St. Louis County is a county located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 200,226. Its county seat is Duluth. It is the largest county by total area in Minnesota, and the largest in the United States east of the Mississippi River.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 6,860 square miles (17,800 km), of which 6,247 square miles (16,180 km) is land and 612 square miles (1,590 km) (8.9%) is water. By area, it is the largest county in Minnesota and the largest in the U.S. east of the Mississippi River.
Voyageurs National Park, established in 1975, is located in its northwestern corner, on the south shore of Rainy Lake on the Canada–US border; it is popular with canoeists, kayakers, other boaters and fishermen. The county also includes parts of Superior National Forest, established in 1909, and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on the border, established in 1978. The BWCAW is a 1,090,000-acre (4,400 km) wilderness area designated for fishing, camping, hiking, and canoeing, and is one of the most visited wilderness areas in the United States. St. Louis County has more than 500 lakes, including Rainy, Kabetogama, Namakan, Sand Point, and Crane lakes. The largest lakes are Pelican and Vermilion.
The “Hill of Three Waters” on the Laurentian Divide lies northeast of Hibbing. Rain falling on this hill runs to three watersheds: Hudson Bay to the north, the Gulf of Saint Lawrence to the east (via Lake Superior), or the Gulf of Mexico to the south and west (via the Mississippi River). The county is drained by the St. Louis, Vermilion, and other rivers.
Duluth on Lake Superior is one of the most important fresh-water ports in the United States and located in this county.
The county encompasses part of the Iron Range. It has had a significant taconite mining industry, particularly in the city of Virginia.
As of the 2010 census, there were 200,226 people residing in the county. The racial makeup of the county was 94.0% White, 2.2% Native American, 0.4% Black or African American, 0.9% Asian, 0.2% of some other race and 2.3% of two or more races. 1.2% were Hispanic or Latino (of any race). According to the 2010–2015 American Community Survey, the ancestral makeup was 24.3% German, 15.9% Norwegian, 13.0% Swedish, and 10.2% Irish.
As of the 2000 census, there were 200,528 people, 82,619 households, and 51,389 families residing in the county. The population density was 32 people per square mile (12/km). There were 95,800 housing units at an average density of 15 per square mile (6/km). The racial makeup of the county was 94.86% White, 0.85% Black or African American, 2.03% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 1.35% from two or more races. 0.80% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
27.60% of households included children under the age of 18, 49.30% were married couples living together, 9.40% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.80% were non-families. 31.20% of all households consisted of individuals and 13.00% of individuals 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.32 and the average family size was 2.90.
The population spread by age was 22.40% under the age of 18, 11.40% from 18 to 24, 25.90% from 25 to 44, 24.30% from 45 to 64, and 16.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 96.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $36,306, and the median income for a family was $47,134. Males had a median income of $37,934 versus $24,235 for females. The per capita income for the county was $18,982. About 7.20% of families and 12.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.10% of those under age 18 and 8.90% of those age 65 or over.