Chart of the Day: Share of Regional Population Growth by Development Type, 2010 – 2014

In case you’re wondering why there are so many new apartment buildings in downtown Minneapolis, the Met Council released this delicious pie chart showing in what type of environment the regional population growth has been occurring over the last few years. As you can see, the largest slice has gone to “urban center”:

population share estimates

Here is the analysis from the agency:

The growing population in the central cities reflects both an increased preference for walkable, amenity-rich neighborhoods and the new residential construction along the METRO Green Line. 

But while the central cities led in population growth, growth occurred in a balanced fashion across the region.  Urban communities grew at a healthy pace, led by St. Louis Park, Bloomington, and Edina, with a 9% share of the region’s growth. Suburban cities—generally suburbs that saw their peak development years in the 1980s and early 1990s—constituted 17% of the region’s growth. Examples include Eagan and Brooklyn Park.

In my opinion, planning is often a self-fulfilling prophecy. If our planning agencies predict that the majority of growth will be in the core cities or outlying suburbs, then it probably will. That’s why it’s interesting to see actual data on housing.

4 thoughts on “Chart of the Day: Share of Regional Population Growth by Development Type, 2010 – 2014

  1. Sean Hayford OlearySean Hayford Oleary

    The description is odd. St. Louis Park is designated as an “urban center” community in the ThriveMSP 2040 map, yet they’re leading the “urban” category of growth?

    That notwithstanding, I’m curious how the “urban center” growth outside of Minneapolis and St. Paul compares as a matter of population. Most of the center communities are pretty tiny — St. Louis Park and Richfield are the largest. From pure observation, SLP is the only community that really seems to be seeing the building boom in-line with Minneapolis so far.

    1. Sean Hayford OlearySean Hayford Oleary

      Er, I’m guessing I can mostly get this with basic arithmetic.

      The total population off the “urban center” communities outside Mpls and St. Paul is 107,059 excluding SLP and 152,309 including SLP. Mpls/StP together are 704,847.

      So MSP are between 4.6x (with SLP) and 6.5x (without SLP) as large as the immediate urban center in the first ring. Growth is 6.6 times larger. So depending on the SLP question, things seem to be pretty in-line.

  2. Adam MillerAdam Miller

    Hm. Maybe I need to do some digging to understand these definitions, but that looks like suburban and suburban edge (what’s the difference?) are 35% and “emerging suburban edge” (that’s like even farther out, right?) is another 17%, making “suburbany” a whopping 52% of local population growth, right?

    1. Sean Hayford OlearySean Hayford Oleary

      Look at the map.

      “Emerging suburban edge” are cities that are currently still mostly undeveloped — like Victoria or Rosemount. “Suburban edge” is maybe half-half developed, like Shakopee or Maple Grove. “Suburban” is older/more established/more completely developed but not urban, like Brooklyn Park or Eagan.

      What distinguishes urban/urban center seems to be density, mix of land-use, and grid form.

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