Messages from the Council Chair

The changing face of our region

May 2012

If you’ve recently visited one of the region’s elementary schools, you’ve seen our future in more ways than one. In 2010, people of color comprised 24% of the regional population.

Council Chair Susan Haigh
By 2040, projections suggest that 43% of the residents in the region will be people of color. Our region will look more like the diversity visible in almost any second grade classroom.

The rapid increase in diversity is a very positive sign for our region. Substantial economic opportunity exists here and that means this region will continue to be a place where immigrants want to put down roots.

The Council included these predictions in our recently released preliminary 2040 forecast.  This forecast is one of the first steps in our work to draft the region’s 2040 Metropolitan Development Guide. It ensures we’re making adequate plans to accommodate growth in populations, housing and jobs.

We’ve named the 2040 guide “Thrive MSP 2040” with good reason.

Our forecast finds that migration for economic reasons will be a strong factor in our expected population growth. We project this will occur because the Twin Cities region currently boasts and will maintain more than its proportional share of the national economy.

The Council is eager to engage communities in developing the guide because as the name suggests, the document enhances the ability of our region to thrive as we plan for population shifts and economic growth.

Community level preliminary forecasts will be available in 2013. But residents and communities interested in starting to think about and prepare for the changes we project for the region can look at the full results of our preliminary regional forecast now.

Susan Haigh

May 2012