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We’re Hiring! Become Our Next Executive Director!

Want to lead an awesome progressive think tank? We’ve got the job for you! About North Star North Star Policy Institute was launched in 2016 by local policy leaders troubled by conservative efforts to dominate the public policy conversation in Minnesota. The conservative movement has succeeded in cultivating an extensive network of think tanks, advocacy…

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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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Job Vacancy Wages Don’t Meet Basic Needs

The wages offered for most job vacancies in Minnesota are not sufficient to meet the basic needs of a typical family, according to the 2017 Minnesota Cost of Living Study prepared by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). The preceding article in this series noted that the median wage for all occupations…

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44 Percent of Jobs Don’t Meet Basic Needs

The median job wage in Minnesota pays only modestly more than what is needed to meet basic needs for a small family, according the 2017 Minnesota Cost of Living Study prepared by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). There is significant variation among Minnesota regions in the extent to which wages satisfy…

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Minnesota Needs a Multi-Modal Transportation System

The Center for the American Experiment (CAE) recently published a paper by Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randal O’Tool in which he blames planners at the Metropolitan Council and the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) for Twin Cities highway congestion. The opinion paper drew comparisons to two other cities, Indianapolis and Kansas City, suggesting that Twin…

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Minnesota’s Economy Doing Relatively Well

Conservative interest groups contend that Minnesota’s economy is floundering, the victim of “blue state” (i.e., progressive) fiscal policies. Critiques published by North Star and others show such claims are generally bogus and based more on politics than coherent economic analysis. Evidence of Minnesota’s strong economic performance relative to other states can be found in the…

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Minnesota Outperforms Neighbors in Job Growth

Since the turn of the century, employment growth in Minnesota has kept pace with the rest of the nation and comfortably surpassed the Midwest average. Minnesota’s strong performance relative to the rest of the region has persisted through two recessions, a major financial meltdown, a major tax reduction, and a major tax increase. The following…

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