Minneapolis's name is attributed to the first schoolteacher in the town who combined "mini," a Dakota word for water, with "polis," the Greek word for city. This name is appropriate, as Minneapolis has twenty lakes and wetlands, creeks, waterfalls and the Mississippi River, which are connected by the Chain of Lakes and the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway.
Minneapolis rests on both banks of the Mississippi River and adjoins Saint Paul, the state's capital, to the north. The two we know as the Twin Cities, and it's the Minneapolis-Saint Paul metropolitan area that has more than 3.4 million residents.
This population of 3.4 million is based on the 2010 Census, but new census information shows the Twin Cities area has gained another 60,000 people, with Minneapolis leading the growth.
The growth in Minneapolis is excellent news, and it was a big surprise to demographers, who were hesitant even to call it a trend as the city seemed resigned to hollow success since the 1950s, with a flourishing culture and beautiful architecture, yet a shrinking population that was getting poorer.
By 1990, Minneapolis had lost 1/3 of its population, then grew at a modest pace for the next 20 years. During this time, its suburbs experienced tremendous growth, tripling its population of 60 years to overtake Detroit as the second-largest metropolitan region in the Midwest in 2010.
It was in 2011 that the city started to see faster growth, adding more people in just the past two years than it has in the past 20.
Minneapolis Diversity Statistics
White people currently account for 3/5 of the city's population, mostly of German and Scandinavian descent. 23% of the population is German Americans (82,800), while the Scandinavian American population is primarily Swedish (8.5%) and Norwegian (10.9%). Danish Americans also have a large share of the population at 1.3% and put together, the three groups account for 1 out of five people in Minneapolis, while Germans and Scandinavians account for over 43% -- the majority of the non-Hispanic white population in the city.
While these groups make up a large share of the population, other common European ancestry groups include Irish (11.3%), English (7%), Polish (3.9%) and French (3.5%).
Interestingly, Minneapolis had the 4th highest percentage of gay, lesbian and bisexual people among all US cities in 2006 with 12.5%, putting it behind San Francisco but just behind Atlanta and Seattle. Minneapolis was also named the 7th gayest city in the country in 2012 by The Advocate.
Minneapolis Population Growth
It's hard to say if Minneapolis can continue the great growth its seen in the last three years. Mayor R.T. Rybak said in his final state of the city speech in April 2013, "By 2025, we want 450,000 people to live in Minneapolis -- about 65,000 more than today." He added he wants to do this without putting a single new car on the roads or disrupting the character of the city's neighborhoods.
Minneapolis has led the large metropolitan area in new housing units for the last six years and, while it's only growing half as fast as Seattle or Denver, it will reach this goal if this trend continues. By 2040, it's possible for Minneapolis to reach its historic high of 522,000 in the early '50s. This article in the Star Tribune goes through several things Minneapolis will need to do to take advantage of this trend and see maximum growth.