Bemidji is a city in Beltrami County, Minnesota, United States. Its population was estimated at 13,419 in 2007. It is the county seat of Beltrami County. Bemidji lies on the southwest shore of Lake Bemidji, the northernmost lake feeding the Mississippi River and, as such, is deemed "the first city on the Mississippi."
Its name derives from the Ojibwe Bay-may-ji-ga-maug (Double-Vowel orthography: bemijigamaag), meaning "lake that traverses another body of water". On occasion, in Ojibwe, the city of Bemidji is called Wabigamaang ("at the lake channel/narrows"), because part of the city is situated on the Lakes Bemidji/Irving narrows, located on the south end of Lake Bemidji, and extends to the eastern shore of Lake Irving.
Bemidji is home to Bemidji State University, Northwest Technical College, and Oak Hills Christian College. It's also headquarters of Bemidji Woolen Mills. The statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, well-known landmarks, are downtown on the lakefront. Lake Bemidji State Park offers year-round recreation.
Bemidji is home to one of five flight bases in the state for North Memorial Medical Center of Robbinsdale (a Level 1 Trauma Center located in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area), MeritCare Clinic (which operates five facilities in Bemidji), and North Country Health Services.
Bemidji is also home base for Paul Bunyan Broadcasting, a group of sixteen radio stations in Bemidji, Baxter, Wadena and Alexandria.
The largest earthquake on record for the Bemidji area was recorded on September 3, 1917. It is claimed that it shook houses down in Bemidji and across northern Minnesota. (Little Falls Daily Transcript, September 4, 1917) The epicenter was about 95 miles away in Staples, Minnesota. It affected an area of 48,000 km², and was rated a magnitude 4.4 with a maximum intensity of VI to VII. The closest and most recent quake occurred in Walker, MN on September 27, 1982 with a magnitude of 2.0.
As of the census of 2000, there were 11,917 people, 4,669 households, and 2,427 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,011.8 people per square mile (390.6/km²). There were 4,948 housing units at an average density of 420.1/sq mi (162.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 84.31% White American, 0.76% African American, 11.52% Native American, 1.12% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.20% from other races, and 2.06% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.14% of the population.
There were 4,669 households out of which 25.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.0% were married couples living together, 14.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 48.0% were non-families. 35.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.87.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.2% under the age of 18, 24.9% from 18 to 24, 23.0% from 25 to 44, 15.4% from 45 to 64, and 15.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.0 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $28,072, and the median income for a family was $37,250. Males had a median income of $28,312 versus $20,694 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,264. About 13.2% of families and 19.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.7% of those under age 18 and 10.9% of those age 65 or over.
The Concordia Language Villages are located near Bemidji and this has, perhaps, been influential in the existence of several language conversational groups (including French, Norwegian, Spanish, Italian, and German) that meet weekly in local coffee houses.
The city is well known to fans of the sport of curling. Both men's and women's rinks from the Bemidji Curling Club won the right to represent the United States in the 2005 World Curling Championship and the 2006 Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. Pete Fenson, the skip of the U.S. curling team that took the bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics, is a native of Bemidji.
A city referendum for a Bemidji Regional Events Center passed by a slim majority of 43 votes out of 4583 votes cast in November 2006. The center is expected to cost $50 million. While the major tenant for the center is expected to be the Bemidji State University (BSU) hockey team, the current status of the men's hockey team is uncertain as it attempts to enter the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). Information on this project can be found at Bemidji Events
|9||22||KAWE||PBS||Northern MN Public TV|
|Fox Television Stations|
|Fox Television Stations|
|42||none||K42FH||TBN||Trinity Brd. Network|
|48||48*||K48KI||3ABN||Three Angels Brd. Network|
|FM radio stations|
|88.5 FM||KCRB||MPR/NPR||Classical music||Minnesota Public Radio|
|89.7 FM||KBSB||FM 90||College radio/Top 40 (CHR)||Bemidji State Univ.|
|91.3 FM||KNBJ||MPR/NPR||News/Talk||Minnesota Public Radio|
|92.1 FM||WMIS||The River 92.1||Talk||RP Broadcasting|
|92.7 FM||W224AB||Psalm 99:5|| Christian|
|Oak Hills Fellowship|
|93.5 FM||K228EW||Lifetalk Radio|| Christian|
|We Have This Hope|
|94.9 FM||K235BP||Your Q FM|| Contemporary Christian music|
|Shine the Light, Inc.|
|95.5 FM||KKZY||KZY 95.5||Adult contemporary||Paul Bunyan Broadcasting|
|98.3 FM||WBJI||Real Country 98.3||Classic country||RP Broadcasting|
|99.1 FM||KLLZ||Z99||Classic rock||Paul Bunyan Broadcasting|
|101.1 FM||KBHP||KB101||Country||Paul Bunyan Broadcasting|
|102.5 FM||KKWB||--||under construction||De La Hunt Broadcasting|
|103.1 FM||K276EP||Lifetalk Radio|| Christian|
|De La Hunt Broadcasting|
|103.7 FM||KKBJ-FM||Mix 103.7||Hot AC||RP Broadcasting|
|104.5 FM||WQXJ||True Oldies 104.5||Oldies||Paul Bunyan Broadcasting|
|105.3 FM||K287AD|| Northern Community Radio|
| Public radio|
|Northern Community Radio|
|106.3 FM||KBJI-LP||--|| 3ABN affiliate|
|Bemidji Religious Ed. Brd.|
|107.1 FM||KKEQ||Your Q FM||Contemporary Christian music||Pine to Prairie Brd.|
|AM radio stations|
|820 AM||WBKK||--||under construction||De La Hunt Broadcasting|
|1360 AM||KKBJ||Talkradio 1360||News/Talk||RP Broadcasting|
|1450 AM||KBUN||The Fan|| Sports|
|Paul Bunyan Broadcasting|