A Metropolitan Council analysis of three years of U.S. Census Bureau data from 2005 to 2007 provides some revealing and surprising details about 41 Twin Cities communities. Edina isn't as rich as you think. Eden Prairie isn't swamped with seniors despite being ranked by a national magazine as a prime place to retire. And if you hear Spanish or Somali being spoken by someone in a bank or grocery in Richfield, they're very likely to be a resident of that city. The following snippets are from the report, which can be viewed on the Web at www.metrocouncil.org/Census/ACS/Overview.pdf. Not all that old ...

Edina does skew old, with almost 21 percent of its residents age 65 and older. Among all 41 Twin Cities communities, only Roseville has a higher share of senior citizens.

But with almost one-quarter of its residents under age 18, Edina also has a higher proportion of young people than Minneapolis and 13 of the 19 suburbs that are classified as fully developed, including Bloomington, Burnsville and Minnetonka.

In Eden Prairie, which U.S. News & World Report last fall ranked the third-best place in the nation to retire, just 6.5 percent of residents are 65 and older.

And not as wealthy, either

The stereotype of Edina as rich flies out the window compared with other cities in the report -- at least when looking at annual incomes.

Edina residents' median household income of $76,805 ranks fifth among fully developed suburbs, behind Champlin, Minnetonka, Golden Valley and Shoreview. But income trends higher in younger suburbs like Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Savage and Woodbury, all of which had median household incomes that topped $92,000, dwarfing that in the older cities.

Met Council analyst Libby Starling said that may be because the newer cities have more young families with two wage earners in good jobs. Of course, these numbers don't reflect accumulated wealth.

Hey, neighbor

If you've known your neighbors for a long time, you most likely live in Shoreview, Crystal, Andover, Ramsey, Roseville or Edina, where less than 43 percent of residents moved in after 2000. Cities with the highest proportions of new residents include Shakopee, with 70 percent of newer residents, and Woodbury, with 60 percent.

Among fully developed suburbs, higher shares of new residents were found in St. Louis Park (54 percent), Burnsville (58 percent) and New Hope (52 percent).

¿Habla Español?

Richfield is remarkably diverse, with more than 22 percent of residents speaking a language other than English at home. Only St. Paul, Brooklyn Center and Brooklyn Park have a higher share of residents whose primary language is something other than English. Linguistically speaking, the least diverse cities are Hastings and Prior Lake.

Housing stress

While residents of Minneapolis and St. Paul were most likely to report that paying for housing was a "severe burden" -- almost 20 percent of residents in both cities reported that they spend at least half of their income on housing -- more than 16 percent of residents in Richfield, Brooklyn Center and Burnsville said the same thing.

Perhaps not coincidentally, housing costs were a relatively low source of concern in communities where people have large incomes, including Eden Prairie, Lakeville and Woodbury.

At least it's a tax deduction

In all but three still-developing suburbs (Chaska, Hastings and Inver Grove Heights), more than 80 percent of homeowners still are paying off their mortgages.

Who owns their house outright -- or at least doesn't have a mortgage? Almost 40 percent of Roseville residents lead the way, followed by homeowners in Fridley, Edina, New Brighton, Richfield and Bloomington.

With almost 43 percent of households comprised of just one person, Minneapolis has more people living alone than any other city in the report. In St. Louis Park, Roseville, St. Paul and Richfield -- some with populations that tilt young, others skewing old -- at least 37 percent of households have just one person.

For "Leave It to Beaver" neighborhoods with married couples who have kids, try Andover, Chanhassen, Lakeville and Savage, where more than 40 percent of households have that traditional family structure.

SINGLES POPULATION

HOUSEHOLD INCOME

GROWING DIVERSITY

HOW OLD?

WHERE WE LIVE