Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Minneapolis Is Dying

By most accounts, the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro is a success story. The 2010 US Census numbers support this perspective. That is, until you apply a finer-grained analysis:

Virtually all growth was on the suburban edge, while the central cities and most inner suburbs lost both population and relative wealth. Not only did the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul fail to gain population, they are now fully 30 percent poorer than the metro region as a whole.

The Twin Cities are rotten at the core, mimicking hollowed-out Detroit. I tend to react to the despair as hyperbole. But Steve Berg, the journalist who wrote the piece, offers a troubling urban comparison:

Denver, Seattle and Portland offer a startling contrast. They are metro areas that MSP admires and regards as peers. Like MSP, all three are growing and thriving. But unlike MSP, their core cities are also thriving, adding big chunks of population. Each of the three peer metros grew by about 15 percent over the past decade. The cities of Denver and Seattle each grew by about 8 percent, each adding about 45,000 residents. Portland grew by about 10 percent, adding 55,000 residents.

Read the entire article. It is well written and reasoned. Like many others, I've looked at MSP through a lens of grass is greener. Time for me to rethink my geographic stereotype.

2 comments:

Rick Byerly said...

the sprawl there is pretty significant, unfortunately, especially up to 45 minutes west of minneapolis.

Anonymous said...

No one likes to be manipulated by a "nanny" government. The Met Council, and MN Dot have both tried to manipulate urban population growth through narrow freeways (i.e., bottlenecks) to outer ring suburbs. People are not stupid....and they turn into rebels. They will do commute time rather than be told where and how to live!