Increased economic growth, diversity forecasted for Twin Cities region by 2040 – April 18, 2012

/ 18 April 2012 / jennifer

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Metropolitan Council

Preliminary Metropolitan Council forecast indicates regional economic competitiveness

St. Paul, MN –  April 18, 2012  –  Increasing racial diversity and continued economic and population growth are all anticipated changes to the seven-county Twin Cities region by 2040, according to a preliminary regional forecast prepared by the Metropolitan Council. In 2010, people of color comprised 24 percent of the regional population. By 2040, projections suggest that 43 percent of the residents in the region will be persons of color.

The region is expected to gain almost 900,000 people by 2040; economic opportunity in the region will attract population growth.  The region’s Gross Metro Product, the sum of value added by all industry sectors, will rise to $400 billion in 2040 – equivalent to 1.5 percent of the US Gross Domestic Product. This is a remarkable share, considering the Twin Cities region has less than 1.0 percent of the nation’s population.

“The Twin Cities region boasts more than its proportional share of the national economy,” said Council Chair Susan Haigh. “Substantial economic opportunity exists here. Our forecast finds that migration for economic reasons will be a strong factor in our expected population growth. In 2040, the Twin Cities region will look more like the diversity we’re seeing today in the region’s elementary schools.”

The Council’s forecast projects that the region will continue to be an immigration gateway to the nation throughout the 30-year period, and immigration will substantially advance the region’s diversity.  Of the expected 463,000 international immigrants, 83 percent are expected to be people of color from all continents; the remaining 17 percent, non-Hispanic whites.

A larger share of the region’s population growth will come from natural growth, as births outpace deaths in the region. Birth rates will continue to be higher among families of color than white families, thus accelerating the increasing racial diversity in the region.

Migration and natural growth together will replenish school enrollments and the workforce. These dynamics will balance out another substantial and historic trend: the rapid expansion of the region’s senior citizen (65 and over) population. The senior population will double between 2010 and 2030, and continue growing throughout the projection period, from 307,000 seniors in 2010 to 770,000 seniors in 2040.

“Two factors drive the gray boom: The advancing age of the baby boomers, combined with gains in life expectancy,” said Chair Haigh.

As the age profile of the population shifts, the mix of households is also changing. Growth in Generation Y will still generate growth in households with children. However, most of the growth among households with children is anticipated to be growth in one-parent households (up 80,000 over 30 years).

Senior citizens will be the most significant contributors to the forecasted increase in households. Seniors tend to live alone, or with a spouse. Not surprisingly, most of the gain in households projected by the Council is reflected in net growth of one-person households (up 179,000 over 30 years) and of married couples without children (up 87,000). These gains reflect a progression of the household life-cycle, as married couples with children become households without children.

“The diversity and availability of our housing stock is an important component in the strength of our regional economy,” continued Chair Haigh. “As our population shifts between now and 2040, communities and the Council must plan and be creative to ensure housing is affordable and meets the needs of an aging population.” The Council is currently working on a housing policy plan that will provide critical support as the region experiences these changes in the coming decades. The last regional housing policy plan was approved by the Metropolitan Council in 1985.

The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning organization in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Council is tasked with regional forecasting and policy planning in Minnesota Statutes §473.146 and §473.859. The Council, in partnership with Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) acquired a new forecasting model in 2011 that is expected to increase forecasting accuracy.

The regional forecast and local forecasts serve as a statement of future expectations and inform both the Council’s planning and local government planning. The preliminary regional forecast will be followed by preliminary local forecasts in 2013. As the Council drafts its next metropolitan development guide, Thrive MSP 2040, the forecasts will be updated to reflect the impact of policy changes adopted by the Council. A final regional forecast, including community-level data, is expected to be adopted by the Council in 2014.

In addition to its considerable responsibilities with regard to regional policy planning, the Council runs the regional bus and light-rail system and Northstar commuter rail, collects and treats wastewater, coordinates regional water resources, plans regional parks and administers funds that provide housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. The Council board is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor.

Quick facts about today’s preliminary 2040 forecast

  2040 Total Increase
from 2010
% Change
from 2010
Description
Population 3,743,000 Expected population of the seven-county metropolitan region in 2040
893,000 31% Anticipated regional population gain by 2040
Employment 2,118,000 Expected wage & salary employment in the seven-county metropolitan region in 2040
570,000 37% Anticipated employment gain by 2040 (wage & salary jobs only)
Households 1,576,000 Expected number of households in the seven-county metropolitan region in 2040
458,000 41% Anticipated regional gain in households by 2040

The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning organization in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area. The Council runs the regional bus and light-rail system and Northstar commuter rail, collects and treats wastewater, coordinates regional water resources, plans regional parks and administers funds that provide housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income families. The Council board is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor.

You can follow the Council on Twitter at www.twitter.com/MetCouncilNews.

http://www.metrocouncil.org/news/2012/2040ForecastsApr18.htm