Census, Forecasts & Estimates


Social, economic and housing statistics for data-driven decisions

Sharing a common, accurate base of information leads to better decision-making and planning among the region's many businesses, nonprofit organizations, communities and other government agencies. To increase access and use of US Census Bureau data, the Council is a Census State Data Center (SDC) affiliate. We provide census data for the region, offer assistance to data users and share feedback with the Census Bureau about their products.

We invite you to explore census data through our Community Profiles, or by downloading data. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, or would like further information about Census data products, contact us­—we’re happy to assist you. 


A shared foundation for coordinated, comprehensive planning

The Metropolitan Council develops forecasts of when, where and how much population, household and job growth the region and its communities can expect. The Council updates its 30-year regional and local forecasts at least once per decade.

Regional forecast

The regional forecast looks at the seven-county region’s position within the larger, national economy. The region's business conditions and competitive advantages determine economic and employment levels which, in turn, drive population growth by attracting people to the Twin Cities.

The Council’s research team uses a regional economic model to arrive at the forecasted population, household and employment figures.

Local forecasts

Once the regional forecast is complete, additional land use modeling locates future population, households and employment to specific communities within the region. The model forecasts by looking at how demographics, regional policies and available land affect real estate supply and demand.

Modeling only takes our forecasts so far: engaging with local governments and planners and incorporating their on-the-ground knowledge about local development helps the Council's forecasters adjust the results. 

The regional and local forecasts are available 
  • Download the local forecasts for cities and townships in excel [LINK] or as a PDF [LINK]
  • Download detailed tables of the regional demographic and economic forecast, July 2015 [EXCEL FILE]
  • Download the local forecasts for transportation analysis zones [LINK TO MN GEOSPATIAL COMMONS] 
  • Read our MetroStats reports on the regional forecast [LINK] or local forecasts [LINK]
  • Learn more about the technical details in our methodology report [LINK]


Informing decisions about the region's resource needs

The Metropolitan Council prepares local population and household estimates for all communities within the seven-county region. These estimates are the official population and household estimates for state government purposes, including how local government aid (LGA) and local street aid allocations are determined. The estimates rely on both Census data and local information gathered by the Council research team. Population and household estimates for the previous year are updated each July. 

The final 2015 population estimates and methodology are now available