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In the first part of our series examining the Greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul region’s performance attracting and retaining people, we introduced the idea that there is no simple answer to how we are doing. Instead, it depends on the audience in question, as well as who we’re benchmarking against over what time horizon. In part two, we dug deeper into specific workers like tech professionals.

Now, we turn our attention to one of the most highly mobile segments of the population, 25-34 year olds. Each year, organizations across the Greater MSP region come together to publish the MSP Regional Indicators Dashboard, which tracks our economic competitiveness against peer regions across the U.S. One of the Dashboard’s key indicators is the domestic migration of 25-34 year olds.

Examining the attraction and retention of this more highly mobile segment of the population and workforce provides a strong indicator of how overall migration is trending. Earlier this week, upon the release of the 2019 Dashboard, the GREATER MSP Partnership and others worked to analyze five-year trends from the data. One of their key insights? The migration indicator was up sharply.

In fact, between the 2015 Dashboard and the 2019 Dashboard, the region’s performance increased by 265%. Consider:

  • The 2015 Dashboard showed 2,150 more people in this age range moving into Greater MSP than moving out
  • The 2019 Dashboard showed 7,837 more people in this age range moving into Greater MSP than moving out

The Greater MSP region closed the gap with some peers and surpassed others. For instance, the migration indicator for the San Francisco region plummeted. The indicator for the Chicago region remained steadily negative.

This jump for the Greater MSP region wasn’t a one-year fluke, either. After years of hovering between +1,000 and +3,000 on this indicator, 2019 marked the second year in a row where our region’s performance showed a net gain of more than 7,500. This means thousands more 25-34 year olds than before are now choosing to move to or stay in our region each year.

So, what does this tell us about the efforts of partners working together through Make It. MSP. to recruit, welcome, and retain people here in our home? Most importantly, it indicates that we have the ability to improve. It means our ambition to be among the best performers across the country is a real possibility, if one that takes time. And it means today’s top performers may not be tomorrow’s.