Benton County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 38,451. Its county seat is Foley.
The Mississippi River flows southeast along Benton County’s western border, and the Platte River flows south through the county’s northwest corner, discharging into the Mississippi at the county’s western border. The terrain consists of low rolling hills, wooded or devoted to agriculture. It generally slopes to the south and east, although its western portion slopes into the river valleys. The county’s highest point is a small hill near the midpoint of the northern border, one mile (1.6 km) north of Brennyville, at 1,311′ (399m) ASL. The county has a total area of 413 square miles (1,070 km), of which 408 square miles (1,060 km) is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km) (1.2%) is water. It is the fifth-smallest county in Minnesota by land area and fourth-smallest by total area.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 34,226 people, 13,065 households, and 8,518 families in the county. The population density was 83.9/sqmi (32.4/km²). There were 13,460 housing units at an average density of 33/sqmi (12.7/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.22% White, 0.78% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 1.15% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.35% from other races, and 0.94% from two or more races. 0.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 47.8% were of German, 12.1% Polish and 8.8% Norwegian ancestry.
There were 13,065 households out of which 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.10% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.80% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.14.
The county population contained 27.10% under the age of 18, 12.20% from 18 to 24, 31.00% from 25 to 44, 18.70% from 45 to 64, and 11.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $41,968, and the median income for a family was $51,277. Males had a median income of $33,214 versus $22,737 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,008. About 4.50% of families and 7.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.30% of those under age 18 and 12.60% of those age 65 or over.