Minnesota is in a demographic death spiral
They say “demography is destiny.” For Minnesota’s sake, let’s hope not. A headline about public education caught my eye the other day. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported that: Minneapolis Public…
The Star Tribune reports on new Minnesota population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau this month. The Bureau reports that in the 12 months ending June 2022, the state only gained 5,700 people.
The lead paragraph:
Minnesota’s population growth has stalled for the second year in a row, suggesting the pandemic has left lingering effects and the number of people leaving the state continues to outpace new arrivals.
Make that a third year in a row. The U.S. Census estimates that net population growth for the past three years totaled less than 11,000 in Minnesota.
For the last twelve months, “natural increase,” (births minus deaths) registered above 11,600. Births continue to fall, as deaths continue to rise:
The difference was in migration. Net international immigration added more than 14,200 to the state’s total. Net domestic outmigration cost the state 19,400 people. These trends have held steady for the past three years.
[In this recent post, my colleague John Phelan focuses on the domestic outmigration piece o the puzzle.]
A fudge factor called “residual” (-700 last year) knocked the annual total down to the final net 5,700 figure.
Eighteen states, led by New York, California and Illinois, actually declined in population over the past year.
Biggest gaining states included Texas, Florida, and North Carolina.
For America, the future looks even bleaker. The U.S. government just announced that life expectancy in America dropped again last year to 76.4 years, the lowest level in 20 years.
This trend is reflected in the newest population data. For the entire U.S., the natural increase last year (births — deaths) totaled a mere 245,000. Most of the nation’s population gain in 2022 was attributed to international migration, which topped 1 million people over the past 12 months.
The headline of the Star Tribune piece reads, “Minnesota’s population growth sees ‘concerning’ stall for a second year.” But it’s not clear who, if anyone is actually concerned.
Here in Minnesota, any concerns about slow population growth appear to center around the size of the future workforce. The Star Tribune quotes the state demographer, Susan Brower, as looking to migration for the solution,
“There are already a lot of conversations going on around migration and around workforce shortages,” Brower said. “Employers are looking to where the workers are. … Migration is the piece that could more quickly fill the need.”
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