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2016 American Community Survey

Shape of Minnesota set among charts and graph collage

The U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS) is the nation's most comprehensive survey. It provides a multitude of statistics that measure the social, economic and housing conditions of U.S. communities, including data on employment, income, poverty, and health insurance. The Census Bureau released new 2016 ACS data for the nation, all 50 states, and geographic areas with populations of 65,000 or more on September 14, 2017.

Key Findings for Minnesota in 2016  

Minnesota’s median household income grew modestly in 2016, according to numbers released today from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Between 2015 and 2016, Minnesota’s median household income grew by $1,300, continuing its steady, upward climb since the decade began. Since 2010, the state’s median household income increased over $4,500 in real dollars1, from $61,000 in 2010 to $65,600 in 2016.

The new numbers also indicate that there has been some improvement in economic conditions for Minnesota’s communities of color. The number of Black workers with full time, year-round jobs and earnings over $35,000 grew by 16,400 between 2010 and 2016. And the share of Latino workers in full time2, year-round jobs with earnings over $35,000 grew from 17% to 28%, a gain of 20,800 workers.

“After the Great Recession, economic recovery was slow to take hold for many of Minnesota’s communities of color,” said Susan Brower, Minnesota State Demographer. “The latest data show that a number of small, but clear, signs of greater stability have emerged over the past 6 years.”

The Minnesota Department of Administration’s State Demographic Center also noted that while poverty rates3 for all Minnesotans did not decrease significantly from 2015 to 2016, they did decline for nearly all race groups in Minnesota between 2010 and 2016. During this period, poverty rates dropped from 41% to 32% for American Indian, 38% to 30% for Black, and 26% to 18% for Latino Minnesotans. Poverty rates remain much higher, however, for communities of color than for white Minnesotans.

In all, 533,000 Minnesotans (including 161,000 children), have incomes below the official poverty threshold in 2016, a decrease of over 66,000 from 2010.

“The new data show that economic conditions have continued to improve for Minnesota since the recession,” said Brower, “and some economic gaps between communities of color and White residents have begun to show signs of narrowing. We still see large racial disparities in the state, but there has been some progress made in recent years.”

Minnesota’s labor force continued the trend towards greater numbers of Hispanics and racial minorities in the labor force. While the non-Hispanic White labor force (ages 16-64), declined by about 65,000 between 2010 and 2016, all other groups saw increases.

“As Minnesota’s workforce continues to become more diverse, the need to eliminate disparities takes on greater importance,” said Brower. 

Select 2016 findings by racial and ethnic group, Minnesota

Population group

Percent employed (among all persons 16+)

Unemployment rate (among ages 16+ in the labor force) Median household income (all households, regardless of size)  Percent in poverty (all ages)  Percent of children in poverty (ages 0-17)
All Minnesotans 67% 4% $65,600 10% 13%
American Indian 52% 13% $37,000 32% 36%
Asian 68% 4% $70,900 16% 18%
Black/African American 61% 11% $33,400 30% 38%
Hispanic (of any race) 71% 6% $45,900 18% 22%
Two or more races 67% 8% $58,900 18% 20%
White, non-Hispanic 67% 3% $68,700 7% 7%

Explore additional graphs and charts from the 2016 American Community Survey data highlights.

Links to popular 2016 data tables for Minnesota


Notes regarding text and table:

1 "Real" means that the dollars have been inflation-adjusted to have equal earning power across all years. All dollar amounts are presented in 2016 dollars.
2 Full-time employment is defined as 35 or more hours per week, and year-round employment as 50 or more weeks per year.
3 The annual federal poverty thresholds vary by household size and composition. In 2016, the poverty threshold (line) for 2 parents and 2 children was about $24,339. Click for more thresholds.  

Error margins exist around data points, but are not shown. Some numbers are rounded. All findings noted above are statistically significant at the 90% confidence level or higher. All race groups refer to individuals identifying as that race “alone,” except for the multiracial group. The data from the 2016 ACS estimates was collected in surveys completed between January and December 2016. Income data reflects income received during the past 12 months from the time of the survey. More timely surveys have shown continued economic improvements for Minnesota, but the ACS—with a larger sample than any federal or state survey—uniquely allows for investigation into the outcomes for smaller geographies and smaller subgroups.

The ongoing, nationwide American Community Survey provides a multitude of valuable statistics that measure the social, economic and housing conditions of U.S. communities. More than 40 topics are available with the release, such as educational attainment, housing, employment, commuting, language spoken at home, nativity, ancestry and selected monthly homeowner costs. Additional data is available through the U.S. Census Bureau's American FactFinder tool at:

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