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 the best places to live in Minnesota or the most expensive.

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

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.

1. Albert Lea

Albert Lea, Minnesota

Population: 17,969
Services: 94
Groceries: 93
Health Care: 91
Housing: 54
Transportation: 90
Utilities: 93
More on Albert Lea: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

2. Austin

Austin, Minnesota

Population: 24,632
Services: 94
Groceries: 93
Health Care: 91
Housing: 58
Transportation: 90
Utilities: 93
More on Austin: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

3. Stewartville

Stewartville, Minnesota

Population: 5,930
Services: 94
Groceries: 93
Health Care: 91
Housing: 86
Transportation: 90
Utilities: 93
More on Stewartville: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

4. Rochester

Rochester, Minnesota

Population: 106,903
Services: 94
Groceries: 93
Health Care: 91
Housing: 90
Transportation: 90
Utilities: 93
More on Rochester: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

5. Redwood Falls

Redwood Falls, Minnesota

Population: 5,227
Services: 104
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 111
Housing: 55
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 76
More on Redwood Falls: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

6. Fairmont

Fairmont, Minnesota

Population: 10,579
Services: 104
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 111
Housing: 63
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 76
More on Fairmont: Homes For Sale | Data
Fairmont is a city in and the county seat of Martin County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 10,666 at the 2010 census.

7. Worthington

Worthington, Minnesota

Population: 12,701
Services: 104
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 111
Housing: 64
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 76
More on Worthington: Homes For Sale | Data
Worthington is a city and county seat of Nobles County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 12,764 at the 2010 census.

8. New Ulm

New Ulm, Minnesota

Source: Public domain

Population: 13,435
Services: 104
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 111
Housing: 66
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 76
More on New Ulm: Homes For Sale | Data
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.

9. Waseca

Waseca, Minnesota

Population: 9,341
Services: 104
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 111
Housing: 67
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 76
More on Waseca: Homes For Sale | Data
Waseca is a city in Waseca County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 9,410 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat.

10. Glencoe

Glencoe, Minnesota

Population: 5,633
Services: 104
Groceries: 105
Health Care: 111
Housing: 76
Transportation: 98
Utilities: 76
More on Glencoe: Homes For Sale | Data
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. 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.

