• Benton County is in Minnesota’s Economic Development Region 7W. Region 7W is projected to enjoy continued population growth in the next 20 years. According to population projections from the State Demographic Center, Region 7W is expected to gain about 79,400 net new residents from 2015 to 2035, an 18.2 percent increase. The state of Minnesota is projected to grow 10.8 percent.
  • With 28,215 jobs at 816 firms, healthcare and social assistance is the largest employing industry in Region 7W, accounting for 16.8 percent of total jobs in the region.
  • After regaining about 3,000 jobs since 2010, manufacturing is still the second largest industry in Region 7W, with 24,325 jobs at 681 firms. Wages in manufacturing were nearly $7,500 higher than in the total of all industries.  
  • With one of the largest student populations outside the Twin Cities, Region 7W also has a high concentration of jobs in educational services, with 15,407 jobs at 195 institutions—primarily at elementary and secondary schools, but also at junior colleges, universities, and other schools and instruction.
  • The next largest industry was also the fastest growing in the region from 2010 to 2015: the construction industry built up payrolls by 43.4 percent.