Quickly access information about Minnesota's diverse and burgeoning immigrant population

While Minnesota still has proportionally fewer immigrants than the U.S. as a whole (8% compared with 13% nationally), the state’s foreign-born population is actually increasing faster than the national average—in Minnesota, it has tripled since 1990, but only doubled nationally. About 428,000 residents are foreign-born, including many refugees who fled their home countries. Nearly 1 in 6 children (0-19) in Minnesota has at least one immigrant parent. Among our state’s youngest children (0-4), nearly 1 in every 5 is a child of an immigrant.

What's happening

  • By country of origin, the 10 largest groups of foreign-born residents in Minnesota are (in descending order): Mexico, India, Laos, Somalia, Vietnam, Thailand (including Hmong), China, Korea, Ethiopia, and Liberia.
  • While immigrants are transforming many smaller communities across the state, about 80 percent of the state's foreign-born residents live in the Twin Cities 7-county region.
  • In general, immigrant workers are concentrated at the high skill and low skill ends of the workforce spectrum. Twenty-six percent of Minnesota's foreign-born adults lack a high school degree or GED, compared to 6 percent of the state’s native-born adults. At the other end of the spectrum, 14 percent of immigrants hold an advanced degree, compared to 11 percent of US-born adults.
  • As of 2013, about one-third of foreign-born residents hold a 4-year college degree or higher, which is similar to the overall population.


Immigrants and their children are vital contributors to our state’s economic, cultural, and civic life.

Knowing more about those who have immigrated to our state can help us better understand the impact on our schools, our workforce, our health systems, and our neighborhoods. It can help us build social ties with immigrant communities and better respond to shifting needs.


Immigration has greatly influenced the economic and cultural development of our state. But the backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences of Minnesota’s immigrants have changed considerably over time, and differ from the nation as a whole. Compass researcher Allison Liuzzi explains.

Minnesota Compass

Minnesota Compass
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