MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota’s Somali population is still the largest in the United States, according to new census data released early Thursday that raised the number of people of Somali ancestry in the state to more than 32,000.

The new estimate is based on American Community Surveys taken by the bureau from 2008-2010 and updates last year’s estimate of nearly 27,000 Somalis in the state. Because the estimates are derived from surveys, they include a margin of error, which means the census calculates the population could be as high as 36,000 or as low as 29,000.

“The (Somali) community has long felt it is a bit larger than the Census Bureau estimate, but this number doesn’t feel uncomfortable to me,” State Demographer Tom Gillaspy said.

The estimate includes both people born in Somalia and their descendants. Other states that have large Somali populations include Ohio with 12,300, Washington with 9,300 and California with 7,500, according to the latest estimates.

The Somali immigration to Minnesota has been the largest part of a broader influx of people from sub-Saharan Africa in recent years in the state. That broader group now numbers more than 100,000 in the state, according to the new estimates, and promises to keep growing as young couples marry and have children.

Like most immigrant groups, Somalis in Minnesota are younger than the general population with a median age of about 25 years. About half of the Somali population is 24 years old or younger. The median age of the state’s general population is more than a decade older at 37 years, and only about a third of the population is 24 years old or younger.

Members of Minnesota’s Somali community have been in the news amid long-running federal investigations into recruiting and financing of people from the U.S. to train or fight for al-Shabab in Somalia. U.S. government officials consider the group to be a terrorist organization with ties to al-Qaida.

Two women, both U.S. citizens of Somali descent, were convicted last week of conspiring to funnel money to al-Shabab. They were among 20 people charged in the Minnesota investigations.

Unlike some other populations in Minnesota, including the Hmong, those of Somali descent are not asked about their ancestry during the census. So the survey data represents the Census Bureau’s best estimate of the population.

The data released early Thursday also includes snapshots into more than 40 topics. For instance, the state’s overall median household income is about $56,500, but there were wide differences in income from race to race.

Asian households had the highest median income at about $61,000 followed by white households at $58,500. Black households reported the lowest median incomes at $27,500.

Gillaspy said the data was not surprising since the household incomes of Asian families have been increasing in recent years.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (44)
  1. america says:

    They are freeloading trash that comes to the USA and expects us to change to adapt to THEIR cultures, beliefs and traditions,..not so , you wanted to come to america you become an american, we dont want your corrupt somali BS here, Freeloading garbage, I cant stand it, they waste our country away, have more rights, tax breaks, relief, and say than any of us that were born here, and you wonder why we have a bad taste in our mind about trash people like this, you dont like go back home to your wonderful governmentless nation, I cant stand it

    1. Fred F says:

      Shame on you america…you make yourself look like some rabid racist. What would your mother think if she saw what you wrote.

      1. MN_Mom says:

        That is not being a racist, it’s expressing an opinion. I for one can say that I was open-minded when they all started coming here. My opinion, which is similar to the above, did not come without reason. It is the attitude and behavior these people exhibit that has caused my opinion to change. Everyone is so worried about their rights that the rights of the Americans born and raised here are suffering.

        Also, I don’t know what that herb or whatever it is that they wear is, but seriously and honestly, it makes me sick to my stomach. I live a town with a very high number of Somalis and would love to be able to walk into a store, gas station, or even bike down the local bike trail without having to smell that horrid smell. In my opinion, that is affecting my rights. Many places have clean air and no scent policies, but they do not apply to these people. Why not? Why should they get special treatment? I’m tired of working 2 jobs to support my family and then have to watch some somali family come into the gas station with a half dozen kids, buying junk food and paying with their little free EBT card. Support your own dang family and for crying out loud, if you can’t, stop having babies!

        1. Saddened this even needs to be said says:

          “That’s not being racist, it’s expressing an opinion” you tell us. Which is to say that because it is an opinion, it cannot have racist elements? Can’t say that follows, Mom.

          Also, smearing an entire ethnic group as “trash” doesn’t qualify as a form of racism in your eyes? Presumably not, because here you don’t object to this smear (“My opinion, which is similar to the above…”), and in a subsequent comment you assure us that you are not racist.

