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Minneapolis, St. Paul gain in population, but are suburbs really ‘losers’?

Minneapolis and St. Paul are adding new residents by the thousands, which would indicate a shift in a decades-long trend of population losses to the suburbs and possibly reordering priorities for things like spending on highways and transit, the Star Tribune reports.

At issue is a new population report for 2011 from the Metropolitan Council.

MPR reports that in terms of plain numbers, no suburb had bigger growth than the core cities.

But not so fast. David Brauer at MinnPost takes a closer look at the numbers. He notes that the Met Council and media focused on raw growth numbers, and not how much each grew as a percentage.

Brauer writes that the local media missed the story in a rush to pit the cities as winners over the suburbs. The story was instead that the Twin Cities may be experiencing the closest thing to balanced growth it has ever had, Brauer says. He notes that of the eight suburbs on the Met Council’s Top 10 list, five grew faster than Minneapolis and all grew faster than St. Paul.



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