Not a huge shock for most followers of Refugee Resettlement Watch, but good to see that the citizens of Minnesota are being given the hard facts so that they can decide what will be best for their families going forward.
Minnesota continues to grow more diverse, according to population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau on Thursday.
The latest data showed that populations of people of color have increased faster in Minnesota than the rest of the nation since 2010. Meanwhile, the state’s white population growth remained relatively stagnant.
The change can be seen in the ethnic communities emerging around St. Paul; in the expansion of organizations such as the Karen Organization of Minnesota and the Hmong American Partnership; and in St. Paul Public Schools, where in 2010 district families spoke 77 different languages at home — that stood at 128 languages in 2017.
Janna Johnson, an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs who studies minority populations, said the latest numbers likely don’t tell the entire story. Minority populations tend to be undercounted, meaning Minnesota’s is likely even larger, she said. [Why? Because minorities don’t answer census questions or simply hide.—-ed]
No need to learn English, just go to Minnesota and keep speaking Somali!
Mohamad SheikOmer, who started the Somali-Oromo Peace Task Force in St. Paul, has noticed the uptick in diversity since he moved to Minnesota. SheikOmer, who has a wife and seven children, moved from Ethiopia to Maryland in April 2014, then St. Paul three months later.
He relocated his family to Minnesota because there are more opportunities, noting for example it’s much easier to find people who speak Somali in St. Paul than in Maryland.
“We can help each other at work, how to get benefits, how to get schooling,” SheikOmer said.
“Benefits” is, of course, a big reason refugees are migrating to Minnesota and a good reason Minnesota was chosen as a prime resettlement site more than thirty years ago by the US State Department and its contractors (Catholic Charities, Lutheran Immigration, and World Relief) for Somali resettlement.
Just a few days ago I told readers how many Somalis have been resettled in the US under the UN/US Refugee Admissions Program since the early 1980’s, here.
Don’t miss this post: You are old and we are taking over!