Long-Range Forecasts

How the region's population, households, and jobs will change by 2050

Metropolitan Council develops forecasts of when, where and how much population, household, and job growth the region and its jurisdictions can expect. The 30-year regional forecast is updated every two years.

Regional forecast

The regional forecast looks at the seven-county region’s position within the larger national economy. Our 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.
Note: The 2021 update to the regional forecast does not include households, only population and jobs. A forecast of households will be published in April 2023.

Local forecasts

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

Modeling only takes our forecasts so far, however. We work with local governments and planners to incorporate their on-the-ground knowledge about local development to adjust our results.

Forecast methodology

The regional and local forecasts prepared by the Metropolitan Council express future expectations based on an understanding of regional dynamics, and modeling of real estate market dynamics, land policies, and plans. Consistent with Minnesota Statutes 473.146 and 473.859, the Council’s forecasts provide a shared foundation for coordinated, comprehensive planning by the Council and local governments.

A regional forecast and local forecasts were included in the Thrive MSP 2040 regional plan, adopted by Metropolitan Council on May 28, 2014. These forecasts were subsequently updated and improved:

  • Biennial updates to the regional model, in 2015, 2017, and 2019, included updates of national population, economic and employment forecasts; updates of all time-series with observed data for recent years; and model vendor’s programming improvements and recalibration.
  • The 2015 update to local forecasts included use of updated and more detailed planning data; use of more locally detailed land supply analysis; revision of land consumption rates; input of more detailed data on residential building costs and real estate prices (rents); updated transportation network definition and accessibility data.

Read the full report, "Metropolitan Council's Forecasts Methodology" (PDF)