Updated: September 22, 2021 06:24 PM
Created: September 22, 2021 06:20 PM
Duluth's population signs need an update.
According to 2020 census data, the population is now 86,697. That's an increase of 432 over 2010.
"We are growing," Mayor Emily Larson said. "For decades, we have talked about a stagnant population. And it has felt that we are more vibrant and that we are growing. And it turns out that we are."
However, Larson admitted that growth is hard to attribute.
"I actually think what's likely is that we counted more people," she said. "I don't know if the growth is actual growth or just that that number, more people felt comfortable getting counted."
Duluth's population hasn't changed significantly in about four decades.
1970 was the last time the population was over 100,000.
The city did grow more diverse in 2020. The census says Duluth is 84 percent white in 2020 compared to 89 percent white in 2010. City Council President Renee Van Nett said that's something to cheer.
"If Native folks and African American folks feel like they can be counted and safe to do so, they may come out more where you might see that in a different way," Van Nett said.
City leaders say they want growth in both diversity and population to become a trend, although Larson acknowledged the city still faces challenges such as affordable housing and workforce developments.
"That kind of push-and-pull of how you grow is really important. We have to be thoughful about it," she said. "We're completely ready for it."
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