10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Minnesota For 2019


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.

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

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.

Promise.

According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in Minnesota? We’ve got the answers here.

If you’re thinking of making a move to Minnesota, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out some more reading about Minnesota and the best places for families in the country:

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 84 cities.

Read on to see why Northfield is where all the families are headed, while St. Cloud is probably a place made for singles.

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Minnesota For 2019

Northfield, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 20,297
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
Closest Major City: St. Paul
Households with kids: 29.3%
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.

Chaska, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 25,578
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 36.4%
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.

Rosemount, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 23,474
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 57
Closest Major City: St. Paul
Households with kids: 40.4%
More on Rosemount: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Eagan, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 66,102
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: St. Paul
Households with kids: 31.4%
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.

Minnetonka, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 52,102
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 90
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 24.6%
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.

Woodbury, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 67,648
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: St. Paul
Households with kids: 40.8%
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.

North Mankato, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 13,583
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 39
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 29.8%
More on North Mankato: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Shakopee, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 40,024
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 41.5%
More on Shakopee: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Shakopee is a city in and the county seat of Scott County, Minnesota. It is located southwest of downtown Minneapolis. Sited on the south bank bend of the Minnesota River, Shakopee and nearby suburbs comprise the southwest portion of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, the sixteenth-largest metropolitan area in the United States, with 3.3 million people. The population of Shakopee was 37,076 at the 2010 census.

Lino Lakes, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 20,950
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 47
Closest Major City: St. Paul
Households with kids: 40.3%
More on Lino Lakes: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Lino Lakes is a city in Anoka County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 20,216 at the 2010 census. Interstates 35W and 35E are two of the main routes in the community. It is an outer suburb north of the Twin Cities.

Grand Rapids, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,099
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 36
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 26.9%
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.

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. West St. Paul

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

How Is The Area In ?

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In Minnesota

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Northfield, MN 20,297 67
2 Chaska, MN 25,578 44
3 Rosemount, MN 23,474 40
4 Eagan, MN 66,102 46
5 Minnetonka, MN 52,102 92
6 Woodbury, MN 67,648 39
7 North Mankato, MN 13,583 58
8 Shakopee, MN 40,024 47
9 Lino Lakes, MN 20,950 54
10 Grand Rapids, MN 11,099 47
11 Stillwater, MN 19,232 61
12 Marshall, MN 13,706 58
13 New Ulm, MN 13,249 40
14 Hibbing, MN 16,183 48
15 Eden Prairie, MN 63,660 59
16 Farmington, MN 22,502 50
17 Blaine, MN 62,453 49
18 Plymouth, MN 76,258 38
19 Cottage Grove, MN 35,902 38
20 Lakeville, MN 61,056 50
21 Owatonna, MN 25,613 63
22 Savage, MN 30,011 37
23 Maple Grove, MN 68,362 55
24 Worthington, MN 13,142 63
25 Rochester, MN 112,683 61
26 Willmar, MN 19,608 89
27 Moorhead, MN 41,801 59
28 Champlin, MN 24,209 54
29 Ramsey, MN 25,853 49
30 Edina, MN 50,603 33
31 Faribault, MN 23,577 60
32 Cloquet, MN 11,965 56
33 Elk River, MN 23,924 32
34 Fairmont, MN 10,251 62
35 Inver Grove Heights, MN 34,976 42
36 Austin, MN 24,882 53
37 Buffalo, MN 15,996 50
38 New Brighton, MN 22,440 45
39 Winona, MN 27,153 67
40 Sartell, MN 16,749 57
41 Mounds View, MN 12,872 33
42 Brooklyn Park, MN 79,462 48
43 Red Wing, MN 16,334 38
44 Apple Valley, MN 51,109 47
45 Albert Lea, MN 17,716 36
46 New Hope, MN 20,909 51
47 Prior Lake, MN 25,452 54
48 Sauk Rapids, MN 13,354 35
49 Rogers, MN 12,564 49
50 White Bear Lake, MN 25,411 59
51 St. Peter, MN 11,682 58
52 Alexandria, MN 13,203 38
53 Coon Rapids, MN 62,342 34
54 Mankato, MN 41,241 45
55 Hutchinson, MN 13,836 54
56 Golden Valley, MN 21,208 57
57 North St. Paul, MN 12,241 56
58 Bloomington, MN 85,417 51
59 Hopkins, MN 18,217 30
60 North Branch, MN 10,241 55
61 Columbia Heights, MN 19,823 51
62 Mendota Heights, MN 11,253 58
63 Fergus Falls, MN 13,606 40
64 Burnsville, MN 61,302 44
65 Crystal, MN 22,910 55
66 Hastings, MN 22,620 57
67 Richfield, MN 35,993 38
68 Brooklyn Center, MN 30,885 35
69 Forest Lake, MN 19,406 48
70 Anoka, MN 17,374 60
71 Duluth, MN 86,066 66
72 South St. Paul, MN 20,280 51
73 Oakdale, MN 27,972 53
74 St. Louis Park, MN 48,124 35
75 Fridley, MN 27,573 56
76 Brainerd, MN 13,394 37
77 Maplewood, MN 40,127 46
78 Robbinsdale, MN 14,446 55
79 St. Paul, MN 300,820 57
80 Roseville, MN 35,624 35
81 Minneapolis, MN 411,452 65
82 West St. Paul, MN 19,750 39
83 Bemidji, MN 14,803 43
84 St. Cloud, MN 67,093 51

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