Twin Cities’ population continues to grow, but the suburban growth rate has now outpaced urban growth

Across the United States, large cities are experiencing slowing growth as we approach the end of the 2010s

June 04, 2019
  • Across the United States, large cities (cities with more than 250,000 residents) are experiencing slowing growth as we approach the end of the 2010s, according to Brookings’ recent analysis of Census data. At the beginning of the decade, average large city growth outpaced suburban growth. For years we have been reading headlines about an urban revitalization and densification lead by Millennials. Yet the most recent years of data (2017-2018) show a reversal of that trend: city population growth is slowing while suburban growth is escalating.  This holds true for the Twin Cities metro. Between 2011-2012, the city of Minneapolis grew by 1.2%, which outpaced the suburbs’ rate of 0.9%. In 2018, our metro’s suburban population growth was 1.0% year-over-year, Minneapolis’ growth was 1.0%, and the city of St. Paul grew 0.8%. 
  • The city of Minneapolis still sits among the top quarter of growing large cities and its net positive growth is remarkable considering many cities nationwide have been seeing population declines. However, these trendlines suggest that this decade’s rapid urbanization is beginning to wane. Whether this is due to increasing prices pushing residents to cheaper suburbs, or the fact that the oldest Millennials are now in their late thirties, the 2020s will likely bring some new shifts in demographics.

    Source: JLL Research, Brookings Institution's analysis of U.S. Census Bureau estimates

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