Anoka is a city in Anoka County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 18,076 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Anoka County. Anoka is also the self-proclaimed "Halloween Capital of the World", due to the fact that it hosted the first Halloween parade in 1920. In 1937, city officials persuaded the United States Congress to officially grant the title. It continues to celebrate the holiday each year with several parades.
Anoka makes a strong claim for providing the first volunteers to the Union Army during the Civil War, noted by a small historical plaque standing at the corner of West Main Street and Park Street. Alexander Ramsey, Minnesota's governor in 1861, was in Washington, D.C. when Fort Sumter was fired upon. He immediately offered a regiment to the War Department, and telegraphed former governor Willis Gorman and Lieutenant Governor Ignatius L. Donnelly that same morning. Gorman, attending a district court session in Anoka, received the note by messenger from St. Paul and called a court recess, asking for volunteers. Aaron Greenwald, who has an "island" named after him on Lake George, and five others stepped forward; Greenwald was the first to sign. He died July 2, 1863, during the 1st Minnesota Regiment's famous charge at Gettysburg.
In 2000, Anoka elected 22-year old Bjorn Skogquist as mayor. Skogquist was re-elected in 2002, 2004 and 2006. In 2008, he is seeking higher office as an Anoka County Commisioner. Skogquist was the youngest mayor ever in Minnesota when he was elected. He worked from 2000-2008 for open government, code reform, protection of historic housing and open space and encouraged civic young people to become involved in civics.
As of the census of 2000, there were 18,076 people, 7,262 households, and 4,408 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,709.0 people per square mile (1,046.4/km²). There were 7,398 housing units at an average density of 1,108.7/sq mi (428.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 93.15% White, 2.47% African American, 1.05% Native American, 0.93% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.51% from other races, and 1.86% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.93% of the population.
There were 7,262 households out of which 30.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.5% were married couples living together, 12.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.3% were non-families. 31.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.38 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 32.2% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 11.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 99.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 97.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $42,659, and the median income for a family was $55,311. Males had a median income of $37,930 versus $27,753 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,367. About 4.7% of families and 6.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.2% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.