Demographics 2016-2017

Minnesota’s (MN) population is gradually increasing. From 2016 to 2050, MN’s population is projected to increase by 15%, from 5.53 million to 6.36 million. Currently, female population growth is slightly slower than male population growth. It’s expected that the female growth rate is projected to remain lower than male’s population past 2020.

In 2017, the total female population represented 50.26% (2,804,325) of the state’s population. The number of females ages 15-44 was 1,066,806, about 38% of all MN women, representing a 1.2% change from 2016 to 2017 (source). Women over 80 accounted for 60% of the population in rural MN, 62% in small town MN, 64% in large town MN and 63% in urban MN (source; Greater Minnesota: Refined & Revisited report, p. 22).

An “urban area” is defined as a Census tract that has 50,000 residents or more. “Large towns” must have between 10,000 and 49,999 residents, and “small towns” are made of between 2,500 and 9,999 residents. A Census tract that has a primary commuting flow outside of urban areas and urban clusters is classified as “rural.”  

Rural health demographics (source)

About 73% of Minnesota’s population, numbering more than 3.9 million people, live in an urban geography. Eleven percent, or nearly 609,000 people, live in or nearby large towns with 10,000-49,999 residents. Another 7%, or nearly 390,000 people, live in or nearby small towns with 2,500-9,999 residents, while 8% of Minnesota’s population, representing more than 434,000 people, live in more remote rural areas. Further details can be found in the Greater Minnesota: Refined & Revisited report.

Average life expectancy at birth (and national average age)

The average life expectancy at birth of all Minnesotans is 80.8 years (reported in 2018), one of the highest in the nation (source).




Sexual orientation and gender identity information are not included in this report since data could not be uncovered for our targeted age group, which is adult women ages 18 and older. Finding and accessing these data will be important to include in future report cards.   

See “About the Data Sources” for more details on how data were collected.