Demographics of Minnesota: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A diverse crowd in downtown Minneapolis
2000 Census
Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1850 6,077
1860 172,023 2,730.7%
1870 439,706 155.6%
1880 780,773 77.6%
1890 1,310,283 67.8%
1900 1,751,394 33.7%
1910 2,075,708 18.5%
1920 2,387,125 15.0%
1930 2,563,953 7.4%
1940 2,792,300 8.9%
1950 2,982,483 6.8%
1960 3,413,864 14.5%
1970 3,804,971 11.5%
1980 4,075,970 7.1%
1990 4,375,099 7.3%
2000 4,919,479 12.4%
Est. 2006 5,167,101 [1] 5.0%

The U.S. Census Bureau estimated Minnesota's population at 5,220,393 as of the year 2008.[2]



From fewer than 6,100 people in 1850, Minnesota's population grew to over 1.75 million by 1900. Each of the next six decades saw a 15.0% rise in population, reaching 3.41 million in 1960. Growth then slowed, rising 11.0% to 3.8 million in 1970, and an average of 9.0% over the next three decades to 4.91 million in the 2000 census.[3] As of July 1, 2006, the state's population was estimated at 5,167,101 by the U.S. Census Bureau.[4] The rate of population change, and age and gender distributions, approximate the national average. Minnesota's growing minority groups, however, still form a significantly smaller proportion of the population than in the nation as a whole.[1] The center of population of Minnesota is located in Hennepin County, in the city of Rogers.[5]


Age distribution

The population distribution by age in the 2005-2007 American Community Survey was:

  • Under 5 years: 6.7%
  • 5-9 years: 6.5%
  • 10-14 years: 6.9%
  • 15-19 years: 7.3%
  • 20-24 years: 7.0%
  • 25-34 years: 13.0%
  • 35-44 years: 14.7%
  • 45-54 years: 15.3%
  • 55-59 years: 6.0%
  • 60-64 years: 4.4%
  • 65-74 years: 6.0%
  • 75-84 years: 4.3%
  • 85 years and over: 1.9%

The median age was 36.9 years.[6]


Approximately 60.0% of the state's population lives within the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area and 40.0% in the remainder of the state, which is a result of the migration of jobs from farming, mining, and logging, prevalent in the 19th century, to the current concentration in professional, office, and service jobs, concentrated in the metropolitan areas.

The 10 most populous counties (2006)[1]

Minnesota's most populous counties
County Seat Projected Population  % Gain since 2000
Hennepin Minneapolis 1,122,093 +0.5
Ramsey Saint Paul 493,215 -3.5
Dakota Hastings 388,001 +9.0
Anoka Anoka 327,005 +9.7
Washington Stillwater 225,000 +11.9
St. Louis Duluth 196,067 -2.2
Stearns St Cloud 144,096 +8.2
Olmsted Rochester 137,189 +10.7
Scott Shakopee 124,092 +38.7
Wright Buffalo 114,730 +27.6

Race and ancestry

Over 75.0% of Minnesota's residents are of Western European descent, with the largest reported ancestries being German (38.6%), Norwegian (17.0%), Irish (11.9%), and Swedish (9.8%).[7] As of the 2005-2007 American Community Survey, 6.5% of the residents were foreign-born, compared to 12.5% for the nation.[8] The state has had the reputation of being relatively racially homogeneous, but that is changing. The Hispanic population of Minnesota is increasing rapidly,[9] and recent immigrants have come from all over the world, including Hmongs,[10] Somalis, Vietnamese, and emigrants from the former Soviet bloc.

Demographics of Minnesota (csv)
By race White Black AIAN* Asian NHPI*
2000 (total population) 92.06% 4.18% 1.66% 3.31% 0.12%
2000 (Hispanic only) 2.70% 0.14% 0.12% 0.04% 0.01%
2005 (total population) 90.94% 4.96% 1.63% 3.86% 0.13%
2005 (Hispanic only) 3.40% 0.17% 0.12% 0.04% 0.01%
Growth 2000–05 (total population) 3.07% 23.98% 2.69% 21.44% 8.84%
Growth 2000–05 (non-Hispanic only) 2.21% 23.89% 2.42% 21.43% 8.92%
Growth 2000–05 (Hispanic only) 31.49% 26.47% 6.23% 22.75% 8.24%
* AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native; NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander

