Twin Cities population growth lags behind similar midsize cities

The Twin Cities draw in tens of thousands of new residents every year, outpacing giant cities like Los Angeles and New York City, but when it comes to similarly mid-sized metros Minneapolis and St. Paul lag behind.

Minnesota Headhunter Paul DeBettignies makes a living attracting people to the area, and has some ideas why the Twin Cities' population growth isn't rising at the same rate as places like Austin, Tex., or Denver, Colo.

"I think what we have to figure out is who are we," he said. "I think we’ve always had an identity crisis."

"Minnesota nice" has always been a central tenet of the state's brand, though that definition is fluid depending on who you ask. 

More than anything, DeBettignies says, Minnesota's frigid climate drives away potential residents--a lot of whom have never been to the area.

"People think it’s frozen year round," he says. "There actually are people in the south who say, 'Do your lakes ever thaw out?' And I’m like yeah, I’m looking at one right now."

Despite the lethargic overall growth numbers, Carver County reached a milestone this year--hitting a population of 100,000 for the first time. 

Carver County includes the cities of Chaska, Cologne and Watertown.