Carver County is a county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 91,042. Its county seat is Chaska. Carver County is named for explorer Jonathan Carver, who in 1766–67, traveled from Boston to the Minnesota River, and wintered among the Sioux near the site of New Ulm.
The Minnesota River flows east-northeasterly along the county’s southern border. The South Fork of the Crow River flows northeasterly through the upper western and central portions of the county. Carver Creek flows southeasterly from the county’s central area, discharging into the Minnesota at the county’s southern border. The terrain consists of low rolling hills, dotted with lakes in the eastern portion. The area is devoted to agriculture.
The terrain slopes to the east and south, with its northwest corner at 1,024′ (312m) ASL. A small hill 1.6 miles (2.6 km) northeast of Miller Lake rises to 1,080′ (329m) ASL, for the county’s highest point.
The county has a total area of 376 square miles (970 km), of which 354 square miles (920 km) is land and 22 square miles (57 km) (5.8%) is water. It is Minnesota’s second-smallest county by land area and third-smallest by total area.
Carver is one of seven southern Minnesota counties with no forest soils; only prairie ecosystems of savannas and prairies can be found in Carver County. It is also one of 17 Minnesota counties where savanna soils dominate.
The ethnic makeup of the county, according to the 2010 census, was the following:
There were 33,486 households out of which 42.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.9% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.9% were non-families. 21.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.22.
The median income for a household in the county was $83,773, and the median income for a family was $96,913. Males had a median income of $66,150 versus $46,696 for females. The per capita income for the county was $37,457. About 3.3% of families and 4.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.5% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census, there were 70,205 people, 24,356 households, and 18,778 families in the county. The population density was 198/sqmi (76.6/km²). There were 24,883 housing units at an average density of 70.3/sqmi (27.1/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 95.95% White, 0.59% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 1.56% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.87% from other races, and 0.82% from two or more races. 2.55% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 44.3% were of German, 12.1% Norwegian, 7.1% Irish and 6.2% Swedish ancestry.
There were 24,356 households out of which 45.20% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.40% were married couples living together, 7.30% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.90% were non-families. 18.10% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.10% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.26.
The county population contained 31.50% under the age of 18, 6.90% from 18 to 24, 34.70% from 25 to 44, 19.50% from 45 to 64, and 7.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 100.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 98.00 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $65,540, and the median income for a family was $73,577 (these figures had risen to $78,035 and $89,100 respectively as of a 2007 estimate). Males had a median income of $47,271 versus $32,107 for females. The per capita income for the county was $28,486. About 2.30% of families and 3.50% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.60% of those under age 18 and 6.90% of those age 65 or over.