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District 196 population has more than tripled in the last 40 years

The total population of Independent School District 196 is estimated at 163,960 residents, according to projections by the Minnesota State Demographic Center.

The School Board approved the district’s 2022 certified census at its June 27 meeting. The 2022 total represents an increase of 4,570 residents, or 2.8%, over the demographer’s estimate of 159,390 residents two years ago in June 2020. The annual census figure is used to determine the district’s Community Education tax levy for the following year.

A review of the annual census back to 1982 shows that the population of District 196 has more than tripled over the last 40 years. It doubled from 49,783 to 102,035 residents during a 10-year period from 1982 to 1992, then grew by another 51,000 residents, or 50%, between 1992 and 2012, reaching 153,051 residents. During the last 10 years, District 196 population has grown another 7% to the current estimate of 163,960 residents. 

District 196 is the fourth largest school district in Minnesota, with total enrollment of more than 29,000 students. The district covers approximately 110 square miles and includes all or parts of the cities of Rosemount, Apple Valley, Eagan, Burnsville, Coates, Inver Grove Heights and Lakeville, and Empire and Vermillion townships.

Nearly 90% of school-age children who live in District 196 attend District 196 schools. Anything over 80% is considered high for a school district in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, according to former state demographer Hazel Reinhardt, and is a reflection on the quality of the local public schools and the availability of educational alternatives in the area.