Minnesota celebrates census 'win' over New York

FILE - In this April 1, 2019 file photo, Noelle Fries, 6, left, and Galen Biel, 6, both of Minneapolis, attend a rally at the Minnesota Capitol to kick off a year-long drive to try to ensure that all Minnesota residents are counted in the 2020 census. Min
FILE - In this April 1, 2019 file photo, Noelle Fries, 6, left, and Galen Biel, 6, both of Minneapolis, attend a rally at the Minnesota Capitol to kick off a year-long drive to try to ensure that all Minnesota residents are counted in the 2020 census. Min

'Census nerds! We did it!' - Lt. Gov. Flanagan

Posted: Apr 30, 2021 7:14 AM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesotans spent 18 months worrying over whether the 2020 census would finally cost them a precious seat in Congress, expecting to lose one to faster-growing competitors in the South and West even if they found and counted every last soul in the state.

Turns out they could have spared the concern. In Minnesota — a state that’s long seen itself as above average — residents voluntarily returned their census forms at the highest rate in the nation. Their dedication likely saved the day.

Even sweeter for some here: Mighty New York was the state on the outs, clipped by Minnesota for the 435th and final House seat by a mind-bogglingly narrow margin. If Minnesota had counted 26 fewer people — or New York just 89 more — the seat would have switched states.

“Census nerds! We did it!” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan tweeted. Others took to Twitter to exult in the news: “Minnesota finally beats New York at something,” one user said, alluding to the Twins' recent years of postseason baseball futility against the Yankees.

Just over 75% of Minnesotans responded to the census questionnaire, tops in the nation but also in step with generally strong participation rates in the Midwest. Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan all made the top 10 in self-response rates — boasting rates of more than 71% — but slow population growth in the latter two states still cost them a congressional seat.

Minnesota has a history of seat stealing. It took the 435th seat from North Carolina during the last census in 2010.

Minnesota's embrace of the census is in line with strong civic engagement in elections, where the state every two years ranks at or near the top in turnout, including 80% in last fall's general election.

“We vote more, we volunteer more, we donate more,” said Morgan Baum, a small-business owner in Hutchinson who was among those responding to the questionnaire without prodding.

“I think we’re just a really participatory community. All Minnesotans are and that comes across again in the census."

Minneapolis social worker Jennifer Bertram calls herself a self-described “census nerd,” in part because of a previous job for a nonprofit whose programs depended on census data for finding. She felt so strongly about the census' importance that she took a job doing the door-knocking necessary to get non-respondents.

“To me, it’s almost more important than voting because of the billions of dollars that get allocated by the federal government back to Minnesota every year," she said.

She estimated she recorded at least 26 people who wouldn’t have been counted otherwise. She recalled one home in particular — a group of six or seven Spanish-speaking brothers living in a duplex — and working across a language barrier to get them counted.

Several states lost a congressional seat due to the census, including California despite spending $187 million on census outreach, according to data from the National Council of State Legislatures.

The state of New York allotted up to $60 million on census outreach, on top of New York City's $40 million effort, dwarfing Minnesota's $2.1 million. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said this week that he is considering “legal options” to challenge the state's narrow loss, though the governor didn't specify what legal actions.

Texas was the lone state to gain two seats. Colorado, Florida, Montana, North Carolina and Oregon gained one seat each.

Census figures showed Minnesota’s overall growth rate was 7.6% — a shade higher than the overall nationwide rate of 7.4% as its population grew to 5.7 million from 5.3 million a decade ago.

In addition to keeping all eight U.S. House seats and 10 electoral votes, Minnesota's high response rate may affect the state's share in federal aid. Census Bureau data play a role in determining how to allot hundreds of billions of dollars annually through Medicaid, food stamps and about 130 other federal programs.

Brett Buckner, 49, of Minneapolis, a former president of the Minneapolis NAACP in the early 2000s, worked for the Census Bureau on the 2010 count. This time around, he was active in groups working together to get people of color to respond to the census — something they combined with voter turnout efforts.

“We said we need you to count both ways,” Buckner said, describing door-knocking, phone calls, Zoom meetings and more.

“We got lucky here in Minnesota," he said.

Some of the people who joined in the victory lap on Twitter, however, said the win involved more than luck.

