Minnesota Population 2016


Situated in the north midwest area of the US, Minnesota is the 12th largest state in the country in terms of pure surface area. In terms of population, it ranks 21st, with an estimated population of 5.4 million in 2016.

The population of Minnesota in 2016 can only be estimated at present as the last set of confirmed figures were derived from the nationwide Census in 2010. At the time, it was confirmed that there were 5,303,925 people living in the state, and a year later in 2011, an estimate suggested that those numbers had risen to 5,344,861. A similar level of growth would therefore takes the population of Minnesota in 2016 to 5,489,594. The state currently has a population growth rate of 0.71%, which ranks 29th in the country. With these new numbers, Minnesota is now the 21st most populous state in the US.

The overall geography of Minnesota lends itself to a relatively sparse population. The state is mountainous, and parts of the Great Lakes cross into Minnesotan territory. This vast rural landscape means that the state is only the 31st most densely populated in the entire country.The total surface area in Minnesota equates to 86,939 square miles or 225,181 square kilometers, and for every square mile of territory, there is an average of 66.6 people.

There are three cities in Minnesota with a population of more than 100,000. Minneapolis is by far the largest, home to 410,939 people. Following behind are Saint Paul (300,851) and Rochester (112,225). About 60% of Minnesota's population lives in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, while 40% are spread throughout the remainder of the state. This is the result of a migration of the jobs from farming, mining and logging into professional, service and office jobs which are concentrated in the cities.

Minnesota Population Chart

Minnesota Population History

Minnesota was the 32nd US state to be incorporated into the union on May 11, 1858, and that heralded an explosion in population figures.

By the time of the 1860 Census, it was confirmed that Minnesota had 172,023 residents, and just ten years later, that figure had risen by over 150% to 439,706. Although this was the biggest population increase in Minnesota’s history, further significant rises meant that by the start of the 20th century, the population within the state had grown to over 1.75 million.

Those increases slowed down further through the 20th century, but the overall picture remains one of sustained growth and as a result, the population of Minnesota in 2016 is edging toward the 5.5 million figure.

Minnesota Population Growth

Minnesota, like much of the United States, has a relatively older population with a median age of 37.7. According to projections, Minnesota will see a rise in one-person households, while the number of married couple families will decline. While the state is growing steadily, it is not enjoying the rapid growth of many Southern and Western states with a younger population.

The rate of population growth, as well as age and gender distributions, are very close to the national average. Most of the state's counties are projected to lose population between now and the next census, with losses of at least 15% in many southwestern and western parts of the state, while moderate growth is projected for the lakes region in north-central Minnesota. Rural areas will continue to be older than the growing urban areas, and increased diversity is projected with the populations of color and Hispanic origin increasing faster than the white population. Very fast growth is expected for African Americans, Latinos and Asians in particular, stemming from foreign migration.

With healthy natural growth, increases in the Minnesota population over the decades tend to average out at the 8% mark for the last four censuses. As a result, it will be interesting to see how close the population will reach toward 6 million by the time of the next survey in 2020. It's projected that the population of Minnesota will grow 24% from 2005 to 2035, passing the 6 million mark by 2032.

Population Data via US Census

Minnesota Growth Rate

Minnesota State Rank

Year Pop % Change
2020 5,651,939 0.58%
2019 5,619,470 0.58%
2018 5,587,001 0.58%
2017 5,554,532 0.59%
2016 5,522,063 0.59%
2015 5,489,594 0.59%
2014 5,457,125 0.67%
2013 5,420,541 0.75%
2012 5,380,443 0.60%
2011 5,348,119 0.83%
2010 5,303,925 0.76%
2000 4,919,479 1.18%
1990 4,375,099 0.71%
1980 4,075,970 0.69%
1970 3,804,971 1.09%
1960 3,413,864 1.36%
1950 2,982,483 0.66%
1940 2,792,300 0.86%
1930 2,563,953 0.72%
1920 2,387,125 1.41%
1910 2,075,708 1.71%
1900 1,751,394 2.94%
1890 1,310,283 5.31%
1880 780,773 5.91%
1870 439,706 9.84%
1860 172,023 39.70%
1850 6,077 0.00%

Minnesota Facts

Minnesota  Population in 2016 Source:

  • French explorers and trappers discovered Minnesota, and the land was claimed for France in 1679.
  • Minnesota is home to more golfers per capita than any other state in the US.
  • The Mall of America is located in Bloomington. This shopping center -- which features stores, restaurants and an amusement park -- is a whopping 9.5 million square feet.
  • The state has one recreational boat per every six people, exceeding the number of any other state.
  • Saint Paul was originally called "Pigs Eye" and was named after Pierre "Pig's Eye" Parrant, the first white settler to live within what is now Saint Paul.
  • The first bus line was started back in 1914 in Hibbing. The line originally ran from Hibbing to Alice and cost 15 cents per ride. That bus line went on to become known as Greyhound Lines.

