Mankato, Minnesota

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Mankato, Minnesota

Introduction to Mankato, Minnesota

The city of Mankato is the county seat of Blue Earth County, Minnesota, and is located about 80 miles southwest of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Principal highways servicing the city include U.S. Routes 169 and 14, and Minnesota State Highway 60. Mankato is home to the main campus of Minnesota State University.

The city's original name was Mahkato, a Dakota Indian term meaning "greenish blue earth". An early spelling error which was never corrected caused the name to become Mankato. In 1862, a conflict between the U.S. and the Dakota Indians (known as the "Sioux Uprising" in reference to the Dakota tribe's alternate moniker of Sioux) resulted in the largest mass execution in the nation's history when 38 Dakota Indians were hanged in Mankato. The city received its charter in 1868, the same year that Minnesota's second Normal School was established in the city. A teacher's college until after World War II, the school expanded its curriculum to include science and fine arts courses and became Mankato State College and later Mankato State University before being renamed Minnesota State University, Mankato in 1999.

Arts and Entertainment in Mankato

The unique history of Mankato is preserved in many registered historic sites, and the talents of its students and residents support a thriving fine arts community. The city's location amidst Minnesota’s famed waters and woodlands also affords visitors and residents an easy escape to hiking/biking trails, golf courses, lake fishing and recreation, and winter skiing. Included among its many attractions are the following:

  • The Carnegie Art Center: The largest visual art center in south central Minnesota.
  • R.D. Hubbard House: Originally built in 1871, the house is the oldest remaining example of a Victorian Mansion in the area.
  • Judge Lorin P. Cray Mansion: A Queen Anne style mansion listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • Minnesota Valley Chorale: Grounded in the great works of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, and complemented by folk music, madrigals and spirituals.
  • Mount Kato: A year-round recreation area for skiing, snow tubing, snowboarding, and mountain biking.
  • Land of Memories Park: Located along the Blue Earth and Minnesota Rivers, the park offers bike trails and camping.
  • Minneopa State Park: Offers nearly five miles of hiking trails and over four miles of cross-country skiing trails.
  • Red Jacket Trail: A 13-mile biking trail.
  • Mankato Ballet
  • Merely Players Theatre
  • Minnesota State University Theatre
  • Highland Summer Theatre
  • Mankato Symphony Orchestra
  • Blue Earth County Heritage Center Museum
  • Seppmann Mill
  • Morgan Creek Vineyards
  • Wildlife Safari Museum
  • Sakatah Singing Hills State Trail

Mankato is also home to some popular annual events and festivals. April's International Festival is an event designed to celebrate and raise awareness of cultural diversity in Greater Mankato. The Hickory Street Ribfest, held every August, features a weekend filled with music, games and award-winning ribs from across the country. In September, the city hosts the Mankato Mdewakanton PowWow, where thousands of Native Americans return to their ceremonial grounds to celebrate and reenact ceremonial dances while wearing traditional costumes. The Deep Valley Book Festival, held in November, is a two day celebration of books and reading which gives the public a chance to meet and talk with Minnesota authors and writers.

Minnesota State University's athletic teams are known as the Mavericks. The men's and women's ice hockey teams both compete in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) along with four other Minnesota-based college teams. The other Maverick teams compete in the North Central Conference of NCAA's Division II. The University is also the current site of the summer training camp for the Minnesota Vikings National Football League team.

Plenty of professional sports, much of it of the major-league variety, can be found about 90 minutes away in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. A list of some of Minnesota's pro teams includes the following:

  • Baseball: Minnesota Twins (MLB)
  • Football: Minnesota Vikings (NFL)
  • Basketball: Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA)
  • Hockey: Minnesota Wild (NHL)
  • Women's basketball: Minnesota Lynx (WNBA)
  • Lacrosse: Minnesota Swarm (National Lacrosse League)
  • Soccer: Minnesota Thunder (United Soccer League)

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High Points

Mankato strengths, compared to Peers (similar size places nationally) or State (other places in Minnesota):

Category Trophy
Short Commute Times
(vs. Peers)
Top 2% trophy Mankato Short Commute Times
Walking and Biking to Work
(vs. Peers)
Top 10% Mankato Walking and Biking to Work
College Educated Adults
(vs. State)
Top 12% Mankato College Educated Adults
Public Transportation Use
(vs. State)
Top 12% Mankato Public Transportation Use
Racial Diversity
(vs. State)
Top 16% Mankato Racial Diversity
Affordability of Rents
(vs. Peers)
Top 19% Mankato Affordability of Rents

Comparative Profile of Mankato, Minnesota

Comparing Mankato to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in Minnesota (State):

Ratings range from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest).

The People

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Male Share of the Population 8 7
Well-Paid Single Women 5 8
Well-Paid Single Men 5 5
Senior Citizens 5 3
Female Share of the Population 4 4
Racial Diversity 2 9
Children Under 5 Years Old 1 2
Age of the Population 1 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Average Household Size 2 4
Portion of People Married 2 1


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
College Educated Adults 7 9
Median Family Income 4 5
People in Middle Class or Better 3 2
People Above Poverty 2 1

Commute & Sprawl

Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Short Commute Times 10 9
Walking and Biking to Work 10 9
Public Transportation Use 7 9
Working at Home 5 3


Characteristic Compared
to Peers
to State
Studio & One-Bedroom Rentals 9 10
Affordability of Rents 9 4
Affordability of Property Taxes 8 5
People Living Alone 8 6
Housing Recently Built 4 6
Seasonal and Vacation Housing 3 3

