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Codes for the Identification of Counties in Minnesota

Date Issued: Approved by the Minnesota Governor's Council on Geographic Information on April 3, 1997


This standard provides a set of codes that uniquely identify each of the 87 counties within the state of Minnesota for the purpose of information interchange among data processing systems. This standard originates from the International Committee for Information Standards INCITS 31:2009 and is recognized as a formal national standard by ANSI, the American National Standards Institute. 

Who cares about these standards?
This standard is important to all developers of public databases containing information about Minnesota counties

When do they apply? When do they not apply?
This standard has been developed to improve the exchange of public data about counties. Use of this standard is mandatory when both of the following conditions exist:

  • a state agency is transferring data to an external customer, AND
  • no other previously-agreed-to coding scheme for counties has been designated.

Use of this standard is recommended when local governments exchange data, or when any new public databases are being designed that incorporate a coding scheme for counties. Use of this standard by local government, the private sector and the public is strongly encouraged, but voluntary. This standard applies to data that are being transferred, and does not attempt to restrict how those data are internally stored or used.

Purpose of this Standard:
The purpose of this standard is to provide a single, common coding scheme to identify all counties in Minnesota. It is intended to be used primarily when data are being transferred between a state agency and external customers. Its use will improve the sharing of data resources by avoiding unnecessary duplication and reducing incompatibilities in collecting, processing and disseminating data.

Standard Requirements:
This standard provides a structure for establishing a set of three-digit codes to be used when representing the 87 counties of the state of Minnesota. This standard is equivalent to the Minnesota portion of INCITS 31:2009. County names and identifying data codes are listed below.

Aitkin 001 Lac qui Parle 073 Stearns 145
Anoka 003 Lake 075 Steele 147
Becker 005 Lake of the Woods 077 Stevens 149
Beltrami 007 Le Sueur 079 Swift 151
Benton 009 Lincoln 081 Todd 153
Big Stone 011 Lyon 083 Traverse 155
Blue Earth 013 McLeod 085 Wabasha 157
Brown 015 Mahnomen 087 Wadena 159
Carlton 017 Marshall 089 Waseca 161
Carver 019 Martin 091 Washington 163
Cass 021 Meeker 093 Watonwan 165
Chippewa 023 Mille Lacs 095 Wilkin 167
Chisago 025 Morrison 097 Winona 169
Clay 027 Mower 099 Wright 171
Clearwater 029 Murray 101 Yellow Medicine 173
Cook 031 Nicollet 103
Cottonwood 033 Nobles 105
Crow Wing 035 Norman 107
Dakota 037 Olmsted 109
Dodge 039 Otter Tail 111
Douglas 041 Pennington 113
Faribault 043 Pine 115
Fillmore 045 Pipestone 117
Freeborn 047 Polk 119
Goodhue 049 Pope 121
Grant 051 Ramsey 123
Hennepin 053 Red Lake 125
Houston 055 Redwood 127
Hubbard 057 Renville 129
Isanti 059 Rice 131
Itasca 061 Rock 133
Jackson 063 Roseau 135
Kanabec 065 Saint Louis 137
Kandiyohi 067 Scott 139
Kittson 069 Sherburne 141
Koochiching 071 Sibley 143

What constitutes compliance?
Agencies must be capable of translating their data into a form consistent with this standard for the purpose of exchanging data between organizations. Agencies may continue to store data in alternate formats of their choice, provided the capability exists to readily convert them, if requested by a customer. It is recommended that agencies integrate this standard into their data processing systems whenever possible.

How will compliance be measured?
Evidence of compliance will be determined based on reports of satisfactory data transfers from receiving customers.

References and Sources of More Information:

The International Committee for Information Technology Standards (INCITS) is a recognized forum for information technology developers, producers and users for the creation and maintenance of formal IT standards. INCITS is accredited by, and operates under rules approved by, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

The standard, INCITS 31:2009 is titled, Information Technology - Codes for the Identification of Counties and Equivalent Areas of the United States, Puerto Rico, and the Insular Areas. INCITS 31:2009 replaces the Federal Information Processing Standard FIPS 6-4, which was withdrawn from service by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in 2002. 

Further information about this standard may be obtained from the Minnesota Geospatial Information Office (MnGeo), 300 Centennial Building, 658 Cedar Street; St. Paul, MN 55155; phone: 651-201-2499, email: