MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - New U.S. Census Bureau estimates shows the Twin Cities metro population is growing about six times faster than the rest of the state.

The estimates for 2015 determined that the seven counties in the area have hit the 3 million mark for the first time. The Metropolitan Council pointed to the population growth on Wednesday to highlight the area's need for transportation funding from the Legislature.

The Twin Cities area has grown by nearly 6 percent since the last census in 2010, compared to an almost 1 percent increase in outstate Minnesota during the same period.

About 67 percent of the area's growth has come from births exceeding deaths, while the rest came from international arrivals.