Census results reveal Minnesota with stable population ranking over many decades

The U.S. Census Bureau’s newly-released population data finds Minnesota remaining the 21st most populous state in the nation — the same ranking it received after the 2000 Census.

While Minnesota closed its deficit behind #20 Wisconsin by 61,135 residents between 2000 (-444,196) and 2010 (-383,061), the Gopher State looks like it will be passed in 2020 by Colorado.

The Rocky Mountain State is currently ranked #22 in the nation with a population of 5,029,196 and is now -274,729 residents behind Minnesota — much closer than its -618,218 population deficit 10 years ago.

Over the past 100 years, Minnesota’s relative population rank has remained fairly stable, ranking as high as #17 in the nation (after the 1920 Census) to its current low mark of #21 (also achieved in 1980 and 2000).

During this 100-year span, Minnesota passed Iowa in population in 1930 and Kentucky in 1950.

Minnesota emerged from the 1910 Census ahead of Louisiana and remained so until the 1980 Census when the Pelican State climbed ahead. Minnesota then passed Louisiana for good in 1990.

Minnesota’s population was less than Tennessee’s in 1910, passed the Volunteer State in 1920, and then fell behind for good in 1930.

But the state with which Minnesota has done the most jostling for position is Alabama.

Minnesota was ranked behind the Yellowhammer State after the 1910 Census, only to pass it up in 1920.

Alabama then returned the favor in 1930 and it would take another 30 years before the Gopher State climbed ahead of Alabama for keeps in 1960.

Minnesota has also been eclipsed in population over the last 100 years by five other states: Virginia (in 1950), Florida (in 1960), Maryland (in 1970), Washington (in 1980), and Arizona (in 2000).

Colorado appears to be the only state that will pass Minnesota over the next 10 years, and it is unlikely Minnesota will catch any other state at that time.

Minnesota’s rank for its number of U.S. House seats has also remained fairly stable during the past 100 years, from a high of tied for 15th in the nation with the 1930 Census to a low of tied for 19th after the 1990 Census.

Minnesota’s eight U.S. House seats is currently tied for 18th most in the nation.

Minnesota population and U.S. House seat rank by census period

Census

Pop. Rank

Passed

Passed by

Seats rank

1910

19

 

 

16 (t)

1920

17

AL, TN

 

16 (t)*

1930

18

IA

AL, TN

15 (t)

1940

18

 

 

16 (t)

1950

18

KY

VA

16 (t)

1960

18

AL

FL

17 (t)

1970

19

 

MD

17 (t)

1980

21

 

LA, WA

18 (t)

1990

20

LA

 

19 (t)

2000

21

 

AZ

18 (t)

2010

21

 

 

18 (t)

*No change was made after the 14th Census (1920), as Congress could not agree on a method for apportionment. Source: Smart Politics, U.S. Census Bureau

This article appeared on Smart Politics, the blog of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs. Smart Politics provides non-partisan analysis of public policy and statewide and district elections for Upper Midwestern and national politics.

No comments yet

Leave a Reply