Via peerless local cartographer Scott Shaffer’s Twitter feed, here are some maps showing the median age of Minnesotans by county.
Here’s the fascinating 2010 map:
And here’s the map showing how median ages have changed from 1980 to 2010.
As you can see, there are distinct patterns when it comes to the metro area versus greater Minnesota, and that is especially true when you look up at the northern iron range area. In greater Minnesota, the “young” counties are pretty much limited to college towns and American Indian reservations.
It makes me think that the much-talked-about “urban rural divide” is probably better described as a generation gap. We’re seeing a much stronger pattern of older people living in rural areas, and younger people living in urban ones. That, as much as than anything else, might explain the growing social and political divergence in the state’s political geography.