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Is Minnesota Becoming More Diverse?

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) -- In a state known for a giant lumberjack and the first Somali-American congresswoman, it might be surprising that 80 percent of Minnesotans are white -- compared to 60 percent of all Americans.

Put another way, people of color now make up 20 percent of Minnesotans. That's a big change from 6 percent in 1990, and 2 percent in 1960.

"When you look at the entire state as a whole, it does look like we're becoming more diverse," says Janna Johnson, a demographer and economist at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. "But, the growth of nonwhite populations is concentrated in the metro area of Minneapolis and St. Paul."

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 44 percent of people who live in Minneapolis and St. Paul are people of color. In the rest of the state, it's 16-percent.

According to the Minnesota state demographer, the fastest growing group in Minnesota is Asians. That population is now 5 percent of Minnesotans. Black people make up 6 percent, Latinos make up 5 percent and Native Americans make up 1 percent.

The state office also says Minnesota's diversity is growing at the same rate as the rest of the country. Between 2010 and 2015, Minnesota added four times as many people of color as non-Hispanic, white people.

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