This blog highlights information provided by RealTime Talent to Ramsey County for their Untapped Talent Series. Please be sure to register for this event later this year as schedules have changed. This blog post highlights population and education data for Hmong talent in Ramsey County and is the third in a series of four posts.


There are currently 37,445 Hmong residents in Ramsey County, comprising approximately 6.9% of the total population and 47.6% of the total Asian population in Ramsey County. However, Asian talent comprises both a larger share of Ramsey County’s workforce and unemployed population, but a smaller share of the volume of 2020 postsecondary graduates. According to 5-Year ACS Estimates, the Asian workforce has an unemployment rate of 5.8%, or about 2,127 Asian Ramsey County residents who are unemployed.[1]

Internet subscriptions are essential in the modern economy, particularly as the ongoing pandemic has led businesses, governments, and nonprofits to shift their activities online. While most neighborhoods in the Minneapolis-St. Paul region have access to an internet connection, many households – particularly BIPOC ones – still do not have consistent or reliable access, whether due to cost or other barriers. This limits these communities’ ability to access the information needed to thrive. An inclusive economy would assure that all households have access to the technology they need to learn, work, and thrive.

This map below was built utilizing the baseline connectivity evaluation tool, currently being rolled out by Ramsey County and shows Broadband Equity for the Asian population in Ramsey County. The legend is on the right and the thick purple line shows limited service access (top 5%) while the dashed gold/green line shows limited device access (top 5%). The shades of gray show the percentage of the population that is Asian with higher percentages in dark gray and lower percentages in light gray. You can see that some of the areas with limited service access or limited device access have lower Asian population.

Share of Population with Access to Broadband-Connected Devices in Ramsey County [2]


Saint Paul Public Schools have just over 4,000 Asian students, making it the largest demographic of students by race (36%). However, Asian Ramsey County residents 25 years or older have lower college completion rates than peer groups. Below, we provide an overview of postsecondary education attainment in Ramsey County by race and ethnicity.

Just under one in three (30.1%) of Asian Ramsey County adults 25 years or older have less than a high school diploma, and another 19.1% hold a high school diploma or GED as their highest level of educational attainment.

In Ramsey County, 19.3% of Asian adults 25 years or older have some college or an associate’s degree as their highest level of educational attainment.

The following graph shows educational attainment of adults (25+ years old) by race in Ramsey County.

Educational Attainment of Adult Residents by Race, 25+ Ramsey County [3]

Gaps in educational attainment have implications for access to high-wage, high-demand careers that typically require postsecondary credentials. Next, we look at completion rates and opportunities to build stronger bridges between secondary and postsecondary education.

The following highlights educational completion rates for Asian Minnesotans:

  • 8% of Asian students graduate from 2-year colleges within 3 years.
  • 4% of Asian students graduate from 4-year colleges within 6 years.
  • 37% of Asian Minnesotans between 25-44 years hold an Associate’s degree or higher.

The graph below was built with the Center for Economic Inclusion Diversity Indicator Tool and shows post-secondary completion by race and ethnicity in Minnesota.[4]

Postsecondary Completion by Race and Ethnicity, Minnesota

While 61% of White and Asian-American Minnesota adults aged 25 to 44 possess a post-secondary degree, the same is true for far lower shares of other racial and ethnic groups–37% of Hmong adults. Shares are even lower among groups that include many recent immigrants and refugees, such as Somalis (18%).

The Minnesota Legislature set a goal to help at least 70 percent of Black, Indigenous, Hispanic, Asian, and White adults between the ages of 24 and 44 earn an associate’s degree or higher, or receive a professional certificate, by 2025. As of 2020, approximately 8% of Indigenous adults, 8% of White adults, and 7% of Black adults have earned these certificates.[5]

The East Metro Pulse aims to learn more about community assets and challenges. Potential interventions to address challenges need to consider community members’ perceptions and opinions about both community assets and challenges. The following graph visualizes responses from Asian Residents to the 2021 East Metro Pulse survey regarding the quality and affordability of education opportunities and the types of care or education that are available in their households.[6]

What Asian Residents of the East Metro Say About Education Opportunities

Asian residents of the East Metro largely agree that Career and Technical Education in the area is affordable. However, they are split on if it is high-quality (blue bars). In contrast, they also agree that postsecondary education options are high quality, but are split on affordability (orange bars).

The gray bar shows the perceived quality and cost of out-of-school activities, which 35% of Asian residents of the East metro report are not high quality, and generally not affordable.

Finally, nearly half of Asian residents agree that local childcare is high quality, but not affordable (yellow). Access to affordable quality childcare is critical for a community’s ability to participate in education and employment opportunities.

Career and Technical Education programming in public high schools are an opportunity to build a clear connection for students to postsecondary education and a future career path. Between the Saint Paul Consortium and the Northeast Metro Consortium, both located in Ramsey County, 77.9% of Asian high schoolers (5,830) participated in a Career and Technical Education course in 2020. Local Career and Technical Education leaders track and seek to grow the success rate of these students entering into high-skill, high-wage, high-demand career pathways. For more information, contact your local Career and Technical Education coordinator.

[1] Unemployed Talent Demographics from Bureau of Labor Statistics 2015-2019 5-Year ACS Estimates.

[2] Ramsey County. Broadband Equity Map. Accessed 6.20.2022 at,44.7848,-92.4318,45.2357

[3] US Census Bureau, 2020 ACS 5-Year Estimates. Illustrates highest level of educational attainment by race of residents 25 years or older residing in Ramsey County.

[4] American Public Media, visualized by Center for Economic Inclusion. Accessed 6.20.2022 at

[5] Minnesota Office of Higher Education. Accessed 6.20.2022 at

[6] East Metro Pulse, 2021. Wilder Research. Accessed 6/20/2022 at