Explained one: “Never try and defeat Minnesota in a paperwork contest."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 684070

Reported Deaths: 8086
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1407851856
Ramsey58714945
Dakota52269497
Anoka48192481
Washington30731309
Stearns24909240
St. Louis20363335
Scott19700145
Wright18589163
Olmsted15877110
Sherburne13539101
Carver1212252
Clay917195
Rice9129121
Blue Earth870147
Crow Wing7820102
Kandiyohi745189
Chisago715458
Otter Tail668393
Benton6472101
Mower560738
Winona556152
Goodhue551980
Douglas537484
Itasca519671
Beltrami508072
McLeod503263
Steele502921
Isanti492570
Morrison468363
Nobles449950
Becker436859
Polk435975
Freeborn430438
Lyon395154
Carlton391759
Nicollet378947
Pine375126
Mille Lacs355860
Brown347944
Cass345735
Le Sueur341729
Todd322634
Meeker305749
Waseca290125
Martin263533
Wabasha24364
Dodge24224
Roseau234023
Hubbard233041
Houston205416
Renville200248
Redwood199642
Fillmore196810
Pennington191121
Wadena185826
Faribault180825
Cottonwood177024
Sibley176710
Chippewa171539
Kanabec165029
Watonwan155311
Aitkin155238
Rock139519
Jackson134912
Pope13128
Yellow Medicine125320
Pipestone125026
Koochiching118119
Swift117619
Murray115510
Stevens115211
Marshall104118
Clearwater102618
Lake91321
Wilkin89714
Lac qui Parle84824
Mahnomen6909
Big Stone6854
Grant6848
Norman6549
Lincoln6524
Kittson53322
Unassigned53093
Red Lake4807
Traverse4255
Lake of the Woods3984
Cook2140

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 432122

Reported Deaths: 6339
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk67341672
Linn25698353
Scott22828261
Black Hawk19121334
Woodbury16940233
Johnson1659690
Dubuque14547218
Pottawattamie13058183
Dallas12746102
Story1187148
Warren685993
Webster6304102
Cerro Gordo6212102
Clinton620097
Des Moines594482
Muscatine5781108
Unassigned57410
Marshall564280
Sioux542775
Jasper516575
Lee511078
Wapello4993128
Buena Vista472942
Marion449083
Plymouth434083
Henry339940
Jones331158
Bremer325365
Crawford321644
Carroll317053
Washington315754
Benton312656
Boone308736
Mahaska275453
Dickinson270846
Kossuth251471
Jackson246044
Clay245729
Tama238273
Delaware234643
Buchanan233938
Hardin230847
Page221624
Cedar220525
Fayette220345
Wright217641
Winneshiek215937
Hamilton211752
Harrison198875
Clayton194458
Madison193820
Butler188836
Floyd187742
Mills185224
Poweshiek181036
Cherokee179440
Iowa176425
Allamakee176252
Lyon174441
Jefferson169138
Calhoun168313
Hancock167335
Winnebago164231
Grundy158835
Cass155556
Louisa154949
Shelby151739
Appanoose151249
Emmet149541
Franklin148524
Humboldt147226
Sac144722
Union144237
Mitchell141643
Guthrie138132
Chickasaw137518
Palo Alto131124
Clarke125024
Montgomery122239
Keokuk116232
Howard115622
Monroe114033
Ida107538
Davis103125
Pocahontas99023
Greene98012
Adair95334
Monona94733
Lucas94523
Worth9268
Osceola83717
Decatur74510
Fremont74111
Taylor72412
Van Buren70919
Wayne65123
Ringgold62226
Audubon58414
Adams3914
Rochester
Clear
58° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 51°
Feels Like: 58°
Mason City
Clear
54° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 54°
Albert Lea
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 66° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 55°
Austin
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 68° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 55°
Charles City
Partly Cloudy
55° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 55°
Cooler conditions continue through the week
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Austin 3rd graders enjoy a day on the farm

Image

Mason City Schools to enact mask mandate

${item.thumbnail.title}

Olmsted County Risk Mitigation Program to offer housing assistance

${item.thumbnail.title}

Olmsted County works to combat falls in older adults through Fall Prevention Coalition

Image

Albert Lea area schools shift to universal mask policy

Image

Albert Lea Schools

Image

Dispatcher Praised

Image

Risk Mitigation Program

Image

Fall Prevention Awareness

Image

Olmsted County 2021 Food Security Assessment

Community Events