Long-Range Forecasts

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

As directed by state law, the Met Council develops forecasts of when, where, and how much population, household, and job growth the seven-county region and local jurisdictions can expect over a 30-year horizon. These long-range forecasts provide a shared foundation for coordinated comprehensive planning. 

The forecasts describe likely and reasoned expectations of regional growth based on an understanding and modeling of regional dynamics. Regional total results were published in April 2023 (see below). Met Council's local forecasting involves the geographic allocation of regional employment and households totals to specific places.The regional forecast is updated every two years; the major update of local forecasts occurs every ten years.

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Imagine 2050 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. 

Regional Forecast (2023)

  2010  2020  2030  2040  2050 
Population 2,850,00 3,163,000 3,364,000 3,555,000 3,820,000
Employment 1,541,000 1,581,000 1,802,000 1,895,000 2,074,000

Imagine 2050 Local Forecasts

The Met Council forecasting team uses UrbanSim, a real estate market simulation model, to develop the local forecasts. The main determinants of local forecasts are location characteristics and amenities, activity patterns, and accessibility.

In most of the region, this preliminary version is a “clean slate” look at the pattern of likely development without new policies and without new regulations. Thus, our preliminary 2050 local forecasts do not yet reflect:
  • known developments that are proposed
  • any (recent) update of transportation model results
  • water supply analysis
  • any new regional policies
Those features, any new regional policies, and associated limits or implications for spatial planning are the homework assignment for the next version. We will release the second version of the forecasts in summer 2024.

Thrive MSP 2040 Local Forecasts

Until the 2050 local forecasts are adopted in 2025—in conjuction with Imagine 2050, the next regional development guide—the official, most current local forecasts are available below: