Quickly access information about Minnesota's diverse and burgeoning immigrant population
Minnesota’s foreign-born population has grown dramatically over the past several decades, outpacing the rate of the nation as a whole. In 1980, about three percent of our residents were foreign born, compared with seven percent in 2008. About 346,000 residents are foreign born, including many refugees or asylees who fled their home countries. An additional 148,000 children living in Minnesota are U.S. born but have one or more foreign-born parents. Immigrants and their children represent an important component of the state’s current and future workforce, and are vital contributors to our state’s educational, cultural, and civic life.
Immigrants and their children will make up an increasing share of our state’s workforce in the coming decades, helping to fill worker shortages as baby boomers retire. Because they are generally younger than the state’s native-born population, foreign-born residents reduce the “Old-age dependency ratio” – the proportion of older adults relative to typical working age adults in our state. Educating immigrant children is a major challenge for our schools and communities, as we prepare them to participate fully in the workforce and the broader community. Data on educational outcomes for children with Limited English Proficiency are available throughout the Education section, under the “By Special Population” breakdown.