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 7 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.