Good Question: Who Is The Average Minnesotan?

By Jason DeRusha, WCCO-TV

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — When the Census Bureau released its 2010 report on Minnesota, it provided a picture of a changing Minnesota. So, what is the picture of the average Minnesotan today?

“The average Minnesotan, in some respects, is very much like the average American. In some respects, is very different,” said Tom Gillespy, Minnesota’s state demographer. “We are much less diverse than the rest of the country.”

Eighty-five out of 100 Minnesotans are white, which is down from 89 percent in the last 2000 U.S. Census.

The Hispanic population is up 75 percent, black Minnesotans grew 60 percent and Asian Minnesotans grew 51 percent. Hispanics and Blacks, however, still each make up about 5 percent of the state while Asians are about 4 percent.

“Our most diverse county, which is Ramsey County, is slightly less diverse than the national average,” said Gillespy.

The data underscores a long-time trend, that of people moving out of the cities and into the suburbs and exurbs.

Approximately 667,646 people live in Minneapolis and St. Paul. That’s fairly static from the last census, but the suburbs and exurbs of the metro area have grown considerably. In 2010, that population is 2,181,921, approximately 41 percent of the entire population of Minnesota.

“We saw substantial growth in the donut ring around the Twin Cities,” said Gillespy. “Right now, we’re pretty much a suburban, exurban society.”

We are also an older society. Minnesota’s median age is 37, according to Gillespy, which is in line with the national average.

“We’re not older. We’re not younger. We’re in the middle,” said Gillespy.

However, in 1990, the median age was 32. In 2000, it was 35.

“We’re on the verge of a retirement boom,” said Gillespy, a reality that is posing many challenges to the government and local planners.

As part of that, married couples with kids used to be the largest category in the Minnesota census.

“That’s no longer true,” said Gillespy. “It’s now empty nesters whose kids have grown up and moved away.”

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