Population & Location

St. James is a close-knit community located just 38 miles from Mankato on Highway 60. St. James is the Watonwan County Seat, with a population of nearly 5,000 people. Our community is diverse, with over 35% of our population having a Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. Click here for more demographic information.
We like to refer to St. James as a regional center, since we are the largest community in a wide radius, offering a little bit of everything! If you make St. James your home, you can find almost any service you need right in town, with the convenience of larger retail stores just 38 minutes away in Mankato.


Being a regional center, St. James has plenty of healthcare options, from optometrists, dentists, chiropractors and physical therapists, to a satellite VA Clinic and an award-winning Mayo Clinic/Hospital. Mayo Clinic Health System St. James opened doors to a new $22 million facility in November of 2007.

Investments in our Community & School System

Mayo Clinic is not the only recent investment in our community- page through our investment slideshow to see all of the investment that is happening here! Over $17.5 million was invested into the community’s roads, new infrastructure, and a new storm sewer system. Check out the “first mini-roundabouts on a Minnesota State Highway” in our downtown that were part of the Highway 4 reconstruction project in 2017.

In 2017, the St. James School District 840 passed a $24.9 million referendum for the expansion and remodeling of their buildings. With this referendum the school system was able to make upgrades to their gym facilities, media centers, security, technology, theaters, office, pool and they added more classroom space. The remodeling is yet another example of a progressive school district focused on innovative methods, caring teachers, and success both inside and outside the classroom.

Quality of Life

Living in St. James, you feel a sense of security and safety that comes from living in a small town with lower crime rates. Many of our community members live here for the outdoor recreation opportunities that are provided from our Parks and Trails system. St. James Area Bike Trail circles St. James Lake, offering a 4 mile paved trail. Connecting to this trail is the WatLine Trail, which opened in 2017 and heads South to Long Lake for five miles.

This is just a small introduction to our wonderful community. Look around our website to discover more of what St. James has to offer.

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