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Housing Density
September 2010

What is Housing Density?
Housing density is the number of people and homes within a certain area. Housing density can influence how planners design water supplies, power grids, transportation, school locations, business areas and other services for communities. Planners can also use housing density to determine where parks and recreation areas are needed for physical activity and community events.

How is Housing Density related to Health?
One example of how housing density can be related to health is that higher density housing is often located near busy roads where there could be a greater exposure to traffic-related air pollution, which could be related to asthma or other respiratory problems.

What the map shows
Housing density is usually based on the number of housing units in a square acre of land. A housing unit can be a single family home, an apartment, or a townhouse. In a larger multi-family building or complex, each individual unit counts as one housing unit. MDH looked at housing density in the Central Corridor by reviewing information from the 2000 U.S. Census and data from the Metropolitan Council. The Metropolitan Council categorizes housing density based on the number of housing units per acre of land:


Low density (1- 4 housing units per acre) Single family houses
Medium (5 - 8 units per acre) Single family houses and condominiums
High (9 - 12 units per acre) Small apartments and townhomes
Very High (13 – 20 units per acre) Larger apartment buildings and townhomes
Urban (21 or more units per acre) Apartments, duplexes and townhomes

Based on Metropolitan Council and U.S. Census data, over 50% of residents in the Central Corridor live in very high density or urban density areas. The highest density housing tends to be near busy roads such as University Avenue and Interstate 94.

Data for this Core Count are based on zoning or land use designations by the cities of St. Paul and Minneapolis. These records may not be completely up to date and may underestimate the number of higher density areas because commercial buildings may be converted to housing. In addition, the 2000 U.S. Census data likely underestimates the current population of the Central Corridor.

Printable information sheet, with map: Housing Density (PDF: 267KB/2 pages)

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Click on the map below for a larger image

Central Corridor Housing Density by Census Block

Updated Friday, April 05, 2013 at 10:14AM