Map Monday: Minneapolis / Saint Paul Neighborhood #cityburb Demographic “Comps”

Here are a pair of fascinating maps from journalistic gadfly, David Brauer, who has been working on a project that pairs urban neighborhoods with their closest demographic equivalents in the suburbs (or Greater Minnesota). Using five elements, “(kid %, whiteness, income, poverty, rental %” — Brauer does his best to match up like places, and comes up with these maps. Remember, these aren’t population similarities, but demographic ones.

In other words, which Minnesota city most closely matches which urban neighborhood?

Here’s Minneapolis, using the broader “communities” categorization:

With Rice Lake (a township north of Duluth) and Red Lake (a town on an Ojibwe reservation), the “City of Lakes” slogan still holds here, only for different reasons.

And here’s Saint Paul:

I particularly like Downtown / Bemidji and Minnetonka / Summit Hill. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to seeing the project when it’s complete!

Brauer’s raw data tables are posted below:

9 thoughts on “Map Monday: Minneapolis / Saint Paul Neighborhood #cityburb Demographic “Comps”

  1. David Brauer

    Just want to say this is a really, really rough draft that I posted on Twitter. Was gonna post a longer explanation of limitations when I published the project (which, admittedly, is taking forever).

    So, anyway, the idea was to compare the human environment (race, income, poverty, kids, etc) and ignore for the moment the things focuses on (the built environment and its interaction with said humans).

    My starting point was the notion that a lot of city neighborhoods are made up of people that have those 4 variables in common with certain suburbs, and tease out neighborhoods that don’t.

    Due to my self-taught limitations, I chose 4 variables, but later added rental unit % just to experiment with a “built” element.

    At the moment, I’m trying to decide the best mapping strategy & whether I want to incorporate other data when read out city-neighborhood comps. So that’s where I sit. Don’t judge too harshly yet, is what I’m really trying to say.

    1. David Greene

      This is really interesting! I’d like to see a breakdown by neighborhood. I live in the Wedge and demographically, it feels very different than the neighborhoods across Hennepin. Housing prices certainly are! Don’t know if there’s enough valid demographic data on the neighborhood level though.

      1. David Brauer

        It is broken down by Minneapolis & St. Paul neighborhood. That’s why Mpls & St. P are so chopped up.

        1. David Brauer

          Should note neighborhood level Mpls comps are coming soon. Communities was just easier to visualize at this point.

  2. Joe

    My takeaway. Living in St. Paul is just like living in Brooklyn Center. More than 50% of the city (by land area) is comparable to Brooklyn Center.

  3. Lou Miranda

    Things that make you say 🤔. Very interesting.

    I’ve lived in 2 neighborhoods in St. Paul, and 2 in Mpls, and now live in a Twin Cities suburb (not mentioned in these maps). I found these diagrams… oddly disturbing.

    After thinking about it, I think it’s because, while these areas might be demographically similar, I’m not sure they’re politically or socially so. And maybe that’s the point?

    And as I mentioned on Twitter, what about the different neighborhoods in the suburbs? (Yes, Compass doesn’t have the data, I remember you saying.) While most suburbs don’t have the population, density, or age to have developed truly unique neighborhoods, there are some interesting enclaves in some suburbs, especially the old ones.

    Thanks for the thought-inspiring research.

Comments are closed.