Minnesota’s population on July 1, 2002, was 5,019,700, an increase of 35,200 people since July 1, 2001. Minnesota population increased by 0.7 percent from 2001 to 2002 and by 2.0 percent since April 2000.
Minnesota remains one of the fastest growing states in the Midwest and Great Plains, according to new estimates by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. Minnesota’s population growth has slowed from an average annual rate over the past decade of more than 1 percent. The fastest growing state in the nation continues to be Nevada with an increase of 3.6 percent over the year. The fastest declining state is North Dakota with a loss of 0.4 percent. The District of Columbia lost 0.5 percent.
The slower growth in Minnesota is due to a net domestic out-migration of 6,300 people, the first time in 15 years that Minnesota has lost people to interstate migration. Minnesota continues to receive people from other nations, with a net international migration of 16,700. The other source of growth is natural increase, the difference between births and deaths, which added 25,100 people to Minnesota’s population.
Minnesota and Wisconsin grew at the same rate, each adding 35,200 people to their population. Though Wisconsin had less natural increase and international migration than Minnesota, it had a net interstate migration of 4,400 people. South Dakota grew by 0.4 percent and Iowa by 0.2 percent. South Dakota, Iowa and North Dakota each experienced net interstate out-migration which exceeded their immigration resulting in a net loss to migration.
“Minnesota’s economy was hit harder than the national economy by the 2001 recession and that is being reflected in slower population growth, “ said state demographer Tom Gillaspy. “The strong economy and tight job market of the 1990s encouraged people to move to Minnesota, fueling strong population growth. The net out-migration over the past year is likely due both to fewer people moving into Minnesota and more people moving out to other states.”
In the next few months, the State Demographic Center will be preparing 2002 population and household estimates for counties, cities and townships. Those estimates will be released in summer 2003.