Detailed List Of The Cheapest Places In Minnesota

City Rank Population Services Groceries Health Care
Albert Lea 1 17,969 94 93 91
Austin 2 24,632 94 93 91
Stewartville 3 5,930 94 93 91
Rochester 4 106,903 94 93 91
Redwood Falls 5 5,227 104 105 111
Fairmont 6 10,579 104 105 111
Worthington 7 12,701 104 105 111
New Ulm 8 13,435 104 105 111
Waseca 9 9,341 104 105 111
Glencoe 10 5,633 104 105 111
Marshall 11 13,551 104 105 111
Kasson 12 5,907 104 105 111
Mankato 13 39,246 104 105 111
Owatonna 14 25,489 104 105 111
Faribault 15 23,297 104 105 111
North Mankato 16 13,320 104 105 111
Belle Plaine 17 6,625 104 105 111
International Falls 18 6,402 96 101 114
Thief River Falls 19 8,584 96 101 114
Crookston 20 7,866 96 101 114
New Prague 21 7,273 104 105 111
Fergus Falls 22 13,220 96 101 114
Bemidji 23 13,485 96 101 114
Hibbing 24 16,345 104 114 114
Virginia 25 8,718 104 114 114
Montevideo 26 5,330 104 114 114
Detroit Lakes 27 8,615 96 101 114
East Grand Forks 28 8,502 96 101 114
Little Falls 29 8,344 104 114 114
Brainerd 30 13,609 104 114 114
Moorhead 31 38,091 96 101 114
Morris 32 5,284 104 114 114
Willmar 33 19,541 104 114 114
Grand Rapids 34 10,865 104 114 114
Litchfield 35 6,719 104 114 114
Cloquet 36 12,097 104 114 114
Alexandria 37 11,260 104 114 114
Duluth 38 86,239 104 114 114
Sauk Rapids 39 12,784 104 114 114
Hutchinson 40 14,111 104 114 114
Waite Park 41 6,702 104 114 114
Zimmerman 42 5,168 104 114 114
Monticello 43 12,711 104 114 114
Baxter 44 7,596 104 114 114
Buffalo 45 15,379 104 114 114
Big Lake 46 10,029 104 114 114
Big Lake 47 10,029 104 114 114
Sartell 48 15,545 104 114 114
Red Wing 49 16,444 109 105 103
North Branch 50 10,057 109 105 103
Hastings 51 22,072 109 105 103
Hermantown 52 9,418 104 114 114
Northfield 53 19,900 109 105 103
Maplewood 54 38,186 109 105 103
Oakdale 55 27,508 109 105 103
Wyoming 56 7,746 109 105 103
Little Canada 57 9,819 109 105 103
Farmington 58 20,966 109 105 103
White Bear Lake 59 23,797 109 105 103
Cambridge 60 8,088 110 105 103
Vadnais Heights 61 12,449 109 105 103
Brooklyn Center 62 30,144 110 105 103
Isanti 63 5,228 110 105 103
Roseville 64 33,833 109 105 103
Inver Grove Heights 65 33,867 109 105 103
Columbia Heights 66 19,549 110 105 103
Cottage Grove 67 34,635 109 105 103
Spring Lake Park 68 6,445 110 105 103
Apple Valley 69 49,336 109 105 103
Forest Lake 70 18,390 109 105 103
Crystal 71 22,242 110 105 103
Eagan 72 64,538 109 105 103
Stillwater 73 18,229 109 105 103
Rosemount 74 21,749 109 105 103
Anoka 75 17,250 110 105 103
Robbinsdale 76 14,048 110 105 103
Hugo 77 13,198 109 105 103
Fridley 78 27,404 110 105 103
Mounds View 79 12,229 110 105 103
Falcon Heights 80 5,352 109 105 103
Jordan 81 5,560 110 105 103
Coon Rapids 82 61,739 110 105 103
Lakeville 83 55,888 109 105 103
Richfield 84 35,347 110 105 103
New Hope 85 20,436 110 105 103
Brooklyn Park 86 75,843 110 105 103
Lino Lakes 87 20,276 109 105 103
Woodbury 88 62,158 109 105 103
Delano 89 5,458 110 105 103
Albertville 90 6,969 110 105 103
Elk River 91 23,011 110 105 103
Minneapolis 92 385,023 110 105 103
Mahtomedi 93 7,766 109 105 103
Blaine 94 57,384 110 105 103
Mound 95 9,108 110 105 103
Lake Elmo 96 8,013 109 105 103
Mendota Heights 97 11,140 109 105 103
Otsego 98 13,506 110 105 103
New Brighton 99 21,549 110 105 103
Hopkins 100 17,661 110 105 103
Shakopee 101 37,150 110 105 103
Burnsville 102 60,676 110 105 103
Champlin 103 23,198 110 105 103
Waconia 104 10,707 110 105 103
Bloomington 105 83,658 110 105 103
Chaska 106 23,698 110 105 103
East Bethel 107 11,609 110 105 103
Ramsey 108 23,612 110 105 103
Shoreview 109 25,200 110 105 103
Andover 110 30,648 110 105 103
Ham Lake 111 15,277 110 105 103
Golden Valley 112 20,454 110 105 103
Oak Grove 113 8,027 110 105 103
Maple Grove 114 61,802 110 105 103
Savage 115 27,143 110 105 103
Prior Lake 116 22,946 110 105 103
Rogers 117 10,035 110 105 103
Minnetonka 118 50,151 110 105 103
Arden Hills 119 9,588 110 105 103
Plymouth 120 70,895 110 105 103
Corcoran 121 5,407 110 105 103
Eden Prairie 122 60,843 110 105 103
Chanhassen 123 23,229 110 105 103
Victoria 124 7,407 110 105 103
Minnetrista 125 6,367 110 105 103
Edina 126 48,155 110 105 103
Shorewood 127 7,350 110 105 103
Orono 128 7,494 110 105 103
Winona 129 27,727 112 107 110
Lake City 130 5,173 112 107 110

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