          What does qualify as being racist in your eyes? What about making these statements?

          they stink like PIG’S
          BEDBUGS1 Lots n’ lots of bedbugs. Ishy people(sic). Go back where you came from. Eat spiders and grubs.
          ”these people” means the violent,criminal darkies that fill the pages of the police blotters daily
          Buy her a rubber bathing cap at Goodwill so she can cover her Afro.
          I don’t trust a sinlge(sic) one and they should all be deported!
          these people are so backwards with no desire to advance or educate themselves
          They are posion (sic) to our sociaty (sic)
          The lice are so thick on her head she is ashamed … that is the reason she must have the cover. Please assist her in the Lice Movement please please please

          All offal from that gaggle of honking, hissing, goose-stepping imbeciles who are roosting here and in the comment area devoted to the headscarf in prison issue. “But I didn’t say any of that, “ you’ll say. No, you just cheered the claim that all Somalis are trash. And of course you were only expressing an opinion.

          What about this? Supposing one of these imbeciles quoted above secured a position of power in this community and went about setting up Somali internment camps. Would you raise a finger in protest? Hard to imagine why. Just sweeping clean the rubbish from our streets, right? No more stinky Somalis assaulting your nose with their “horrid smell.” But let’s say you want to claim that you would object. Then why are you cheering sentiments that would justify that kind of policy?

          Put it another way. Somewhere along the way you must have heard of something historians refer to as “The Holocaust”? Six million Jews, beaten, stabbed, shot, and gassed to death. Six million people regarded as “trash” by too many German moms who did not raise a finger in protest when they started rounding the Jews up.

          Perhaps at that point it was too late for the German mom to do anything without risking internment, or worse, of her own. But you know when it wasn’t too late for that German mom to speak up? The months and years leading up to the Final Solution, when her friends in neighbors, in the shops and public squares the equivalents of our internet chat rooms, offered “mere” opinions that dehumanized an entire people for their way of dress and their religious beliefs and their failure to assimilate and, no doubt, their “horrid smell.” That’s when the simple German mom had a moral obligation to stand up and be counted as someone who rejected ALL manner of opinions that would regard an entire people as trash for the garbage bin. Had enough moms stood up then, perhaps that atmosphere of anti-Semitism would have dissipated to the point where something like the Final Solution would have remained unthinkable.

          Isn’t that one of the lessons from the Holocaust, and from history in general? That to resist the banalization of evil requires we remain forever vigilant against the kind of sentiments being expressed here lest ugly and degrading ways of thought are normalized?

          If the German mom had the obligation to speak up against the idea that all Jews were trash, then doesn’t the Minnesota mom have the moral obligation to speak up against the idea that all Somalis are trash? Surely you’d acknowledge that out of the tens of thousands of Somalis in our community, there is at least ONE Somali who assimilated according to your standards of assimilation, who is a useful and contributing member to our society. If judge you must, then doesn’t that individual deserve to be judged as an individual? Do you not see how your comments here discourage that kind of consideration, how your (at best) quiet acquiescence and (at worst) muted cheering towards the kind of filthy ethnic and racial stereotyping going on in this dimly lit echo chamber fosters an atmosphere of intolerance for “good” and “bad” Somalis alike?

          Thankfully, it’s not the case that a Somali internment, or worse, is right around the corner. Still, you and others ought not to use that as reason to shirk your moral obligation to stand up and reject the aggressive stupidity displayed in so many of these comments. You can be against the cultural balkanization of this country – you can argue that our melting pot requires certain minimum amount of assimilation, and that some Somalians are resisting that to the detriment of the community – but making that claim doesn’t require peddling the sort of dehumanizing filth that justifies genocide in less enlightened places in the world.

      2. Mushy head fred says:

        @Fred F,your mom would probably cry if she saw what you wrote.No brains there Fred.

      3. betty says:

        america is right. If we Americans moved to Somali I’m quite sure they would not open their minds to our American ways. We would have to adapt to their primitive ideas.

        1. me says:

          No; we would be DEAD – ever hear of something called “Blackhawk down”. SOMALIS dragged the bodies of our dead soldiers thru the streets.

  2. marjorie says:

    Why are they treated differently and not counted like the Hmong? The Somali’s want everyone to adjust to their customs and treat them special. They fight our laws and ordinances. They left their home country for a better life and they have it here, but they should learn to fit in with the USA and also learn English.

    1. Guess what says:

      Regardless, darker skinned people will always be a problem for you folks. For instance Michelle Bachmann says her family migrated to America started in 1852. Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas, these two very dark skin men, family was brought here 350 years ago. In fact, any white skin European can waltz into America right now in 2011 and have more privileges than African Americans whose roots have been here for hundreds of years.

