Measuring progress. Inspiring action.

November 2017

6 trends we're thankful for

Steven Aviles, Megan Chmielewski, and Erin Spaeth

Minnesota has a lot to be thankful for this November. Here are six trends identified by Minnesota Compass staff that highlight positive improvements affecting the lives of many Minnesotans.

Employment is up

Minnesota is home to the second highest proportion of adults working in the country, with workforce participation back to pre-recession levels. The gender gap in employment has narrowed over the past 15 years and the proportion of adults of color who are working has increased incrementally since the Great Recession.


The share of households paying too much for housing continues to decline

About a quarter of Minnesota households are housing cost-burdened, paying 30 percent or more of their income for housing. On the whole, housing cost burden has declined over the past decade and is now 5 percentage points lower than before the 2008 recession.


More residents have health care coverage

Today, less than 5 percent of Minnesota residents lack health insurance coverage, compared to 9 percent in 2013. The uninsured rate among residents of color has also dropped by almost half, from 18 percent to 10 percent.


Serious crime is down

Minnesota's crime rate has been falling steadily and steeply, and now stands at about half what it was in the 1990s. Most of this decline can be attributed to fewer property crimes.


Minnesota is home to high voter turnout

Seventy-four percent of voting-eligible residents voted in the 2016 election. As a result, Minnesota reclaimed its position as the leading state in the nation for voter turnout during the last presidential election.


A majority of Minnesota students participate in out-of-school activities

Nearly two-thirds of Minnesota students are highly engaged in enrichment activities, participating in out-of-school activities three or more days each week. More than half of students are highly engaged in enrichment activities across all demographic characteristics (e.g., race, gender) and all geographies for which we have data.


Megan Chmielewski, Steven Aviles, and Erin Spaeth are research associates for the Minnesota Compass project.