How the MN Demographic Center Uses US Census Data

May 20, 2014 - 4 minutes read

Since January 2013, the Minnesota State Demographic Center has provided state government leaders with U.S. Census Bureau data on more than 700 occasions. An additional 600+ data requests and presentations were delivered to Minnesota’s academics, media, nonprofits, and business community.

U.S. Census Bureau data have been used by the MN Demographic Center office in support of state agencies to:

  • Estimate the migration of young Minnesotans to help the Office of Higher Education understand the implications of setting up college savings accounts for young children.
  • Estimate the youth Somali population to assist the Department of Health in understanding the prevalence of autism in that community.  On other occasions, to prepare language data for the Department of Health and Department of Human Services to inform translation efforts and identify where additional immigrant supports may be needed.
  • Create estimates of the population that is income-eligible for the Supplement Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, Food Support) among immigrant and cultural groups for the Department of Human Services and the interagency Nutritious Food Coalition.
  • Produce estimates of the voting-age population by city for the Secretary of State’s office.
  • Provide a race and ethnicity data to the state courts, to ensure racial proportionality in jury pool selection.
  • Detail differing local community conditions (poverty, age structure, labor force participation, etc.) to help equitably distribute resources, such as the Small Cities Development Grant program and Public Facilities Authority infrastructure funds, both administered the Department of Employment and Economic Development.
  • Help Minnesota Management and Budget evaluate how well the racial composition of the state workforce reflects the racial composition of Minnesota’s workforce overall, for use in the annual State Workforce Report and talent acquisition efforts.
  • Assist the Department of Administration’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Minnesota STAR Program in obtaining information about Minnesotans with disabilities. Also to prepare maps and data for use in the state’s Olmstead Plan, a comprehensive plan supporting freedom of choice and opportunity for people with disabilities. These data were also shared with MN.IT’s Chief Information Accessibility Officer, to help him understand the prevalence and type of disabilities in the state, to help him improve accessible services to the public.
  • Track demographic changes that inform the Department of Human Right’s construction goal setting activities regarding participation of women and minorities on public projects.
  • Prepare estimates of individuals who walk and bike to work, as well as communities with high concentrations of older adults and individuals with no cars, to inform the first-ever statewide pedestrian plan currently being created by the Department of Transportation.
  • Prepare maps of Minnesota’s veteran population to assist the Department of Veteran Affairs to evaluate proposed VA home sites.
  • Compile demographic, family composition, and household income characteristics of Minnesota’s children for the Interagency Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, to inform users of their website and guide their broader work.
  • Estimate the current population in state legislative districts within the Iron Range Resources & Rehabilitation Board service area to assist the Board in understanding their constituents.
  • Summarize trends in state-to-state migration, population growth and decline, and diversity for the Governor’s Office.