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Carver County, Minnesota

Carver County, Minnesota
Map of Minnesota highlighting Carver County
Location in the state of Minnesota
Map of the United States highlighting Minnesota
Minnesota's location in the U.S.
Founded February 20, 1855[1]
Named for Jonathan Carver
Seat Chaska
Largest city Chaska
 • Total 376 sq mi (974 km2)
 • Land 354 sq mi (917 km2)
 • Water 22 sq mi (57 km2), 5.8%
Population (est.)
 • (2014) 97,338
 • Density 257/sq mi (99/km²)
Congressional districts 3rd, 6th
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5

Carver County is a county located in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 91,042.[2] Its county seat is Chaska.[3] Carver County is named after the 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.[4]

Carver County is part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area.


  • Geography 1
    • Lakes 1.1
    • Major highways 1.2
    • Adjacent counties 1.3
    • National protected area 1.4
  • Climate and weather 2
  • Demographics 3
    • 2010 3.1
    • 2000 3.2
  • Government and politics 4
    • Government 4.1
      • County commissioners 4.1.1
    • Politics 4.2
  • Communities 5
    • Cities 5.1
    • Townships 5.2
    • Unincorporated communities 5.3
    • Ghost town 5.4
  • Notable residents 6
  • See also 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 376 square miles (970 km2), of which 354 square miles (920 km2) is land and 22 square miles (57 km2) (5.8%) is water.[5] It is the second-smallest county in Minnesota 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.

Native vegetation based on NRCS soils information[6]


Lake Waconia

Carver County is home to seven lakes, 235 acres or larger. Carver's largest and most notable lake is Waconia Lake. The lake is Minnesota's 73rd largest lake and the Twin Cities' second largest lake, with an area of 2,996 acres.[7]

Township Lakes
Benton Township Barlous Lake, Benton Lake, Maria Lake, Meuwissen Lake, Myers Lake, Rice Lake, Winkler Lake
Camden Township Berliner Lake, Eagle Lake, Smith Lake
Dahlgren Township Aue Lake
Hancock Township Assumption Lake, Gaystock Lake, Maria Lake, Miller Lake,
Hollywood Township Lippert Lake
Laketown Township Carl Krey Lake, Lake Auburn, Lake Virginia, Lake Waconia, Lake Zumbra, Lunsten Lake, Marsh Lake, Parley Lake, Piersons Lake, Reitz Lake, Schutz Lake, Stieger Lake, Sunny Lake, Turbid Lake, Wasserman Lake
San Francisco Township Hallquist Lake, Kelly Lake, Long Lake, Scott Lake,
Waconia Township Burandt Lake, Donders Lake, Goose Lake, Hydes Lake, Lake Minnewashta, Lake Patterson, Lake Waconia, Rutz Lake, Swan Lake
Watertown Township Buck Lake, Goose Lake, Lippert Lake, Mud Lake, Oak Lake, Swede Lake
Young America Township Barnes Lake, Brand Lake, Braunworth Lake, Tiger Lake, Young America Lake

Major highways

Adjacent counties

National protected area

Climate and weather

In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Chaska have ranged from a low of 4 °F (−16 °C) in January to a high of 81 °F (27 °C) in July, although a record low of −41 °F (−41 °C) was recorded in January 1970 and a record high of 105 °F (41 °C) was recorded in July 1988. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 0.66 inches (17 mm) in February to 5.05 inches (128 mm) in August.[8]


Age pyramid of county residents based on 2000 U.S. census data


The ethnic makeup of the country, according to the 2010 U.S. 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.[14]


As of the census of 2000, there were 70,205 people, 24,356 households, and 18,778 families residing in the county. The population density was 197 people per square mile (76/km²). There were 24,883 housing units at an average density of 70 per square mile (27/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.

In the county the population was spread out with 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.

Government and politics

Presidential Election Results 1940–2012[15]
Year Democratic Republican
2012 39.2% 20,745 58.9% 31,155
2008 41.6% 20,654 56.7% 28,156
2004 36.2% 16,456 62.8% 28,510
2000 35.6% 12,462 59.4% 31,219
1996 41.0% 11,554 44.0% 12,380
1992 31.4% 8,349 38.3% 10,201
1988 39.8% 8,439 59.2% 12,560
1984 35.8% 6,725 63.6% 11,963
1980 35.8% 6,621 53.6% 9,909
1976 46.3% 7,574 50.2% 8,199
1972 34.9% 4,852 50.2% 8,546
1968 39.0% 4,590 56.4% 6,649
1964 48.5% 5,123 51.4% 5,424
1960 48.7% 2,980 50.7% 3,097
1956 27.2% 2,334 74.5% 6,226
1952 24.4% 2,159 74.4% 6,674
1948 37.6% 2,816 61.2% 4,582
1944 21.1% 1,565 78.4% 5,828
1940 21.1% 1,753 78.6% 6,528


Like all counties in Minnesota, Carver is governed by an elected and nonpartisan board of commissioners. Each commissioner represents a district of approximately equal population.

County commissioners

The county commission elects a chair who presides at meetings. Commissioners as of July 2015:

District Commissioner In office since Current term expires on Dec. 31 of
1st Gayle O. Degler 2002 2016
2nd Tom Workman 2002 2018
3rd Randy Maluchnik 2006 2016
4th Tim Lynch 2004 2018
5th James Ische 1996 2016


Carver County has long been known as a Republican stronghold in state and federal elections. Since World War II, the county has never voted for a Democratic candidate. The last time Carver County voted for a Democrat was in 1936, Franklin D. Roosevelt's landslide re-election for a second term. Since 1944, the only time Carver County voted for a non-Republican candidate in a gubernatorial race was in 1998, Jesse Ventura's historic third party upset.[16]

Carver County is divided into two congressional districts. While the eastern area, adjacent to Hennepin County and Scott County, is represented by Minnesota's 3rd congressional district (CPVI R+2) and the remainder of the county is represented by Minnesota's 6th congressional district (CPVI R+10).




Unincorporated communities

Ghost town

Notable residents

See also


  1. ^ "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Retrieved March 17, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 31, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 70. 
  5. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  6. ^ Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 49 - 52. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b "Monthly Averages for Chaska, Minnesota". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  11. ^ "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  12. ^ "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  13. ^ "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). United States Census Bureau. Retrieved October 6, 2014. 
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^

External links

  • Carver County government’s website
  • Macaroni Kid Carver - family friendly events newsletter

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