Twin Cities experienced a net loss of 15,000 people last year

That's up an astounding 1,251% from 2020, when the metro area only lost a net 1,236 residents.

The Minneapolis skyline at night. (Tony Zhao/Shutterstock)

Around 15,000 more people left the Twin Cities last year than moved there, according to new census data.

The Census Bureau shows that the Minneapolis-St.Paul-Bloomington metro area lost a net 15,462 residents in 2021.

That’s up an astounding 1,251% from 2020, when the metro area only lost a net 1,236 residents.

However, this figure doesn’t begin to approach the number of residents several other large metro areas in the United States lost in 2021. According to the Census Bureau, for example, Silicon Valley lost a net 52,932 residents and the Washington, D.C. area lost a net 66,811 residents.

But even those figures pale in comparison to the metro areas of Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City. They respectively lost 106,897, 128,870, 204,776, and 385,455 residents in 2021, the data shows.

Out of the five metro areas in Minnesota, Duluth was the only one to gain residents.

John Phelan, an economist at the Center of the American Experiment, believes the net loss of residents in the Twin Cities area, as well as those in other U.S. metro areas, is due to a combination of high taxes and overly burdensome COVID restrictions.

“The measures taken to combat this virus differed greatly from state to state, and city to city. Both New York and Los Angeles took stringent measures in terms of lockdowns and masking requirements, while Dallas and Tampa, while being more strict than the rest of their states, have taken a more laissez-faire approach,” he wrote in an article about the census data.

“To the extent that some of these moves have been driven by COVID-19 policy, it would seem that when they are voting with their feet, Americans generally prefer Greg Abbott’s approach to Gavin Newsom’s,” he added.

The net loss of Twin Cities residents is not likely to have a positive effect on the sluggish recovery of downtown Minneapolis. Alpha News’ own Liz Collin recently spoke with a business owner and a health care worker on the city’s prospects for recovery, and their thoughts ranged from muted optimism to resigned pessimism.

As a whole, Minnesota lost a net 13,453 residents to other states last year, the biggest net loss in 30 years.