MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - New census data show the five suburban counties surrounding Minneapolis and St. Paul grew an average of 23 percent since 2000. That bucks a national trend in which most high-growth counties have been in the Sun Belt.

Minnesota state demographer Tom Gillaspy says Anoka County grew 11 percent, Carver County 30 percent, Dakota County 12 percent, Scott County 45 percent and Washington County 18 percent.

The state population as a whole grew about 384,500 since 2000.

The growth in those five counties alone accounted for about 45 percent of that.

The Twin Cities metro area has grown faster than other Midwestern cities in part because the state economy has done better than the nation's.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)