Dakota County is the third-most populous county in the U.S. state of Minnesota. As of the 2010 census, the population was 398,552. The county seat is Hastings. Dakota County is named after the Dakota Sioux tribal bands who settled in the area. The name is recorded as "Dahkotah" in the United States Census records until 1851.
Dakota County is included in the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area, the sixteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States with about 3.3 million residents. The county is bordered by the Minnesota and Mississippi Rivers on the north, and the state of Wisconsin on the east.