Why this is important
Population is an important metric for many reasons, including the necessity of accurate estimates for long-range planning and service delivery as well as the fact that many decisions (including funds received from the state or federal governments) are based on population. Population growth will result in a larger labor force, and land development, which can contribute greatly to the local economy. Over the last five years, population growth in Dakota County has been under one percent annually.
What the data show
Between 2000 and 2010, Dakota County population increased by 12% (reaching 398,552 people in the 2010 U.S. Census), maintaining Dakota County’s status as the third most populous county in Minnesota. Among the seven metropolitan-area counties, Scott County experienced the highest percent increase in population (45.2%), while Dakota County gained the most residents (42,648) from 2000-2010. Between 2010 and 2011, Dakota County added about 3,500 (or .9%) residents.
Of the major cities in Dakota County, Mendota Heights (-3.2%) and South St. Paul (-0.03%) lost population between 2000 and 2010. Burnsville experienced minimal growth of 0.14%, while Lakeville, Rosemount and Farmington have seen large population growth in the same period, increasing by 29.7%, 49.6%, and 70.5% respectively. The State Demographer’s Office projects the county will be home of more than half a million people by 2035. The Metropolitan Council expects Lakeville, Rosemount and Farmington to lead this growth on the urban fringe with an additional 28,000, 19,000, and 12,000 residents, respectively, between 2010 and 2030.