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Worthington, Minnesota
—  City  —
Tenth Street in downtown Worthington in 2007
Motto: You'll Come To Love Us
Location of Worthington, Minnesota
Coordinates: 43°37′26″N 95°35′57″W / 43.62389°N 95.59917°W / 43.62389; -95.59917
Country United States
State Minnesota
County Nobles
 - Total 8.5 sq mi (22.0 km2)
 - Land 7.1 sq mi (18.5 km2)
 - Water 1.4 sq mi (3.5 km2)
Elevation 1,591 ft (485 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 11,283
 - Density 1,578.9/sq mi (609.6/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 56187
Area code(s) 507
FIPS code 27-71734[1]
GNIS feature ID 0654391[2]

Worthington is a city in Nobles County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 11,283 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Nobles County[3].

The city's site was first settled in the 1870s as Okabena Station on a line of the Chicago, St. Paul, Minneapolis and Omaha Railway, later the Chicago and North Western Railway (now part of the Union Pacific Railroad) where steam engines would take on water from adjacent Lake Okabena. More people entered along with one A.P. Miller of Toledo, Ohio, under a firm called the National Colony Organization. Miller named the new city after his wife's maiden name.



According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.5 square miles (22.0 km²), of which, 7.2 square miles (18.5 km²) of it is land and 1.4 square miles (3.5 km²) of it (16.10%) is water.

Interstate 90, U.S. Route 59, and Minnesota State Highway 60 are three of the main routes in the city.


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 11,283 people, 4,311 households, and 2,828 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,578.9 people per square mile (609.3/km²). There were 4,573 housing units at an average density of 639.9/sq mi (246.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 76.81% White, 1.91% African American, 0.49% Native American, 7.06% Asian, 0.13% Pacific Islander, 11.49% from other races, and 2.11% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.28% of the population.

There were 4,311 households out of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.4% were non-families. 28.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.5% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 27.1% from 25 to 44, 20.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.6 males.

The U.S. Bureau of Census now classifies Worthington as one of its micropolitan areas. Population of the Worthington Micropolitan Area is 20,508.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,250, and the median income for a family was $44,643. Males had a median income of $28,750 versus $20,880 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,078. About 9.1% of families and 13.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.4% of those under age 18 and 12.3% of those age 65 or over.


Worthington is located in Minnesota's 1st congressional district, represented by Mankato educator Tim Walz, a Democrat. At the state level, Worthington is located in Senate District 22, represented by Democrat Jim Vickerman, and in House District 22B, represented by Republican Rod Hamilton.

There is a sister-city relationship between Worthington and Crailsheim, Germany founded in 1947 and therefore is considered to be the oldest relationship between an American and a German city that has survived post-World War II.[1]

Worthington in the news

On December 12, 2006 the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (I.C.E) staged a coordinated predawn raid at the Swift & Company meat packing plant in Worthington and at five other Swift plants in western states, interviewing workers and hauling hundreds off in buses.[4][5][6] Worthington is a known unlawful sanctuary city for illegal immigrants. [7]

Notable natives

  • George Dayton was a banker and a real estate developer in Worthington before moving to Minneapolis to start Dayton's Department Store (now part of Macy's). Recently restored, the 1890 Dayton House is a community gem.
  • Tim O'Brien, an American Novelist known for his astute Vietnam War literature, grew up in Worthington in the 1950s. He references Worthington in several of his novels, including driving around Lake Okabena in The Things They Carried, published in 1990.


Worthington is served by Independent School District 518.
and the Worthington Area Language Academy Charter School

High School: Worthington High School
Middle School: Worthington Middle School
Elementary School: Prairie Elementary School
Charter School: Worthington Area Language Academy (WALA).
Community/Technical College: Minnesota West Community and Technical College


External links

Coordinates: 43°37′12″N 95°35′47″W / 43.62°N 95.59639°W / 43.62; -95.59639



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