Census data offer insight into Minnesota life - Bring Me The News

Census data offer insight into Minnesota life

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A newly released batch of data from the U.S. Census Bureau offers a snapshot of living conditions in America in 2013. The numbers show Minnesota has some fast-growing cities, comparatively high income, a shrinking number of uninsured, but a stubborn level of child poverty.

The American Community Survey is an expansive questionnaire distributed to families across the country each year to update economic and social statistics. Here are some of the findings about Minnesota highlighted by media outlets combing through the data.

St. Cloud and Duluth among fastest growing economies

Finance website Nerdwallet used the survey's data on population, employment and income from 500 of the largest cities in the country to determine which ones grew the fastest from 2009 to 2013. St. Cloud came in at number 7 and Duluth at number 15, edging out Iowa City at number 18. At the top was Boulder, Colorado, followed by College Station, TX. Despite its high ranking, St. Cloud was the only city in the top 20 to show a decline in the working-age population over the three year period.

175k children in Minnesota live in poverty

WCCO reports about 14 percent of children in Minnesota are living in poverty. That amounts to more than 175,000 residents under the age of 18. It's a slight drop from last year's percentage of 14.6, but the rate is even higher for children under 6 - about 15.2 percent, or 7,000 kids. Still, that number is much lower than the national average of 22.2 percent. The Census defines poverty as an annual income below $23,834 for a family of four.

After reports earlier this year of Minnesota schools denying lunches to students who couldn't afford them, state lawmakers passed legislation guaranteeing a hot school lunch for all students.

Minnesota has 6th lowest percentage of uninsured

Only 8.2 percent of Minnesotans had no health insurance last year, compared to 13.1 percent across the whole country, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. That's the 6th lowest rate in the country. Wisconsin was just behind at number 8, with 9.1 percent uninsured. Massachusetts topped the list with just 3.1 percent of residents without health insurance.

On Tuesday, MNsure's top health policy vendor, PreferredOne, dropped out of the state-run insurance exchange. It said anyone who purchased coverage will be insured through 2014.

Minnesota has 9th highest median income in the country

Despite the bleak poverty numbers for children across the state, Minnesota actually has the 9th highest median household income in the country at $60,702, according to the blog 24/7 Wall Street. It also had the 11th lowest "Gini coefficient" - a statistically derived number that's commonly used to measure income inequality. The lower the number, the more equal the population is said to be.

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