Best Places To Retire In Minnesota For 2020


We analyzed over 80 places in Minnesota to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to retire in Minnesota.

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Minnesota might not be one of the top ten best states to retire, but that doesn't matter because it has some of the best places in the country to live out your golden years.

There are some places, however, in the Land of 10,000 Lakes that are better than others for retirees and HomeSnacks is here to tell you where the best places to retire in Minnesota for 2020.

In order to determine the best places to retire in Minnesota, we analyzed 83 for every place with over 10,000. We looked at several factors including crime, population of residents in this demographic, affordable housing and rent, and how close said city is to an international airport.

We discovered that most of the North Star State's best places to retire are close to major metropolises like Minneapolis and Rochester. Probably because there's more to do in these bigger cities. And a fun fact, none of the places on our list have more than 70,000 residents; so if small, quaint, cities with lots to do are your retirements, Minnesota's best places top ten will not disappoint.

So, find yourself a diner, order that early bird special, and read on as we uncover the list of the best places to retire in Minnesota.

Why did New Ulm take the top spot? And where are Minneapolis and St. Paul?

Picture a cool, idyllic, Minnesota city where the people who live there are hard working, nice individuals. Then, picture a place with fun outdoor activities, affordable housing, and close to an international airport and you will know what it's like to live in Minnesota's best place to retire.

So, where is the best place to retire in Minnesota for 2020? Well, according to the most recent FBI and Census data, that would be New Ulm.

To see Minnesota's other best places to retire, take a look below. And if you don't find your favorite there, head to the bottom.

For more Minnesota state reading:

The 10 Best Places To Retire In Minnesota For 2020

New Ulm, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 13,248
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Median Rent: $592
Distance to Closest Airport: 72 miles
More on New Ulm: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Grand Rapids, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,140
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Rent: $651
Distance to Closest Airport: 68 miles
More on Grand Rapids: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Hibbing, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 16,106
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $548
Distance to Closest Airport: 52 miles
More on Hibbing: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Hibbing is a city in Saint Louis County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 16,361 at the 2010 census. The city was built on the rich iron ore of the Mesabi Iron Range. At the edge of town is the largest open-pit iron mine in the world, the Hull-Rust-Mahoning Open Pit Iron Mine. U.S. Highway 169, State Highway 37, State Highway 73, Howard Street, and 1st Avenue are five of the main routes in Hibbing. The Range Regional Airport offers daily commercial flights between Hibbing and Minneapolis, as well as hosting many private pilots and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources fire fighting aircraft.

Minnetonka, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 52,546
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Rent: $1,359
Distance to Closest Airport: 12 miles
More on Minnetonka: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Stillwater, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 19,275
Rank Last Year: 18 (Up 13)
Median Rent: $988
Distance to Closest Airport: 22 miles
More on Stillwater: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Fairmont, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,191
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Rent: $646
Distance to Closest Airport: 105 miles
More on Fairmont: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Fairmont is a city in and the county seat of Martin County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 10,666 at the 2010 census.

Cloquet, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 11,998
Rank Last Year: 34 (Up 27)
Median Rent: $677
Distance to Closest Airport: 16 miles
More on Cloquet: Real Estate | Data | Photos

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.

Inver Grove Heights, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 35,197
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $1,048
Distance to Closest Airport: 8 miles
More on Inver Grove Heights: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Inver Grove Heights is a city in Dakota County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 33,880 at the 2010 census.

Owatonna, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 25,656
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $740
Distance to Closest Airport: 54 miles
More on Owatonna: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Owatonna is a city in Steele County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 25,599 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Steele County. Owatonna is home to the Steele County Fairgrounds, which hosts the Steele County Free Fair in August.

North Mankato, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 13,704
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Rent: $818
Distance to Closest Airport: 62 miles
More on North Mankato: Real Estate | Data | Photos

How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the North Star State for 2020

To create our list of the best places in Minnesota to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the North Star State -- 904 cities and towns.

We then narrowed it down to places with at least 10,000 people that weren't townships. This left us with 83 places from across the state.

For these 83, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI's Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 83, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case New Ulm, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers. You can download the data here.

Maybe You're Not Ready To Retire In Minnesota Yet...

So there you have it, the best place to retire in Minnesota goes to New Ulm.

If you're not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  1. St. Cloud
  2. Brooklyn Center
  3. Rogers

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Retire In Minnesota?

Rank City Population Median Rent
1 New Ulm 13,248 $592
2 Grand Rapids 11,140 $651
3 Hibbing 16,106 $548
4 Minnetonka 52,546 $1,359
5 Stillwater 19,275 $988
6 Fairmont 10,191 $646
7 Cloquet 11,998 $677
8 Inver Grove Heights 35,197 $1,048
9 Owatonna 25,656 $740
10 North Mankato 13,704 $818

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.