If you want confirmation that the Twin Cities is becoming more diverse every day, go to church.Catholic churches now offer 23 Spanish Masses, compared with nine offered two decades ago.
Without a doubt, the numbers of foreign-born residents are climbing. Statewide, this population has grown by about 22 percent in the past five years, with even larger increases in suburban counties such as Anoka, Dakota and Washington, according to new data released today from the Census Bureau's 2005 American Community Survey.
This increase continues a wave of immigration that began in the 1990s and is a large factor in the state's increasing diversity. Asians make up the greatest share of the foreign-born population, but the new data show a surge in the number of Africans coming here in the past five years.
Despite these changes, the Twin Cities remains the least diverse among the 20 largest metropolitan areas of the country. People who are white and non-Hispanic make up 82 percent of the metro population.
In 1988, there were nine Catholic parishes that offered a Mass in Spanish in the 12-county metro area, and all but two of those were in St. Paul or Minneapolis proper, said Anne Attea, the coordinator for Hispanic ministry for the archdiocese. Today, 23 of the 223 parishes in the region offer a Spanish Mass.
[snip] Pioneer Press