According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the 2016 American Community Survey, 10% of Minnesotans are below the poverty level, with the Metropolitan Council reporting that suburban and rural poverty in the 7-county metro area has risen significantly since the year 2000.
The Minnesota Housing Partnership’s biennial report, “State of the State’s Housing 2019”, shows 1 in 4 households across Minnesota pay more than they can afford for shelter, forcing them to cut back on necessities such as food, education and medicines. Polling by NPR finds that a substantial number (40%) of rural Americans struggle with routine medical bills, food and housing; and about half (49%) say they could not afford to pay an unexpected $1,000 expense of any type.
In Minnesota, Wilder Research’s 2018 Homelessness Study concluded that homelessness increased across Minnesota by 10% from 2015 (up 9% in the Twin Cities’ metro area and up 13% in greater Minnesota). This was especially evident in the population not in a formal shelter (encampments, cars, public transportation), which was up 62% between 2015 and 2018. Wilder’s single-night count of homelessness found 10,233 people homeless in Minnesota, 32% of that number were children with parents. Children and unaccompanied youth (age 24 and younger) made up nearly half of those experiencing homelessness (46%).