Chart of the Day: Minneapolis Population 1950 – 2013

This speaks for itself. I forget where I found it, though it obviously comes from MPR.

Key takeaway: it used to be larger, then got a lot smaller, but started going up again.


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11 Responses to Chart of the Day: Minneapolis Population 1950 – 2013

  1. Dean Carlson July 10, 2014 at 1:19 pm #

    Wow. Looks like the City lost between 60,000 to 70,000 people in the 1970s.

  2. Brendon Slotterback
    Brendon Slotterback July 10, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    It would be nice to see this graph with the x axis starting at zero.

    • Doug Trumm
      Doug Trumm July 12, 2014 at 11:08 am #

      Although the x axis would probably have to go back 10,000 years to reach 0 if we counted American Indians in our population numbers.

      • Brendon Slotterback
        Brendon Slotterback July 12, 2014 at 11:53 am #

        I don’t mean population starting at zero, I mean having the x-axis cross at zero instead of 300,000. It would make the change seem less dramatic.

        • Doug Trumm
          Doug Trumm July 12, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

          Oh I see what you’re saying. Or at least add a dramatization warning.

  3. Elliot Altbaum
    Elliot Altbaum July 10, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    I would be very curious to know what percentage of the population loss was due to smaller families in the same size units that used to house many more family members vs white flight.

    • Janne July 11, 2014 at 8:49 am #

      I’d like to see points of freeway construction (when residential land was cleared to dig trenches for cars).

  4. Matt Brillhart July 10, 2014 at 3:54 pm #

    Looks like the graph switches from decennial data points to yearly estimates after 2000.

    Though the graph shows Minneapolis’ population bottoming out in 1990 and rising steadily to 2000, I’ve heard that total rock bottom was actually in the mid 90s, then things started improving at the end of the decade (first condo developments in Mill District, etc.)

    I wonder how the population of North Minneapolis today compares with the lean years of the mid-90s. I’d wager that the population of north was actually higher back then. While other parts of the city have blossomed with redevelopment and an influx of new residents, the northside suffered the worst effects of the foreclosure crisis AND a devastating tornado in 2011, along with continued higher than average crime rates.

  5. Ted Hathaway July 10, 2014 at 10:50 pm #

    What’s important to keep in mind as the City’s population gradually increases from the losses of the 60s and 70s: Some 10% of the city’s housing stock (and, indeed, habitable land) was lost to the freeways, never to to come back. Another thing to remember: Minneapolis occupies a pretty small space for a “big” city. At 58 square miles, it has the 5th smallest area among the top 50 cities in the US by population. Maybe if Mpls has annexed its neighbors in years long past, as other cities did, such population loses would have been less significant.

    • Alex July 13, 2014 at 5:21 pm #

      You’re probably right, but it’s worth noting that household sizes shrank nearly universally in the 70s, so Minneapolis would have had to annex to roughly the Bloomington-Minnetonka-Plymouth-Brooklyn Park band in order to see population gains. First-ring suburbs such as Richfield, Brooklyn Center, and Columbia Heights all lost population in the 70s.


  1. Sunday Summary – July 13, 2014 | - July 27, 2014

    […] information: Charts of the Day this week Lyft/Uber vs. DUIs (in S.F.), Minneapolis Population 1950 – 2013, Bicycling, Income, and Ethnicity, and (multiple charts about Minneapolis’ federally funded) […]

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