Minnesota Population Density by County

  • Population
  • Density
  • Growth Since 2010
  • State Rank
  • % of State

Minnesota Population Growth Rate by County

When looking at data from the 2010 Census compared to Census Bureau estimates from 2015, it shows that the counties of Minnesota have a balance of both growing counties and those that have declined in population over those five years. While no counties saw significant growth over 10%, two did come close -- neighboring Carver County and Scott County recorded population rowth of 8.04% and 8.52%, respectively. Other counties, particularly those located in the northern region of the state, posted smaller growth rates. These counties include St. Louis, Pennington, and Cook to the north, Blue Earth, Dodge, and Fillmore to the south, and Clay County along the western border.

While some counties posted growth between 2010 and 2015, others saw declining populations, mostly situated in the south and along the western border. Yellow Medicine County had the largest decline of 5.28%, followed by Lac qui Parle at 5.36% and Renville at 5.07%. Other declining populations were recorded in such counties as Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Martin, Murray, and Pipestone.

Population Pyramid

To compare Minnesota to other states, click here.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage

Minnesota has always been thought of as a racially homogenous state. However, in recent years, the state's population has become more diverse. From 2000 to 2010, there was an increase in the Hispanic population by 74.5%. The state also has a high percentage of Asian American residents, ranking 14th in terms of the overall percentage of Asians when compared to the total population.

In addition to the increase in Hispanics, the state has also seen an increase in immigration of Somalis, Vietnamese and Hmong. However, non-Hispanic whites are still the majority, with 72.33% of births being to non-Hispanic white parents, according to data from 2011.

Over 75% of the state's residents are of European descent. The principal ancestries of Minnesota residents are:

  • 38.6% German
  • 17.0% Norwegian
  • 11.9% Irish
  • 9.8% Swedish

Languages Spoken in Minnesota

Language Population Percentage
Population 5 years and over 4,996,324 100
English 4,617,761 92.42
Spanish 192,115 3.85
Cushite 38,135 0.76
German 24,275 0.49
Chinese 16,730 0.33
French 14,765 0.3
Amharic 9,490 0.19
Kru, Ibo, Yoruba 6,425 0.13
Telugu 4,930 0.1

This chart shows the top 10 non-English languages that are spoken at home in Minnesota . The data comes from the most recent release of the American Community Survey (ACS).

Minnesota Economy

HighSchoolGraduate 92
BachelorsDegree 33
Disabled 7
NoHealthInsurance 7
LaborForceTotal 70
LaborForceFemale 66
FoodServiceSales 11,722,627
HealthCareRevenue 40,403,572
ManufacturerShipments 123,076,309
MerchantWholesalesSales 104,485,117
RetailSales 78,898,182
RetailSalesPerCapita 14,667
MeanWorkTravelTime 23
MedianHouseholdIncome 60,828
PerCapitaIncome 31,642
PovertyPercentage 12

Minnesota Business

NonemployerEstablishments 394,690
AllFirms 489,494
MenOwnedFirms 268,710
WomenOwnedFirms 157,821
MinorityOwnedFirms 47,302
NonminorityOwnedFirms 428,716
VeteranOwnedFirms 45,582
NonveteranOwn 419,628

Minnesota Housing

HousingUnits 2,397,720
HousingUnits 2,347,201
OwnerOccupiedRate 72
OwnerOccupiedMedianValue 185,200
MonthlyOwnerCostsMortage 1,526
MonthlyOwnerCostsNoMortage 475
MedianGrossRent 835
BuildingPermits 19,545
Households 2,115,337
PersonsPerHousehold 2
SameHouseOneYearAgo 86
NonEnglishAtHome 11
Data Sources
  1. Census State Population Estimates - Most recent state estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  2. Census County Population Estimates - Most recent county estimates from the Census Bureau's Population Estimates Program - released 6/23/2016
  3. American Community Survey (2009 - 2013)
  4. Census QuickFacts