Minneapolis and St. Paul grew faster than the suburbs last year

Categories: How We Live
TwinCities.jpg
These skylines attracted more residents than the suburbs did last year.
A new study finds that the Twin Cities is among a minority of major American metros where the urban core grew faster than the suburbs between 2012 and 2013.

The metro as a whole grew by 1.1 percent during that time frame. But most of the growth occurred in Minneapolis and St. Paul, where the growth rate was 1.6 percent, compared to an even 1 percent for the suburbs, according to the study, which is published on CityLab but makes use of information gathered by Brookings Institution demographer William Frey. (Read it here.)

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Only 19 of America's 51 largest metros (those with more than a million residents) experienced that demographic trend, but for the country as a whole, core cities grew slightly faster than suburbs (1.02 percent growth compared to .96 percent, respectively).

The numbers "appear to support the notion of a great inversion from the previous era of mass suburbanization," Richard Florida writes for CityLab. "Between 2010 and 2013, primary city populations have grown faster than their suburbs... [though] this gap appears to have narrowed by 2012-2103."

Other metros where the city grew faster than the suburbs last year include New Orleans, D.C., Denver, Seattle, and Columbus, among others.

Kate Brickman, spokesperson for Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, says the findings are good news in light of Hodges's desire to increase the population of Minneapolis up to 500,000. (Minneapolis's population is estimated to have recently surpassed 400,000 for the first time in more than four decades.)

"To realize that goal of half a million people, Mayor Hodges believes we need to do everything we can to foster growth, rather than thwart it," Brickman wrote in an email. "To that end, Mayor Hodges asked our city attorney to review all city regulations that govern business in the city -- she hopes the project will streamline our regulations while still making sure the public interest is protected."

Brickman went on to cite the Green Line as the sort of project that spurs the "sustainable development" the mayor has in mind, and added, "To grow, we must have inclusive growth, where all people contribute to -- and share in -- growth and prosperity."

Tonya Tennessen, spokesperson for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, struck a similar note when we asked how her boss thinks about the importance of growth.

"St. Paul's population has increased by 6,000 people in the past year, according to recent estimates from the Metropolitan Council," Tennessen wrote in an email. "This is excellent news and proof that there is a very real momentum at work in the Twin Cities."

"Here in St. Paul, we are committed to creating the most livable city in America and believe that growth doesn't happen accidentally," she continued. "The mayor is focused like a laser on economic growth, ensuring investments in a multi-modal transit system, new housing developments including both affordable and market-rate options, a focus on ensuring a vibrant downtown and strong neighborhoods across the city, top-notch parks, and a diverse set of entertainment and cultural venues."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.



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38 comments
Shane J. Pinske
Shane J. Pinske

Dunno who is moving to them...know lots who moved out to the burbs. Guess people like living where you won't be killed

Linda Gorra
Linda Gorra

Look at that skyline! it,s changed so much!

Chad Howard
Chad Howard

I love my 1.5 acres over looking Cedar Creek in East Bethel.....the 30 min drive to work is worth it.

David Bjorklund
David Bjorklund

How much of that growth is from bros moving into swanky apartments?

Christian Jensen
Christian Jensen

Move downtown, walk to work; enjoy life w/o spending so much of it in traffic.

Keith Morris
Keith Morris

I grew up in the burbs; some of us need more than fast food, big box stores, and a Chili's/Applebee's/TGIF. It was bound to happen sooner or later even with endless huge subsidies for "free" parking and extra wide highways.

green23
green23 topcommenter

Meanwhile, the red rural counties that the MNGOP has staked everything on are actually declining in population. Not growing more slowly, but declining in population. 

Redistricting in six years.

Jeff55414
Jeff55414

It would be interesting to see what the demographic is of the new residents.

Aida Cantu-Reza
Aida Cantu-Reza

No! Stay away.. It's already hard enough to find peace and quiet.

Jacqueline Stoner
Jacqueline Stoner

I don;t want that much population in the cities. One of the reasons why I love it here is because tehre are things to do, yet not an over abundance of people. I don;t like to feel crowded when I am walking down the street.

Chris Early
Chris Early

True. I moved here last year with an idea of car-less living. My commute to work via bus traveled about 15 miles but took an hour and 40 minutes each way AND I still had to walk half a mile after getting off the bus. I bought a car after only a few weeks of this. Let's hope the added tax revenues go to roadwork. :/

Kirk Burback
Kirk Burback

It's amazing what millions in taxpayer sponsored subsidies for development can do. It’s a artificial bubble on many levels.

Fiery Lionheart
Fiery Lionheart

This explains why finding a nice rental is like finding a needle in a haystack.

Gingerbread Jones
Gingerbread Jones

Ha! No way! Anyone that has ever had to wait 45 mins for a bus in sub zero temps just to have to walk would probably disagree.

Emily Lund
Emily Lund

And higher density might spur a greater interest in public transit!

Gingerbread Jones
Gingerbread Jones

True, but who knows how far out those are or if they will actually be put to good use. Seems the city only cares about spending money on stadiums and tourists dollars these days. That model didn't work in the 80s. Why should it work now? Another issue is that diversity in the city is declining because of rising taxes and rent, but that's a whole nother can of worms.

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

ya we can tell, waaaay too many farm kids and random hicks now live in the city


shit is overcrowded and i hate it

Nick Hannula
Nick Hannula

Alternatively, now we have more people to help pay the property taxes that fix the roads.

Gingerbread Jones
Gingerbread Jones

And a huge loss for the roads and infrastructure barely able to handle the population that we already have

wonderpigeon
wonderpigeon

That sounds like a suburban mentality to me. Maybe you'd be happier in Eden Prairie?

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

hahahahahahahahahahhahahahhahahahhahahhahahahahah

theoko
theoko

Yes, you're right- paying for sewer systems and roads to subsidize suburban sprawl is a waste of taxpayer money!

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@digitalprotocol HICKS? Where? I see an influx of young professionals and you're peeps, the zombie ghetto dwellers from Chi, Milwaukee, and Detroit. You don't leave mom's basement though, so anything you say is simply conjecture.

blainegarrett
blainegarrett

Last time I was in San Fran, there was some extensive roadwork being done on a major street. It was utter chaos. Even for all the public transit and biking in San Fran, there are just so many people and vehicles. "Road Construction Season" is going to get interesting for sure here as the population increases. 

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

@theoko 

You clearly don't know budgets.  Minneapolis is the largest subsidized city in Minnesota.  

digitalprotocol
digitalprotocol topcommenter

@mingtran @digitalprotocol these are all people from rural communities, they want to live in a city. i dont blame them i guess, just feel they are dumb hicks that dont belong



DavidFoureyes
DavidFoureyes topcommenter

@TheConservativeJerk @theoko *citation needed


As a percentage based on population or as a whole number? Population density insists I call "bullshit", but let's see what you come back with. 


Because I think we all know enough arithmetic to figure out why the city with the most human beings and cars would have the largest *insert, shit, ANYTHING here*

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@digitalprotocol YES. Zombie ghetto dwellers from Chi, Milwaukee, and Detroit ARE all from rural communities. And they definitely belong here. Don't respond back to me from now on, just listen.

TheConservativeJerk
TheConservativeJerk topcommenter

@digitalprotocol @mingtran 

When you say "hicks", are you referring to the kids that score higher on all levels of educational standard testing with half the money spent on their schooling?  Are you referring to the ones that outperform most of the students from Minneapolis schools, even though Minneapolis has a higher average household income and twice the money spent in it's schools?  Maybe Minneapolis needs more "hicks" 

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