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Demographic Trends

Household Size

Minnesota’s average household size has decreased consistently since the middle of the 20th century. In 1970, the average Minnesota household was home to 3.28 people. By 2000, the average had fallen to 2.52 and as of the 2010 US Census was 2.48. As households in Minnesota become smaller on average, more housing units will be needed to accommodate a growing population. Additionally, decreasing car ownership per household may also be related to changing household size.


Currently 7.2 % of Minnesota’s population is immigrants. The top three geographies of origin among Minnesota’s foreign-born population include Asia (36.4%), non-U.S. North America (20%), and Africa (18.5%). Immigrants are significantly more likely to not use a car compared to non-immigrants.1


As a function of the increasing geographic diversity of migrants to Minnesota, the state’s population is growing and becoming more diverse than recent years in terms of languages spoken. However, English remains the primary spoken language in Minnesota by a large margin. At present, 89.4% of Minnesotans speak English at home. The three most common languages or language groups spoken in Minnesota after English are Spanish, African Languages, and Hmong. As languages other than English proliferate in Minnesota, it will become increasingly important for public agencies like MnDOT and transit providers to offer information and services in these languages.


People with disabilities make up one of the most transit dependent populations. In Minnesota, the number of people with disabilities is highest in the most populous urban areas. However, the percentages of people with disabilities are generally higher in Greater Minnesota than in the Twin Cities region. Statewide, 10.1% of Minnesotans live with a disability.2 While the term “disability” encompasses a wide range of conditions, a large number preclude or limit many forms of personal transportation. The presence and ease of access to alternative means of transportation is a critical factor in one’s ability to live an independent life.

1. Kim, 2009. http://www.huduser.org/portal/periodicals/cityscpe/vol11num3/ch7.pdf
2. American Community Survey, 2013

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