Updates: Open Space Planning, Graham Park, and, County Demographics!

Corn Tower
Corn Tower

Open Space Planning

County Planning is responsible for planning uses for the land outside of the Rochester and the small cities.  This included land for agriculture, rural businesses, migratory routes and protected sensitive land (for instance fens and bogs).  In addition, county planning is mapping proposed recreational corridors that could include hiking routes, bike paths, and canoe or kayak corridors.  Here is a link that provides some background on a hiking trail that is part of open space planning in a different county: https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/mcvmagazine/issues/2023/jan-feb/trail.html


Graham Park is More Than A Fairground

Planning for upgrading Graham Park to a Community Festival and Event Center continues.

Olmsted has asked the State Legislature for bonding to assist in the building of a multi-purpose arena/event structure.  The multi-purpose building will anchor the other upgrades which will include landscaping to include a great lawn, paths, alcoves, and other amenities.  Graham Park also hosts the Farmers Market and provides a venue for weddings and other celebrations.  In a recent survey, the Graham Park wedding venue was rated one of top ten venues in Rochester.


Take a Look at the Demographic Statistics of the County

Recently Olmsted completed the “2022 Olmsted County Community Indicators.”  Information from the report is used to judge the quality of life in the county and can be used to compare Olmsted County to Minnesota and the nation.  The sources of the information include the 2020 U.S. Census, American Community Survey, Minnesota DEED, Environmental Protection Agency, and other government sources.

Here is some information from the report:

  • Our population grew 12% in the last decade.
  • We are now the 7thlargest county with a population of 163,436
  • Our diverse population grew by 7.8% over the last decade and will continue to grow
  • 11% of the population is foreign born of which 55.3% have become citizens.  As of 2020, 94.8% Olmsted’s residents were citizens which is higher than the national average
  • 82 different languages are spoken in the county’s public schools
  • The largest ancestry of the population is German (31%) followed by 13% Norwegian, 11% Irish, 7% English, and 4% African
  • Our educational rate is higher compared to Minnesota and the nation
  • Adults with a Bachelor’s degree or higher is 41.7% compared to Minnesota at 37.6% and the nation at 33.7%
  • The per capita income is $45,507 which is 9% higher than Minnesota and 19% higher than the nation
  • 7.6% of the population is below the poverty line; Children and young adults have the highest rates of poverty
  • 34% of adults reported having mental health issues (up from 29% in 2019)
  • 20% of adults have clinically been diagnose with depression (up from 17% in 2019)
  • 25% of adults self-reported depression (up from 20% in 2018) which is more than Minnesota and national percentages
  • 42% of residents pay more than 30% of income on housing (up from 23% in 2018) which more than the Minnesota (22%) and national (30%)
  • Median home value is $249,000 compared to Minnesota at $250,200 and the nation at $244,900
  • Labor Force Participation Rate: Olmsted, 71.3%; Minnesota 69.2%; nation 63.0%
  • Unemployment rate: Olmsted 3.2%; Minnesota 4%; nation 5.5%
  • Olmsted has cleaner air than the Minnesota average

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