Jeremy Olson writes about children and families, and is an overscheduled father of two. His blog tackles the best and worst of parenting, families, health and love. He wants to hear from you - what's going on in your house?

Census data show increasing financial pressure on Minnesota families

Posted by: Jeremy Olson Updated: September 22, 2011 - 11:05 AM

Minnesota media took different approaches in stories today regarding the new 2010 American Community Survey data, but the stories generally had the same underlying theme: while the recession technically ended in 2009, the financial pressure remains for many Minnesota families.

Today's Star Tribune points out that the Twin Cities metro area has the highest rate of working adults of any major metro area in the U.S., and yet it still showed signs of economic decline in 2010. The Pioneer Press focused on the growing number of Minnesota home owners spending more than half their income on their mortgages and related home expenses. MPR highlighted the 10 percent decline from 2009 to 2010 in median income for affluent, suburban Scott County.

State demographer Tom Gillaspy said the economic trends in the 2010 data are "a continuation of the trends put in place with the recession, and they are continuing. A more robust recovery will shift some of these trends, but we haven't seen that, yet."

The increasing household size in 2010 reflects more extended families moving in together to weather the financial storm, he added in an email. "Household size has been declining but it bumps up during recessions. This is a big one so the bump is bigger. This slows household formation and since households are what consume housing, it is not good for the housing market and construction. Household formation will begin to grow again (someday) but this will come with a more robust recovery."

Thursday's release of U.S. Census survey data also included an interesting focus of the 2009 data when it comes to commuting to work. In the Twin Cities, 1 percent of commuters biked to work two years ago. That rate jumped to 4 percent for Minneapolis residents. Nearly 5 percent of workers in the Twin Cities worked from home in 2009. The median commute time in the Twin Cities that year: 24.3 minutes.

 

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