Population in the seven-county metro area grew 0.8 percent from 2010 to 2011, to 2.87 million, according to the Metropolitan Council.
The metro area’s population increased from 2,849,567 to 2,873,444 in that time period.
The council’s annual population estimates, released this week, show the two central cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul, accounted for 28 percent of the region’s population growth, while developing suburbs accounted for 39 percent and fully-developed suburbs for 29 percent.
Minneapolis, with 5,295, led population growth, followed by St. Paul (1,299), Woodbury (1,182) and Blaine (1,145).
Anoka County’s population jumped 3,209 from the 2010 U.S. Census figure of 330,844 to the Metropolitan Council 2011 estimate of 334,053.
All communities in Anoka County showed growth in the 2010 to 2011 time frame, except Bethel, whose population stayed the same at 466.
• Andover from 30,598 to 30,847.
• Anoka from 17,142 to 17,331.
• Blaine from 57,186 to 58,331.
• Centerville from 3,792 to 3,804.
• Circle Pines from 4,918 to 4,922.
• Columbia Heights from 19,496 to 19,619.
• Columbus from 3,914 to 3,919.
• Coon Rapids from 61,476 to 61,766.
• East Bethel from 11,626 to 11,783.
• Fridley from 27,208 to 27,515.
• Ham Lake from 15,296 to 15,374.
• Hilltop from 744 to 781.
• Lexington from 2,049 to 2,078.
• Lino Lakes from 20,216 to 20,505.
• Linwood Township from 5,123 to 5,124.
• Nowthen from 4,443 to 4,469.
• Oak Grove from 8,031 to 8,045.
• Ramsey from 23,668 to 23,865.
• Spring Lake Park from 6,234 to 6,254.
• St. Francis from 7,218 to 7,255.
According to the Metropolitan Council estimates, the number of households grew in Anoka County from 2010 to 2011 from 121,127 to 122,151, a 924 jump.
Blaine had the largest household increase, 309, followed by Lino Lakes with 101 additional households.
Natural growth accounted for 88 percent of the population growth; 12 percent came from immigration, according to Council Demographer Todd Graham, who attributes much of the population growth in Minneapolis to newly built, multi-family housing.
Both Minneapolis and St. Paul, he said, experienced an increase in occupancy rates in multi-family apartments.
“Housing vacancy surveys show greater interest in rental housing,” said Graham.
“What we don’t know is whether that’s what people really want. It is possible households are choosing rental apartments because of limited financial resources.”
The estimates reflect only the one year following Census 2010, Graham said. “We need to be cautious about inferring trends from one year,” he said.
Metropolitan Council Chairperson Susan Haigh is pleased to see growth occurring primarily where there’s infrastructure to support it, she said.
“Growth that occurs where infrastructure already exists creates economies of scale and promotes efficiency, which improves the region’s ability to focus energy and resources on economic development,” Haigh said.
“It’s a good sign to see continued modest growth as we make our way out of one of the most difficult economic times in our nation’s history.
“Now, more than ever, council policies of guiding growth primarily to those areas where infrastructure investments have and are being made will help the region thrive and compete globally, in spite of drastically different and changing national and world economic circumstances.”
The Metropolitan Council is the regional planning organization in the seven-county Twin Cities metropolitan area.