About Golden Valley

Village HallThe Village of Golden Valley was incorporated Dec 16, 1886. During its early years, Golden Valley was an agricultural community of only a few hundred residents, full of farms, mills, and dairies. Residential development began after the Electric Luce Line Railroad was cut through the village in 1912.

Between 1910 and 1940, Golden Valley's population increased from 692 to 2,040. More residential development followed industry's discovery of Golden Valley after World War II, and the village continued to grow. It became a city in 1972.

A video history of Golden Valley ("Celebrate Golden Valley"), produced in 2003 by Curtis Laine of Studio 23, is available for purchase through the Golden Valley Historical Society.


+ How Golden Valley Got Its Name

Was it daffodils or wheat? The story of how Golden Valley got its name has several variations; however, references to grain outnumber those to wildflowers.

The most recent explanation, published in 1986, cites daffodils as the inspiration. According to Golden Valley: A History of a Minnesota City, 1886-1986, the city was named by William Varner, one of the area's first settlers. Upon arriving at St Anthony Falls in 1854, Varner headed west to find a home site and eventually came upon "a hill so high that he thought it was a mountain. He climbed the hill and looking down he could see the whole valley lush and green dotted with golden daffodils. In the distance he could see a lake shining in the sunlight and he said, 'This is my valley, my Golden Valley.' " That hill, now much eroded by nature and humans, is currently home to the Golden Valley Country Club.

Backtrack to May 29, 1958. An unattributed article in the Suburban Press claimed the name Golden Valley "came about because of the yellow of the cowslips, goldenrod, and sunflowers which covered the hills in 1852 when the first pioneers settled in the valley." As soon as he read that article, 75-year-old Robert Moser, lifelong resident and son of early homesteader Carl Moser, called the paper to set the record straight. He said "it was wheat, acres of it glimmering in a summer sun, that put the word 'golden' in Golden Valley."

Moser's family arrived in the area in 1853, followed a year later by the Varners. Within a few years, other settlers arrived and turned the prairie land into wheat fields. Moser says that William Varner, looking out over those fields from his hilltop homestead, observed: "this is truly a golden valley," and the name stuck.

Fast forward to June 1970, and another variation. Midwest Planning and Research, a consulting firm that used to do most of the City's big planning reports, prepared a document entitled "Historical Background and Statistics of Golden Valley." According to that report, the origin of the name Golden Valley is somewhat obscure. "Various stories concerning the naming of the Village do not bear close scrutiny in view of the physical situation of the Village in the 1880s. The most plausible account of the naming of the Village holds that the name came from Irish immigrants who settled in the area. Wishing to retain some reminder of Ireland, they named the Village 'Golden Valley' after the Golden Vale of Shannon, a portion of the Shannon River Valley in western Ireland."

+ Our Town's Story Video


+ Golden Valley Turns 125

Golden Valley celebrated its 125th anniversary in 2011.


Golden Valley is served by two public school districts and is home to a state-operated arts high school and three private schools.

+ Independent School District #270 (Hopkins)

Administrative Offices | 952-988-4000
1001 Highway 7, Hopkins, MN 55305


School buildings located in Golden Valley:

  • Meadowbrook Elementary | 952-988-5100
    5430 Glenwood Ave, Golden Valley, MN 55422

+ Independent School District #281 (Robbinsdale)

Education Service Center | 763-504-8000
4148 Winnetka Ave N, New Hope, MN 55427

School buildings located in Golden Valley:

  • Noble Elementary | 763-504-4000
    2601 Noble Ave N, Golden Valley, MN 55427


+ State Arts High School (Perpich)

Perpich Center for Arts Education | 763-591-4700
6125 Olson Memorial Hwy, Golden Valley, MN 55426
Grades 11 & 12

+ Private Schools

  • Breck School | 763-377-5000
    123 Ottawa Ave N, Golden Valley, MN 54422
    Grades K-12
  • King of Grace Lutheran School | 763-546-3131
    6000 Duluth St, Golden Valley, MN 55422
    Grades K-8
  • Good Shepherd Catholic School | 763-545-4285
    145 Jersey Ave S, Golden Valley, MN 55426
    Grades K-6

+ What school district do I live in?

Type your address into the Secretary of State's Polling Place Finder. It will list your school district, as well as congressional districts, polling place, and more. School district map thumbnail

You can also view the school district map of Golden Valley.

Census and Demographic Information

The United States Census Bureau records a census every 10 years. Links to the 2020 Census results will be posted here when available from the US Census Bureau.

To learn more about the 2020 US Census, use the resources below.

+ 2010 Census Information


  • Total population: 20,371
  • Median age: 45.6
  • Race: White 84%, Black 7%, Asian 4%, Hispanic 3%, Biracial 1%, Other 1 %
  • Median Household Income: $62,500

Check out detailed 2010 census information about Golden Valley from the Metropolitan Council.

View comprehensive census information from 2000.

+ 2016 Resident Survey—Demographic Highlights

A resident survey conducted in 2016 interviewed 400 randomly selected residents of Golden Valley. From that sample:


  • Average age: 49.7
  • 31% of households are composed entirely of those over age 55
  • 27% of households possess school-aged children and/or preschoolers

Home Ownership & Longevity

  • 76% percent own their current residences; 24% rent 
  • Median longevity of adult residents: 15.7 years
  • 35% moved to the city during the past 10 years
  • 38% have lived here for more than two decades