MICA's History

Now named the Minnesota Inter-County Association, or MICA, our association’s first official Articles of Incorporation were filed on August 30, 1971, as the Metropolitan Inter-County Council.


MICA’s formation as an independent association began nearly a decade earlier when eight metropolitan area counties—Anoka, Hennepin, Carver, Dakota, Ramsey, Scott, Washington, and Wright—formed a council within the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC), to collaborate on a variety of regional challenges, such as parks and public spaces and transportation and highway development.  It is an origin story and timeline that parallels formation of the Metropolitan Council in 1967 to plan for the orderly and economic development of the seven-county metropolitan area.


Over time, as Minnesota’s population continued to grow and in-state migration to urbanized areas and regional centers accelerated. The ‘metropolitan area’ issues that prompted the formation of MICA were increasingly seen as issues common to more densely populated counties across the state.


Between 1971 and 1981, MICA’s membership expanded to include seven Greater Minnesota counties – Blue Earth, Olmsted, Rice, St. Louis, Sherburne, Stearns, and Winona — that are host to the state’s larger regional centers, and Hennepin and Ramsey separated from the association as full members, although they continue to participate in some committees. In 1980, the Metropolitan Inter-County Council (MICC) changed its name to the Metropolitan Inter-County Association, and in 2007, rebranded to its current name of the Minnesota Inter-County Association (MICA), reflecting its statewide county membership.


In 2021, MICA celebrated its 50th anniversary, and currently fifteen county governments participate as full MICA members, including most of the fastest growing counties in the state, four metro-area suburban counties and eleven in Greater Minnesota. Nearly 35 percent of Minnesotan’s reside in a member county, while another 1/3rd of Minnesotan’s reside in Hennepin and Ramsey counties.