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New forecast predicts more than 4 million Twin Cities residents by 2050

The Met Council believes job opportunities will also steadily grow.

The population of the Twin Cities metro area will pass 4 million in the next 30 years.

That's according to the most recent regional forecast from the Metropolitan Council, which provides both an economic and demographic outlook for the seven counties through 2050.

It is a wide-ranging forecast, touching on a variety of factors related to the state of "regional prosperity" that is the goal of the Met Council.

Despite a steep, sudden disruption in jobs during the pandemic, the group's 30-year outlook is one of continued growth. Here are some of the key projections.

4 million residents by 2050
The Met Council believes the Twin Cities metro will add 818,000 residents over the next 30 years, buoyed by continued births as well as people moving to the area. By 2050, the region's population will have just surpassed 4 million, the group says. (The region's current population is about 3.18 million.)

More young people of color
Children and young adults of color will begin to account for a larger share of the population, growing by 59% between now and 2050. By that time, more than half of Twin Cities residents aged 0-24 will be a person of color.

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A large increase in older residents
The Met Council is preparing for the continued growth of the older — and in many cases, retired or soon-to-be retired — baby boomer generation. In 2050, more than one in every five Twin Cities residents will be over the age of 65. The majority of older adults will be white. 

COVID wiped out a decades' worth of job gains
From 2010-19, the Twin Cities added 235,000 jobs. In 2020, during the pandemic, the region lost all of those gains, at least temporarily. But the Met Council believes the area will rebound and climb. The Twin Cities has gained back most of those lost jobs, and the group projects the addition of 442,000 more jobs between now and 2050.

'Inclusion' is key to growth
While jobs should grow, they may not be available to all. As Met Council Chair Charlie Zelle said, these economic opportunities currently are "not shared equally or equitably with Black, Indigenous, people of color, and people with disabilities." The key to continued prosperity and growth, Zelle said, is "workforce development and inclusion."

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