Census report shows Minnesota population growth in Metro area

Graphs from Minnesota State Demographic Center shows the population growth and decline in Minnesota counties according to 2010 and 2020 Census data. The Metro area saw the highest increase in the state with Greater Minnesota seeing population decline.

ST. PAUL — The 2020 Census data shows diversity is a long-term trend in Minnesota and an aging population could put pressure on the labor force.

Last week, Minnesota’s State Senior Demographer Eric Guthrie gave a presentation on the latest demographics based on 2020 Census data during an annual meeting in Burnsville. A copy of his presentation was made available on a recent New Ulm Area Chamber member update.

According to the 2020 Census, Minnesota’s population is 5.7 million. This is an increase of 346,408 residents since the 2010 Census, an increase of 6.5%.

Of the 50 states, Minnesota had the 19th highest percentage increase. Texas had the highest overall increase in the last decade with 4.1 million residents. Illinois saw the largest decline, losing over a quarter-million residents.

Minnesota’s growth has been relatively small, but consistent since 1990. According to Census data, the state has grown by close to a million in the last 30 years. Guthrie noted that this growth has been driven by communities of color.

All racial demographics have seen an increase in Minnesota over the last 20 years, with African American, Asian and Hispanic populations more than doubling.

Since 2000, Minnesota’s African American population has increased by 130%; the Hispanic/Latino community increased by 121% and the Asian population increased by 103%.

By comparison, the White population increased by 3% over the same period.

Minnesota’s growth since the 2010 Census has primarily been in the metro area. Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota counties grew by a combined 185,217 residents and represent 74.4% of growth over the last decade.

Nicollet and Blue Earth County have also seen modest growth since 2010. The two counties saw an increase of between 1,000 and 2,000 residents. The rest of southwestern Minnesota counties saw a population decline.

Brown County and Redwood Counties lost between 700 and 1,200 people since 2010. Cottonwood and Watonwan lost between 200 and 700 residents.

Renville County ranked in the top four Minnesota Counties for the declining population. Along with Koochiching, Martin and St. Louis Counties, Renville saw a population loss of over 1,200 people since 2010.

Guthrie’s presentation showed Minnesota’s population is aging, with little change in child populations. Since 1990, the state’s 18 and older population has steadily increased, but the 17 and under population has not changed, staying consistent at a little over a million residents.

In 1990, the number of school-age children (5 to 17 years) in Minnesota was higher than the 65 and older population, but as of the 2020 Census, the two age groups are about equal.

The number of 65 and older residents is expected to increase through 2030, but the school-age student population is not anticipated to grow significantly.

The impacts of an aging population could result in a reduction in revenue from income and other taxes as well as a shift in priorities. Eldercare spending will likely increase. Resources will be needed for those aging in place.

Minnesota is not the only state seeing an increasing population reaching retirement age. It is a nationwide trend that is impacting labor for participation. There is a concern labor participation will remain low for the foreseeable future.

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, the number of job vacancies in the state has reached a record high point. The vacancy rate is 8% or roughly eight open jobs per 100 jobs.


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