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Minnesota thrives, Rauner fails on jobs

The following is a guest commentary that recently appeared in the The State Journal Register of Springfield, Illinois.   The numbers tell a harsh story: since Gov. Bruce Rauner came to office in January 2015, Illinois has been one of only four states nationwide and the only Midwestern state to have lost population. Job growth…

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When Equal Unemployment Rates Are Not Equal

Minnesota and Wisconsin currently enjoy low unemployment rates relative to the rest of the nation. In addition, both states enjoyed an above average decline in unemployment rates since the beginning of the Great Recession. However, this does not mean that the economies of these states have performed equally well. Minnesota achieved its low unemployment rate…

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Real Per Pupil State Aid Has Declined Since FY 2003

The conservative Minnesota Business Partnership recently challenged our contention that real (i.e., inflation-adjusted) per pupil state aid has declined since fiscal year (FY) 2003. North Star’s assertion in regard to declining state aid is completely accurate—if you use an inflation index appropriate to measuring the impact of inflation on school district finances. Only by using…

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Counties with Greatest Income Inequality are Also the Poorest

In recent decades, income inequality has increased, both in Minnesota and nationally. New information from the American Community Survey (ACS) shows that U.S. and Minnesota counties with the highest degree of income inequality also have the highest poverty rates and the lowest median incomes, thereby underscoring the devastating impact of income inequality on low- and…

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Minnesota Population Growth Through 2050

No one knows what the future will bring, but the experts at the Minnesota State Demographic Center have made some informed predictions as to where Minnesota population growth—and decline—will be occurring over the next several decades. To some extent, projected patterns of Minnesota population change resemble historical patterns observed since 1950 (which were summarized in…

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Township Population Loss, Core City Resurgence

The pace of Minnesota’s population growth has changed over time and the geographical distribution of the state’s population has shifted, based on an analysis of county-level data presented in the first part of this series. An examination of county data, however, can overlook important population trends that are occurring within counties. The following analysis will…

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Uneven Population Growth Since Mid-Century

Minnesota’s population has increased by 2.5 million people (85 percent) since the middle of last century, but the rate of that growth has been unevenly spread geographically and over time. The following analysis provides a description of Minnesota’s population change since 1950, focusing on the amount of the change and where it has occurred. The…

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A Closer Look at Badger Boasts

Lofty claims about the performance of the Wisconsin economy occasionally drift across the Saint Croix River, attempting to highlight the success of conservative fiscal and anti-union policies in the Badger State. These claims, however, are woefully incomplete, and at times border on the fraudulent. Since the Great Recession, Wisconsin’s economic performance has been mediocre at…

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