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New Census data show shift to urban core

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New Census data say that the Twin Cities metro ballooned by more than 100,000 people between 2010 and 2013, mirroring a trend of growth in a majority of urban cores nationwide.

Growth in the metro area's suburbs has slowed, reversing a longtime trend. Growth in the suburbs now accounts for only about one-third of metro population growth, compared to 84 percent last decade, the Star Tribune notes.

Almost half the overall growth in the greater metro area happened in Hennepin County; Ramsey County had more moderate growth, with its population rising from 5,100 to 6,200 from 2012 to 2013.

A new Census county-by-county map shows growth in the metro area counties from July 1, 2012 to July 1, 2013, and population losses in a number of greater Minnesota counties, particularly in the southwest.

Nationwide, a trend of young people moving to cities to chase jobs continues to hurt aging rural areas. Almost 60 percent of rural counties shrank in population last year, an increase from 50 percent in 2009 and about 40 percent in the late 1990s, the Wall Street Journal notes.

Populations are declining in pockets of the Midwest that include Iowa, Illinois and Kansas, even as other areas of the Great Plains experience rapid growth. North Dakota's oil-drilling boom, has made it the nation's fastest-growing state.

As of last summer, six of America's 10 fastest-growing metro areas were in or near the Great Plains, including Fargo, N.D., and Bismarck, N.D., according to Census data. Fargo-Moorhead has added almost 15,000 since 2010, a growth rate of 7 percent.

Among the top 10 fastest-growing "micro" areas (as opposed to metro) were No. 1 Williston, N.D., and No. 2 Dickinson, N.D., where the oil boom has fueled growth.

Other new fast facts from the Census Bureau:

– Houston had the largest numeric increase between 2012 and 2013, gaining about 138,000 people.

– The nation's metro areas contained 269.9 million people in 2013, up about 2.3 million from 2012.

– Most metro areas (289 of 381) gained population between 2012 and 2013, with 92 losing population.

– Metro areas grew faster than the U.S. as a whole between 2012 and 2013 (0.9 percent compared with 0.7 percent).

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