Minnesota Eviction Filings

Data collected by: Dan Bernstein @Legal Services Corporation - Civil Court Data Initiative
Analysis by: Julia Greenberg, Ashley Santos, Hannah Moore, Amit Cohen, Tim Thomas @U.C. Berkeley’s Urban Displacement Project

Updated: October 12, 2022

Overview

Evictions have long-term impacts on households’ future housing, health, and economic outcomes. Despite local, state, and federal moratoriums, over 9,500 renters had evictions on file in Minnesota during the pandemic. Eviction filing rates among Black and “Other group” renters were higher than eviction rates among White renters throughout the study period.

Minnesota had relatively low eviction rates as compared to other states that we have studied. However, the state had one of the sharpest increases in eviction filings post-moratoria as well as high racial disparities in filing rates. Overall, we found that:

  • The bulk of the state’s evictions occurred in Saint Paul and north of Minneapolis as well as in the rural counties surrounding Duluth.
  • State moratoria helped decrease evictions during the pandemic until July 2021 when cases started to increase to 50% of historical average between October 2021 to January 2022. (We will expand on the local moratoria effects in the coming month.)
  • By March of 2022, eviction filings surpassed historical average with a sharp increase in April 2022 at 150% of historical average.
  • Before the pandemic, roughly 1 in 33 Black and “Other Racial Group” (mixed race, Indigenous, and other racial groups) renters had an eviction filing where the local moratoria greatly reduced these rates to about 1 in 150 renters. Still, these two groups had higher filing rates than Latine, White, and Asian renters.

In collaboration with the Legal Services Corporation, UC Berkeley’s Eviction Research Network and Urban Displacement Project analyzed eviction filings in the state of Minnesota from 2016 to 2022. An eviction filing marks the point at which formal eviction proceedings have begun. Depending on the situation, households may leave anytime prior to a notice to after an eviction lawsuit.

In this analysis, we will show you where and how many evictions were on file both before and during the pandemic. We’ll also show you the racial disparities in Minnesota evictions.

To learn more about how we created these maps and plots, and what data we are using, see our methodology page.


Moratoria greatly reduced evictions

Cases over time

To filter by county, click on its name once. To zoom in on the plot, click and drag to select the area you wish to zoom in on. To reset the plot, double click anywhere inside of it.

The graph above shows evictions by county in Minnesota from 2016 to 2022, with counties experiencing the most evictions at the top and the counties experiencing the fewest evictions at the bottom. Hennepin County, where Minneapolis is located, had the most evictions of any county in the state throughout the entire time period followed by Ramsey and Dakota Counties. The graph shows that in all counties, evictions dropped sharply after the first eviction moratorium in March 2020, and remained low until they started to sharply increase in the latter half of 2021.

Note that data is updated as recent case information becomes available.

The content of this graph is repeated in tabular form in the appendix.

Eviction counts have surpassed historical average

PANDEMIC EVICTION CASES VS. HISTORICAL AVERAGE

The graph above compares pandemic eviction rates to pre-pandemic averages. Bars that extend above the dashed line represent months where rates were higher than the historical average for that month, while bars below the dashed line represent months where rates were lower than the historical average for that month. November has the lowest expected historical average at 1,022 eviction filings and January has the highest at 1,273.

Evictions dropped to 95% below average in April 2020 after the pandemic began. Evictions stayed relatively low (no higher than 11% of the historical average) until July 2021, when they began to climb towards pre-pandemic levels. By March 2022, evictions were 19% above the historical average, and in April 2022 they were 50% above average.

Black and "Other Groups" disproportionately evicted

The race and ethnicity of named parties per eviction filing were estimated using their last name and the demographic information of the census tract in which they lived. While our methodology gives good overall estimates, the results may be biased toward the racial majority in the corresponding tracts.

Eviction case rate by race

The graph above shows eviction rates by race and ethnicity and reveals the disproportionate impact of evictions, particularly among Black and “Other” renters in Minnesota - the eviction filing rate for these groups is greater than all other groups throughout the entire study period (with the exception of Latine renters, whose rates exceed and equal rates among Black renters in 2016 and 2017, respectively). Eviction rates among all racial/ethnic groups dropped sharply during the pandemic.

The total number of renters per census tract by race and ethnicity in Minnesota come from the ACS 2016 - 2020 5-year estimates. This value is the denominator of the eviction filing rate, with the numerator being the estimated race and ethnicity of those listed in the case. The eviction filing rate is then the percentage of renters in each group that we estimated to be the defendant of an eviction filing.

Asian, Black, Latine, and Other Groups eviction rates compared to White eviction rates

This graph demonstrates the amount by which the estimated eviction rates of Asian, Black, Latine, and “Other” renters compare to the estimated eviction rate for White renters. A ratio greater than 1 means that there is a greater eviction filing rate for non-White renters than White renters. A ratio less than 1 means the opposite - there is a lower eviction filing rate for non-White renters than White renters.

Black, Latine, and “Other” renters have ratios greater than 1 throughout the entire time period (except for Latine renters in 2018, when the ratio dips below 1) while Asian renters have ratios less than 1 throughout the entire study period. The ratios for Black, Latine and Asian renters spike in 2020, meaning they were evicted at higher rates compared to White renters during this year.

Disclaimer

As noted earlier, the demographic information is estimated by combining the probability of someones race or ethnicity based on their surname and informed by the racial composition of the census tract where they lived. The segregation map layer shows quite a large number of mostly white census tracts. This means it would be more likely than not that a mis-classification would estimate ‘White’. Therefore, these graphs are a conservative estimate of the racial disparity in eviction cases.

Also, the use of eviction filings in our data underestimates the real number of households that were forced to leave. Many households leave after a notice and prior to a filing while others may leave if threatened with an eviction before a notice. These latter occasions are considered “illegal evictions.” Alternatively, not all eviction filings lead to a removal as some may work out a deal with their landlord to stay. At this time, these data do not allow us to track these types of moves or stays, however we are constantly working on solutions to try and get at these types of statistics.

Finally, it should be noted that for the purposes of this report, ‘2022’ ends with April 2022. There is still time left for these yearly average rates and ratios to change and trends that are observed now may be quite different by December.

This page will continue to be updated with new data and content. Follow us on twitter @EvictionNet for these updates.

Data table coming soon

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