Prior Lake (Dakota: Mayátho Bdé) is an exurban city 20 miles (32 km) southwest of Minneapolis seated next to Savage and Shakopee in Scott County in the state of Minnesota. Surrounding the shores of Lower and Upper Prior Lake, the city lies south of the Minnesota River in an area known as RiverSouth and establishes the urban fringe of the south-southwest portion of Minneapolis-St. Paul, the sixteenth largest metropolitan area in the United States. The population of Prior Lake was 22,796 at the 2010 census.
Prior Lake was first incorporated as a village in 1891. Prior Lake is one of the oldest cities in the south metro area. The city's modern rapid growth is due in part to the ease of access for commuters to the rest of the region, via the upgraded State Highway 13.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.33 square miles (47.47 km2); 15.44 square miles (39.99 km2) is land and 2.89 square miles (7.49 km2) is water.
Upper Prior Lake and Lower Prior Lake sit at the center of the city in an elongated shape towards the southwest to Spring Lake. Prior Lake as a whole is the largest lake in the southern metro area.
As of the 2000, the median income for a household in the city was $75,363, and the median income for a family was $81,011. The per capita income for the city was $32,089. About 1.7% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line.