Minnesota grows to 5.6 million residents in 2018

For the second year in a row, Minnesota's population is growing and it is largely due to state-to-state migration. The growth will have a big impact during the 2020 Census, which will determine state funding and political seats in the United States House.

New population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau Wednesday revealed Minnesota now has 5,611,200 residents. That is 43,000 more people than in 2017.

Before 2017, Minnesota saw 15 straight years of net losses in population due to domestic migration. From 2010 to 2016, the state saw an average net loss of 5,900 residents. However, in 2017 and 2018, Minnesota had an average net gain of 7,400 residents.

"Because we've had these two years of strong growth, I'm optimistic that we could hold onto it," said Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower. 

This year, Minnesota also gained 10,700 residents through international immigration and 25,800 residents from a "natural increase" in births over deaths.

Population growth will be an important factor as the 2020 Census draws closer. The count will determine the number of seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and Electoral College votes Minnesota will have.

“Minnesota’s population growth of 0.8 percent over the past year is very strong for a Midwestern state,” said Brower in a statement. “However, other regions are growing much faster than the Midwest and Minnesota’s moderate population growth since the last census puts it at risk for losing a congressional seat. A faster-growing state like Texas is poised to gain two congressional seats after the 2020 Census count.”

Larry Jacobs, a political science professor at the U of M said, "If Minnesota loses a seat, we also lose power and influence in Washington, which translates into less dollars, less support and less attention." 

The Census count will also have implications on how more than $8 billion in funding will be distributed each year from 2020 to 2030 throughout the state.