The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area's population isn't growing by leaps and bounds like some of the cities at the other end of Interstate 35 (in Texas). You can decide if that's good news or bad news.

Still, the Twin Cities tied for second-highest growth rate among the largest metros in the Midwest, according to new population estimates released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.



Since 2010, the 16 counties that comprise Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan region (as defined by the federal government) have collectively grown by about five percent, just over 175,000 people, thanks to a combination of a healthy ratio of births to deaths and a strong influx of immigrants. Those two things have kept the population growing, despite a net loss of residents to other areas of the state or the United States.

Cities in North Dakota continue to rank toward the top of the growth lists for both metropolitan areas (50,000 or more people) and micropolitan areas (10,000 to 50,000 people). Williston's growth rate of 58 percent was the largest among the nation's micropolitan areas. The city has added about 13,000 people since 2010.



Bismarck has the seventh-highest growth rate among metropolitan areas in the nation, the only Midwestern city to make the top 10.



 One of the metro areas losing the most population is Flint, Mich., whose lead-poisoned water has earned it national notoriety. The metro area's population has dropped by about 15,000 people since 2010. Its ratio of births to deaths remains positive, but nearly 20,000 people have moved away.



Data Drop is a weekly feature that uses data analysis and visualizations to explain, surprise, inform and entertain readers on topics relevant to Minnesotans. Do you have an idea you'd like us to explore? Contact MaryJo Webster