Benton County, Minnesota
Location within the U.S. state of Minnesota
Minnesota's location within the U.S.
|Founded||October 27, 1849 (created)|
1850 (organized) 
|Named for||Thomas Hart Benton|
|Largest city||Sauk Rapids|
|• Total||413 sq mi (1,070 km2)|
|• Land||408 sq mi (1,060 km2)|
|• Water||4.8 sq mi (12 km2) 1.2%%|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||97.9/sq mi (37.8/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC−6 ( Central)|
|• Summer ( DST)||UTC−5 ( CDT)|
Established in 1849 and organized in 1850, the county is one of the oldest in Minnesota.  It was named for Thomas Hart Benton, a United States Senator from Missouri.  Its county seat for many years was Sauk Rapids, at the confluence of the Sauk and Mississippi Rivers. The county seat moved to Watab in 1856 and returned to Sauk Rapids in 1859. Sauk Rapids became the terminus of a railroad line in 1874, but was destroyed by a tornado in 1886. In 1897 the county seat moved to Foley, where it remains. As St. Cloud expanded into a metropolitan area, the northern part of Benton County became a suburb.
The Mississippi River flows southeast along Benton County's western border, and the Platte River flows south through the county's northwest corner, discharging into the Mississippi at the county's western border. The terrain consists of low rolling hills, wooded or devoted to agriculture.  It generally slopes to the south and east, although its western portion slopes into the river valleys. The county's highest point is a small hill near the midpoint of the northern border, one mile (1.6 km) north of Brennyville, at 1,311' (399m) ASL.  The county has a total area of 413 square miles (1,070 km2), of which 408 square miles (1,060 km2) is land and 4.8 square miles (12 km2) (1.2%) is water.  It is the fifth-smallest county in Minnesota by land area and fourth-smallest by total area.
- Donovan Lake (part)
- Graham Lake
- Little Rock Lake
- Mayhew Lake
Protected areas 
- Benlacs State Wildlife Management Area (part)
- Bibles State Wildlife Management Area
- Englund Ecotone Scientific and Natural Area
- Sartell State Wildlife Management Area
- Wisneski State Wildlife Management Area
|Climate chart ( explanation)|
In recent years, average temperatures in the county seat of Foley have ranged from a low of 2 °F (−17 °C) in January to a high of 82 °F (28 °C) in July, although a record low of −43 °F (−42 °C) was recorded in January 1977 and a record high of 107 °F (42 °C) was recorded in July 1936. Average monthly precipitation ranged from 0.62 inches (16 mm) in February to 4.17 inches (106 mm) in June. 
|US Decennial Census
1790-1960  1900-1990 
1990-2000  2010-2018 
As of the 2000 United States Census,  there were 34,226 people, 13,065 households, and 8,518 families in the county. The population density was 83.9/sqmi (32.4/km²). There were 13,460 housing units at an average density of 33/sqmi (12.7/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 96.22% White, 0.78% Black or African American, 0.52% Native American, 1.15% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.35% from other races, and 0.94% from two or more races. 0.90% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 47.8% were of German, 12.1% Polish and 8.8% Norwegian ancestry.
There were 13,065 households out of which 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.10% were married couples living together, 8.80% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.80% were non-families. 25.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.90% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.14.
The county population contained 27.10% under the age of 18, 12.20% from 18 to 24, 31.00% from 25 to 44, 18.70% from 45 to 64, and 11.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.60 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.30 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $41,968, and the median income for a family was $51,277. Males had a median income of $33,214 versus $22,737 for females. The per capita income for the county was $19,008. About 4.50% of families and 7.10% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.30% of those under age 18 and 12.60% of those age 65 or over.
Ghost towns 
- Estes Brook
Benton County voters have tended to vote Republican for the past few decades. The county selected the Republican Party candidate in 64% of national elections since 1964 (as of 2016).
- Great River Regional Library
- National Register of Historic Places listings in Benton County, Minnesota
- "Minnesota Place Names". Minnesota Historical Society. Archived from the original on October 29, 2014. Retrieved March 17, 2014.
- "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 31, 2013.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 21, 2012. Retrieved March 2, 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title ( link)
- Upham, Warren (1920). Minnesota Geographic Names: Their Origin and Historic Significance. Minnesota Historical Society. p. 49.
- Benton County MN Google Maps (accessed 5 March 2019)
- Benton County High Point, Minnesota. PeakBagger.com (accessed 4 May 2019)
- "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". US Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on October 6, 2014. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- Nelson, Steven (2011). Savanna Soils of Minnesota. Minnesota: Self. pp. 61-64. ISBN 978-0-615-50320-2.
- "Monthly Averages for Foley MN". The Weather Channel. Retrieved November 6, 2011.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved April 30, 2019.
- "US Decennial Census". US Census Bureau. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- "Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- "Population of Counties by Decennial Census: 1900 to 1990". US Census Bureau. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- "Census 2000 PHC-T-4. Ranking Tables for Counties: 1990 and 2000" (PDF). US Census Bureau. Retrieved October 5, 2014.
- "U.S. Census website". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
- Leip, David. "Atlas of US Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved April 17, 2018.
- Benton County Government’s website
- Minnesota DOT's official highway map of Benton County
- Benton County Fair
- Benton County Historical Society and Museum (in Sauk Rapids MN)
- Sartell Historical Society (in Sartell MN)
- MNGenUSGen Web Site for Benton County, Minnesota - Genealogy
- Sauk Rapids and Benton County - Images of America Series - Approximately 200 vintage photographs
- Benton County Map