Rice County is located in Southern Minnesota just 50 miles south of the Minneapolis and St. Paul metropolitan area. The County encompasses an area of 516 square miles and contains seven cities and 14 townships. According to the 2010 Census, the two largest cities in Rice County are Faribault with a population of 23,352, and Northfield with a population of 20,007. Rice County has a total population of 64,142 which is the State's 13th most populous county. Rice County was organized on March 5, 1853, and is governed by the general laws of the State of Minnesota. The cities of Faribault and Northfield comprise slightly less than half of the County's total taxable value.