Statewide, Minnesota is anticipated to gain 1.1 million new residents between 2018 and 2070 - compared to 1.2 million in our previous set of projections. This slower rate of growth can be most generally attributed to changing assumptions for the impact of the various components of change—most importantly, declining rates of international migration.
Though births are projected to remain relatively constant throughout this series, as our population ages, increasing numbers of deaths will push Minnesota to a state of natural decrease—where deaths outnumber births—around 2040.
Steady urbanization will lead to a declining population in more than two-thirds of Minnesota's 87 counties.
The five counties with the largest declines in population by 2053 are Saint Louis (-28,238), Winona (-8,960), McLeod (-8,425), Freeborn (-7,078), and Martin (-6,541). Most shrinking counties are clustered in six Economic Development Regions (EDRs). The Arrowhead region (EDR 3) in the Northeast corner of the state will experience the greatest loss at -48,642 residents. It is followed by EDR 6 in central Minnesota (-39,865), EDR 8 in the southwest (-28,955), EDR 9 in the south central (-20,349), EDR 1 in the northwest (-14,701), and EDR 5 in the north central (-7,861). Combined, these Economic Development Regions are projected to lose over 160,000 residents by 2053.
Minnesota’s oldest residents—those aged 85 and above—are expected to more than double in the next 35 years—from the current 120,000 to over 270,000.
In just the next decade, children aged 0 to 14 will be outnumbered by retirees aged 65 and above for the first time in Minnesota’s history. In total, Minnesotans of retirement age and above numbered 889,511 in 2018—an increase of 136,492 in the short half-decade since 2013. This number is expected to roll over 1.26 million in the next 20 years.
While Minnesota’s total population is currently 79 percent non-Hispanic White, the racial and ethnic make-up of our population is changing rapidly. Between 2013 and 2018, the non-Hispanic White population grew by less than one percent, while minority populations grew by 18 percent—adding more than 167,000 people in just five years. These projections indicate that statewide, Minnesota’s non-Hispanic White population will begin declining within the next decade. Conversely, populations of Color are expected to swell by more than one million residents between 2018 and 2053—exceeding one-third of the total population.
Communities of Color are driving our state’s population growth and, as such, addressing these disparities will become imperative for the prosperity and quality of life for all Minnesotans.
Data are available by age, sex, and race for counties, Economic Development Regions, and Minnesota statewide through 2070.
This dataset fulfills 2019 and 2020 Minnesota State Statute 4A.02 and 4A.03.
February 2021 update includes broad age groups 0-17, 18-64, 65+, 0-15, and 16-64 as well as repairing a data error for Region 8 age groups.
REPORTS (October 2020)
This analysis was created to fulfill the expectations of Minnesota State Statute 4A.02. This statute mandates (3) the periodic preparation of population projections for the state and designated regions and (7) the issuing of a report to the Legislature containing an analysis of the demographic implications of the annual population study and population projections. The dataset that this document accompanies serves as the annual population projections for the State of Minnesota and fulfills the requirements of Minnesota State Statute 4A.03. Statute 4A.03 mandates that each state agency use these data for (1) the approval of state or federal grants, (2) issuance of bonds, or (3) releasing a general plan.
This edition, in the 43rd year of state statute compliance, presents a set of “general utility” projections of the resident population of Minnesota arranged and aggregated to service the planning and decision-making needs of most State agencies, the Legislature, and the Executive Office.
Note: Our office does not currently produce projections for cities.
What are these projections used for?
Our various projections are valuable tools for planning for Minnesota counties, cities and townships--as well as for service providers and others who may work with a particular population, such as older adults.
What inputs are used to create these population projections?
We examine historical and recent patterns of birth, death, and migration. Vital statistics data are obtained from the MN Department of Health. We also employ data from the U.S. Census Bureau's Decennial Census, Population Estimates, and American Community Survey. For detailed methods, please see the methodology documents on the respective tabs.
Are these projections different than those produced by the Metropolitan Council?
Yes. The State Demographic Center employs a different methodology than does the Met Council in its forecasting work. Additionally, our office produces projections for all 87 counties, not just the 7 in the Twin Cities metro area.
Are these projections different than those produced by the U.S. Census Bureau?
Yes. The State Demographic Center uses Census Bureau projections as an input in its projections, but prepares its own projections. The Census Bureau does not produce projections for Minnesota counties, only the state as a whole.
Whom should I contact for more information?
Questions about our population and other projections should be directed to our Senior Demographer Megan Dayton.