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The census of 2000 reveals the changes in Minnesota. Initial data, released in March 2001, shows Minnesota has a larger Hispanic population than a decade ago, that rural Minnesota is becoming less populated, and that suburbs are assuming more population and, presumably, power. Later information shows Minnesota's population is growing older, and having a harder time finding affordable housing. Overall, the census of 2000 shows that the definition of a Minnesotan is being rewritten.


Minnesotans have more money, more education, and spend more time in the car

The 2000 U.S. Census shows the 1990s were prosperous years in Minnesota. Census figures released in June and Sept., 2002, show per-person and household incomes were up, while the number of families living in poverty declined. More Minnesotans became homeowners. And more of us owned homes valued at more than $200,000. But the disparities in income and wealth continue to grow between white Minnesotans and most residents of color.

Stories from MPR

Census: Asians gaining wealth
New data from the U.S. census show Minnesota's Asian population is economically well-off compared to other minority populations in the state. While the '90s were a prosperous time for Minnesota as a whole, the numbers show many minority groups did not prosper as much as their white neighbors. The new round of figures also pinpoints the number of Somalis in the state for the first time. The figure mirrors other official estimates, but is much lower than what some Somali leaders say. Sept. 17, 2002

Census: Housing disparities continue
The latest census figures released this week show a wide gap in the values of homes owned by African Americans, Native Americans and Hispanics compared to those owned by white Minnesotans. State demographers say the disparity may be caused by a number of factors. But whatever the causes, the disparity could perpetuate the economic gap for future generations of Minnesotans of color. Sept. 17, 2002

Census: 1990s were prosperous years for Minnesota
The 2000 U.S. Census shows the 1990s were prosperous years in Minnesota. Census figures released Monday show per-person and household incomes were up, while the number of families living in poverty declined. More Minnesotans became homeowners. And more of us owned homes valued at more than $200,000. The number of high school dropouts declined, while the number of people with bachelors and advanced degrees grew significantly. June 3, 2002

Census survey compares metro area communities
A survey released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau shows St. Paul residents outrank their Minneapolis counterparts in household income. The survey also shows Anoka County residents spend as much time commuting as people living in Los Angeles County. The survey of 700,000 Americans is a snapshot of various characteristics, but experts warn its relative inaccuracy makes it valuable for only broad comparisons. November 20, 2001

The majority still rules
A survey of more than 800 city and county-level elected officials in the Twin Cities metropolitan area shows the number of racial minorities in elected office lags far behind the growth of minority populations. The survey shows minorities are having little success in translating their gains in numbers to power at the polls. November 19, 2001
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Hmong population more than doubles
The latest census figures released Wednesday indicate the state's Hmong population grew almost 150 percent since the 1990 census - growing to nearly 42,000 residents. Some community leaders, though, think many Hmong people in Minnesota remain uncounted by the census. August 1, 2001
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Census shows more same-sex couples in Minnesota
New numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show same-sex households account for nearly one percent of all Minnesota couples. The 2000 Census figures provide the agency's most accurate count yet of same-sex couples. Advocates and officials alike say the numbers still don't accurately track the true number of gays and lesbians, but are an important marker nonetheless. August 1, 2001
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Older Residents Settling in the Arrowhead
New census figures show Minnesota is getting older. And some parts are older than others. Aitkin County in the center of the state has the highest median age in the state, 46.5 years. Cook County in far northeastern Minnesota is second, with a median age of 44. Cook County is taking steps to cope with its aging population and prepare for increasing numbers of elderly people in the future. May 24, 2001
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More People, Fewer Homes
New census numbers confirm that Minnesota's housing shortage is getting worse. The number of Minnesota's housing units increased the past decade, but demand grew faster. Census numbers show vacancy rates for both homeowner and rental occupancy are half what they were 10 years ago. May 23, 2001
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Minnesota Growing Older, More Diverse
Minnesota's population is older than it was 10 years ago, according to newly-released U.S. census figures. The data also reveal Minnesotans are much more likely to own their homes than residents in the rest of the nation. In addition, the census found the dramatic increase in the state's Hispanic population is made up largely of people of Mexican heritage. May 23, 2001
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Hispanic and Suburban Populations Swell in Minnesota
Minority populations, particularly Hispanics, are growing rapidly in Minnesota. 2000 census data shows the number of people identifying themselves as Hispanic more than doubled in the past 10 years. The census also shows growth in Minneapolis and St. Paul, but the growth was far outpaced by increases in the surrounding suburbs. March 28, 2001

The Effect on Rural Minnesota
Much of the growth in the Hispanic population has come in a few west-central Minnesota communities, where industry has attracted large numbers of workers from Mexico. Towns, like Long Prairie in Todd County, are adjusting to a more diverse population. But the adjustment is a long and difficult process. March 28, 2001
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Getting Smaller
Every county but one bordering North and South Dakota lost people in the last decade. Most people blame a long-term decline in the number of farmers for losses that hit small towns especially hard. April 3, 2001
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Faces of Minnesota: The Asian Population
People of Asian decent now outnumber African-Americans in St. Paul, according to 2000 Census data. Nearly nine percent of Ramsey County's population is Asian. Many of the counties surrounding the Twin Cities also had significant growth in Asian populations in the past decade. March 29, 2001

Redistricting Battle Looms
Political consultants are already sharpening their map-drawing pencils with an eye towards the once-in-a-decade redistricting battle. Sharp growth in the Twin Cities' suburban ring will require lawmakers to redefine legislative and Congressional boundaries to match shifting populations. March 28, 2001

St. Peter Grows Despite Tornado
Three years ago, a tornado swept over the south-central Minnesota town of St. Peter, destroying hundreds of its trademark Victorian homes. Newly-released census numbers show St.Peter's population has actually jumped in the storm's aftermath, and officials are consciously planning for continued expansion. St. Peter isn't the only Minnesota community to face a natural disaster, but it may be only one to gain population as a result.March 28, 2001
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Turning Plowshares into Houses
The new census numbers confirm a controversial fact of Twin Cities life: The growth of small towns on the fringe of the metro area is exploding. Lower land costs are attracting a flock of urban and suburbanites. Take St.Michael, along Interstate 94 on the way from the Twin Cities to St. Cloud. The town's population has doubled in the past decade. March 29, 2001
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On the Air

The Redistricting Battle
MPR's Midmorning discussed how Minnesota's census data could be used to redraw the state's legislative and congressional maps. Guests included Bill Walsh, communications director for the Minnesota Republican Party and Mike Erlandson, chair of the Minnesota DFL Party. March 29, 2001

The Independence Party View
State Planning Director Dean Barkley is heading up the administration's redistricting effort. Barkley talked with MPR Morning Edition's Cathy Wurzer. March 29, 2001