ST. CLOUD (AP) - The number of 16-year-old blood donors in Minnesota has risen steadily since the state law was changed in 2008 to allow their participation.

The Minnesota Red Cross says teens are a key demographic in blood donations. The organization's state spokeswoman Sue Thesenga says 20 percent of donations come from high school and college students during the academic year.

The number of participating 16-year-olds in Minnesota has grown from 3,700 donors in the 2009 fiscal year to 5,000 during the 2013 fiscal year.

Then-Gov. Tim Pawlenty signed the law this week six years ago that allows 16-year-olds to donate blood with parental consent.