MN’s largest county lost 50,000 to domestic out-migration in the past 3 years

Late last week, the U.S. Census Bureau released 2023 county-level population data. The bad news continued for Hennepin County.

Hennepin County, which includes the state’s largest city of Minneapolis, has a population of about 1.3 million, and contains around one-fifth (22 percent) of Minnesota’s total population of 5.7 million.

In the little over three years between the date of the last census (April 1, 2020) and July 1, 2023, Hennepin County lost a net 23,000 residents, even as the state, overall, has posted a modest gain.

From 2020 to 2023, Ramsey County (St. Paul) lost a net 16,000 residents.

Suburban Washington County saw the largest three-year increase, gaining more than 11,000 residents.

As shown above, both the state and its two-largest counties posted gains in natural changes (local births exceeding local deaths). The big differences came in migration patterns.

Over the past three years, Hennepin County has lost the equivalent of its St. Louis Park suburb in terms of net “domestic” migration, exceeding the state’s loss, as a whole. Ramsey County lost more than 28,000 to domestic out-migration over the same period. With Ramsey County’s total population (around 500,000) being much smaller than Hennepin’s, their outflow represents a much larger share.

More than 8,000 of Hennepin County’s net domestic outmigration occurred in just the past year. A significant number for Hennepin, but the larger “blue” counties of Los Angeles, Cook (Chicago), and the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens lost even more.

Of the 10 counties in America with the largest net domestic inflows, nine were in “red” states (Florida, South Carolina, and Texas).

The euphemistically-named “international” migration did little to stem either Hennepin or Ramsey County’s outflow as about half of the state’s incoming Newcomers/New Americans settled elsewhere in the North Star State.

They say that people vote with their feet. The verdict is in.