Minneapolis-St. Paul Metropolitan Area Comparison: Fact sheet, April 2002

How does the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area compare to other metropolitan areas of similar size?  This is a question frequently received at the State Demographic Center Helpline.  Our customers want to know a variety of information about areas within our state and how we compare with other areas. A follow up report comparing states will be issued later.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area is the 15th largest metropolitan area in the nation according to population figures from the last two censuses. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area is comprised of 13 counties located in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. The counties are Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington and Wright in Minnesota and Pierce and St. Croix in Wisconsin. The area grew by 16.9 percent from 2,538,834 in 1990 to 2,968,806 in 2000. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area had a minority population of 15.3 percent; minority here means all population who chose to identify themselves as anything other than white alone, non-Hispanic. This area had the largest percentage (25.9%) of married couple families with own children under 18. The Minneapolis-St. Paul area had the largest percentage (29.4%) of group quarters population in college dormitories. The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area had the highest percentage (97.2%) of occupied housing units which also means it had the lowest vacancy rate (2.8%).

Method: This study focuses on nine areas with similar population size. Census 2000 figures were used to rank all metropolitan areas. After reviewing the data, metropolitan areas with population  within 600,000 of the Minneapolis-St. Paul area were selected. The nine areas are distributed throughout the nation as follows: three in the southwest area; one in northwest; two in central; one in northeast; one in southeast; and, one in San Juan, Puerto Rico. The populations of the metropolitan areas included in this comparison are:

Rank 1990 Rank 2000 Metropolitan Areas

2000 Population

14

13

Seattle-Tacoma-Bremerton, WA CMA*

 3,554,760

20

14

Phoenix-Mesa, AZ MA*

 3,251,876

16

15

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN-WI MA*

     2,968,806

13

16

Cleveland-Akron, OH CMA*

 2,945,831

15

17

San Diego, CA MA*

 2,813,833

17

18

St. Louis, MOIL MA* 

     2,603,607

22

19

Denver-Boulder-Greeley, CO CMA*

 2,581,506

n/a

20

San Juan-Caguas-Arecibo, PR CMA*

     2,450,292

21

21

Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL MA*

     2,395,997

*See technical note at the end of this publication.

 

The population of the next largest metropolitan area, Miami-Fort Lauderdale was more than 300,000 people larger. The metropolitan areas in this comparison are ranked from 13th (Seattle) to 21st (Tampa). The slowest growth area from 1990 to 2000 was the Cleveland-Akron, consolidated metropolitan area with 3 percent increase in population. The fastest growing area was Phoenix-Mesa, metropolitan area at 45.3 percent. None of the metropolitan areas in this comparison declined in population during this decade. However, the metropolitan area central cities in St. Louis City, MO (-12.2%), East St. Louis, IL (-23%), Cleveland, OH (-5.4%) and San Juan, PR (-3.6%) all declined in population.

Age and Gender

San Juan had the lowest and highest percentage of males and females at 47.8 and 52.2 percent, respectively. Three metropolitan areas had more males than females while the other six areas had more females than males. Tampa had the highest percentage of population 65 years and older (19.2%) and the highest percentage (78.1%) of persons over the age of 18 years. The State of Florida also had a high percentage of 65+ population and adult population.  San Juan had the highest percentage (28.2%) of children (population under age 18). Nationally, people of Hispanic origin tend to be younger than the total population. The median age of San Juan was the youngest of all metropolitan areas at 32.5 years. The median age of other metropolitan areas ranged from 40 years in Tampa to a tie between Phoenix and San Diego at 33.2 years.

Race and Hispanic Origin

In this report the race and Hispanic origin totals are from the standard Census 2000 race alone category. San Juan, San Diego and Phoenix (98.6%, 26.7% and 25.1%) respectively, had the largest percentages of Hispanic or Latino population. St. Louis and Cleveland, 18.3 percent and 16.8 percent respectively, had the largest percentages of Black or African American population. Phoenix had the largest percentage (2.2%) of American Indian or Alaska Natives. San Diego (8.9%) and Seattle (7.9%) had the largest percentage of Asians. San Diego (12.8%) and Phoenix (12.1%) have the largest percentage of Some Other Race. Some Other Race tended to reflect Hispanic origin. San Diego (4.7%) and San Juan (4.4%) had the largest percentages of Two or More Races. Total minority populations for these metropolitan areas range from 99 percent in San Juan to 15.3 percent in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Total minority is defined as all persons who identified themselves as something other than white alone, non-Hispanic.  For more information on Census 2000 race go to:  http://www.demography.state.mn.us/DownloadFiles/pdf/Census2000Race.pdf

Families and Households

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area had the largest percentage (25.9%) of married couple families with own children under 18. Tampa had the highest percentage of householders living alone (29.7%) and householders 65 and over (12.7%). Again Tampa reflects the trends of Florida in both the elderly population and the householders living alone. San Juan had the highest percentage (81.2%) of family households and the lowest percentage (7.0%) of persons living alone. San Juan had the largest average household and family size (2.95 and 3.38 people respectively).

