Located in Central Minnesota, Benton County is part of the St. Cloud Metropolitan Statistical Area. Benton County is one hour north of the Twin Cities and one hour south of premier lake and resort areas.
The largest city is Sauk Rapids, which has over 12,000 residents. The part of St. Cloud that is located in Benton County includes about 6,400 residents. Sartell's Benton County section includes over 2,000 people. Rice, with a population of over 1200, is located on the northwestern edge of the County.