Mayor R.T. Rybak predicts Minneapolis will swell by 65,000 people in the next 12 years, but the experts project more modest growth.
Rybak delivered a futuristic State of the City speech yesterday, in which he pretended it was the year 2025 and the population of Minneapolis had grown to 450,000.
Spokesman John Stiles says the mayor is more “optimistic” than planners at the Metropolitan Council, who project the population will be more like 435,000 by then.
Projections from the Minnesota State Demographic Center suggest the growth could be even slower. They put Minneapolis at 423,000 in 2025, assuming its share of the Hennepin County population stays constant, though analyst Megan Elizabeth Robertson concedes that estimate is “very rough.”
So what accounts for the mayor’s more optimistic assessment? One factor he cited in his speech was global warming.
“Last week’s Census Bureau Report showed in stark numbers that climate change has set off a mass movement from the coasts,” Rybak said in his prepared remarks.
This sent at least one reporter scouring Census.gov to find the report in question, only to come up empty-handed.
The document doesn’t exist, at least not yet. Rybak was predicting it would be written 12 years in the future, Stiles explained.