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 contributes 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%) from 2000-2010, while Dakota County gained the most residents (42,648). Between 2010 and 2013, Dakota County added about ten thousand (or 2.5%) residents. Over the same period, Dakota County population growth accounted for about 10% and 9% of total population growth in the metro area and Minnesota, respectively. Population is expected to grow steadily in all seven metropolitan-area counties through 2040.
Of the major cities (those with populations of 20,000 or more) in Dakota County, Farmington (+6.9%) experienced the highest growth rate; however, Lakeville saw the highest increase in the number of residents (+2,381) between the 2008-2010 and the 2011-2013 data collection periods. 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, between the 2008-2010 and 2011-2013 periods.
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 of less than 20,000. As of 2014, 1-year data is available for Dakota County as a whole (408,509), and the city of Eagan (65,453). To date, there are nine “major” cities in Dakota County with populations between 20,000 and 65,000 residents, so the Census Bureau posts weighted data that have been gathered during a three-year period from its surveys sent to residents of those cities.
Example: The 2011-2013 ACS 3-year data shows that Apple Valley has 49,996 residents. This means that for the period of three years (2011, 2012 and 2013), the Census Bureau’s best estimate to represent Apple Valley’s population during that three-year period is 49,996. This figure is not the average of population over the three-year period.