      1. Jerry Frey says:

        You’re point is?

        “If you’re light you’re alright.

        If you’re brown stick aroun’

        If you’re black get back.”

        Look it up

      2. The Kry says:

        First generation immigrants always have issues adjusting. Their kids eventually become full American by the 3rd generation. Some good comes out of it, like America’s love of pizza and German beer.
        Regardless, darker skinned people will always be a problem for you folks. For instance Michelle Bachmann says her family migrated to America started in 1852. Herman Cain and Clarence Thomas, these two very dark skin men, family was brought here 350 years ago. In fact, any white skin European can waltz into America right now in 2011 and have more privileges than African Americans whose roots have been here for hundreds of years.

        1. jackactionhero says:

          “any white skin European can waltz into America right now in 2011 and have more privileges than African Americans whose roots have been here for hundreds of years”

          False. An outright lie. Nice try.

      3. 123456 says:

        THAN ANYONE.

      4. chicken but says:


  3. Richard Head says:

    More like 70,000.

  4. TL the alligator says:

    ….this is horrible news…there is not another group of people anywhere near what the burden is from the somalians and their stupid ignorant ways and beliefs…the vast majority do very little to assimilate and expect and demand that our gov’t accomodate them and their stupid religion and ridiculous religious beliefs and ignorant backwards 15th century customs….9 out of ten people here would love to see them disperse back to somalia or at least away from here in Minnesota….its not fair that we are burdened with this large group of freeloaders when there is a whole country out there that they are free to live in.

  5. Ship them home NOW says:

    We will trade California 5000 Mexicans for one Somalian.

  6. Jerry Frey says:

    This country, the land of the free and the home of the brave, was never intended by the Founders and those who served in the musket wars (from 1754 – 1865) to become the asylum, the end zone, for the world’s economic, political, and social problems.

    Abraham Lincoln said this: “If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.”


  7. denise says:

    They dont haveto answer to their ancestory ??? I have to tell everyone
    and Jesus that I am white. I CANT CALL EXCEL ENERGY, COMCAST,
    The free and reduced programs are unbelievable. Low income housing
    (and this housing has a front door, running water and a toilet) how low can
    you go health care, tuition at community colleges (get them smart so they can
    exterminate all of us) daycare, education for their children ( which we taxpayers foot the bill for that special education teacher to teach basic english)
    public info which is printed in fifty zillion languages ( that is a yahoo of an
    expense) food stamps, their own community center so they feel more at home.
    And so on….. How about taking care of American citizens that are living,
    starving, and dying on our streets ??? These refugees and the countries they
    come from despise America and just as soon would prefer to see our demise.
    They are gettng their wish. This lovin’ your brother peace sign wagging just
    will never be. IT WILL NEVER BE.

    1. Jerry Frey says:

      Nearly twenty years ago, Eugene McCarthy warned you. Quoting from Three Quarter Cadillac: “If one thinks of the classic definition of colonialism—the arrival of a large number of people who impose their cultural values and language on the preexisting society—it is hard not to define the current wave of immigration as a colonizing force on the United States. What distinguishes the United States from other colonized societies is that we have the power to prevent it, and choose not to use it. The backward societies of Asia and Africa were powerless to oppose the colonial hegemony exercised by the European powers in centuries past. We, on the other hand, have come to question whether the culture that built a society that has the world beating a path to our doors is even worth trying to preserve. In this social climate, immigration becomes an instrument of divisiveness, as it imposes new cultures and languages on American society.” 47

      Eugene McCarthy, A Colony of the World: The United States Today, (New York: Hippocrene Books, 1992), 101.

      You weren’t paying attention.


  8. 32,000 too many! says:


  9. Bigins says:

    When will it end? Whos idea was it to bring them here in the first place? Did it start at like 10-15,000 of them, and has now grown to 32,000? Who is it that keeps allowing them to come here? It will NEVER be good for Minnesota. Ever!

    There are too many of them now. It’s time to stop

    1. MN_Mom says:

      From what I understand, the Lutheran church brings them here. In my opinion, they should then support them, teach them English and require them to adapt to American ways and not expect the rest of us to bend over backwards for them.

