MinnesotaGO logo, link to homepage

Urban & Rural Population Trends

Minnesota is becoming increasingly urban, and not only in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. While the percentage of Minnesotans living in the Twin Cities is growing, so too is the percentage of Minnesotans living in Greater Minnesota’s cities and towns, leading to a larger urban population statewide. According to the 2010 census, 73.3 percent of Minnesotans live in urban areas.1

Population Distribution

Understanding how Minnesota’s population has been split between the Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota urban communities, and rural areas in the past provides clues as to where people in Minnesota are choosing to live. The total population of Minnesotans living in rural areas has remained relatively consistent since 1900. On the other hand, Minnesota’s urban population has consistently grown since the beginning of the 20th Century, making up a larger and larger percentage of the state’s total population. The state demographer projects that the majority of Minnesota counties will grow in population over the next 30 years, with concentrated growth around the Twin Cities metropolitan area. This information is shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Minnesota's population distribution, 1900-20402

Bar Chart of Minnesota's Population Distribution 1900-2040

1. Census data file analysis
2. US Census Bureau

Related Trends