Group quarters populations are a small percentage of the total population for all these areas. San Diego had the largest percentage of group quarters population with 3.4 percent. Over 42 percent of the group quarters population in San Diego live in military quarters. San Diego is home to both naval and marine military bases. Minneapolis-St. Paul had the largest percentage (29.4%) of group quarters population in college dormitories. Minneapolis-St. Paul is home to the University of Minnesota and more than 30 other colleges and universities. St. Louis had the largest percentage of group quarters population in nursing homes (37.1%) reflecting the large percentage of people over age 65 (12.9%). Phoenix had the largest percentage of group quarters population in correctional institutions (45.7%). Phoenix has a federal correctional institution within the city limits.

Housing

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area had the highest percentage (72.4%) of owner-occupied housing units and San Diego had the lowest (55.4%). San Diego had the highest percentage (44.6%) of renter-occupied housing units.  One reason San Diego may have a higher percentage of renters is that the cost of housing in the area is very high. Minneapolis-St. Paul had the highest percentage (97.2%) of occupied housing units and the lowest percentage (2.8%) of vacant housing units. Tampa (11.8%), Phoenix (10.3%) and San Juan (10.3%) had the largest percentage of vacant housing units and Tampa (5.1%) and Phoenix (4.6%) had large percentages of seasonal, recreational or occasional housing units. Phoenix and Tampa are popular destinations for people in the northern tier of states that have harsh winters. Tampa had the smallest average household size of owner-occupied housing units (2.38) and Cleveland had the smallest average household size (2.14) of renter-occupied housing units.

Two-person households were the most common owner-occupied housing unit size. One-person households were the most common renter-occupied housing units size in all areas except San Juan. San Juan also had the largest average number of people in occupied housing units 2.95, (owner-occupied 2.98 and renter-occupied 2.88 housing units).

Download files

Table 1.  Metropolitan Compare, 87 variables including personal per capita income and American Chamber of Commerce Research Association (ACCRA) cost of living information for participating metropolitan areas.  (16 kb   CSV format)

Table 2.  Metropolitan Compare, over 300 census variables.  No income or cost of living information included with this table.  (60 kb   CSV format)

Technical Note

The United States Office of Management and Budget (OMB) defines metropolitan areas (MAs). The general concept of an MA is that of a core area (county specific) containing a large population nucleus, together with adjacent communities having a high degree of economic and social integration with that core. Current MA definitions were announced by OMB effective June 30, 1999.1   Metropolitan area definitions allow metropolitan areas to cross state boundaries.  Four areas in this study are Metropolitan Statistical Areas and the other five are Consolidated Metropolitan Statistical Areas.2  Two MAs in this comparison, St. Louis and Minneapolis-St. Paul are located in two states.

*Defining MAs, CMAs and PMAs

Standard definitions of metropolitan areas were first issued in 1949 under the designation "standard metropolitan area" (SMA). Today's designation of metropolitan areas include metropolitan areas (MAs), consolidated metropolitan areas (CMAs) and primary metropolitan areas (PMAs).  OMB announced the adoption of new Standards for Defining Metropolitan and Micropolitan Areas and will announce definitions based on these standards in 2003.

1The 1990 standards for defining metropolitan areas are: (1) one city with 50,000 or more inhabitants; or  (2) a Census Bureau defined urbanized area (of at least 50,000 inhabitants) and a total metropolitan population of at least 100,000 (75,000 in New England).   Under these standards, the county (or counties) that contains the largest city becomes the "central county" (counties), along with any adjacent counties that have at least 50 percent of their population in the urbanized area surrounding the largest city. Additional "outlying counties" are included in the MA if they meet specified requirements of commuting to the central counties and other selected requirements of metropolitan character (such as population density and percent urban). In New England, the MAs are defined in terms of cities and towns rather than counties. The largest city in each MA/CMA is designated a "central city."

2An area that meets these requirements for recognition as an MA and also had a population of one million or more may be recognized as a CMA if:  (1)separate component areas can be identified within the entire area by meeting statistical criteria specified in the standards; and (2)local opinion indicates there is support for the component areas.

If recognized, the component areas are designated PMAs, and the entire area becomes a CMA. PMAs, like the CMAs that contain them, are composed of entire counties, except in New England where they are composed of cities and towns. If no PMAs are recognized the entire area is designated as an MA.

As of the June 30, 1999 OMB announcement, there were 258 MAs and 18 CMAs comprising 73 PMAs in the United States. In addition, there were 3 MAs, 1 CMA, and 3 PMAs in Puerto Rico.