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Minnesota Health Workforce Demographics

The Office of Rural Health and Primary Care uses two sets of geographic categories for reporting data on health professionals: Urban-Rural and Metropolitan-Micropolitan-Rural.

Urban-Rural: For data for 2005 and before, the state has been divided into two contiguous regions:

  • Urban – The seven counties comprising the jurisdiction of the Twin Cities Metropolitan Council (Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington), plus the cities of Duluth, St. Cloud and Rochester.
  • Rural – All other parts of the state, including the portions St. Louis, Stearns and Olmsted counties outside the corporate limits of Duluth, St. Cloud and Rochester.

Metropolitan-Micropolitan-Rural: Beginning with data for 2005, the state is divided into three areas based on federal definitions of metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas. These three groupings do not include contiguous blocks of counties, because there are several metropolitan and micropolitan areas scattered throughout the state. However, this typology focuses greater attention on the state’s most rural counties.

  • Metropolitan statistical area (MSA) counties – 21 Minnesota counties included in seven metropolitan statistical areas (Minneapolis-St. Paul, St. Cloud, Rochester, Duluth-Superior, Fargo, Grand Forks and Lacrosse).
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul MSA (Minnesota counties: Anoka, Carver, Chisago, Dakota, Hennepin, Isanti, Ramsey, Scott, Sherburne, Washington, Wright.
  • St. Cloud MSA (Minnesota counties: Stearns, Benton)
  • Rochester MSA (Minnesota counties: Dodge, Olmsted, Wabasha)
  • Duluth-Superior MSA (Minnesota county: St. Louis)
  • Fargo-Moorhead MSA (Minnesota county: Clay)
  • Grand Forks MSA (Minnesota county: Polk
  • La Crosse MSA (Minnesota: Houston)
  • Micropolitan statistical area counties – 20 counties surrounding smaller urban centers of at least 10,000 people.
  • Beltrami
  • Brown
  • Blue Earth
  • Cass
  • Crow Wing
  • Douglas
  • Freeborn
  • Goodhue
  • Kandiyohi
  • Lyon
  • Martin
  • McLeod
  • Mower
  • Nicollet
  • Nobles
  • Otter Tail
  • Rice
  • Steele
  • Wilkin
  • Winona
  • Rural – 46 remaining counties outside MSAs and Micropolitan areas.

More complete information about criteria for defining metropolitan and micropolitan statistical areas is available from the U.S. Office of Management and Budget and the U.S. Census Bureau.


Updated Friday, November 15, 2013 at 02:25PM