These Are The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Minnesota For 2018


We used data and science to determine which places in Minnesota go easy on your wallet.

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A wise sage once said:

“She works hard for the money…”

And these places in Minnesota definitely treat her right.

You see, these are the places in Minnesota where the cost of living is the lowest; where your salary goes the furthest. And when if you have the luxury of choosing where to live in the North Star State, then the cost of living should play a role in the decision.

So we did the hard for you and crunched the numbers to find the cities that have lower food, energy, and housing costs. After the dust settled on our analysis of the 130 largest places in Minnesota, we were left with this set of the best value for your money.

Here are the 10 cheapest places to live in Minnesota for 2018:

  1. Albert Lea (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Austin (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Stewartville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Rochester (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Redwood Falls (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Fairmont (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Worthington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. New Ulm (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Waseca (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Glencoe (Photos | Homes For Sale)

So listen up Lake City (the most expensive place in Minnesota) as we explain how we created this ranking. You could learn some things from the rest of the state.

And if you already knew these places were cheap, check out some more reading about Minnesota and the cheapest places in the country:

How We Determined The Cheapest Places To Live In The North Star State For 2018

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Minnesota
There are basic necessities that you have to buy no matter where in the country you live. Those things include:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Gas
  • Health Insurance
  • Utilities
  • Transportation

You can then compare the cost of these things in each of the places in Minnesota to figure out which is the least expensive.

What you are left with is a “Cost of Living Index” that normalizes to 100 for an average place in the United States.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 130 places in Minnesota that have more than 5,000 people.

And just so you can better understand how the cost of living index works, 100 is the average cost of a place in the United States. A score of 90 means that the place cost 10% less than average. A score of 90 means it’s 10% less expensive.

San Francisco has a score of 243 meaning it’s almost 2.5 times as expensive as the average place in the country.

Albert Lea, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 17,969
Services: 94
Groceries: 93
Health Care: 91
Housing: 54
Transportation: 90
Utilities: 93
More on Albert Lea: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Albert Lea is a city located in Freeborn County, in the southeastern part of the State of Minnesota. It is also the county seat. The population was 18,016 at the 2010 census.

Austin, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 24,632
Services: 94
Groceries: 93
Health Care: 91
Housing: 58
Transportation: 90
Utilities: 93
More on Austin: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Austin is a city in Mower County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 24,718 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Mower County. The town was originally settled along the Cedar River and it has two artificial lakes called East Side Lake and Mill Pond. The town was named for Austin R. Nichols, the first settler in the area.

Stewartville, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,930
Services: 94
Groceries: 93
Health Care: 91
Housing: 86
Transportation: 90
Utilities: 93
More on Stewartville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Stewartville is a city in Olmsted County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 5,916 at the 2010 census. Stewartville has experienced growth as a result of its location just south of Rochester.

Rochester, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 106,903
Services: 94
Groceries: 93
Health Care: 91
Housing: 90
Transportation: 90
Utilities: 93
More on Rochester: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Rochester is a city in the U.S. State of Minnesota and is the county seat of Olmsted County. Located on the Zumbro River’s south fork in Southeast Minnesota, according to the 2010 United States Census the city has a population of 106,769. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated that the 2016 population was 114,011. It is Minnesota’s third-largest city and the largest city located outside the Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2015, the Rochester metropolitan area has a population of 215,884. It is the home of the Mayo Clinic and one of IBM’s largest facilities. The city has long been rated as one of the best places to live in the United States by multiple publications such as Money and is one of the most educated cities in the world.

Redwood Falls, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 5,227
Services: 104
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 111
Housing: 55
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 76
More on Redwood Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Redwood Falls is a city in Redwood County, located along the Redwood River near its confluence with the Minnesota River, in the U.S. state of Minnesota. The population was 5,254 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat.

Fairmont, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,579
Services: 104
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 111
Housing: 63
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 76
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.

Worthington, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,701
Services: 104
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 111
Housing: 64
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 76
More on Worthington: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Worthington is a city and county seat of Nobles County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 12,764 at the 2010 census.

New Ulm, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 13,435
Services: 104
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 111
Housing: 66
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 76
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.

Waseca, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 9,341
Services: 104
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 111
Housing: 67
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 76
More on Waseca: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Waseca is a city in Waseca County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 9,410 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat.

Glencoe, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 5,633
Services: 104
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 111
Housing: 76
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 76
More on Glencoe: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Glencoe is the county seat of McLeod County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 5,631 at the 2010 census.

There You Have It Mr. Or Mrs. Minnesota Cheapskate

If you’re looking at the cost of living numbers in Minnesota, this is an accurate list of the cheapest places to call home.

