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St. Paul, Minneapolis lead population growth across Twin Cities

Downtown St. Paul, foreground, and downtown Minneapolis are seen in an aerial photo on Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016.

ST. PAUL -- The Twin Cities are growing from the center. St. Paul and Minneapolis added 75,000 people between them from 2010 to 2018, leading the region’s population growth.

And among the municipalities that added the most people, half of the top six are urban or established suburban areas in the east metro. Rural communities have shown more modest growth.

That’s according to new preliminary estimates from the Metropolitan Council, the seven-county metro’s regional planning agency, which calculates growth somewhat differently than the U.S. Census Bureau.

Updated annually, the Met Council’s estimates are based on occupied housing units, postal service information, Census Bureau findings and information provided by cities, townships and mobile home parks.

The Met Council figures are used by state and local governments to calculate local government aid and street funding. The numbers will be finalized July 15.

While urban areas, the “urban center,” and established suburbs such as Blaine, Woodbury and Lakeville have experienced double-digit or near double-digit population growth over the past decade, housing production hasn’t kept up, according to the Met Council.

Overall, the region added 96,100 households between 2010 and 2018, but just 75,600 housing units. “The remaining 20,500 households occupied existing housing, drawing down vacancy rates,” said the Met Council.

According to the Met Council, Minneapolis has a population of 429,382 residents as of 2018, adding more than 46,800 people since 2010, equivalent to 12.2 percent growth.

St. Paul has a population of 313,010, adding 27,900 people, for 9.8 percent growth.

Blaine’s population is 66,667 (16.6 percent growth); Woodbury, 70,840 (18.3 percent); Lakeville, 64,334 (15 percent), and Plymouth, 78,351 (11 percent).

In releasing its findings, the Met Council noted that most of the new housing production in urban areas is multi-family apartments or condos, while “suburban edge” communities such as Chanhassen and Woodbury have added detached, single-family homes.

Suburban communities such as Brooklyn Park and Maplewood, which hit peak development before the year 2000, built a mix of both.

More information is online at metrocouncil.org/populationestimates.