Welcome to The Heart of Minnesota

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  67,984
Sartell  17,752
Sauk Rapids  13,722
Waite Park  7,481
St. Joseph  7,126
Stearns County  157,822
Benton County  39,937
Sherburne County  94,570

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2017 estimate


St. Cloud  $45,223
Sartell  $71,959
Sauk Rapids  $48,164
Waite Park  $40,119
St. Joseph  $50,572
Stearns County  $56,977
Benton County  $51,841
Sherburne County  $78,081

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, State and County Quickfacts, 2018 (2012-2016 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

Metropolitan Statistical Area

2014 Population  193,000
(American Community Survey estimate)

2018 Labor Force  111,500
August 2018 Unemployment Rate  2.5%
2014 Private Sector Payroll  $3.4 billion

Source: Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Getting Here

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