Mind the Gap: Disparities and Competitiveness in the Twin Cities

Rebecca Sohmer
Rebecca Sohmer Senior Research Analyst

October 1, 2005

Minneapolis-St. Paul is relatively strong compared to other metropolitan areas nationally. It has one of the most highly educated populations in the country. Its median household income is the twelfth highest among the 100 largest metros. And the region’s job growth has outpaced the nation’s for several decades. Additionally, the region has a long history of regional thinking and an egalitarian spirit that many other metropolitan areas envy.

Despite these strengths, however, the region does not work for everyone. Although the Twin Cities metropolitan area is blessed with good incomes and high educational attainment rates, some groups and some places are still lagging behind. In a region where household income is among the highest in the nation, black household income is among the lowest. In a region that has the highest share of adults with a high school diploma in the country, it only ranks 40th among the 100 largest metropolitan areas for Latino high school educational attainment.