Rochester is a city located in Olmsted County Minnesota. Rochester has a 2023 population of 121,603. It is also the county seat of Olmsted County.Rochester is currently growing at a rate of 0.06% annually and its population has increased by 0.17% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 121,396 in 2020.
The average household income in Rochester is $106,381 with a poverty rate of 8.68%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to - per month, and the median house value is -. The median age in Rochester is 36.1 years, 35.4 years for males, and 37 years for females.
Rochester is located along the Zumbro River in the Southeast region, and it serves as the county seat for Olmstead County. Numerous publications have named Rochester as one of the best places in the country to live, and it is also one of the most educated cities in the world.
The city’s top employer is the Mayo Clinic, which employs over 34,000 people. IBM is another top employer, providing jobs to nearly 3,000 people. Other top employers include Rochester Public Schools, the City of Rochester and Olmsted County.
Rochester has seen its population grow at a steady rate since the 19th century. The city’s population rose to over 5,000 by 1880 and had more than doubled by 1920. The city’s population reached over 50,000 at the time of the 1970 census. This number more than doubled by the 2010 census. Current estimates show that the population is up almost 7% since the last census, indicating that this city will continue to see growth into the future.
The region that is now the city of Rochester was initially inhabited by native tribes including the Sioux and Winnebago people. European explorers arrived in 1660. It wasn’t until 1853 when a treaty with the U.S. government transferred hands from the Dakota/Sioux Indians to the government.
Rochester was originally a stagecoach coach located between Dubuque, Iowa, and Saint Paul, Minnesota. In 1854, George Head laid claims to land which now make up the central business district of Rochester. One year later, Olmsted County was established, and Rochester was designated as the county seat. In 1858, it received designation as a city. The area began to expand, and the population grew with the arrival of the Winona and St. Peter Railroad in 1864. By 1880, the city had a population of over 5,000.
The city was struck by disaster with a tornado that killed 24 and injured 100 - this same system also destroyed many buildings in the area. Dr. W.W. Mayo, the “County Doctor” and the Sisters of Saint Francis were of great assistance following the storm. Shortly after, the Sisters approached Dr. Mayo with an opportunity to build a hospital provided that Dr. Mayo and his sons would join the practice. This partnership led to St. Marys Hospital. The partnership continued to grow through the 20th century, and the Mayo Clinic was developed. Today, it is one of the most innovative medical practices in the world. Two other people from Rochester – Thomas J. Watson, Jr. and Leland Fiegel – became famous for innovation for their role at IBM, which was founded by Watson’s father.
Throughout the 20th century, the city was plagued with floods. This led to the development of a flood control system for the city, which wasn’t completed until 1996.
Today, the economy of Rochester is centered on the Mayo Clinic. The city’s population has continued to grow as has the city itself with the addition of hotels, restaurants, and retail stores. Agriculture is also important to the economy, as well as manufacturing, particularly with IBM’s Rochester campus. Numerous publications have named Rochester as one of the best places in the U.S. to live, and it is also one of the most educated cities not just in the U.S., but in the world.
According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Rochester was:
Black or African American
Two or more races
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
Average Family Size
Average Household Size
Rate of Home Ownership
Less Than 9th Grade
9th to 12th Grade
High School Graduate
High School Graduation Rate
The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 86.67%.
The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 54.29%.
Other Indo-European Languages
Asian and Pacific Island Languages
82.17% of Rochester residents speak only English, while 17.83% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Asian and Pacific Island languages, which is spoken by 6.27% of the population.
Overall Poverty Rate
Male Poverty Rate
Female Poverty Rate
The race most likely to be in poverty in Rochester is Black, with 30.73% below the poverty level.
The race least likely to be in poverty in Rochester is Asian, with 5.33% below the poverty level.
The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 1%. Among those working part-time, it was 13.27%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 16.9%.
Overall Marriage Rate
Male Marriage Rate
Female Marriage Rate
The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.
Second Gulf War
First Gulf War
World War II
Less Than 9th Grade
High School Graduate
Bachelors or Greater
Veteran Poverty Rate
Veteran Disability Rate
Labor Force Participation
Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.
Born in Rochester
88.09% of Rochester residents were born in the United States, with 55.53% having been born in Minnesota. 6.33% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.