7.3 out of 10

Dakota County

Ranked 16th best county in Minnesota
44.7130170072277 -93.0778085586935
Great for
  • Schools
  • Childcare
  • Safe & Sound
  • Clean & Green
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Public Transport
  • Nightlife
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees



"Dakota County Homes & Real Estate"

Dakota County

Dakota County is among the medium-sized counties (population wise) located in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Compared to Hennepin County’s more than a million population, Dakota County is indeed a small-sized county but it is considered Minnesota’ s third most populous county.

The County’s 593 square-mile area has been strategically divided into 1/3 each for urban, rural and suburban.


Dakota County was founded in 1849 and its county seat located in Hastings since 1857. Dakota County is expected to experience a continuous population growth considering the movement of development outside of the urban areas of the Twin Cities to more suburban municipalities. The County has already experienced a 30% population growth from 1990 to 2000.

Cities and Lakes

Dakota County is a county of many lakes with the major ones located in the county’s northern portion. Among the lakes covered by the County include Lakes Rebecca, Isabelle and Bullfrog Ponds in Hastings; Fish Lake, Holland Lake, Jensen Lake and Blackhawk Lake in Eagan; Thompson Lake in St. Paul, Mud Hen Lake in Ravenna Township, Lake Byllesby in Randolph Township, Crystal Lake in Burnsville and Chub Lake in Eureka Township.

Dakota County is composed of the cities of Apple Valley, Burnsville, Coates, Eagan, Farmington, Hampton, Hastings, Inver Grove Heights, Lakeville, Lilydale, Mendota, Mendota Heights, Miesville, New Trier, Northfield, Randolph, Rosemount, St. Paul South and West, Sunfish Lake and vermillion.

Population profile

Dakota County is slightly congested compared to Hennepin County with a population of 355,904 as of the 2000 Census. Most of the population is centered at the major suburbs like Lakeville, Burnsville, Apple Valley, Eagan and Rosemount.

Majority of its inhabitants are Whites (91.36%), Asians (2.89%), Blacks and African Americans (2.27%) and a mixture of Native Americans, Pacific Islanders and those from other races. More than half of the 131,151 households consist of married couples (59.20%) while around 21.70% of the total households consist of individuals.

Dakota County’s population is quite young with an average age of 35 years, with 29.20% below 18 years old and 7.40% over 65 years old. An estimated 34.30% of its residents are within the ages of 25 to 44 years old.

The regular household in the County has an average income of $61,863 with the male population earning more ($46,827) than the females ($32,189). With a per capita income of $27,008, the County has less people living below poverty level. Only 3.30% of the entire population and 2.40% of the total number of families in Dakota County are living below the poverty line.


The life, growth and history of Dakota County have been highly influenced by the three rivers of Minnesota, Mississippi and St. Croix. Oak Prairie as well as savannas originally lined up the County lands which used to be part of the American Indians territory. However, the area was claimed by a fur trader (named Nicholas Perrot) for France.

It is included in the original counties, nine in all, which were created by the Minnesota Territory legislature way back in 1849. The county seat was not originally in Hastings but was in Kaposia (in 1853) and Mendota (in 1854) prior to that.
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 5/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 5/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 5/5
  • Childcare 5/5

"Dakota county, MN - The south metro to south eastern Minneota"

Dakota county is a suburban county as well as agricultural county. North and northwest Dakota county are the southern suburbs of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area. Southern and southeast Dakota county are more rural with significant agricultural land. The Mississippi River runs the eastern boundary of Dakota county.
For individuals looking for large parks, good schools, larger lot sizes, lakes, and active communities - Dakota county is the place to live.
  • Parks, lakes, trails, open areas
  • Larger property sizes
  • Good schools
  • Commute to Minneapolis/St. Paul

Unranked Cities in Dakota County

"Best Kept Secret"
44.7506639588073 -93.2081306754454


"6th Largest Twin City Suburb"
44.7705231017233 -93.2742010413917


"Voted Top Places to Live"
44.8276326298576 -93.1664272430811


"Family Friendly"
44.644626230751 -93.1421700542402


"Small town."
44.6081694775794 -93.0012117684553


"Hastings Homes & Real Estate"
44.7399443652362 -92.8687753804878
"Inver Grove Heights Real Estate"
44.8445754164886 -93.061156767578


"Lakeville, MN - a Great place to live in MN"
44.6830400956456 -93.260180471061


"Lilydale a small town in Minnesota next to St. Paul and Minneapolis"
44.9035729628503 -93.1361862548243


"Mendota a town in Minnesota"
44.8843413206848 -93.1613418820578

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