These Are The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Minnesota For 2019


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

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fourth time ranking the cheapest places to live in Minnesota.

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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 cities and 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 144 largest places in Minnesota, we were left with this set of the best value for your money.

So where is the cheapest place to live in Minnesota? That would be Hibbing.

Here are the 10 cheapest places to live in Minnesota for 2019:

  1. Hibbing (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Montevideo (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Fairmont (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. International Falls (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. New Ulm (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Crookston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Kasson (Homes For Sale)
  8. Waseca (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Albert Lea (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Cloquet (Photos | Homes For Sale)

So listen up Minnetrista (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 Most Affordable Places To Live In The North Star State For 2019

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Minnesota
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it’s actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2013-2017 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics 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” by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 144 places in Minnesota that have more than 5,000 people.

The place with the lowest cost of living in Minnesota according to the data is Hibbing.

The 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Minnesota For 2019

Hibbing, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 16,183
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (16th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 82.5x (29th cheapest)
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.

The median income in Hibbing comes in at $44,659 and the median home value is $103,800 for 2019.

Montevideo, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 5,165
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 1.7x (1st most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 85.8x (24th cheapest)
More on Montevideo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Montevideo comes in at $50,625 and the median home value is $84,800 for 2019.

Fairmont, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,251
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.5x (29th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 84.0x (27th cheapest)
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.

The median income in Fairmont comes in at $48,973 and the median home value is $121,800 for 2019.

International Falls, MN

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 6,121
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.1x (5th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 71.8x (74th cheapest)
More on International Falls: Real Estate | Data | Photos

International Falls is a city in and the county seat of Koochiching County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 6,424 at the 2010 census.

The median income in International Falls comes in at $41,241 and the median home value is $86,500 for 2019.

New Ulm, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 13,249
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.4x (22nd most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 93.8x (15th cheapest)
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.

The median income in New Ulm comes in at $55,876 and the median home value is $136,400 for 2019.

Crookston, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,780
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (9th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 76.1x (52nd cheapest)
More on Crookston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Crookston is a city in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It is the county seat of Polk County. The population was 7,891 at the 2010 census. It is part of the “Grand Forks, ND–MN Metropolitan Statistical Area” or “Greater Grand Forks”.

The median income in Crookston comes in at $50,678 and the median home value is $110,900 for 2019.

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 6,228
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.3x (14th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 114.5x (3rd cheapest)
More on Kasson: Real Estate | Data

Kasson is a city in Dodge County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 5,931 at the 2010 census. The city is located 13 miles (21 km) west of Rochester, Minnesota along U.S. Highway 14 and is one of the endpoints of Minnesota State Highway 57. The Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern Railroad’s main freight rail line also runs through the city. Kasson shares a school system with nearby Mantorville, Minnesota (the “K–M Komets”). The K–M school system is a member of the Zumbro Education school district (ZED). Kasson is part of the Rochester, MN Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The median income in Kasson comes in at $71,098 and the median home value is $163,500 for 2019.

Waseca, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 9,151
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (41st most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 76.8x (50th cheapest)
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.

The median income in Waseca comes in at $46,083 and the median home value is $120,900 for 2019.

Albert Lea, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 17,716
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.2x (8th most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 67.3x (95th cheapest)
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.

The median income in Albert Lea comes in at $43,532 and the median home value is $94,400 for 2019.

Cloquet, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 11,965
Rank Last Year: 29 (Up 19)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.7x (51st most affordable)
Income To Rent Ratio: 81.6x (31st cheapest)
More on Cloquet: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Cloquet (/kloke/ ( listen) 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.

The median income in Cloquet comes in at $51,487 and the median home value is $139,900 for 2019.

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 most affordable places to live in minnesota for 2019.

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

  1. Minnetrista
  2. Arden Hills
  3. Minnetonka

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Cheapest Places To Live In Minnesota

