Willmar is a city in, and the county seat of, Kandiyohi County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 19,610 at the 2010 census.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 15.95 square miles (41.31 km), of which 14.15 square miles (36.65 km) is land and 1.80 square miles (4.66 km) is water.
The 45° latitude line passes just south of Willmar, placing it approximately halfway between the equator and the North Pole.
As of the census of 2010, there were 19,610 people, 7,677 households, and 4,538 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,385.9 inhabitants per square mile (535.1/km). There were 8,123 housing units at an average density of 574.1 per square mile (221.7/km). The racial makeup of the city was 86.9% White, 4.8% African American, 0.5% Native American, 0.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 5.4% from other races, and 1.8% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 20.9% of the population.
There were 7,677 households of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 42.6% were married couples living together, 12.2% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.3% had a male householder with no wife present, and 40.9% were non-families. 32.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.43 and the average family size was 3.10.
The median age in the city was 33.8 years. 25.2% of residents were under the age of 18; 12.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 24.1% were from 25 to 44; 22.2% were from 45 to 64; and 15.8% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the city was 48.8% male and 51.2% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 18,351 people, 7,302 households, and 4,461 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,549.9 people per square mile (598.4/km²). There were 7,789 housing units at an average density of 657.8 per square mile (254.0/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.12% White, 0.90% African American, 0.46% Native American, 0.53% Asian, 0.11% Pacific Islander, 8.52% from other races, and 1.36% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.86% of the population.
There were 7,302 households out of which 31.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.3% were married couples living together, 10.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 38.9% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.44 and the average family size was 3.08.
In the city, the population was spread out with 26.2% under the age of 18, 12.0% from 18 to 24, 26.4% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $33,455, and the median income for a family was $45,415. Males had a median income of $31,575 versus $22,158 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,515. About 8.4% of families and 13.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 16.2% of those under the age of 18 and 8.0% of those 65 and older.
Since October 15, 1989, Willmar has experienced a large influx of immigrants from Latin America and Northeast Africa, mostly due to the demand for labor at the Jennie-O poultry plant. In 2001, the city was recognized as an “All America City” by the National Civic League, in part for its success as growing numbers of immigrants became part of the community.
In 2005, the city received attention from national media after several Somali-American high school students gave Willmar High School its first Cross-Country State championship in 20 years. The team won the state tournament and attended the Nike Nationals consecutively in 2005 and 2006. Following the team’s success, the city gained attention from Sports Illustrated. Subsequently, NBC Nightly News ran a story on Willmar’s changing complexion and its acceptance of its new citizens.
More national attention was received when an opinion piece about immigration and Willmar written by Thomas Friedman appeared in the New York Times on May 14, 2019.
Willmar Minnesota neighborhoods include: 5th Street SE, Garfield, Harrison Road, Horizon Hills, Long Acres, Minnegasco Park, Pheasant Run and Woodberry, Pleasant View, Portland Acres, Ramblewood, Swan Lake, West Wind, Williams Pkwy SW, Willmar, Long Lake Road, Willmar North, Willmar Parks