These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In Minnesota For 2019


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Minnesota are the best of the best.

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2019.

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You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in Minnesota, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the North Star State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Minnesota based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Minnesota ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 20, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Minnesota for 2019:

  1. Deephaven (Homes)
  2. Long Lake (Homes)
  3. Elko New Market (Homes)
  4. Carver (Photos | Homes)
  5. Oronoco (Homes)
  6. Tonka Bay (Homes)
  7. North Oaks (Photos | Homes)
  8. Cold Spring (Photos | Homes)
  9. Cologne (Homes)
  10. Wayzata (Photos | Homes)

If you live in one of these small towns like Deephaven, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the North Star State check out:

How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Minnesota

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 214 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 214, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Minnesota. Top of that list — Deephaven.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 20 best small towns in Minnesota.

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 3,818
Median Income: $136,331 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $550,400 (4th Best)
More on Deephaven: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,727
Median Income: $87,500 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $274,100 (19th Best)
More on Long Lake: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 4,556
Median Income: $118,750 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $280,000 (17th Best)
More on Elko New Market: Data | Homes For Sale

Carver, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 4,470
Median Income: $109,938 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $309,300 (14th Best)
More on Carver: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,607
Median Income: $113,750 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $282,800 (16th Best)
More on Oronoco: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,380
Median Income: $119,779 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $589,300 (1st Best)
More on Tonka Bay: Data | Homes For Sale

North Oaks, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 4,961
Median Income: $142,083 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $580,900 (3rd Best)
More on North Oaks: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Cold Spring, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,067
Median Income: $61,658 (63rd Best)
Median Home Value: $162,400 (61st Best)
More on Cold Spring: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,729
Median Income: $84,191 (21st Best)
Median Home Value: $216,000 (30th Best)
More on Cologne: Data | Homes For Sale

Wayzata, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 4,467
Median Income: $72,965 (33rd Best)
Median Home Value: $471,500 (5th Best)
More on Wayzata: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 2,430
Median Income: $62,645 (59th Best)
Median Home Value: $140,400 (92nd Best)
More on Lake Crystal: Data | Homes For Sale

Circle Pines, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 4,967
Median Income: $81,672 (23rd Best)
Median Home Value: $188,200 (37th Best)
More on Circle Pines: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,688
Median Income: $75,815 (29th Best)
Median Home Value: $217,100 (29th Best)
More on Bayport: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,240
Median Income: $56,563 (80th Best)
Median Home Value: $140,800 (91st Best)
More on Scanlon: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 4,823
Median Income: $57,655 (74th Best)
Median Home Value: $224,300 (27th Best)
More on Oak Park Heights: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,707
Median Income: $72,813 (34th Best)
Median Home Value: $165,000 (58th Best)
More on Avon: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 2,681
Median Income: $55,625 (84th Best)
Median Home Value: $124,400 (116th Best)
More on Roseau: Data | Homes For Sale

Dilworth, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,293
Median Income: $57,841 (73rd Best)
Median Home Value: $171,400 (49th Best)
More on Dilworth: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,149
Median Income: $171,750 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $585,500 (2nd Best)
More on Dellwood: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,309
Median Income: $67,944 (46th Best)
Median Home Value: $149,800 (77th Best)
More on Medford: Data | Homes For Sale

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 20 small towns in Minnesota are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in Minnesota:

