As Minnesota’s population continues to diversify, data disaggregated by race can help to understand the strengths, needs, and quality of life of specific populations. Data by race and ethnicity are also used to evaluate government programs and policies to ensure that they fairly and equitably serve the needs of all racial groups and to monitor compliance with antidiscrimination laws, regulations, and policies.

We track data on race and ethnicity to help better understand the strengths, needs, and quality of life of diverse groups in our communities, and the differences and disparities among those groups.

Race and ethnicity in Minnesota

Fast facts

1.2 million Minnesotans of color

21% of Minnesotans are people of color, a diverse and varied group that includes those who identify as Asian, American Indian, Black, Hispanic, and two or more races.
21 %
5% to 33%

The share of Minnesotans who identify as people of color tends to increase among younger age groups, from 5% of Minnesotans age 85+ to 33% of Minnesotans age 5-9.

4.5 million non-Hispanic White Minnesotans

79% of Minnesotans identify as non-Hispanic White, a share that has decreased from 83% in 2010.
79 %

What is "data disaggregation"?

"Data disaggregation" means splitting large, general categories into more specific groups. For example, Asian Americans can be divided into cultural groups such as Hmong, Vietnamese, Lao, Chinese, Korean, etc. Similarly, American Indians can be divided by tribal affiliation, such as Ojibwe, Dakota, Lakota, Ho-Chunk, etc. It’s important to note that race is a social construct, not a biological fact. This is reflected in how the U.S. Census Bureau has changed how they measure race over time. In the first census in 1790, the only races were "free whites," "all other free persons," and "slaves." Currently, Census data racial identification is often grouped into five categories: American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black or African American, White, two or more races, and some other race.