History of immigration

Immigration to Minnesota was fueled by the efforts of railroad companies and civic boosters who published books explaining Minnesota's virtues. New Minnesotans also sent letters back to the "old country" explaining the new hope and prosperity they had found in Minnesota. The first major wave of immigration, in the 1860s and 1870s, was primarily from Germany[11] and Ireland, and most settlers moved to farming areas in the central and southern regions of the state. Germans composed the largest immigrant group to Minnesota. When World War I started, 70% of the population was either foreign-born or had at least one parent born outside the United States. Of that number, more than one fourth were Germans. New Ulm, Saint Cloud, and Shakopee were particular centers of German immigration. Scandinavians from Norway, Sweden, and Denmark followed, but they tended to settle in distinctive communities of Norwegian, Swedish, and Danish groups instead of common Scandinavian communities. Irish immigrants were the fourth largest group after the Germans, Swedes, and Norwegians, many of whom came as a result of the potato famine. Others were encouraged to immigrate by Archbishop John Ireland. The Irish concentrated in Saint Paul. Later, southern and eastern Europeans became the dominant group immigrating to the United States, and they tended to settle in the Twin Cities, Duluth, and the Iron Range. The Mesabi Range was especially popular among eastern Europeans, who found employment in the iron mines. With extraordinary encouragement from Walter Mondale, Hmong and Vietnamese immigrants started to come to Minnesota around the mid-1970s as the pro-American governments in their home countries collapsed.[12][13]


In the year 2007, 90.4% of Minnesota's population 5 years and over spoke only English at home. The remaining 9.6% spoke a language other than English at home. About 3.4% of Minnesota's population spoke Spanish or Spanish Creole at home. In addition, 2.1% of the population spoke an Indo-European language at home. About 2.6% of Minnesota's population spoke an Asian language or a Pacific Island language at home. And the remaining 1.5% spoke a different language at home.[14]


The Cathedral of St. Paul in the city of St. Paul.

Although Christianity dominates the religious persuasion of residents, there is a long history of non-Christian faith. German-Jewish pioneers formed Saint Paul's first synagogue in 1856,[15] and there are now appreciable numbers of adherents to Islam, Buddhism, and other traditions. But Protestantism is adhered to by the majority of Minnesotans, and Roman Catholics are the largest single denomination.

A 2008 survey by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life showed that 32.0% of Minnesotans were affiliated with Mainline Protestant traditions, 21.0% with Evangelical Protestant traditions, 28.0% with Roman Catholic traditions, 1.0% each with Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, and Black Protestant traditions, smaller amounts for other faiths, and 13.0% unaffiliated.[16] This is broadly consistent with a 2001 survey, which indicated that 25.0% of Minnesota's population was Roman Catholic, and 24.0% was Lutheran with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America with 853,448; and the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod with 203,863 adherents.[17] Other religious groups represented were Baptists (5.0%), Methodists (4.0%), Presbyterians (2.0%), the Assembly of God (2.0%), and the Church of God (2.0%). Christians with unstated or other denominational affiliations, including other Mainline Protestants, totaled 13.0%, bringing the total Christian population to 77.0%. Non-Christian religions, such as Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, together represented 3.0% of the population. 14.0% of respondents were irreligious according to the survey, and 6.0% refused to answer.[18]


Minnesota ranks 3rd in the nation, boasting that 90.9% of adult residents have achieved a high school diploma, and 11th in the nation with 30.7% having earned a bachelor's degree or higher.[19] In 2004, about 65.0% of Minnesota's high school graduates enrolled in postsecondary education following graduation.[20] Due to a bubble in the population, in 2009 the state is expected to graduate the highest number of students in its history. In subsequent years, the number graduating is expected to decline.[20] This is especially true for European American students, whose proportion will decline from 87.0% in 2005 to 80.0% by 2015.[20] Many Minnesota adults pursue higher education in one of the state-supported colleges or Universities. These include those in the University of Minnesota system, which had 65,247 enrollees in 2004, and MnSCU which had 369,000 students in 2006.[21]


A typical rural streetscape

The state continues to transform from an agricultural and natural resource-based economy to a high-tech and financial services-based one. Minnesota ranks 2nd in the nation, with 72.2% of adults in the labor force and 5.5% are unemployed. Occupations estimated in 2005 are:

