50% had
someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average
household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.25.
In the county the population was spread out with 31.20% under the
age of 18, 6.70% from 18 to 24, 37.30% from 25 to 44, 18.60% from
45 to 64, and 6.20% who were 65 years of age or older. The median
age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 101.90 males.
For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 100.00
The median income for a household in the county was $66,612, and
the median income for a family was $72,212 (these figures had risen
to $80,968 and $90,489 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males
had a median income of $46,593 versus $32,482 for females. The
per capita income
for the county
was $26,418. About 2.00% of families and 3.40% of the population
were below the poverty line
3.40% of those under age 18 and 7.50% of those age 65 or
Cities and towns
Part of New Prague extends into Le Sueur