Rochester, Minnesota

From Academic Kids

Rochester is a city located in Olmsted County, Minnesota. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 85,806. Among Minnesota's five largest cities, Rochester is best known as the home of the Mayo Clinic medical center, which now has satellite clinics in a few other American cities. The clinic and IBM's Rochester campus are the two biggest private employers in the city. Rochester is the county seat of Olmsted County6. The city is about 80 miles southeast of the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul.



The primary industries in Rochester are medical services, computer design and programming, light manufacturing (mostly computers and electronics), and a substantial hotel/motel and restaurant trade that serves visitors to the Mayo Clinic.

As in most American cities, the primary mode of transportation in Rochester and the surrounding area is the automobile. The city is served by three U.S. highways (U.S. 14, U.S. 52, and U.S. 63), and the southern edge of Rochester is skirted by Interstate 90. By air, the city is served by Rochester International Airport. A few freight railroad lines run through the city. A proposed upgrade of the tracks owned by the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad has proven to be controversial.

Actress Lea Thompson was born in Rochester, and Frank B. Kellogg, who eventually became U.S. Secretary of State, had a law office in the city in the 19th century. Many famous people from around the world including former President Ronald Reagan and King Hussein of Jordan have visited the city to take advantage of the Mayo Clinic's services.

Many of the tallest buildings in Rochester are owned by Mayo. The Gonda Building is the tallest owned by the clinic, and it is attached to the cross-shaped Mayo Building. Architecturally, Mayo's Plummer Building is considered to be among the most significant in the city. 2004 saw a new winner in terms of height, Broadway Plaza, a largely residential structure. IBM Rochester is also a huge structure, spanning a mile across in the northern part of the city. It was initially designed by noted architect Eero Saarinen.

Rochester may also be home to the largest ear of corn in the world. Actually a water tower, it is next to the Libby Foods plant in the city (Libby's is now part of the food conglomerate ConAgra).

There is a large park system in Rochester, with more than 100 sites covering 5 square miles (13 km²). There are 60 miles of paved trails and a few municipal golf facilities among other athletic facilities.

The city is home to University Center Rochester, or UCR. UCR is a grouping of Rochester Community and Technical College, Winona State University's Rochester Center, and the University of Minnesota's Rochester campus.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 103.0 km² (39.8 mi²). 102.6 km² (39.6 mi²) of it is land and 0.4 km² (0.1 mi²) of it is water. The total area is 0.35% water. Rochester is in Olmsted County, one of the few counties in Minnesota without a natural lake, although artificial lakes exist in the area. The most famous of these is named Silver Lake, a dammed portion of the South Fork Zumbro River just below the convergence with Silver Creek near the city center. The lake was used as a cooling pond for the nearby electrical power plant for many years, although the amount of water used for this purpose has been significantly reduced. Heated water in the lake prevented it from freezing over even during cold Minnesota winters, attracting migrating giant Canada geese, which have become symbols of the city.

A major flood in 1978 led the city to embark on an expensive mitigation project that involved altering many nearby rivers and streams.


The city newspaper is the Rochester Post-Bulletin [1] (, and papers from the Twin Cities area are also available. There are two television stations based in Rochester, KTTC channel 10 (NBC) and KXLT channel 47 (Fox). They share studios as part of a special agreement between Quincy Newspapers and Shockley Broadcasting. A number of other channels can be received, though reception varies in the area because the city is spread through a series of valleys. KAAL channel 6 (ABC) in Austin, Minnesota and KIMT [2] ( channel 3 (CBS) in Mason City, Iowa are among the stations that serve the market.

Rochester is on the fringe of the broadcast area of many Twin Cities radio and television stations, and signals from Iowa and Wisconsin reach the area as well. Radio broadcasters in the local market include:


As of the census2 of 2000, there are 85,806 people, 34,116 households, and 21,493 families residing in the city. The population density is 836.4/km² (2,166.3/mi²). There are 35,346 housing units at an average density of 344.5/km² (892.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 87.51% White, 3.57% African American, 0.30% Native American, 5.63% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 1.16% from other races, and 1.79% from two or more races. 2.99% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There are 34,116 households out of which 32.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.8% are married couples living together, 8.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 37.0% are non-families. 29.7% of all households are made up of individuals and 8.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.43 and the average family size is 3.06.

In the city the population is spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 9.1% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.5% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 34 years. For every 100 females there are 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 91.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $49,090, and the median income for a family is $60,754. Males have a median income of $40,380 versus $30,136 for females. The per capita income for the city is $24,811. 7.8% of the population and 4.7% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 8.8% of those under the age of 18 and 10.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

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