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Media release
New Census data show slight decline in poverty and uptick in health insurance coverage in Minnesota

Description: American Community Survey shows Minnesota continues to outperform the nation, most states
Date: September 19, 2013
Subject(s): Demography; Economic conditions; American Community Survey
Creator(s): Minnesota Department of Administration. Office of Geographic and Demographic Analysis. Office of the State Demographer; Minnesota Department of Administration; Minnesota Department of Administration. Office of the State Demographer
Contributor: Andi Egbert
Publisher: Minnesota Department of Administration. Office of the State Demographer
Contact: Susan Brower, 651-201-2472; State Demographer

Minnesota ranks in the top tier of states according to key measures of employment, income, and health insurance for 2012 released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data from the American Community Survey show a portrait of Minnesota making modest gains in employment and lifting some residents from poverty. More residents also had health insurance coverage in 2012 than a year prior.  

"Minnesota continues to distinguish itself in the recovery, although the economic gains have been hard-earned and we still have a long way to go," said Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower. "Real household incomes have not begun to rebound. And while unemployment fell more than a percentage point overall between 2011 and 2012, the elevated unemployment rates for Minnesotan workers of color are still stubbornly high.”

Minnesota and Texas were the only two states in the nation to see significant declines in poverty since 2011. The poverty rate for all Minnesotans fell half a percentage point from 11.9 percent to 11.4 percent between 2011 and 2012.  About 598,000 Minnesotans, nearly one-third of them children, lived in households with annual income below the federal poverty threshold (about $23,300 for a family of two parents and two dependent children) in 2012.

About 14.6 percent of Minnesota’s children under 18 lived in poverty in 2012, not statistically changed from the prior year, and still up sharply from the 11.7 percent of Minnesota children living below the poverty line in 2008.

Additionally, about one-third or more of Black and American Indian Minnesotans lived in poverty in 2012, along with about one-quarter of Hispanic Minnesotans.

Minnesota’s median household income in 2012 was $58,900, compared to $51,400 for the U.S. as a whole. The typical Minnesota household, however, has not made any gains in income in recent years, and has income about $2,000 below 2008 levels, in real (inflation-adjusted) terms. Among large counties in Minnesota, Scott ($85,400) and Carver ($83,200) counties had the highest median household incomes in 2012. 

The share of Minnesotans who were uninsured dropped for the second year in a row, representing a decline from 476,000 to 425,000 uninsured residents since 2010. Notably, children and especially young adults were more likely to have health insurance in 2012.

"The uninsured rate for 18- to 24-year-old Minnesotans — the group most likely to lack coverage — dropped dramatically, from 20% to 13% in the past two years. “The provision of the Affordable Care Act that allows young adults to remain on their parents’ health plans is likely driving many of those coverage gains,” Brower explained.

Minnesota’s overall uninsured rate declined from 8.8 to 8.0 percent between 2011 and 2012, with more Minnesotans gaining health care in the private market in 2012.  Only three states (Hawaii, 6.9 percent; Vermont, 6.5 percent, and Massachusetts, 3.9 percent) and the District of Columbia (5.9 percent) had lower rates of uninsured residents than Minnesota in 2012.

Select economic indicators by race/ethnicity, 2012


Unemployment rate (16+)

Labor force participation (16+)

Poverty rate (all)

Uninsured (all)






American Indian










Black/African American





Hispanic (of any race)





Two or more races





White, not Hispanic






Note: All findings noted in the text above are statistically significant. Error margins exist around data points, but are not shown. Please contact the State Demographic Center for additional information. Some numbers are rounded. Additional data are available through the U.S. Census Bureau’s American FactFinder tool at: 


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