A Surprising Number Of Minnesota Counties Have Either One Stoplight Or None At All
People on the coasts think of Minnesota as flyover country. We've all seen video interviews of people from elsewhere who think Minnesota is just a giant cornfield, the frozen tundra (that's only part of the year - har har), or just a giant forest with some lakes.
Despite those beliefs by some from out of the area, Minnesota is home to at top-20 metropolitan area and is the 22nd most populous state in the country. Not exactly an entire state of nothingness. That said, there are plenty of parts of our state that are quite rural. From counties that are largely pristine wilderness to others that are rural farm country, Minnesota is home to several counties that have pretty small populations.
All of this got me thinking - There's an old measure of population used in pop culture like movies and music that relates the number of stoplights (or lack thereof) in your town to the population. It's a weird measuring stick, but I'm sure you've heard it. Especially if you grew up in a small town.
Already armed with the knowledge that Aitkin County is home to only one stoplight in the entire county, I figured I'd explore just how many of Minnesota's 87 counties only have a single stoplight, or have none at all. It turns out that while it isn't half, it's still a sizable number.
For those of you around the state that might comb through this and go "Hey! You missed one!", do be aware that this data is not very easy to come by. It took a lot of creative research online to come up with this data, some of which is a few years old. As some communities move controlled intersections to roundabouts or otherwise change their roadways, there are bound to have been some changes in some towns or counties. If you know an update to the data for any particular county, let me know!