Kandiyohi County and the city of Willmar are seeing steady population growth. Although mostly European in heritage, Kandiyohi County has seen positive changes in all race and origin categories over the last decade, including rapid growth in persons of Hispanic origin, Black or African American residents and American Indian or Alaska natives.
Kandiyohi County is home to the ninth largest Hispanic population in the state of Minnesota, including the second largest count in a non-metropolitan area. According to the Minnesota State Demographic Center, the Hispanic population is expected to more than double (128%) between 2000 and 2030, leading to more population increases in the county. Population growth helps the Willmar area continue to provide a diverse group of available consumers to local businesses, as well as an available labor force to local employers.
(Source: Regional Analyst, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development)
Our Diversity Statistics:
Below are some statistics related to diversity in the Willmar Lakes area:
- Kandiyohi County’s population is expected to increase 2.4% between 2005-2015 and 6.1% between 2005-2035 (Source: Minnesota State Demographic Center)
- Willmar has more than 36 minority-owned businesses, including Persian, Somali, Latino and even Celtic, the largest number outside the Twin Cities metro area
- Kandiyohi County was awarded a $25,000 Micro-enterprise Assistance grant for 2011 from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development to provide technical assistance, advice and business support services, including training in marketing, accounting, business planning and financial management, which training will be conducted through the Willmar Area Multicultural Market
- Kandiyohi County’s population is 41,123 with 4,142 being Hispanic/Latino and 605 being Black/African American (Source: 2010 Minnesota County Health Table, Minnesota Department of Health)
- In the Willmar Public Schools there are 26 foreign languages spoken (Source: Minnesota Department of Education)
- Of our total population 1,561 are foreign born*
- Of our population 5 years and over (37,928), 3,706 speak a language other than English in the home with 2,938 being Spanish*
- Foreign languages taught in area high schools include Chinese, French, German and Spanish
*(Source: U.S. Census Bureau, 2005-2009 American Community Survey)