Published January 1, 2003 | January 2003 issue
According to an October report by state officials, Minnesota's population will grow to nearly 5.5 million in 2010 from 5 million in 2002, and to more than 6.2 million by 2030. Projections are based on the continuing trend of the past decade when more people moved into the state than left it. The lion's share of the growth is predicted through the corridor that runs from Rochester in the south through St. Cloud northwest of the Twin Cities.
The four-county central region, which includes Stearns, home to St. Cloud; Wright and Sherburne, already part of the Twin Cities MSA; and Benton, is expected to grow 50 percent by 2030. That is second only to the 51 percent increase expected in east metro counties. Sherburne County alone is anticipated to grow 89 percent by 2030.
While most of the growth will take place in the metro corridor, many rural areas, especially those with lakes and forests, can anticipate some growth as well. On the other hand, 21 counties, mostly in western Minnesota, are expected to lose population.