The Territorial Legislature of Minnesota established Hennepin County on March 6, 1852. Hennepin began as a governmental unit serving a population of only a few hundred people. An agricultural and industrial boom in the 19th and 20th centuries grew Hennepin County into the population and commerce center it is today. With about 1.15 million residents as of the 2010 census, Hennepin County is the most populous county in Minnesota. Hennepin County is diverse in both its population and its landscape. The eastern half consists of Minneapolis and several rings of suburbs, while the western half remains mostly exurban and rural. Hennepin County is regarded as maintaining a high quality of life, offering many opportunities to its residents and visitors.