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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.

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


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