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Minnesota Compass

By tracking and analyzing trends in areas that affect our quality of life, Compass gives everyone in our state – policymakers, business and community leaders, and concerned individuals who live and work here – a common foundation to act on issues to improve our communities. More >



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Minneapolis and Saint Paul



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New data

Thirty-five percent of Minnesota residents (age 16+) volunteer.

Our state ranks 4th in the nation for the greatest share of residents who volunteer.

Among large metros, the Twin Cities metro area ranks 2nd for volunteerism.

One-third of Minnesota volunteers log most of their volunteer hours for religious organizations.

The most common activities among Minnesota volunteers are collecting/preparing/distributing food, and fundraising.

Of the state's 96 major cities, the cities with the highest and lowest proportions of adults working are in the Southern region: North Mankato (86%) and Faribault (65%).

Across Minnesota counties, between 18 and 36 percent of households pay one third or more of their income for housing.

Mahnomen has the state’s highest share of children under age 6 below the poverty level (45%) while Carver has the lowest (5%).

Among Minneapolis-Saint Paul residents of all ages, the rate of disability is lowest for Asian and Hispanic people.


Craig Helmstetter

Compass Project Director Craig Helmstetter uses a humanities-based framework developed by Thriving Cities, to look at the well-being of the greater Minneapolis and Saint Paul area.

Featured trend

poverty rates by race
economy icon

1 in 4 people of color in Minnesota live in poverty

More than 250,000 people of color –1 in 4 – live in poverty in our state. That is more than 3X the rate of white Minnesotans in poverty. Poverty rates are especially high among certain groups including African Americans (38%), American Indians (32%), and Hispanics (23%).

View topic: Economy

Minnesota Compass

Minnesota Compass
Led by Wilder Research

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