U.S. Census Data and Census 2020

A critical data source for understanding the Twin Cities region and beyond

Sharing a common, accurate base of information leads to better decision-making and planning among the region's government jurisdictions, businesses, and nonprofit organizations. To increase access and use of the U.S. Census Bureau's data, we serve as a Census State Data Center partner. We provide census data for the Twin Cities region, assist data users, and share feedback with the Census Bureau about their products. 

2020 Census data now available

The Census Bureau released new data from the 2020 Census on August 12, 2021. We have summarized the numbers and provided them in different formats:
  • Summary File: 2020 Census Initial Results for Local Jurisdictions (August 2021) (Excel) (PDF)
  • Find charts by jurisdiction in our Community Profiles
  • OurDownload Data interfaceprovides time-series data for the seven-county region and Twin Cities geographies like jurisdictions, Thrive MSP 2040 Community Designations, and transit station areas. A range of U.S. Census Bureau data—including 2020 Census data—are available to download as comma-separated values files (.csv) under "Demographic, economic, and commuting characteristics.
  • Access tabular summaries well-suited for GIS analysis at the Minnesota Geospatial Commons
  • Read our initial analysis of 2020 census data in the Council newsletter article, "Twin Cities population is growing and diversifying"

Please note that we have corrected some of the numbers as published by the Census Bureau in order to address errors in Census geography files. For more information, see our How We Edited Initial 2020 Census Data excel workbook.
Emails and letters have been sent to local governments transmitting these numbers, which will become the official estimates used to allocate some forms of state funding. This document contains those reports for all jurisdictions in the Twin Cities region. 

Explore 2020 Census with these interactives


Council’s support for Census 2020

The Council engaged with the Census Bureau to improve the spatial geographic data for the seven-county Twin Cities region. The Council also has helped to validate and redraw statistical boundaries, such as census tracts (not to be confused with political district boundaries, which are revised through other processes).

For Census 2020, the Council:

  • Provided counties and cities with its latest regionwide parcels and address data to help validate and update the Census Bureau’s address list.

  • Reviewed and updated the boundaries of census tracts and block groups for the seven-county metro area that the U.S. Census Bureau will use from 2020 to 2029.

  • Co-convened quarterly meetings of the Metro Local Governments Roundtable on 2020 Census. Local government staff exchanged ideas about promoting the 2020 Census, sharing best practices and experience.

  • Provide ongoing communications support about new data releases

Read a Council newsletter, "Census Instructions Land in a Mailbox Near You" (March 2020) about how to respond and be counted in Census 2020. In October 2018, research staff and the Minnesota State Demographic Center briefed Metropolitan Council Members on our ongoing partnership with Census Bureau and an overview of local Census 2020 activities (see the slide deck.)


2020 Census Tract Boundaries


The 2020 geographies for census tracts and tribal geographies are now available to view and download from U.S. Census Bureau's TIGER web application.

In 2019, the Council led the review and update of the boundaries of census tracts and block groups for the seven-county Twin Cities region that the U.S. Census Bureau will use from 2020 to 2029.

Spatial files of the 2020 geographic boundaries are available to download at the MN Geospatial Commons.

Census data available in Community Profiles

The Council's Community Profiles Tool provides current trend data for the seven-county region and Twin Cities geographies like jurisdictions, Thrive MSP 2040 Community Designations, and transit station areas. Explore census-based population characteristics, housing, commuting, and income and poverty data in downloadable charts and graphs.  

Our Download Data interface provides time-series data for the seven-county region and Twin Cities geographies like jurisdictions, Thrive MSP 2040 Community Designations, and transit station areas. A range of U.S. Census Bureau data are available to download as comma-separated values files (.csv) under "Demographic, economic, and commuting characteristics."


Minnesota Geospatial Commons

The Minnesota Geospatial Commons is a collaborative place for users and publishers of geospatial resources about Minnesota. The term “geospatial resources” refers to the wide variety of data sources associated with particular geographic locations. The Council provides summaries of Census Bureau data on this website.


Minnesota Compass at Wilder ResearchMinnesota-Compass.png

Minnesota Compass is a social indicators project that measures progress in our state and its communities. Led by Wilder Research, Minnesota Compass provides nonpartisan, credible information and tracks trends in topic areas such as education, economy, workforce, health, housing, and a host of others.

Geographic Profiles are available for the state as a whole, the 7 regions of the state, Minnesota's 87 counties, and all cities with populations of 1,000+. Each profile contains demographic information and data across Compass topic areas, drawn from U.S. Census datasets, among others.


Minnesota State Demographic Center

MN State Demographic Center.png
The Minnesota State Demographic Center (SDC), part of the Minnesota Department of Administration, is the main provider of demographic data and analysis for the state of Minnesota. The SDC assists policymakers, state agencies and local governments, businesses, nonprofits, the media, and all Minnesotans locate and understand the demographic data they need to make smart decisions.

IPUMS National Historical Geographic Information System at the Minnesota Population Center, University of Minnesota

NHGIS.pngThe National Historical Geographic Information System (NHGIS) provides easy access to summary tables and time series of population, housing, and economic data, along with GIS-compatible boundary files, for years from 1790 through the present and for all levels of U.S. census geography, including states, counties, tracts, and blocks. 

Decennial Census

Every ten years, the decennial census counts every person in the United States. The 2020 Census asked about homeownership, sex, age, race/ethnicity, and the family (or nonfamily) relationships between people living together. Because this dataset is a complete count of all residents in the United States, it is considered the "gold standard" of demographic data. Updates and announcements from the Census Bureau are available at https://2020census.gov/.

American Community Survey (ACS)

The American Community Survey samples almost 3% of the nation's housing units each year. It gathers data about people (like education and income) and housing units (like housing type and costs). 
  • Five-year estimates are typically released each December. For example, ACS data for the 2014-2018 period were released in December 2019. Five-year data are available for all geographic areas, including all cities, townships, and census tracts.
  • One-year estimates are typically released each September. For example, ACS data for 2018 were released in September 2019. One-year data are limited to geographic areas with at least 65,000 people. This includes each of the seven counties in the Twin Cities region, along with the cities of Bloomington, Brooklyn Park, Eagan, Maple Grove, Minneapolis, Plymouth, Saint Paul, and Woodbury. Data collection in 2020 was disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Census Bureau will not be releasing ACS estimates for 2020 during the fall of 2021. They will, however, provide “experimental estimates.”