Minnesota's population on July 1, 1998, was 4,725,419, an increase of 38,000 people in one year. Although growth from 1997 to 1998 remained strong, it was slower than in the preceding years — 0.81 percent this year, compared to increases as large as 1.16 percent earlier in the 1990s.
Minnesota remains one of the fastest-growing states in the Northeast and Midwest, according to new population estimates by the U.S. Bureau of the Census. The only states in the Midwest and Northeast with faster growth during the past year were New Hampshire and Kansas.
Since the 1990 census, Minnesota has grown by 349,800 people. About two-thirds of this growth is due to natural increase, the difference between births and deaths. This natural increase slowed steadily from 1990 through 1996, but has rebounded in the past two years.
Migration continues to contribute positively to Minnesota's population growth. Since the 1990 census, Minnesota has seen a net gain of people migrating from other states and from other countries. Roughly one-third of the state’s population growth is due to migration. Net migration to Minnesota from other states has slowed recently, but net international migration continues to increase.
“In the past two years, the net gain of migrants from abroad has exceeded the net gain from other states,” said Ann Schluter, director of Minnesota Planning.
Minnesota ranks 20th nationally in total population size, but 17th in population change and 18th in rate of change last year.
Among Minnesota's neighbors, Wisconsin increased by 0.43 percent, Iowa by 0.28 percent, and South Dakota by 0.06 percent, while North Dakota dropped by 0.42 percent between 1997 and 1998. Nevada was the fastest growing state in the nation, with an increase of 4.06 percent, while California had the largest numeric increase at 484,400 people.
In the next few months, the State Demographic Center will be preparing 1998 population and household estimates for counties, cities and townships. Those estimates will be released in summer 1999.