  • Management/professional 36.0%
  • Sales and other office 26.0%
  • Service 15.0%
  • Manufacturing/production/transportation 13.0%
  • Construction/mining/maintenance/repair 9.0%
  • Farming/logging/fishing 1.0%[19]

Veterans of the armed forces account for 10.8% of the adult population, which is 40th in the nation. Adults with disabilities total 12.2% of the population.[19]


In 2005 the median household income in the state was $52,024, 11th highest statewide average in the nation.[19] In contrast, 9.8% of individuals live below the poverty line, ranking 44th in the nation.[19][22]

Home ownership

Minnesota ranks first in the nation in owner-occupied home ownership, with 75.8% of residents living in their own home, with an average mortgage payment of $1,351 per month. About 24.0% are tenants.[19]

Marital status

The average adult Minnesotan is married, although the numbers are shrinking. In 2007, 53.7% of Minnesotans over the age of 15 were married. People who were widowed made up 5.5% and people who were divorced made up 9.5%. People who were separated made up a mere 1.2% and people who were never married made up the remaining 30.1%. In the year 2005, 56.0% of people aged over 15 were married and people who were never married made up 28.6%. This shows that the percentage of people who are married is declining while the percentage of people who have never been married is on the rise.[23]


  1. ^ a b c "Table 1: Estimates of Population Change for the United States and States, and for Puerto Rico and State Rankings: July 1, 2005 to July 1, 2006". Retrieved 2006-12-22.  
  2. ^|04000US27&_street=&_county=&_cityTown=&_state=04000US27&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=040&_submenuId=population_0&ds_name=ACS_2007_3YR_SAFF&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null&reg=null%3Anull&_keyword=&_industry=
  3. ^ "Environmental Information Report, App. D Socioeconomic Information" (PDF). Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. 2003-05-30. Retrieved 2006-11-19.  
  4. ^ "national and state population estimates". Annual Population Estimates 2000 to 2006. US Census Bureau. 2006-12-22. Retrieved 2006-12-22.  
  5. ^ "statecenters". U.S. Census Bureau. 2000. Retrieved 2006-11-21.  
  6. ^
  7. ^
  8. ^|04000US27&_street=&_county=&_cityTown=&_state=04000US27&_zip=&_lang=en&_sse=on&ActiveGeoDiv=&_useEV=&pctxt=fph&pgsl=040&_submenuId=factsheet_1&ds_name=null&_ci_nbr=null&qr_name=null&reg=null%3Anull&_keyword=&_industry=
  9. ^ "Minnesota Population Projections by Race and Hispanic Origin" (PDF). Minnesota Department of Administration. 2004. Retrieved 2006-08-14.  
  10. ^ "Modern Language Ass'n List of Hmong Language speakers by State using 2000 census data; Minnesota is third in the nation". Modern Language Association. 2004. Retrieved 2006-11-19.  
  11. ^ - "German Migration to Minnesota". Minnesota State University Anthropology Department. Retrieved 2007-05-12.  
  12. ^ Lass, William E. (1998) [1977]. Minnesota: A History (2nd ed.). New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company. ISBN 0-393-04628-1.  
  13. ^ Henderson, O.Kay (2007). "Mondale, Ray join to remember rescue of "boat people"". Radio Iowa. Learfield Communications, Inc.. Retrieved 2007-05-12.  
  14. ^
  15. ^ Gilman, Rhonda R. (1989). The Story of Minnesota's Past. Saint Paul, Minnesota: Minnesota Historical Society Press. p. 99. ISBN 0-87351-267-7.  
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ "American Religious Identification Survey". Exhibit 15. The Graduate Center, City University of New York. Retrieved 2006-11-24.  
  19. ^ a b c d e f "Fact Sheet - Minnesota". U.S. Census Bureau. 2005. Retrieved 2006-12-04.  
  20. ^ a b c "Minnesota High School Graduates Will Peak in 2009". Insight Newsletter. Minnesota Office of Higher Education. April, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-05.  
  21. ^ "Amazing Facts" (pdf). Minnesota State Colleges and Universities. January, 2006. Retrieved 2006-12-05.  
  22. ^ R1701. Percent of People Below Poverty Level in the Past 12 Months (For Whom Poverty Status is Determined): 2006, U.S. Census Bureau.
  23. ^


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address