Emmetsburg is a city in Palo Alto County, Iowa, United States. The population was 3,904 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Palo Alto County. Emmetsburg is located around the southern bay of Five Island Lake.
The town was originally settled by immigrants during the Great Famine of Ireland between 1845 and 1852. Emmetsburg was named after the Dublin-born Irish nationalist Robert Emmet, who was executed at 25 for leading an 1803 rebellion against the British. The city was incorporated on November 17, 1877.
The city lies just to the east of the Des Moines River.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.97 square miles (10.28 km2), of which 3.81 square miles (9.87 km2) is land and 0.16 square miles (0.41 km2) is water.
As of the census of 2010, there were 3,904 people, 1,632 households, and 967 families living in the city. The population density was 1,024.7 inhabitants per square mile (395.6/km2). There were 1,836 housing units at an average density of 481.9 per square mile (186.1/km2).