  10. fitswell says:

    please send them back we hate them, they get more than the american pepole who lived here all there lives.. they stink like PIG’S

  11. Shirl Mann says:

    It would be nice if they’d start being a bit more grateful for what our country has offered them and they readily accept.

  12. Says it all says:

    I’ll try to be less hostile than some o the others…

    Tell me one significant contribution they’ve made in MN.

    I can tell you plenty that they have demanded and taken, in tax dollars and other resources.

    Why do we put up with this?!?! It’s the beginning of the end for MN and the US.

  13. dphilips says:

    You people in this state have small minds

  14. DDPHILL WHO ?????? says:


  15. j speedbag 64 says:

    wow 32,000,thats almost triple compared to the redlake nation and they been here awhile………and the state coddles the somali population….something weird here

  16. Ahhhh says:

    Just love the smell of MinnesotaNice in the morning!!

    1. falcon says:

      Minnesota Nice is a myth

  17. barrister says:

    ant believe the ignorance of you people

    1. no mn nice here says:

      Get over it.

  18. barrister says:

    Harder to find ruder more bigoted people than what you have here!

  19. it's not color says:

    Immigrants from Ghana, Russia, Cameroon, Liberia, Canada, Hmong – have never created the same type of problems that we are dealing with in MN. It has nothing to do with color. It does have to do with crazy behaviour, rudeness, demands, and terrorism. We are now in the process of bringing some of them to justice for crimes against the US.

    Now do you get it?

    1. MN_Mom says:

      I agree! It has NOTHING to do with color. People need to stop being so narrow-minded, accusing us all of being racist over the color of their skin. It is about attitude, and behavior. People can only tolerate so much before they get fed up.

  20. just sayin says:

    Great… turn this city into a hell hole.

  21. keel says:

    BEDBUGS1 Lots n’ lots of bedbugs. Ishy peopole. Go back where you came from. Eat spiders and grubs.

  22. Kevin says:

    Now attain all the numbers involving this 32,000. How many gangs, how many murders, how many law suits, how many robberies, how much welfare, how much cost to education, how much cost to medical….. and show US ALL THE RATIO!!!!!! Trust me on this one…you would drop to your knees and cry…..keep them all coming….Minnesota is now Minnethirdworld…….but most whites have jobs to pay for them all….

  23. Bigoted Idiot says:

    Riddle me this liberal left.

    When Caucasians become the minority because of your left agenda will you still consider us racist when we disagree with people of different ethnicity?

    Or does the new majority automatically become the racists because there are more of them? Who will you say is intolerant then?

    Is a racist just someone in the majority that disagees with someone in the minority? Is it ok to disagree with someone from another ethnicity ever?

    Oh wait, I know your response. I’m racist.

  24. Lies ` Lies` Lies says:

    Lies! Lies! Lies! There are no factual census numbers for Somalians! There are 10 times this amount! Look at St Cloud alone! St Cloud has 65,000 people. It has a 18% Somali population (cities est). So around 12000 somalians live in St Cloud. The African community in St Cloud has increased over 283% in St Cloud over the past 10 years. There is now 40 different languages spoken in the School District. 10% of St Cloud schools are now Somali children. So St Cloud has a huge Somali population at around 12,000. So they are telling you that Rochester, St Paul, and Minneapolis all share the remaining 20,000 somalis?? Good God Mpls alone has more than 20,000 somalis! Lake St area, Cedar and Riverside, the list goes on and on….why do they lie to us all???? Why dont they collect information about somalis? Becuase your head would explode if you knew the cost (you are paying) to have them here. Minnestoa is a third world dumping ground. Now stop reading this and get back to work…..the massive amount of immigrants need your tax dollars…

  25. Felice says:

    Yep Minnesota is considered a “rich” state I guess because most of us belive in keeping a job- so we can afford to pay for FREE health insurance for all these people coming in. A lot these immigrants would think it beneath them to even get a job. Why do you think OUR health insurance went up a couple years back – so the others can get FREE health care that’s why. They can go to the emergency room anytime they stub their toe if they want to – WE are paying for it after all.

  26. Felice says:

    The Somali’s are also DEMANDING all signs be in Somali – they already get a FREE hour WITH PAY at Frigidaire to “pray”. Imagine if we asked for such a thing.

  27. ick says:

    I detest them, everything they do, and everything they demand. They are pirates, terrorists, and leeches. Send them back!

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