Rank City CheapScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Hibbing 20.33 16,183 2.3x 82.5x
2 Montevideo 23.0 5,165 1.7x 85.8x
3 Fairmont 29.0 10,251 2.5x 84.0x
4 International Falls 29.33 6,121 2.1x 71.8x
5 New Ulm 30.33 13,249 2.4x 93.8x
6 Crookston 34.0 7,780 2.2x 76.1x
7 Kasson 35.33 6,228 2.3x 114.5x
8 Waseca 36.67 9,151 2.6x 76.8x
9 Albert Lea 39.0 17,716 2.2x 67.3x
10 Cloquet 40.0 11,965 2.7x 81.6x
11 Virginia 42.0 8,570 2.3x 65.1x
12 Litchfield 42.67 6,645 2.3x 73.5x
13 Belle Plaine 42.67 6,935 2.5x 101.7x
14 Redwood Falls 43.33 5,031 2.0x 66.3x
15 Byron 45.0 5,272 2.0x 98.8x
16 Austin 45.33 24,882 2.1x 65.6x
17 Isanti 45.33 5,458 2.1x 79.2x
18 Thief River Falls 45.67 8,769 2.7x 70.7x
19 St. Francis 46.33 7,475 2.2x 81.2x
20 North Branch 47.33 10,241 2.3x 82.2x
21 Albertville 49.0 7,303 2.3x 91.3x
22 Big Lake 49.0 10,516 2.4x 80.2x
23 St. Joseph 49.67 6,862 2.8x 78.4x
24 St. Michael 51.33 17,128 2.3x 107.9x
25 Worthington 52.0 13,142 2.6x 69.6x
26 Owatonna 53.0 25,613 2.7x 74.5x
27 Zimmerman 53.33 5,420 2.2x 75.4x
28 Sartell 53.67 16,749 2.5x 80.2x
29 Wyoming 53.67 7,793 2.5x 84.1x
30 Fergus Falls 53.67 13,606 2.8x 68.7x
31 St. Paul Park 54.0 5,376 2.4x 75.7x
32 Marshall 54.33 13,706 3.0x 75.8x
33 Rochester 55.33 112,683 2.6x 77.0x
34 Mound 56.67 9,380 2.8x 94.4x
35 North Mankato 57.33 13,583 2.8x 77.1x
36 Hutchinson 58.0 13,836 2.5x 69.1x
37 Rogers 60.33 12,564 2.5x 96.0x
38 New Prague 60.67 7,598 2.9x 88.2x
39 Willmar 60.67 19,608 2.8x 66.6x
40 Farmington 61.33 22,502 2.5x 81.0x
41 Grand Rapids 62.67 11,099 3.2x 71.9x
42 Rosemount 63.33 23,474 2.6x 86.0x
43 Glencoe 63.67 5,511 2.5x 62.3x
44 Elk River 64.0 23,924 2.7x 80.0x
45 Champlin 64.0 24,209 2.5x 76.9x
46 Dayton 65.0 5,238 2.8x 84.5x
47 Hastings 65.67 22,620 2.9x 75.7x
48 Savage 66.33 30,011 2.7x 88.5x
49 Sauk Rapids 66.67 13,354 3.1x 71.3x
50 Winona 66.67 27,153 3.2x 69.1x
51 Lino Lakes 68.0 20,950 2.5x 80.9x
52 Ham Lake 68.33 16,119 2.9x 104.3x
53 Blaine 68.67 62,453 2.5x 71.9x
54 Waconia 68.67 11,751 3.0x 96.4x
55 Cottage Grove 68.67 35,902 2.5x 75.0x
56 Delano 69.0 5,854 3.3x 121.8x
57 Moorhead 69.0 41,801 3.0x 72.5x
58 East Grand Forks 69.33 8,614 3.3x 77.1x
59 Buffalo 69.67 15,996 2.8x 70.2x
60 Vadnais Heights 69.67 13,283 2.8x 76.8x
61 Brooklyn Park 70.0 79,462 2.8x 72.5x
62 North St. Paul 70.33 12,241 3.0x 72.8x
63 Faribault 70.33 23,577 2.9x 64.5x
64 Stewartville 70.67 6,115 2.9x 68.8x
65 Robbinsdale 70.67 14,446 2.7x 67.0x
66 Northfield 71.0 20,297 3.3x 80.2x
67 Otsego 71.67 15,630 2.0x 70.7x
68 Lake City 72.33 5,154 2.8x 63.4x
69 Prior Lake 72.67 25,452 2.9x 87.7x
70 Monticello 73.33 13,316 2.8x 67.4x
71 East Bethel 74.0 11,733 2.6x 72.2x
72 Victoria 74.0 8,679 2.9x 127.8x
73 Chaska 74.33 25,578 3.0x 80.3x
74 St. Cloud 75.33 67,093 3.1x 63.7x
75 Cambridge 75.67 8,462 2.8x 56.4x
76 Mounds View 76.33 12,872 3.0x 68.8x
77 Oak Grove 77.33 8,453 2.6x 73.4x
78 Little Falls 77.67 8,648 3.2x 63.6x
79 Coon Rapids 79.33 62,342 2.6x 62.8x
80 South St. Paul 79.33 20,280 2.9x 64.6x
81 Stillwater 79.67 19,232 3.1x 78.1x
82 Crystal 79.67 22,910 2.7x 59.7x
83 Red Wing 80.0 16,334 3.2x 66.6x
84 Apple Valley 80.67 51,109 2.7x 69.1x
85 Spring Lake Park 80.67 6,535 2.9x 63.6x
86 Chanhassen 81.33 25,108 3.0x 91.1x
87 Ramsey 82.33 25,853 2.4x 66.0x
88 Baxter 82.33 7,988 3.0x 67.2x
89 Morris 83.0 5,326 3.2x 62.5x
90 Mahtomedi 83.33 8,005 3.2x 87.9x
91 Lakeville 83.33 61,056 2.7x 73.3x
92 Eagan 83.67 66,102 3.1x 75.9x
93 Duluth 84.67 86,066 3.2x 61.4x
94 Corcoran 84.67 5,671 3.0x 77.8x
95 Shakopee 85.0 40,024 2.9x 69.6x
96 Inver Grove Heights 85.0 34,976 3.1x 71.6x
97 Maple Grove 85.0 68,362 2.6x 70.0x
98 Brainerd 85.67 13,394 3.2x 48.9x
99 Brooklyn Center 86.33 30,885 3.0x 52.6x
100 New Brighton 86.67 22,440 3.3x 73.7x

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