Populations grow in Minneapolis and St. Paul

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The Metropolitan Council is out with new population estimates for 2011 and the core cities were the winners.

“The City of Minneapolis had a very good year in terms of population growth,” said Libby Starling, research manager with the Met Council, noting Minneapolis’ more than 5,000 new residents. “And we are seeing a return to growth in the core cities which we have not been seeing specifically for many years.”

Starling says it’s too soon to know for sure, but Minneapolis’ newly-built multifamily housing may have been a draw. Both Minneapolis and St. Paul saw an increase in rental occupancy. Starling doesn’t know if the numbers indicate a delayed effect from the housing crisis. Would people voluntarily choose smaller housing in the core cities if they had the choice?

Suburbs have been the big winners over the decades, and developing suburbs still account for 39 percent of metro growth. Compare that percentage with developed suburbs at 29 percent and Minneapolis-St. Paul with 28 percent. But no single suburb beat out the core cities.

Overall, the metro grew by .8 percent, or nearly 24,000 people. The seven county metro area now has a population of 2.87 million.

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