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A bright, burgeoning future

Pine Island got its name from a conspicuous cluster of white pines. Later it became a cheese-making center known as the "cheese capital of Minnesota."

The city has many historic buildings downtown, but its bright future is drawing more attention. The planned Elk Run biotechnology project promises thousands of new jobs in the burgeoning bioscience sector, as well as a huge new housing development.

Population (July 2008):3,326 (+42.3 percent change since 2000 census)

Median resident age:37.1 years (state median age 35.4 years)

Educational level, residents 25 years and older:


• High school or higher: 87.5 percent

• Bachelor's degree or higher: 18.8 percent

• Graduate or professional degree: 5.3 percent


• White non-Hispanic: 97.5 percent

• Two or more races: 1.2 percent

• Hispanic: 0.6 percent



• German: 45.4 percent

• Norwegian: 26.1 percent

• Irish: 13.9 percent

• English: 6.0 percent

• Swedish: 5.4 percent

• Swiss: 4.9 percent

Estimated household median income (2008): $62,128 ($47,500 in 2000)

Estimated per capita income (2008):$28,245


Estimated median housing value (2008):$192,906 ($99,600 in 2000)

Mean prices, all housing units (2008):$201,620

Average household size:2.6

Percentage of family households:72.7

Percentage of population affiliated with religious congregation:81.4 percent (United States, 50.2 percent)

Religious congregations with most adherents:

• Evangelical Lutheran Church in America: 48 percent

• Roman Catholic Church: 24 percent


• Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod: 10 percent

Cost of living index, December 2009:76.4 (low; U.S. average is 100)

Major industries:

• Educational, health and social services: 31 percent

• Manufacturing: 17 percent

• Retail trade: 14 percent

Major employers:

Funds currently are being raised for the proposed Elk Run Development, a 3.6-square-mile, 250-acre biobusiness park and biotechnology center. It also will have a healthy living community and office, warehouse, retail, institutional and residential components.

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