Here’s a look at the most expensive cities in Minnesota according to the data:

  1. Lake City
  2. Winona
  3. Orono

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Cheapest Places In Minnesota

Rank City CheapScore Population Services Groceries Health Care
1 Albert Lea 18.17 17,969 94 93 91
2 Austin 18.83 24,632 94 93 91
3 Stewartville 23.83 5,930 94 93 91
4 Rochester 25.0 106,903 94 93 91
5 Redwood Falls 39.75 5,227 104 105 111
6 Fairmont 40.5 10,579 104 105 111
7 Worthington 40.75 12,701 104 105 111
8 New Ulm 41.08 13,435 104 105 111
9 Waseca 41.42 9,341 104 105 111
10 Glencoe 42.5 5,633 104 105 111
11 Marshall 42.92 13,551 104 105 111
12 Kasson 43.75 5,907 104 105 111
13 Mankato 44.33 39,246 104 105 111
14 Owatonna 44.67 25,489 104 105 111
15 Faribault 45.17 23,297 104 105 111
16 North Mankato 45.67 13,320 104 105 111
17 Belle Plaine 46.75 6,625 104 105 111
18 International Falls 48.5 6,402 96 101 114
19 Thief River Falls 48.67 8,584 96 101 114
20 Crookston 49.5 7,866 96 101 114
21 New Prague 49.67 7,273 104 105 111
22 Fergus Falls 50.08 13,220 96 101 114
23 Bemidji 51.33 13,485 96 101 114
24 Hibbing 51.67 16,345 104 114 114
25 Virginia 51.92 8,718 104 114 114
26 Montevideo 52.58 5,330 104 114 114
27 Detroit Lakes 52.75 8,615 96 101 114
28 East Grand Forks 53.33 8,502 96 101 114
29 Little Falls 53.5 8,344 104 114 114
30 Brainerd 53.5 13,609 104 114 114
31 Moorhead 53.92 38,091 96 101 114
32 Morris 54.0 5,284 104 114 114
33 Willmar 54.33 19,541 104 114 114
34 Grand Rapids 54.5 10,865 104 114 114
35 Litchfield 54.92 6,719 104 114 114
36 Cloquet 54.92 12,097 104 114 114
37 Alexandria 55.58 11,260 104 114 114
38 Duluth 56.17 86,239 104 114 114
39 Sauk Rapids 56.17 12,784 104 114 114
40 Hutchinson 56.17 14,111 104 114 114
41 Waite Park 57.08 6,702 104 114 114
42 Zimmerman 58.08 5,168 104 114 114
43 Monticello 59.17 12,711 104 114 114
44 Baxter 60.17 7,596 104 114 114
45 Buffalo 60.17 15,379 104 114 114
46 Big Lake 60.17 10,029 104 114 114
47 Big Lake 60.17 10,029 104 114 114
48 Sartell 61.0 15,545 104 114 114
49 Red Wing 62.25 16,444 109 105 103
50 North Branch 63.67 10,057 109 105 103
51 Hastings 65.17 22,072 109 105 103
52 Hermantown 65.42 9,418 104 114 114
53 Northfield 66.67 19,900 109 105 103
54 Maplewood 67.0 38,186 109 105 103
55 Oakdale 67.33 27,508 109 105 103
56 Wyoming 67.92 7,746 109 105 103
57 Little Canada 67.92 9,819 109 105 103
58 Farmington 67.92 20,966 109 105 103
59 White Bear Lake 68.5 23,797 109 105 103
60 Cambridge 68.75 8,088 110 105 103
61 Vadnais Heights 69.58 12,449 109 105 103
62 Brooklyn Center 69.92 30,144 110 105 103
63 Isanti 70.17 5,228 110 105 103
64 Roseville 70.42 33,833 109 105 103
65 Inver Grove Heights 70.42 33,867 109 105 103
66 Columbia Heights 70.58 19,549 110 105 103
67 Cottage Grove 71.0 34,635 109 105 103
68 Spring Lake Park 71.08 6,445 110 105 103
69 Apple Valley 71.17 49,336 109 105 103
70 Forest Lake 71.42 18,390 109 105 103
71 Crystal 71.58 22,242 110 105 103
72 Eagan 72.0 64,538 109 105 103
73 Stillwater 72.0 18,229 109 105 103
74 Rosemount 72.0 21,749 109 105 103
75 Anoka 72.08 17,250 110 105 103
76 Robbinsdale 72.42 14,048 110 105 103
77 Hugo 72.67 13,198 109 105 103
78 Fridley 72.83 27,404 110 105 103
79 Mounds View 72.83 12,229 110 105 103
80 Falcon Heights 73.0 5,352 109 105 103
81 Jordan 73.17 5,560 110 105 103
82 Coon Rapids 73.17 61,739 110 105 103
83 Lakeville 73.33 55,888 109 105 103
84 Richfield 73.5 35,347 110 105 103
85 New Hope 73.92 20,436 110 105 103
86 Brooklyn Park 73.92 75,843 110 105 103
87 Lino Lakes 74.0 20,276 109 105 103
88 Woodbury 74.5 62,158 109 105 103
89 Delano 74.58 5,458 110 105 103
90 Albertville 74.58 6,969 110 105 103
91 Elk River 75.17 23,011 110 105 103
92 Minneapolis 75.58 385,023 110 105 103
93 Mahtomedi 75.67 7,766 109 105 103
94 Blaine 76.0 57,384 110 105 103
95 Mound 76.0 9,108 110 105 103
96 Lake Elmo 76.08 8,013 109 105 103
97 Mendota Heights 76.08 11,140 109 105 103
98 Otsego 76.42 13,506 110 105 103
99 New Brighton 76.42 21,549 110 105 103
100 Hopkins 76.42 17,661 110 105 103

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