Annual Population Estimates

Informing decisions about local resource needs

2021 population estimates now available

Each year, the Metropolitan Council releases its population and household estimates for use in various state aid programs. Estimates are for April 1 of the previous year (for example, estimates for April 1, 2021 were developed in 2022). The final set of estimates for the region as of April 1, 2021 were certified on July 15, 2022.

The 2021 estimates use the 2020 Census as a baseline. Results from the 2020 Census can be found on our Census webpage.

Please note: Each year, we update our data and refine our methods. We do not recommend taking the difference between annual population estimates datasets to calculate growth over a specific time period. Instead, we recommend examining growth since the 2020 Census.

How we calculated 2021 Population Estimates

The full methodology report is available below under 'Methods'.

The 2021 population estimates methodology as an image. The method document is available below under 'How we calculate Estimates'Small area estimates

We also calculate estimates for small areas like census tracts, block groups, and Transportation Analysis Zones (TAZs), which provide more geographically precise and timely estimates than is available from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey. Small area estimates for 2021 will be available in summer 2022.

The Council's 2021 population estimates were certified on July 15, 2022; download estimates below:

We update and refine our methods annually: 

Group Quarter Facilities

The population in group quarters facilities (nursing homes, college dormitories, and other group housing arrangements) is an important input into the Metropolitan Council's population estimates. We maintain a list of these facilities so that we can survey them each year for the most current population figures. For the 2021 estimates, we refreshed this list and the associated population figures to align with 2020 Census results (this process is described in detail in Appendix B of the full methdology report). Because of the uncertainty involved in this process, we welcome feedback on this list so that we can ensure we are covering the entire population. Please contact us at research[at]metc.state.mn.us with comments.