  1. Redby
  2. Menahga
  3. Red Lake

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Minnesota

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Deephaven 3,818 $136,331.0 $550,400.0
2 Long Lake 1,727 $87,500.0 $274,100.0
3 Elko New Market 4,556 $118,750.0 $280,000.0
4 Carver 4,470 $109,938.0 $309,300.0
5 Oronoco 1,607 $113,750.0 $282,800.0
6 Tonka Bay 1,380 $119,779.0 $589,300.0
7 North Oaks 4,961 $142,083.0 $580,900.0
8 Cold Spring 4,067 $61,658.0 $162,400.0
9 Cologne 1,729 $84,191.0 $216,000.0
10 Wayzata 4,467 $72,965.0 $471,500.0
11 Lake Crystal 2,430 $62,645.0 $140,400.0
12 Circle Pines 4,967 $81,672.0 $188,200.0
13 Bayport 3,688 $75,815.0 $217,100.0
14 Scanlon 1,240 $56,563.0 $140,800.0
15 Oak Park Heights 4,823 $57,655.0 $224,300.0
16 Avon 1,707 $72,813.0 $165,000.0
17 Roseau 2,681 $55,625.0 $124,400.0
18 Dilworth 4,293 $57,841.0 $171,400.0
19 Dellwood 1,149 $171,750.0 $585,500.0
20 Medford 1,309 $67,944.0 $149,800.0
21 Nisswa 1,962 $60,750.0 $249,700.0
22 Grant 4,140 $110,278.0 $444,900.0
23 Esko 1,717 $75,417.0 $247,200.0
24 Crosslake 1,865 $61,477.0 $348,300.0
25 St. Bonifacius 2,471 $84,375.0 $236,700.0
26 Lakeland 1,893 $85,294.0 $233,100.0
27 Eyota 1,850 $66,691.0 $165,900.0
28 St. Augusta 3,613 $73,831.0 $208,200.0
29 Chatfield 3,067 $64,440.0 $175,900.0
30 Mayer 1,977 $93,182.0 $210,200.0
31 Nicollet 1,151 $68,750.0 $154,800.0
32 Dundas 1,586 $80,179.0 $191,400.0
33 Hanover 3,234 $92,875.0 $275,700.0
34 Goodview 4,066 $61,951.0 $144,400.0
35 Centerville 3,943 $98,214.0 $242,800.0
36 Spicer 1,320 $58,500.0 $170,900.0
37 Independence 3,726 $114,700.0 $439,700.0
38 Hawley 2,009 $74,554.0 $151,200.0
39 Lindstrom 4,442 $77,647.0 $185,100.0
40 Rockford 4,323 $67,813.0 $183,500.0
41 Eagle Lake 2,812 $69,306.0 $165,300.0
42 Maple Plain 1,894 $65,000.0 $223,700.0
43 Afton 2,963 $109,688.0 $427,700.0
44 Cottonwood 1,215 $51,650.0 $149,000.0
45 Spring Park 1,774 $48,517.0 $382,400.0
46 Osseo 2,680 $52,569.0 $171,500.0
47 Breezy Point 2,239 $66,724.0 $210,500.0
48 Greenfield 2,913 $109,175.0 $396,100.0
49 Zumbrota 3,362 $48,228.0 $164,900.0
50 Scandia 4,044 $87,171.0 $342,300.0
51 Janesville 2,663 $68,315.0 $134,500.0
52 Plainview 3,275 $59,171.0 $138,500.0
53 Albany 2,674 $57,500.0 $150,900.0
54 Lonsdale 3,850 $70,435.0 $186,700.0
55 Excelsior 2,375 $55,000.0 $462,700.0
56 Barnesville 2,574 $68,313.0 $145,800.0
57 Proctor 3,045 $57,327.0 $142,000.0
58 Norwood Young America 3,686 $65,430.0 $172,000.0
59 Columbus 4,009 $84,773.0 $245,000.0
60 Lauderdale 2,501 $47,390.0 $175,500.0
61 Glyndon 1,163 $60,000.0 $154,300.0
62 Waverly 1,444 $76,563.0 $168,700.0
63 Perham 3,261 $50,089.0 $138,200.0
64 Cohasset 2,731 $61,923.0 $203,700.0
65 Becker 4,734 $82,596.0 $167,100.0
66 Richmond 1,585 $54,526.0 $144,200.0
67 Rockville 2,513 $77,500.0 $253,900.0
68 Mantorville 1,082 $75,909.0 $157,400.0
69 Elgin 1,301 $55,104.0 $138,300.0
70 Rice 1,575 $72,375.0 $159,500.0
71 Two Harbors 3,551 $49,032.0 $141,400.0
72 Goodhue 1,206 $69,028.0 $160,600.0
73 Hallock 1,088 $59,226.0 $79,300.0
74 New London 1,229 $46,719.0 $156,600.0
75 Lewiston 1,598 $62,716.0 $143,000.0
76 Luverne 4,587 $51,062.0 $123,000.0
77 Clearwater 1,847 $70,541.0 $158,000.0
78 Newport 3,485 $63,445.0 $185,500.0
79 Wheaton 1,508 $41,958.0 $70,600.0
80 Breckenridge 3,273 $41,010.0 $99,700.0
81 Lakefield 1,703 $53,550.0 $92,500.0
82 Cannon Falls 4,049 $56,037.0 $165,300.0
83 Jackson 3,250 $46,096.0 $109,100.0
84 Montrose 3,105 $72,455.0 $159,200.0
85 Hayfield 1,343 $51,150.0 $114,300.0
86 Blooming Prairie 1,949 $58,194.0 $116,600.0
87 Glenwood 2,521 $48,170.0 $134,200.0
88 Edgerton 1,194 $50,139.0 $89,600.0
89 Renville 1,427 $55,625.0 $73,900.0
90 Springfield 2,105 $42,679.0 $76,800.0
91 Dawson 1,631 $43,370.0 $68,800.0
92 St. Charles 3,726 $65,102.0 $160,200.0
93 Sauk Centre 4,350 $48,920.0 $136,300.0
94 Watertown 4,329 $63,688.0 $176,700.0
95 Rushford 1,813 $45,221.0 $144,700.0
96 Minneota 1,364 $57,240.0 $97,400.0
97 Le Sueur 4,000 $59,960.0 $134,700.0
98 Adrian 1,198 $52,250.0 $87,600.0
99 Blue Earth 3,169 $45,884.0 $77,700.0
100 Pine Island 3,416 $68,198.0 $181,800.0

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.