Minnesota continues to be one of the fastest growing states in the Northeast and Midwest regions of the nation, according to new population estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau. Minnesota's population on July 1, 1996, was 4,657,800, an increase of 43,100 people in one year. The state's growth rate from 1995 to 1996 of 0.93 percent was faster than the national increase of 0.91 percent.
"Our population growth this decade reflects our remarkable economy," said Governor Arne H. Carlson. "A strong economy and low unemployment rates encourage people to move here in search of jobs and opportunity."
Since the 1990 Census, Minnesota has grown by 282,100 people. Most of this growth is attributed to births outnumbering deaths by 181,700. This natural increase is slowing, however, as births decline and deaths slowly increase as the population ages.
For the first time since early in this century, migration has contributed steadily to the state's population growth. In the six years since the 1990 Census, Minnesota has counted 66,100 people migrating from other states and 34,200 people migrating from other countries.
Minnesota ranks 20th nationally in total population size, but 16th in population change and 19th in percentage population change last year. Minnesota's growth leads all Midwestern and Northeastern states over the past six years and is substantially faster than the state's growth of the previous 20 years. Total growth in population from April 1990 to July 1996 was 6.45 percent, for an annual average of 1 percent.
Among Minnesota's neighbors, Wisconsin increased by 0.74 percent, Iowa by 0.31 percent, South Dakota by 0.4 percent and North Dakota by 0.32 percent between 1995 and 1996. Nevada again led all states with an increase of 4.54 percent, while Texas had the largest numeric increase at 326,900 people.
"In the next few months, the State Demographer will be preparing 1996 population and household estimates for counties, cities and townships," said Linda Kohl, director of Minnesota Planning, who predicts estimates will be released in summer 1997.