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Population and Demographic Change : Where is Minnesota?

Population change - both growth and decline - have been one of the top issues for countries in recent years, and every country around the world has its own unique population pattern.

Population change - both growth and decline - have been one of the top issues for countries in recent years, and every country around the world has its own unique population pattern.

The population of the world, according to the United States Census Bureau, is 6,989,500,000. According to a separate estimate by the United Nations, it has already exceeded 7 billion people. The most populous continent is Asia with a population of approximately 4.1 billion. Among those people, many are in China, a country of nearly 1.4 billion, and India, with 1.2 billion.

Only about 5% of the world's population lives in the U.S. - about 312,800,000 people, but unlike some developed countries, the United States is still growing rapidly thanks to relatively high fertility and immigration rates. It is predicted that the U.S. will grow by approximately 50 million people by 2025.

Immigration, as we all know, is an important factor in America's growth. From 2000 to 2010, over 14 million people came to the U.S. legally, most coming from countries such as Mexico, India, the Philippines, and China. Additionally, in a report published February 1, 2011, the Pew Hispanic Center (PHC) estimated that there were about 11.2 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

So, what is predicted of Minnesota's population and demographic situation? How does it compare to the nation as a whole? Minnesota's population numbers about 5,303,900 people, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The white population forms the majority of Minnesota's population, and counts for about 83%. Compared to the rest of the U.S., Minnesota is more white (83% of the population compared to 72%), and has fewer Latinos (5% of Minnesota's population compared to 16% of the U.S. population) and African Americans (5% of Minnesota's population compared to just over 12% of the U.S. population).

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But Minnesota's immigration and demographic story is very interesting. The influx in recent years has been from sub-Saharan countries such as Somalia, Ethiopia and Kenya, and from the Hmong areas of Thailand and Vietnam. In 2009, for example, there were over 4,000 immigrants from Somalia and over 1,600 from Ethiopia. There were around 1,000 from Kenya and Liberia. Saint Paul has the largest urban population of Hmong people in the U.S., but the Hmong are not from just one country. Most of those who come to Minnesota are from Thailand and Vietnam. There were about 2,000 emigrants to Minnesota from the Indochinese peninsula in 2009, and the estimated Hmong population in Minnesota as of 2010 was around 67,000. Minnesota's Hispanic population is estimated to be about 250,000, an increase of over 75% from the year 2000.

In 2000, Minnesota was 88% white, but now it's around 83% white. This is a significant change, and is predicted to continue. According to the Minnesota State Demographic Center, Minnesota's population will increase by 20% over the next 25 years. The proportion of Minnesota's population that is non-white is projected to rise from 15% now to 25% in 2035.

Sources for this article include CBS News, the Minnesota State Demographic Center, Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Pew Hispanic Center.

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