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Turnover in Minnesota Legislative Seats, 1970-present

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

The Legislative Reference Library has collected standardized turnover statistics for the Minnesota Legislature since 1970. Turnover is calculated in different ways by different organizations, so our statistics may not be easily compared with, for example, statistics from the Council of State Governments.

Turnover is calculated by dividing the number of new legislators by the total number of legislators, then multiplying by 100 to obtain the percentage. The figure for new legislators should be equal to the number of incumbents defeated plus the number of incumbents who did not run for re-election.

The percentage of incumbent legislators returned to office during each general election is calculated by taking the total number of incumbents who ran minus the total number of incumbents defeated. Divide the number of incumbents who won by the number of incumbents who ran, then multiply by 100. The result is the percentage of Minnesota legislators who ran for re-election and won. Click on details for each year to see the actual numbers used in the calculation.

The number of legislators who have never previously served in the Legislature is another way of looking at change in legislative seats. The last two columns reflect totally new legislators; more details are available at New Legislators With No Previous Legislative Experience.

Election Year Number of New Members Elected Number of Seats up for Election Turnover Rate Percent of Senate Incumbents Who Ran and Were Reelected Percent of House Incumbents Who Ran and Were Reelected Turnover Details Percent of Elected Members Who Have Never Previously Served in the Legislature New legislator Details
2018 39 134
(House Only)
29.1% -- 85.6% 2018 Details 18.4% 2018 Details
2016 44 *200
(House and Senate)
22.0% 86.8% 95.7% 2016 Details 19.5% 2016 Details
2014 26 134
(House Only)
19.4% -- 90.8% 2014 Details 11.9% 2014 Details
2012 65 201
(House and Senate)
32.3% 86.3% 91.1% 2012 Details 22.9% 2012 Details
2010 60 201
(House and Senate)
29.9% 74.2% 82.4% 2010 Details 25.4% 2010 Details
2008 23 134
(House Only)
17.2% -- 93.3% 2008 Details 11.9% 2008 Details
2006 53 201
(House and Senate)
26.4% 84.5% 89.2% 2006 Details 24.4% 2006 Details
2004 26 134
(House Only)
19.4% -- 87.8% 2004 Details 12.4% 2004 Details
2002 64 201
(House and Senate)
31.8% 86.8% 90% 2002 Details 28.9% 2002 Details
2000 31 201
(House and Senate)
15.4% 95% 96% 2000 Details 11.9% 2000 Details
1998 21 134
(House Only)
15.7% -- 94.9% 1998 Details 10.0% 1998 Details
1996 33 201
(House and Senate)
16.4% 96.7% 94.8% 1996 Details 13.9% 1996 Details
1994 27 134
(House Only)
20.1% -- 90.7% 1994 Details 12.9% 1994 Details
1992 49 201
(House and Senate)
24.4% 92.7% 89.4% 1992 Details 22.9% 1992 Details
1990 39 201
(House and Senate)
19.4% 91% 91.7% 1990 Details 15.9% 1990 Details
1988 15 134
(House Only)
11.2% -- 93.7% 1988 Details 8.5% 1988 Details
1986 42 201
(House and Senate)
20.9% 95 85.7% 1986 Details 16.9% 1986 Details
1984 29 134
(House Only)
21.6% -- 88.2% 1984 Details 12.9% 1984 Details
1982 63 201
(House and Senate)
31.3% 88.5% 92.9% 1982 Details 23.4% 1982 Details
1980 46 201
(House and Senate)
22.9% 83.3% 94.8% 1980 Details 17.9% 1980 Details
1978 40 134
(House Only)
29.9% -- 73.4% 1978 Details 18.9% 1978 Details
1976 44 201
(House and Senate)
21.9% 85.5 95.7% 1976 Details 16.9% 1976 Details
1974 52 134
(House Only)
38.8% -- 74.6% 1974 Details 27.4% 1974 Details
1972 79 202
(House and Senate)
39.6% 83.7% 81.8% 1972 Details 30.8% 1972 Details
1970 67 202
(House and Senate)
33.2% 78.6 84.3% 1970 Details 28.2% 1970 Details

*The MN Supreme Court ruled on September 8, 2016 that Rep. Bob Barrett was ineligible to run in the November election because he did not reside in his district (32B). Minnesota Statute 204B.13 prescribes a February special election under these circumstances.