City Planner Andrew Mack presented a demographic report about Park Rapids on Oct. 26 to the city’s planning commission.
Mack said one of the keynote speakers at Oct. 12-13 Government Training Services land use conference mentioned the Minnesota Compass website, which provides detailed demographic information.
Enclosed in the commission’s agenda packet was a report on Park Rapids demographics that Mack pulled from the Minnesota Compass website, including the following information based on U.S. Census Bureau data from 2014-18:
Approximately 50 percent of the city’s households have an income of less than $35,000 in 2018 dollars, and 20.8 percent lived below the poverty line.
Among adults 25 and older, 87 percent were at least high school graduates, 30 percent had attended some college and 22 percent had at least a bachelor’s degree.
The largest age groups represented in the population were 17 or younger (24 percent), 65 and older (22 percent) and 25-34 (16 percent).
The population of nearly 4,000 was 54.8 percent female and 45.2 percent male.
Ethnically, 87.9 percent identified as white, 4.6 percent as Hispanic or Latinx, 3.5 percent as two or more races, 3.1 percent as Indigenous and 2.4 percent as African American, with 95.5 percent speaking English only.
Out of nearly 1,700 households, 41.3 percent were married couples; 31.6 percent were households with children under 18; 13.3 percent were a single adult with minor children; 38 percent were a person living alone; and 17.7 percent were a person 65 or older living alone.
Of those whose disability status was determined, 25.6 percent reported having a disability.
Of those 65 and younger whose health insurance coverage status was known, 12.7 percent were without coverage.
Of households for which cost burden was calculated, more than 31 percent were cost burdened, including 23.8 percent of owner households and 38.6 percent of renter households.
Of available housing units, 14.1 percent were vacant, 43.1 percent were owner occupied and 42.9 percent renter occupied; 38.1 percent were built 1970-99, 27.4 percent 1940-69, 21.2 percent since 2000 and 13.4 percent prior to 1940.
Median rent paid was $518 per household in 2018 dollars.
More than 56 percent of households moved into their current residence in 2010 or later.
Regarding the number of vehicles available, 41.4 percent of households had one, 30.3 percent had two, 16.6 percent had three or more and 11.7 percent had none.
Among workers aged 16 and older, 84 percent used a motor vehicle to get to work, while 13.4 percent walked, biked, worked from home or used some other form of transportation. Travel times ranged from less than 10 minutes (61.6 percent of workers who were not home-based) to 30 minutes or longer (13.8 percent).
Of workers aged 18-64 who were employed in 2017, 50 percent were aged 30-54; 26.8 percent were 55 or older; and 23.3 percent were 29 or younger.
Of these workers, 40.9 percent earned more than $15,000 and less than $40,000 per year in 2017; 31.5 percent earned more; and 27.6 percent earned less.
Top industries of employment included healthcare and social services, 17.5 percent; retail, 15.6 percent; manufacturing, 113.1 percent; and education, 9.4 percent.
Mack said these numbers will change next year, once 2020 U.S. Census data is compiled.
“This will help us moving forward with (updating) the comprehensive plan,” he said, adding that he is suggesting that the city wait to do this until 2022 because of COVID-19.