Blaine was the fastest growing Twin Cities suburb from 2010 to 2012, and it is closing in on Coon Rapids for the title of largest city in Anoka County.
The Metropolitan Council July 11 released population growth trends that shows Blaine gained 3,013 residents during this time. Blaine has 60,199 people living in its borders.
Blaine only ranked in growth behind Minneapolis and St. Paul, which grew by 9,430 and 4,202 people, respectively. Bloomington (2,239) and Maple Grove (2,361) rounded out the top five fastest growing metropolitan cities.
Blaine still has fewer residents than Coon Rapids, but it is quickly gaining on what has historically been the most populated community in Anoka County. Coon Rapids gained 374 residents and has a population of 61,850.
East Bethel lost the most people from 2010 to 2012 of any Anoka County community. Its population decreased by 71 from 11,626 in 2010 to 11,555 in 2012.
The Anoka County communities that ranked in the top five behind Blaine for population increase between 2010 and 2012 were Andover (527), Lino Lakes (409), Fridley (383) and Coon Rapids (374).
Anoka County ranked behind Hennepin, Ramsey and Dakota counties in terms of population growth with 5,904 people moving in.
Overall, the seven-county metro area grew by more than 59,000. Over 2.9 million people call the Twin Cities home.
Metropolitan Council demographer Todd Graham attributes much of the population growth in Minneapolis to a building boom of apartment buildings.
St. Paul and other fully developed communities are benefiting from falling vacancy rates and shifting residential preferences, he said.
“We’re seeing a greater interest in both urban living and rental housing,” Graham said. “Some of this may be due to homebuyers’ cautiousness.
“But longer term, there is a real shift in residential preferences. Both baby boomers and newly independent millennials are placing greater value on central locations and urban amenities.”
Eric Hagen is at