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Mankato Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Medium City 54 miles SW of Eden Prairie, Minnesota (center to center)
Nearest Large City 67 miles SW of Minneapolis, Minnesota
County Blue Earth
Standard Zip Codes 56001, 56003
P.O. Box Zip Codes 56002, 56006
Phone Area Codes 507
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 44.163
Longitude -93.999

Mankato Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)
Distance 1.3 miles
Jan Temp 2 to 23 F
Apr Temp 34 to 57 F
Jul Temp 61 to 83 F
Oct Temp 36 to 60 F
Annual Precip 33.4 inches
Station ST PETER 2 SW
Distance 9.5 miles
Jan Temp 2 to 23 F
Apr Temp 33 to 58 F
Jul Temp 61 to 84 F
Oct Temp 36 to 61 F
Annual Precip 29.6 inches
Distance 24.1 miles
Jan Temp 1 to 21 F
Apr Temp 35 to 55 F
Jul Temp 61 to 82 F
Oct Temp 36 to 59 F
Annual Precip 34.7 inches
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Mankato Population (2000)

Category Count Percent
Total Population 32,427 100%
Male 15,939 49.2%
Female 16,488 50.8%
Under 18 5,482 16.9%
18+ 26,945 83.1%
65+ 3,674 11.3%
Median Age 25.3
Average Family Size 2.9
White 30,011 92.5%
African-American 616 1.9%
Asian 911 2.8%
American Indian & Alaskan 110 0.3%
Other 306 0.9%
Mixed Race 442 1.4%
Hispanic (included in categories above) 719 2.2%

Estimated Mankato Population Growth 2000-2005

Category Value
Est. 2005 Population 34,976
Growth 2,549
Growth % 7.9%

Mankato Ancestry

(From 2000 Census, as reported by individuals)

Note: This is national, not racial, ancestry, so, e.g., the Census doesn't have categories for Hispanic and African-American people. CityTownInfo is currently gathering additional ancestry data for this site.
Ancestry Percent
German 43.6%
Norwegian 14.8%
Other (often includes Hispanic and African American) 8.4%
Irish 7%
English 3.8%
Swedish 3.6%
US/American 3.4%
Polish 1.8%
Dutch 1.5%
French (except Basque) 1.1%
European 1%
French Canadian 1%
Scotch-Irish 0.9%
Italian 0.9%
Czech 0.8%
Scandinavian 0.8%
Danish 0.7%
Scottish 0.7%
Welsh 0.7%
Finnish 0.4%
African 0.3%
Belgian 0.3%
Somalian 0.3%
British 0.3%
Czechoslovakian 0.2%
Lebanese 0.2%
Austrian 0.2%
Yugoslavian 0.2%
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Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Pop. Median Family
Income (2000)
Mankato 32,427 $47,297
Eagle Lake 1,787 $54,167
Kasota 680 $43,750
Madison Lake 837 $50,673
North Mankato 11,798 $59,265
St. Clair 827 $50,333
St. Peter 9,747 $51,157

Mankato Public Libraries

Blue Earth County Library System
Mankato, Minnesota
(507) 387-1856
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Mankato Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
(507) 625-4031
Emergency Service: Yes

Starbucks in Mankato

(As of 2005)
Hy Vee Foods
2010 Adams St

Wal-mart in Mankato

(As of 2006)
1881 Madison Avenue
(507) 625-9318
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Featured Colleges in the Mankato Area (QuickSchools™)

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

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Mankato High Schools (2004)

(Sorted by Number of Students)

Serves 1,168 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.1

Serves 991 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18

201 S. VICTORY DR. STE. 151
A Charter School.
Title I eligible, not participating.
Serves 118 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 10.3

A Non-traditional School
Serves 112 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12

A Non-traditional School
Serves 35 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 8.1

Mankato Colleges

Click school name for a detailed profile.

Bethany Lutheran College

Minnesota State University-Mankato

(List of Minnesota Colleges)

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Limit Results to One State?

City, State Similarity   1 Person Houses 65+ College Grads Commute Minutes Family Income Kids 0-4 Non White Pop. Poverty Prop. Crime Seasonal Housing Viol. Crime
      loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose loose
1. St. Cloud, Minnesota 90.4   30.3% 10.3% 29.6% 18 $50,460 5.5% 8.3% 59,107 13.1% 46.8 0.3% 4.3
2. Bowling Green, Kentucky 86.5   33.5% 12% 26.9% 17 $40,320 6% 19.2% 49,296 21.8% 59.8 0.4% 5.9
3. Springfield, Missouri 86.4   35.1% 14.9% 23% 18 $38,114 5.9% 8.3% 151,580 15.9% 80.9 0.4% 5.6
4. Knoxville, Tennessee 86.2   38.5% 14.4% 24.6% 21 $37,708 5.9% 20.3% 173,890 20.8% 65.5 0.3% 9.5
5. Walla Walla, Washington 84.6   32% 15.1% 21.6% 14 $40,856 6% 16.2% 29,686 18% 47.2 0.4% 4.3
6. Terre Haute, Indiana 84   34.8% 14.9% 19.7% 17 $37,618 6.2% 13.7% 59,614 19.2% 87.5 0.3% 5.6
7. Carrboro, North Carolina 81.2   37.1% 5.1% 60.9% 22 $47,330 5.4% 27.3% 16,782 19% 68.5 0.4% 5.9
8. Cayce, South Carolina 78.8   29.3% 14.7% 20.3% 21 $43,560 5.5% 25.4% 12,150 17% 71.4 0.3% 11
9. Versailles, Kentucky 77   30.3% 13.6% 17.8% 20 $41,567 6.1% 11.8% 7,511 14% 57.3 0.4% 8.7
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