Ramsey County is a fully-developed urban center that has the second largest county population in Minnesota and the smallest land area. With a population of 540,649 as of July 1, 2016*, it is the most fully-developed and densely populated county in the state, as well as one of the most diverse.
- Saint Paul is the county seat and capital city of Minnesota. About 56 percent county residents reside in Saint Paul.
- The suburban area includes communities that range in size from Gem Lake (500 people) to Maplewood (40,000 people).
- The largest minority populations are Asians (13 percent) and African American (11.1 percent). About 7.3 percent of residents have a Hispanic or Latino ethnic background.
- 21.9 percent of residents ages five years and older live in homes where a language other than English is spoken.
Income in Ramsey County is above the U.S. median.
- 2016 median household income in Ramsey County was $57,717 compared with the U.S. median of $55,322.**
- About 11 percent of families live below the poverty level; nationally 11 percent of families are below poverty.**
Ramsey County has a well-educated population.
- Of people 25 and over, 16.3 percent of the population has a graduate or professional degree; the national rate is 11.5 percent.**
- About 41 percent of county residents have a bachelor's or higher degree; 90.3 percent have completed high school. The national rates are 30.3 percent and 86.9 percent, respectively.**
- The county is home to more colleges and universities than any other county in Minnesota.
Ramsey County is a major employment center that draws people from surrounding counties to fill the need for employees.
- In 2016, there were 328,034 people employed in Ramsey County. This is more than the number of Ramsey County residents in the labor force (289,802).
- Ramsey County’s unemployment rate is consistently below national and state rates. In 2016, the average unemployment rate nationally was 4.4 percent, Minnesota 3.8 percent and Ramsey County 3.6 percent.
- Top employers:
- University of Minnesota.
- State of Minnesota.
- 3M Company.
- Land O’Lakes.
- HealthEast/St. John’s Hospital.
- Independent School District #625.
- Regions Hospital.
- Ramsey County.
- United Hospital (Saint Paul).
The county is governed by a seven-member board of commissioners. The board is elected by district for staggered four-year terms. Commissioners are responsible for establishing strategic direction for the county, creating policies and adopting a biennial budget. The County Manager is responsible for carrying out the policies of the board of commissioners, overseeing the day-to-day operations of the county and appointing department directors.
In 1990, Ramsey County citizens voted to become the first and only Home Rule Charter County in Minnesota. Adopted in 1992, the charter authorizes more autonomy to Ramsey County for local governance.
*Source: United States Census Bureau - 2016 Annual Population Estimates
**Source: United States Census Bureau - American Community Survey 5 year estimates (2012-2016)