Best Places To Raise A Family In Minnesota For 2020


We used science and data to determine which cities in Minnesota have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in Minnesota.

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Minnesota is one big Midwestern state with an even bigger heart for families.

That's right, Minnesota is great for families. And HomeSnacks is here to tell you why. We've done the unthinkable, and created a list of the best places for families in Minnesota for 2020. How did we determine Minnesota's most family friendly places? We consulted the US Census on places in The North Star State with more than 10,000 residents. We looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities, and the percent of households that currently have children. We ended up with 83 family friendly Minnesota places that any family would be lucky to call home.

Not only did we discover that Minnesota's family friendly places have a ton of families with young children at home or that there are family friendly amenities like the Mall of America in Bloomington, but the state is great for parents just starting out. It's a known fact that restaurants in Minnesota's family friendly places like Grand Rapids are more likely to have changing tables in their bathrooms, parking spots are bigger, and fellow parents are more concerned with what beer you drink than what prestigious kindergarten your kid is attending. And if you're one of those outdoorsy families, Minnesota is your state! Your family can spend winters skiing Afton Alps in Hastings and summers hiking the Lakewalk Trail in Duluth.

To learn more about our methodology and to see why Minnesota's top ten best places to raise a family are truly the best of the best, read on.

No, it's not a coincidence that most of Minnesota's family friendly places are centered around two of Minnesota's biggest cities: Minneapolis and Rochester. There's more to do in these places and jobs with competitive salaries are plentiful.

So, if you want your family to safely wake up in the Land of 10,000 Lakes, with beautiful wooded forests in their backyard, great schools down the street, and endless, healthy activities at their disposal, HomeSnacks suggests that you look no further than Minnesota's number one place to raise a family, Chaska.

If you want to see how Minnesota's other amazing best places to raise a family faired, take a look at the list below. And if you don't see your favorite there, head to the bottom.

Check out some more reading about Minnesota and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Minnesota For 2020

Chaska, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 25,998
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 40.2%
More on Chaska: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Chaska is a city in Carver County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 23,770 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Carver County, which is part of the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Woodbury, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 68,686
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 66
Closest Major City: St. Paul
Households with kids: 41.9%
More on Woodbury: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Woodbury is a suburb of St. Paul and the largest city in Washington County, Minnesota. It is part of the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area. Woodbury is situated east of Saint Paul along Interstate 94. The 2016 population for Woodbury was 68,349, making it the 8th most populous city in Minnesota.

New Ulm, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 13,248
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 26.9%
More on New Ulm: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

New Ulm is a city in Brown County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 13,522 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Brown County.

Rosemount, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 23,885
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: St. Paul
Households with kids: 43.0%
More on Rosemount: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Cloquet, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 11,998
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: St. Paul
Households with kids: 34.4%
More on Cloquet: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Cloquet kloh-KAY) is a city in Carlton County, Minnesota, United States, located at the junction of Interstate 35 and Minnesota State Highway 33. A portion of the city lies within the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation and also serves as one of three administrative centers for the Indian Reservation. The population was 12,124 at the 2010 census.

Northfield, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 20,217
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 58
Closest Major City: St. Paul
Households with kids: 29.4%
More on Northfield: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Northfield is a city in Dakota and Rice counties in the State of Minnesota. The city is mostly in Rice County, with a small portion in Dakota County. The population was 20,007 during the 2010 census.

Stillwater, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 19,275
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 45
Closest Major City: St. Paul
Households with kids: 33.0%
More on Stillwater: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Stillwater is a city in Washington County, Minnesota across the St. Croix River from the state of Wisconsin. It is the county seat. The population was 18,225 at the 2010 census. Stillwater is part of the Twin Cities Metro Area.

Minnetonka, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 52,546
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 84
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 25.1%
More on Minnetonka: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Minnetonka is a suburban city in Hennepin County, Minnesota, United States, eight miles west of Minneapolis. The population was 49,734 at the 2010 census. The name comes from the Dakota Indian mni tanka, meaning "great water". The city is the home of Cargill, the country's largest privately owned company, and United Healthcare, the state's largest publicly owned company.

Eagan, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 66,363
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: St. Paul
Households with kids: 32.5%
More on Eagan: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Eagan is a city in Dakota County, Minnesota, United States. The city is south of Saint Paul and lies on the south bank of the Minnesota River, upstream from the confluence with the Mississippi River. Eagan and nearby suburbs form the southern portion of Minneapolis-St. Paul. The population of Eagan was 64,206 at the 2010 census and currently ranks as Minnesota's 11th largest city. Currently the eleventh largest Minnesota city and the sixth largest suburb in the metro area, Eagan is predominantly a commuter town of both Minneapolis and Saint Paul.

Grand Rapids, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,140
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 63
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 27.9%
More on Grand Rapids: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Grand Rapids is a city in Itasca County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 10,869 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Itasca County.

How do you determine which place is best for families in Minnesota anyways?

To give you the places in Minnesota which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what's family-friendly and what isn't.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the North Star State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of Minnesota, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 10,000 people. For Minnesota, that meant a total of 83 cities. You can download the data here.

There You Have It - The Best Places To Raise A Family In Minnesota

If you're looking for a breakdown of cities in Minnesota ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here's a look at the best cities for singles Minnesota according to the data:

  1. St. Cloud
  2. Bemidji
  3. Minneapolis

For more minnesota reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In Minnesota?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Chaska, MN 25,998 46
2 Woodbury, MN 68,686 41
3 New Ulm, MN 13,248 46
4 Rosemount, MN 23,885 38
5 Cloquet, MN 11,998 36
6 Northfield, MN 20,217 67
7 Stillwater, MN 19,275 60
8 Minnetonka, MN 52,546 90
9 Eagan, MN 66,363 67
10 Grand Rapids, MN 11,140 36

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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