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Tiffany Bui reports:
Minnesota’s population has grown much more diverse over the past decade, according to new data from the Census Bureau.
The number of non-white Minnesotans increased across all racial groups. The population of multiracial residents also grew dramatically, by about 176 percent. Meanwhile, the non-Hispanic white population has decreased by one percent since 2010.
Diversity is more prevalent among young people than adults. The Star Tribune reported that over 36% of people under the age of 18 identified as nonwhite, compared to 20% of adults in 2020.
Rodolfo Gutierrez, the executive director of the group Hispanic Advocacy and Community Empowerment through Research (HACER), said the increased percentage of children of color brings with it new needs for the state.
“They are going to be in schools, they are going to be in daycares ... and they are going to need attention, because they are going to be the ones who are going to be replacing the regular workforce,” said Gutierrez. “So we need to prepare that population, the population of color who are behind in education, housing, work and income.”
In the lead-up to Census Day, organizations like HACER pitched the census as a way to ensure marginalized communities are accurately represented and have their voices heard in government. As the Minnesota Legislature prepares to redraw voting districts, Gutierrez is once again encouraging the Latino community, and others, to get involved in the process.
“I hope we are going to be able to create a map that gives us districts that are based on equality or equal representation for everyone,” said Gutierrez. “The communities, as diverse as they are, have to be properly represented in the Congress. And that is our effort.”
Gutierrez says though Minnesota is leading in the nation across many measures, like employment and wealth, it may fall down the ranks if little is done to address racial disparities in a diversifying state.