By the Numbers: 2020 Census Insights

After a series of political battles over the content of questions and the tumult of trying to conduct outreach at the height of a pandemic, the U.S. Census is finally nearing its culmination. It has released population estimates for cities and counties, and additional data is not far behind. Here are a few highlights so far:

  • Minnesota narrowly preserved its eighth congressional district, though the district will have to add population.
  • The eight-county Northland Connection region effectively saw its population stay flat.
  • The Duluth Metropolitan Statistical Area (counties of St. Louis, Douglas, Carlton, and Lake) added about 1,000 residents.
  • Most Northland growth was concentrated in communities surrounding Duluth, including Hermantown, Cloquet, Carlton, and Rice Lake.
  • Cook County saw its population spike by 8%, primarily outside of Grand Marais.
  • While Itasca County’s population overall was relatively flat, there was growth in Grand Rapids and in neighboring communities such as Cohasset and Coleraine.
  • Duluth saw population growth in several neighborhoods, including Duluth Heights, Downtown, Observation Hill, Morgan Park, Congdon Park, and Lakeside/Lester Park. Neighborhoods around its college campuses saw significant declines, which suggests that the Census’s timing amid a pandemic, when many students were not on or around their campuses, may have led to an artificial undercount of the population in these areas.

Northspan will release additional insights as more data becomes available! In the meantime, feel free to reach out to Northspan Research Director & Senior Consultant Karl Schuettler for more information at