St. Paul, Minn. (March 16, 2011) – The Twin Cities metro area’s population grew to 2.85 million in 2010, according to 2010 Census counts released last week. Most of the region’s population growth is occurring in developing communities in the second- and third-ring suburbs. The 2010 Census also shows greater racial and ethnic diversity in an increasing number of communities.
Between 2000 and 2010, the region’s population grew by 207,505 people, compared with population growth during the previous decade of 353,341. This represents 8 percent growth compared to 15 percent growth in the 1990s.
“Population growth has slowed since the robust decade of the nineties, but the region continues to add population,” said Libby Starling, the Council’s Research Manager.
Most of the expansion, 91 percent, occurred in developing suburbs.
“With available land for new development, these communities provide the planning, services and amenities that both accommodate and encourage growth,” said Starling.
Redevelopment helped the central cities and most fully developed suburbs break even. In Minneapolis and St. Paul, new multifamily and attached housing developments have added thousands of new housing units.
At the same, the central cities’ housing gains have been offset by foreclosures, family displacements, and a demographic shift toward empty-nest and non-family households, with fewer people per housing unit. Between 2000 and 2010, Minneapolis gained 1,188 households but lost 169 residents. St. Paul lost 1,108 households and 1,772 residents over the decade.
A small share of growth, three percent, occurred in rural areas. Regional policy and local land-use planning work together to maintain the character of rural and agricultural communities.
Almost all the region’s gain is the result of higher birth rates and longer life expectancies. Each year, about 100,000 people move to the Twin Cities. Another 100,000 people leave, according to demographic tracking by Council research staff.
“The offsetting balance of in-migration and out-migration almost escapes notice,” said Council forecaster Todd Graham. “What makes this churn remarkable is that the out-migrants and arrivals look very different. Those who have left are older and closely resemble Minnesota a generation ago. The new arrivals are younger and more diverse. Over time, we expect our region’s demographic mix to look more like the rest of the nation.”
The Census 2010 data reveal that the white non-Hispanic population is 76 percent of the population, compared to 83 percent in 2000 and 90 percent in 1990. People of color now comprise 24 percent of the region’s population compared to 10 percent in 1990, and are settling in a larger number of neighborhoods and communities.
In 73 cities, people of color represented more than 10 percent of the community’s population in 2010, compared to just six such communities in 1990.
The most racially diverse communities in the region, according to the 2010 Census, are Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park. Also notably, the populations of Lauderdale, Brooklyn Park, Falcon Heights and St. Paul are all 15 percent or more Asian or Asian-American. More than one in five residents of both Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park are African and African-American. Jackson Township, Landfall, West St. Paul and Richfield have the largest Hispanic populations.
The Census Bureau describes the data published on Wednesday as Redistricting Files, for use in the reexamination and determination of political district boundaries. In December, the Census Bureau announced state population totals. The 2010 enumeration found 5.3 million people in Minnesota. Most of Minnesota’s population, 2.85 million people, live in the Twin Cities seven-county area.
Local population and housing counts are available for all levels of geography: cities and townships, as well as Census tracts and block groups.
The Metropolitan Council’s Community Profiles will provide new Census 2010 data for cities, townships and counties. The Community Profiles is available online at http://www.metrocouncil.org/communityprofiles/index.htm.