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The St. Cloud area is a thriving regional center of commerce in Central Minnesota with deep agricultural and industrial roots and a modern history that dates back to the settlement of Sauk Rapids at the confluence of the Sauk and Mississippi Rivers in 1851.

Enhanced by those rivers, the area’s natural resources guided the way to economic prosperity, with prominent activity early on in fur trading, farming, lumber and printing industries.

Not long after St. Cloud was established in 1856, large granite deposits were discovered, prompting the establishment of many area granite companies. The rock and stone industry mushroomed after colored granite deposits were discovered in 1868.

St. Cloud is the third largest metropolitan area in the state and one of the fastest growing, featuring the best in living, education, health care, commercial, cultural and recreational offerings – not to mention expanding economic development that continues to raise the quality of life for residents and businesses alike.

St. Cloud: 66,169
Sartell: 15,954
Sauk Rapids: 12,876
Waite Park: 6,747
St. Joseph: 6,558
Stearns County: 151,343
Benton County: 38,671
Sherburne County: 89,319

Source: U.S. Census Bureau,

2011 estimate

St. Cloud: $39,149
Sartell: $65,513
Sauk Rapids: $56,479
Waite Park: $38,031
St. Joseph: $59,680
Stearns County: $51,779
Benton County: $50,848
Sherburne County: $71,704

Source: U.S. Census Bureau,

State & County Quickfacts, 2012 (2006-2010 estimates)

St. Cloud: 28.8
Sartell: 32.7
Sauk Rapids: 32.8
Waite Park: 32.6
St. Joseph: 22.7
Stearns County: 33.3
Benton County: 34.1
Sherburne County: 33.9

Source: U.S. Census Bureau,

2010 Census

2014 Population: 193,000
(American Community Survey estimate)

2015 Labor Force: 110,000
August 2015
Unemployment Rate: 3.47%

2014 Private Sector
Payroll: $3.4 billion

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development


City *Miles from St. Cloud
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN – 65
Duluth, MN – 145
Rochester, MN – 154
Fargo, ND – 171
Des Moines, IA – 309
Madison, WI – 337
Winnipeg, Manitoba – 394

*Distance from the St. Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce office in downtown St. Cloud