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 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.
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 2012, Dakota County added about 6,500 (or 1.6%) 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.
Of the major cities in Dakota County, Apple Valley lost population (-375 or -0.7%) between the 2007-2009 data collection period and the 2010-2012 data collection period. Rosemount (+3.8%) experienced the highest growth rate; however, Lakeville saw the highest increase in the number of residents (+1,894). 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.
This chart shows another way of looking at population change in Dakota County major cities.
Notes: The American Community Survey (ACS) is a rolling nationwide survey designed by the U. S. Census Bureau to provide communities with reliable demographic, social, economic, and housing data more frequently than once each decade with the census. ACS data are released as single-year (1-year) and multiyear (3- and 5-year) estimates. The 1-year estimates are available for places with a population greater than 65,000; the 3-year ACS estimates are available for places with a population between 20,000 and 65,000; and the 5-year estimates are available for places with a population less than 20,000. As of 2012, 1-year data is available for Dakota County as a whole, because at 400,000+, the population greatly exceeds 65,000. No city in Dakota County has a big enough population for the Census Bureau to post 1-year data. To date, there are seven “major” cities in Dakota County with populations between 20,000 and 65,000 residents, so the Census Bureau posts weighted data that has been gathered during a three-year period from its surveys sent to residents of those cities.
Example: the 2010-2012 ACS 3-year data shows that Apple Valley has 49,630 residents. This means that for the period of three years (2010, 2011, and 2012), the Census Bureau’s best estimate to represent Apple Valley’s population during that three-year period is 49,630. This figure is not the average of population over the three-year period.