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Minnesota's population grows, but not everywhere

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Domestic migration trend for Minnesota
A graphic showing domestic migration trend for Minnesota from APM Research Lab.
APM Research Lab

The population of the Twin Cities and the state grew over the past year, but some rural Minnesota counties declined.  

The most recent census data covers July 2016 through July of last year. Minnesota's population grew by just under one percent during that period, reaching about 5.6 million residents. The Twin Cities metropolitan area grew just over one percent, for a  population total of 3.6 million. Since 2010, the metro has added a quarter million new residents.  

International and domestic migration to the state accounted for about half of the state's growth. People coming from other states was especially important.

"For the first time in this decade we have positive domestic migration," said Megan Dayton, senior projections demographer with the state demographics center. "We have more people moving into Minnesota from other states in the country than Minnesotans leaving Minnesota for other states in the country."

The U.S. migration to the state was a plus 8000. International migration to the state was about 16,500. The state's population increased by 51,566 during the counting period.

Isanti County had the largest population increase, just over 2 percent. The sharpest population drops occurred in the region bordering Canada in northwest Minnesota. Kittson County showed the biggest decline.  

"For every one birth there's about one and a half deaths," said Dayton. "Residents are leaving and there's no net international migrants, so they're declining by about one and a half percent."

The populations of Roseau and Lake of the Woods showed similar declines.