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Minneapolis and St. Paul grew faster than the suburbs last year

These skylines attracted more residents than the suburbs did last year.
These skylines attracted more residents than the suburbs did last year.

A new study finds that the Twin Cities is among a minority of major American metros where the urban core grew faster than the suburbs between 2012 and 2013.

The metro as a whole grew by 1.1 percent during that time frame. But most of the growth occurred in Minneapolis and St. Paul, where the growth rate was 1.6 percent, compared to an even 1 percent for the suburbs, according to the study, which is published on CityLab but makes use of information gathered by Brookings Institution demographer William Frey. (Read it here.)

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Only 19 of America's 51 largest metros (those with more than a million residents) experienced that demographic trend, but for the country as a whole, core cities grew slightly faster than suburbs (1.02 percent growth compared to .96 percent, respectively).

The numbers "appear to support the notion of a great inversion from the previous era of mass suburbanization," Richard Florida writes for CityLab. "Between 2010 and 2013, primary city populations have grown faster than their suburbs... [though] this gap appears to have narrowed by 2012-2103."

Other metros where the city grew faster than the suburbs last year include New Orleans, D.C., Denver, Seattle, and Columbus, among others.

Kate Brickman, spokesperson for Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, says the findings are good news in light of Hodges's desire to increase the population of Minneapolis up to 500,000. (Minneapolis's population is estimated to have recently surpassed 400,000 for the first time in more than four decades.)

"To realize that goal of half a million people, Mayor Hodges believes we need to do everything we can to foster growth, rather than thwart it," Brickman wrote in an email. "To that end, Mayor Hodges asked our city attorney to review all city regulations that govern business in the city -- she hopes the project will streamline our regulations while still making sure the public interest is protected."

Brickman went on to cite the Green Line as the sort of project that spurs the "sustainable development" the mayor has in mind, and added, "To grow, we must have inclusive growth, where all people contribute to -- and share in -- growth and prosperity."

Tonya Tennessen, spokesperson for St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman, struck a similar note when we asked how her boss thinks about the importance of growth.

"St. Paul's population has increased by 6,000 people in the past year, according to recent estimates from the Metropolitan Council," Tennessen wrote in an email. "This is excellent news and proof that there is a very real momentum at work in the Twin Cities."

"Here in St. Paul, we are committed to creating the most livable city in America and believe that growth doesn't happen accidentally," she continued. "The mayor is focused like a laser on economic growth, ensuring investments in a multi-modal transit system, new housing developments including both affordable and market-rate options, a focus on ensuring a vibrant downtown and strong neighborhoods across the city, top-notch parks, and a diverse set of entertainment and cultural venues."

-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at arupar@citypages.com.


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