St. Paul can now count itself among cities with more than 300,000 residents, according to the Metropolitan Council.
The council released preliminary population estimates for 2015 on Wednesday, saying St. Paul’s population is 300,353. The last time the city officially cracked the 300,000 threshold was the 1970 Census.
“We’re approaching the highest population total that we’ve ever had in the city of St. Paul, and we may well exceed that in the next year or two,” St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman said.
The population of the seven-county metro area is now more than 3 million, and continues to grow, according to the Met Council. The Council projects a regional population of 3.6 million by 2040. “The region’s steady growth reflects our diversified, competitive economy, and low unemployment,” Met Council Chairman Adam Duininck said in a statement.
Over the past five years, nearly one-third of growth in the metro has been in the urban center, including Minneapolis and St. Paul. The 2015 estimated population of Minneapolis is up 7.8 percent from 2010, to 412,517. St. Paul’s has grown 5.4 percent since 2010.
Like many urban communities across the nation, Minneapolis and St. Paul have seen a resurgence in the past decade, said Libby Starling, the Met Council’s manager of regional policy and research. “What we’re seeing overall is increased interest across the generations in accessibility to amenities, accessibility to jobs, accessibility to a range of transportation options,” she said.
Several suburban cities also hit population milestones, according to the new estimates. Brooklyn Park has surpassed 80,000 residents. Shakopee’s population ticked over 40,000 and Savage now has more than 30,000 residents.
Residential construction is not keeping pace with population growth, leaving the metro with one of the country’s lowest vacancy rates.