Movin' on out: Foreign-born Minnesotans relocate to the suburbs

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Recent data gathered by the U.S. Census shows the growing number of foreign-born Minnesotans continue to move out of the city and into the suburbs.

The Star Tribune reports since 1990, the state's immigrant population has nearly tripled from 2.6 percent to 7.2 percent, with the majority living in the Twin Cities area.

University of Minnesota demographer Will Craig tells the newspaper that the Asian population was the first to shift from central cities between 1990 and 2000 to second- and third-ring suburbs followed by black immigrants in the next 10 years. Just in the last decade, the Latino population began moving out of urban areas.

The latest batch of census data from 2008 to 2012 shows the south metro suburbs of Burnsville and Eagan are two of the top 10 destinations for East Africans, the Star Tribune says.

Much of the suburban Southeast Asian population has landed in Shakopee, while a little farther west in Eden Prairie is the leading home for immigrants from India.

Census data for 2010 found significant increases in the Hmong population, who first arrived in Minnesota as refugees 35 years ago, in cities north and east of St. Paul.

Jane Tigan with Minnesota Compass, an organization that puts demographic data online, tells the newspaper that the shift to the suburbs is a result of a number of factors, including foreign-born residents becoming more stable economically which gives them the ability to relocate.

A Humphrey Institute case study speculates that immigrant communities are lured to the suburbs by job opportunities and the prospect for home ownership.

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