A hyperlocal look at the Census

Minneapolis’s population may not have changed much in the past decade, but recently crunched U.S. Census numbers show that certain parts of the city are growing while others are in decline.

The Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development department in April broke down the city’s population and housing, neighborhood-by-neighborhood and within political boundaries.

The Census results show foreclosures and declining population in North Minneapolis; rapid housing development Downtown; and fairly stable neighborhoods in Southwest, Northeast and South Minneapolis.


The largest inter-city population shift occurred Downtown and near the University of Minnesota.

For example, 2,776 more people live in the North Loop neighborhood in 2010 than in 2000. Similarly, the Downtown West and Downtown East neighborhoods each added about 1,200 residents.

“As the numbers demonstrate, Downtown is a very hot real estate market,” said Thomas Streitz, CPED’s director of housing policy and development.

Over the past 10 years, 4,700 housing units were added in the North Loop, Loring Park, Downtown West, Downtown East and Elliot Park neighborhoods.

Many of those units, however, were vacant when the census was taken in the summer of 2010. The census numbers show a 25 percent vacancy rate in Downtown East and a 15 percent vacancy rate in Downtown West. 

Streitz said Downtown housing boomed in the mid-2000s, followed by the 2008 housing crash. Many investors had purchased multiple condo units and couldn’t find buyers.

“What I see is the vacancy rate being the slack in inventory left over from the condo building boom and the speculative investment, and that’s now being absorbed by the market,” Streitz said.


How do Lynnhurst, Linden Hills and Fulton gain a couple hundred residents while Kingfield and East Harriet lose a few hundred?

Streitz said one factor is that Kingfield and East Harriet did not have a community school during the past decade, leading some families to move to Linden Hills, Fulton and Lynnhurst.

Whittier also experienced a big decline, as 1,600 fewer residents live in the neighborhood now compared to 10 years ago. However, the neighborhood gained housing units over the decade. Streitz said that can be attributed to more young people and students moving in, which increase housing units but decreases the number of people living in the units. 

North Minneapolis

Streitz said North Minneapolis has been plagued by fraudulent appraisals, outside investors, house flipping and, eventually, foreclosures.

Almost every North Minneapolis neighborhood had vacancy rates topping 10 percent. Neighborhoods like Hawthorne and Jordan have each suffered population declines of 1,800.


Be it retired baby boomers moving into Downtown condos, young professionals renting in Uptown or artists planting roots in Northeast, Streitz said Minneapolis is in a position to grow during the next decade.

Minneapolis population has been largely stagnant since 1980. It peaked in 1950 at 521,718. Today it’s 382,578.

Streitz said development could be driven by the Central Coordior and Southwest light rail additions.

“I think Minneapolis is really positioned to grow,” he said, “and will continue to grow in the future.”

Population change by neighborhood