These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Minnesota For 2018


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in Minnesota have the most for people looking to make the move to Minnesota.

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Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is Minnesota a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in Minnesota.

Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the North Star State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best pat of Minnesota, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 74 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in North Star State for 2018:

  1. Carver County (Photos)
  2. Sherburne County (Photos)
  3. Washington County (Photos)
  4. Dodge County (Photos)
  5. Scott County (Photos)
  6. Wright County (Photos)
  7. Nicollet County (Photos)
  8. Jackson County (Photos)
  9. Chisago County (Photos)
  10. Houston County (Photos)

Carver County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in Minnesota. And you might want to avoid Beltrami County if you can — at least according to the data.

So if you’re thinking of making the move Minnesota, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in Minnesota and the best places to raise a family in Minnesota.

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How do you determine which Minnesota county is the best?

To give you the best county in Minnesota, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a ‘best county’ and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in Minnesota across each of the criteria from one to 74, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the ‘Best County To Live In Minnesota’.

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the North Star State.

Read on to see why Carver County is the best county, while Beltrami County is probably in contention for being the worst county in Minnesota.

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1. Carver County

Carver, MN

Biggest Place: Chaska
Population: 97,143
Median Income: $88,638 (2nd best)
Median Home Price: $277,600 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (8th best)
More on Carver County: PhotosData

2. Sherburne County

Big Lake, MN

Biggest Place: St. Cloud
Population: 91,188
Median Income: $78,081 (4th best)
Median Home Price: $193,300 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (35th best)
More on Sherburne County: PhotosData

3. Washington County

Afton, MN

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: Woodbury
Population: 248,745
Median Income: $86,689 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $253,300 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (31st best)
More on Washington County: PhotosData

4. Dodge County

Dodge Center, MN

Biggest Place: Kasson
Population: 20,361
Median Income: $68,718 (10th best)
Median Home Price: $162,000 (40th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (15th best)
More on Dodge County: PhotosData

5. Scott County

Jordan, MN

Biggest Place: Shakopee
Population: 139,490
Median Income: $90,198 (1st best)
Median Home Price: $258,400 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (31st best)
More on Scott County: PhotosData

6. Wright County

Albertville, MN

Biggest Place: St. Michael
Population: 129,922
Median Income: $75,705 (6th best)
Median Home Price: $201,500 (16th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.4% (48th best)
More on Wright County: PhotosData

7. Nicollet County

Le Sueur, MN

Biggest Place: Mankato
Population: 33,226
Median Income: $61,501 (15th best)
Median Home Price: $174,200 (29th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (21st best)
More on Nicollet County: PhotosData

8. Jackson County

Jackson, MN

Biggest Place: Jackson
Population: 10,163
Median Income: $55,114 (30th best)
Median Home Price: $115,100 (65th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.3% (15th best)
More on Jackson County: PhotosData

9. Chisago County

Lindstrom, MN

Source: Public domain

Biggest Place: North Branch
Population: 54,041
Median Income: $72,908 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $195,600 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (63rd best)
More on Chisago County: PhotosData

10. Houston County

Caledonia, MN

Biggest Place: La Crescent
Population: 18,791
Median Income: $55,550 (28th best)
Median Home Price: $162,300 (39th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (31st best)
More on Houston County: PhotosData

There You Have It – The Best Counties In Minnesota To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in Minnesota can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here’s a look at the worst counties in Minnesota according to the data:

  1. Beltrami County
  2. Mower County
  3. Nobles County

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In Minnesota

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Carver County 1 97,143 $88,638 $277,600
Sherburne County 2 91,188 $78,081 $193,300
Washington County 3 248,745 $86,689 $253,300
Dodge County 4 20,361 $68,718 $162,000
Scott County 5 139,490 $90,198 $258,400
Wright County 6 129,922 $75,705 $201,500
Nicollet County 7 33,226 $61,501 $174,200
Jackson County 8 10,163 $55,114 $115,100
Chisago County 9 54,041 $72,908 $195,600
Houston County 10 18,791 $55,550 $162,300
Brown County 11 25,327 $53,319 $132,300
Pope County 12 10,975 $55,180 $153,000
Kittson County 13 4,436 $51,484 $72,400
Lake County 14 10,721 $52,320 $164,700
Douglas County 15 36,862 $56,347 $189,900
Roseau County 16 15,609 $54,827 $115,700
Wabasha County 17 21,327 $58,865 $160,900
Wilkin County 18 6,479 $52,963 $110,800
Olmsted County 19 150,104 $69,308 $178,000
Big Stone County 20 5,098 $47,132 $96,900
Pennington County 21 14,156 $51,156 $123,300
Yellow Medicine County 22 10,038 $54,717 $98,100
Le Sueur County 23 27,650 $62,462 $182,000
Clay County 24 61,402 $59,614 $166,600
Meeker County 25 23,094 $58,574 $157,600
Dakota County 26 411,402 $77,321 $226,900
Steele County 27 36,541 $58,141 $149,700
Mcleod County 28 35,926 $57,738 $148,400
Stevens County 29 9,762 $55,941 $146,400
Grant County 30 5,943 $53,828 $100,800
Waseca County 31 19,034 $53,199 $142,800
Anoka County 32 341,249 $73,579 $193,200
Goodhue County 33 46,450 $60,452 $185,800
Lake Of The Woods County 34 3,901 $45,732 $122,400
Swift County 35 9,483 $49,956 $97,100
Isanti County 36 38,461 $62,733 $166,900
Becker County 37 33,375 $54,115 $177,600
Traverse County 38 3,397 $50,333 $72,800
Renville County 39 14,995 $54,824 $99,300
Chippewa County 40 12,126 $54,041 $102,400
Otter Tail County 41 57,694 $53,351 $168,900
Faribault County 42 14,119 $49,101 $85,400
Rice County 43 65,116 $61,683 $184,400
Polk County 44 31,550 $53,059 $145,100
Watonwan County 45 10,996 $50,068 $94,900
Morrison County 46 32,850 $51,456 $155,600
Cottonwood County 47 11,557 $47,407 $88,800
Fillmore County 48 20,877 $54,358 $143,700
Murray County 49 8,463 $51,801 $105,000
Lyon County 50 25,670 $51,920 $134,500
Hennepin County 51 1,209,265 $67,989 $235,800
Blue Earth County 52 65,524 $52,119 $166,200
Stearns County 53 153,661 $56,977 $168,200
Sibley County 54 14,957 $59,596 $134,300
Kandiyohi County 55 42,510 $53,514 $164,300
Martin County 56 20,193 $51,984 $108,500
Carlton County 57 35,482 $55,607 $160,900
Crow Wing County 58 63,321 $50,893 $181,800
Itasca County 59 45,356 $49,507 $155,400
Redwood County 60 15,578 $48,891 $96,900
Wadena County 61 13,755 $42,689 $113,400
Winona County 62 51,145 $52,840 $156,500
Freeborn County 63 30,751 $48,827 $106,600
Hubbard County 64 20,640 $49,742 $177,800
Cass County 65 28,633 $47,926 $174,000
Ramsey County 66 531,528 $57,717 $199,200
Benton County 67 39,457 $51,841 $158,400
Aitkin County 68 15,722 $44,524 $165,300
Mille Lacs County 69 25,788 $51,232 $143,500
St. Louis County 70 200,353 $49,395 $143,200
Todd County 71 24,335 $47,549 $132,100
Nobles County 72 21,729 $53,269 $113,100
Mower County 73 39,248 $51,778 $114,100
Beltrami County 74 45,644 $45,201 $148,600

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