Greater Mankato compared to: Metros with a similar “College Age” population

Greater Mankato Growth recently completed the 2018 Economic Report. The report makes three comparisons of the Mankato-North Mankato metropolitan area to similar metropolitan areas in terms of population, geography, and concentration of the college-age population.

This blog post dives into the third and final comparison: MSAs with a similar percentage of “College Age” residents. Of the 382 MSAs in the country, Mankato-North Mankato has the 22nd highest concentration of college-age residents in the country. This is a pertinent analysis because of the significant influence the concentration of 18-24-year-olds has on the economy.

To identify metropolitan areas with a similar percent college-age population, we looked at the most current estimates from the U.S Census Bureau:  2016. We pulled population figures for all of the MSAs. Next, we identified the 10 MSAs just above and below the 2016 Mankato-North Mankato population percent of 18-24 year-olds (19.3%). Those MSAs included:

MSA% of Total Population 18-24 years old
Champaign-Urbana, IL Metro Area21.4
Jacksonville, NC Metro Area20.8
Columbia, MO Metro Area20.6
Athens-Clarke County, GA Metro Area20.3
Flagstaff, AZ Metro Area20
Harrisonburg, VA Metro Area19.9
Muncie, IN Metro Area19.9
Auburn-Opelika, AL Metro Area19.7
Iowa City, IA Metro Area19.4
Morgantown, WV Metro Area19.4
Mankato-North Mankato, MN Metro Area19.3
Tallahassee, FL Metro Area19.3
Greenville, NC Metro Area18.7
Ann Arbor, MI Metro Area18.6
Grand Forks, ND-MN Metro Area18.2
Logan, UT-ID Metro Area17.9
Lubbock, TX Metro Area17
Bloomington, IL Metro Area16.9
Tuscaloosa, AL Metro Area16.8
Provo-Orem, UT Metro Area16.6
Valdosta, GA Metro Area16.2

After review of the population figures, we analyzed this set of MSA’s in terms of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Household Income, and Job Growth.

GDP:  As of 2016, Mankato-North Mankato has the second highest GDP growth rate since 2010 (25.19%); and fourth highest over the last year.

MSA2016 GDP (in Millions)2015-2016 Growth %2010-2016 Growth %
Provo-Orem, UT (Metropolitan Statistical Area)20,4956.14%37.28%
Mankato-North Mankato, MN (Metropolitan Statistical Area)4,8713.75%25.19%
Auburn-Opelika, AL (Metropolitan Statistical Area)4,5434.97%20.38%
Columbia, MO (Metropolitan Statistical Area)7,8391.67%14.96%
Grand Forks, ND-MN (Metropolitan Statistical Area)4,6123.08%14.38%
Morgantown, WV (Metropolitan Statistical Area)6,6920.65%13.23%
Lubbock, TX (Metropolitan Statistical Area)11,8582.60%12.33%
Athens-Clarke County, GA (Metropolitan Statistical Area)7,5653.42%11.64%
Iowa City, IA (Metropolitan Statistical Area)8,6610.72%11.57%
Greenville, NC (Metropolitan Statistical Area)7,0372.65%9.87%
Logan, UT-ID (Metropolitan Statistical Area)4,197-0.52%8.31%
Flagstaff, AZ (Metropolitan Statistical Area)5,0591.91%5.40%
Tuscaloosa, AL (Metropolitan Statistical Area)9,666-4.30%4.85%
Tallahassee, FL (Metropolitan Statistical Area)13,7264.33%3.96%
Champaign-Urbana, IL (Metropolitan Statistical Area)10,5800.51%3.90%
Bloomington, IL (Metropolitan Statistical Area)10,054-0.95%1.81%
Ann Arbor, MI (Metropolitan Statistical Area)19,5080.72%1.22%
Muncie, IN (Metropolitan Statistical Area)3,307-1.72%1.16%
Harrisonburg, VA (Metropolitan Statistical Area)6,746-2.18%-2.27%
Valdosta, GA (Metropolitan Statistical Area)4,161-0.53%-5.45%
Jacksonville, NC (Metropolitan Statistical Area)6,864-0.62%-11.52%

Household Income:  Mankato-North Mankato had the 5th highest Median and 6th highest Mean household income in 2016. We ranked 6th for Median growth, however, we ranked 14th in Mean household income growth. This could indicate that wage growth is occurring more from new job creation that pays a wage higher than the market has seen in the past. However, a deeper analysis is needed to confirm this.

MSA2016 Median Household Income2016 Mean Household Income2015-2016 Median Household Income Growth2015-2016 Mean Household Income Growth
Valdosta, GA Metro Area$36,220$50,3854.34%5.72%
Champaign-Urbana, IL Metro Area$48,323$65,7084.02%3.58%
Tuscaloosa, AL Metro Area$43,697$59,4603.78%3.50%
Tallahassee, FL Metro Area$45,344$62,7673.68%2.96%
Provo-Orem, UT Metro Area$61,913$76,9263.36%3.61%
Mankato-North Mankato, MN Metro Area$53,437$68,5033.11%2.45%
Logan, UT-ID Metro Area$50,300$63,7442.94%4.43%
Greenville, NC Metro Area$41,119$58,4212.89%2.23%
Morgantown, WV Metro Area$45,317$62,6022.58%5.69%
Ann Arbor, MI Metro Area$61,003$84,8222.43%3.94%
Harrisonburg, VA Metro Area$48,305$63,4672.24%1.85%
Grand Forks, ND-MN Metro Area$50,366$67,8751.91%1.03%
Columbia, MO Metro Area$49,899$67,7771.83%1.80%
Muncie, IN Metro Area$38,830$52,7531.82%0.01%
Lubbock, TX Metro Area$45,807$63,8781.80%2.72%
Iowa City, IA Metro Area$55,842$75,6831.75%2.80%
Flagstaff, AZ Metro Area$50,234$68,7351.74%0.77%
Athens-Clarke County, GA Metro Area$40,308$58,3911.61%4.46%
Bloomington, IL Metro Area$61,504$79,6931.32%0.97%
Auburn-Opelika, AL Metro Area$44,570$61,9141.09%2.50%
Jacksonville, NC Metro Area$46,335$56,6340.97%2.91%

Job Growth:  Mankato-North Mankato had the 6th highest job growth in May and 8th highest in April of 2018. As of May 2018, Mankato-North Mankato had the 5th lowest number of jobs among college towns as many of them are much larger in population.

MSAMay 2018 Jobs (in thousands)April 2017-2018 % GrowthMay 2017-2018 % Growth
Ann Arbor224.61.17%3.22%
Athens-Clarke County99.41.95%2.79%
Mankato-North Mankato591.90%2.25%
Iowa City102.60.49%1.08%
Grand Forks57.3-1.23%1.06%