Met Council revises city level forecasts for 2040

The Metropolitan Council has updated its 30-year local forecasts of population, households and employment at least once per decade. The forecasts express future expectations based on an understanding of regional dynamics, and representing expected outcomes of policies and planning.

The local forecasts address the geographic distribution of population, households and employment. Regional totals are located to specific places — communities and zones — through a real estate market model. The model simulates and projects real estate supply and demand, assuming best-use and value-maximizing decisions of households, site selectors and developers. The model accounts for the future regional transportation network, regional land use policies, and local comprehensive plans.

The Metropolitan Council, on Feb. 19, issued new 30-year forecasts for cities and townships in the Twin Cities metro area. The forecasts of future population, households and employment describe where the Council expects population and job growth to occur. The revised forecasts replace preliminary forecasts issued in September 2013.

The city of Maple Grove had a population of 61,567 in 2010 and the 2040 population is expected to reach 84,800. The city of Osseo’s population in 2010 was 2,430. Osseo’s population is estimated to be 3,100 in 2040.

Overall, the new draft local forecasts indicate that a changing mix of households will continue to increase demand for development in the central cities and developed suburbs.

One significant change from the preliminary forecasts is more balanced growth between developing and developed suburbs. Also, the overall regional forecast has been revised downward slightly to reflect more recent Census Bureau projections.

The Council forecasts a gain of almost 400,000 households by 2040 — and thus new housing units. Of that household and housing growth, 17 percent will be in the central cities; 27 percent in the fully developed suburbs; 47 percent in the developing suburbs; and 9 percent in rural areas and outlying rural centers.

Council demographers say the reworked forecasts reflect improvements to the Council’s modeling, informed by discussions with local governments over the past five months.

“Comments from local officials about the preliminary forecasts showed a clear geographic pattern,” said Libby Starling, regional policy and research manager. “Officials from suburban edge communities and rural centers felt the preliminary forecasts were too low, while a number of officials from fully-developed communities were concerned that the earlier forecasts exceeded their land supply and growth capacity.”

“As Council staff investigated the issues these comments identified, we have made a series of adjustments to the Council’s forecasting methodology,” Starling said.

Changes to the land-use model inputs and forecasting methodology include:

• Corrected data about residential land consumption rates.

• Revised development costs to better reflect land values and the higher costs of redevelopment.

• Improved tracking of developed and available land supplies.

• Narrowed definition of cities’ maximum housing capacities.

• Updated platting activity data to identify current growth areas.


The revised regional forecast for the seven-county region by 2040 anticipates a population of 3.67 million people, 1.51 million households, and more than 2 million jobs.