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Burnsville is a city 15 miles (24 km) south of downtown Minneapolis in Dakota County in the State of Minnesota. The city lies on the south bank of the Minnesota River, upstream from its confluence with the Mississippi River. Burnsville and nearby suburbs form the southern portion of Minneapolis–Saint Paul, the fifteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States, with about 3.6 million residents. According to the 2010 census, the population is 61,481.
Burnsville has many attractions, including its regional mall, Burnsville Center. The city is also a recreational attraction with Alimagnet Dog Park, a section of Murphy-Hanrehan Park Reserve, and 310-foot (94 m) vertical ski peak Buck Hill. Minnesota River wildlife is protected by the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge.
Originally a rural Irish farming community, Burnsville became the tenth largest city in Minnesota in the 2000 Census following the construction of Interstate 35. Currently the ninth largest suburb in the metro area and a bedroom community of both Minneapolis and Saint Paul, the city was fully built by the late 2000s. Burnsville's downtown area is called Heart of the City with urban-style retail and condominiums. The Burnsville Transit Station serves as the hub and headquarters of the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority, providing regional bus service to five other suburbs.
The name Burnsville is attributed to an early Irish settler and land owner, William Byrne. His surname was recorded as "Burns" and was never corrected.
As of the census of 2010, there were 60,306 people, 24,283 households, and 15,656 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,421.0 inhabitants per square mile (934.8/km²). There were 25,759 housing units at an average density of 1,034.1 per square mile (399.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.5% White, 10.0% African American, 0.4% Native American, 5.0% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 3.5% from other races, and 3.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.9% of the population.
There were 24,283 households of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 48.4% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.6% had a male householder with no wife present, and 35.5% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.03.