Minnesotans better get ready for company. About one million new residents are projected to land over the next 25 years.
Minnesota State Demographer Susan Brower's job is to look into the future.
"The demographic shift won't be so much about numeric growth," she says. "What will really be a shift between now and 2030 and a bit later is our composition, who we are going forward and what that will mean."
New Minnesotans will likely continue to be plucked from Iowa and surrounding states. Meanwhile, the state's tossed salad of cultural groups will grow from places you might not think of.
Take Minnesota's Asian-Indian population. It's 43,000 strong after a recent 15-year surge of immigrants, says Brower, "They're coming to fill jobs that employers can't fill otherwise from the people who are already here."
As for the age 65 and older group, which represents about 13 percent of the population now, it'll comprise close to 25 percent of the citizenry come 2040.
Where everyone will live remains guesswork. Today, Twin Cities real estate is a seller's market. If the aged are looking to downsize and want to make a lateral geographic move say, to a townhouse or condo, will the housing be there?
Moreover, the boom in luxury housing — apartment buildings with pools, gyms, and other amenities — rocks on in areas throughout the metro area. But left in the dust has been production in the townhouse and condo market, particularly units the elderly can afford.
"In a few of the surveys I've seen," says Brower, "older adults, first and foremost, want to stay in their community, and don't want move from a suburb to the inner city or from a small town to a city. They have roots and want to stay close to them."
Whether or not they'll be able to pay for their preference, Brower says, looms large as a challenge that could swell into a serious problem.
Uncertainty cloaks the younger crowd as well.
"The concentrated growth in the center cities has probably been played out," Brower says. "The big cohort of young people ages 25 to 29 have already moved into these areas. A big question is will they stay there as they transition into parenthood and home ownership."
The suburbs in recent years have lost their shine. Will they stay tarnished? They might if the young and old alike can afford to live toward the city centers where the dollars keep getting bigger and the throng thicker.