Where are the best places in the state of Minnesota? They are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places where people have the best jobs, where residents are happily married, and where the sun shines the most.
And certainly, since crime is really low, every one wants to be there. It’s, literally, all sunshine and rainbows.
We looked at the 148 most populated cities in the North Star State for this study. The Minnesota cities at the top are places where things are going swimmingly right now, at least according to data, which measures the good things that people say they want in a city.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.
So we know what we’re talking about.
Here are the 10 best places to live in Minnesota:
- Maple Grove
- Eden Prairie
We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), these are the best options in Minnesota for making a place home. Most of these are Minneapolis suburbs.
The worst city to live in Minnesota? Cambridge. More on that later.
How do you decide if a place is amazeballs or not?
In order to rank Minnesota’s best cities, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, good weather, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we crunched the numbers for Minnesota
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:
- Strong schools
- Low unemployment rates
- High incomes
- High home prices
- Lots of sunny days a year
- Low crime
- Low cost of living
If you’d like to see the complete list of cities in Minnesota, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a link to the entire data set.
Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. This list is based on data, and is entirely unbiased.
1. Maple Grove
Crime Index: 60
Cost Of Living Index: 116
When you look at the data, the Minneapolis suburb of Maple Grove is the best place you can live in the state of Minnesota. Crime is fairly low, there’s lots to do, and it’s relatively affordable.
Crime Index: 66
Cost Of Living Index: 141
Edina is a relatively affluent suburb southwest of Minneapolis.
Crime Index: 48
Cost Of Living Index: 117
Shoreview has a very low crime rate, and is one of the most affordable places you can live in Minnesota to get the most bang for your buck. There are a lot of small lakes in this northern Minneapolis ‘burb.
Crime Index: 72
Cost Of Living Index: 127
Plymouth is about 10 miles west of Minneapolis. It’s the 7th largest city in the state, and the 3rd largest Minneapolis suburb.
5. Eden Prairie
Crime Index: 68
Cost Of Living Index: 127
This is the 12-largest city in the state. A Minneapolis suburb, Eden Prairie sits on the north bank of the Minnesota River.
Crime Index: 39
Cost Of Living Index: 150
Shorewood is a great place to live. It’s really safe, but the cost of living is fairly high. It sits on the banks of Lake Minnetonka.
Crime Index: 59
Cost Of Living Index: 121
This St. Paul suburb is very close to White Bear Lake. It’s one of the safest places you can live in the North Star State.
Crime Index: 75
Cost Of Living Index: 123
The largest city in Washington County, Woodbury is on the eastern side of St. Paul.
Crime Index: 70
Cost Of Living Index: 130
Minnetonka is pretty affordable and only a 10 minute drive from Minneapolis.
Crime Index: 57
Cost Of Living Index: 125
Lakeville is the furthest city from downtown Minneapolis on this list.
There You Have It
When you consider that these cities have low crime, are relatively affordable, and have great economic conditions, this is an accurate list.
Other notable cities:
3rd Worst: Grand Rapids
2nd Worst: Brainerd
We also wrote about the 10 worst places to live in Minnesota if you’re curious to read that list.
Detailed List Of Best Places To Live In Minnesota
|White Bear Township||15|
|Credit River Township||25|
|St. Anthony (Hennepin And Ramsey Counties)||32|
|St. Louis Park||36|
|South St. Paul||69|
|Inver Grove Heights||73|
|St. Paul Park||74|
|North St. Paul||75|
|Big Lake Township||83|
|West St. Paul||91|
|White Bear Lake||96|
|Spring Lake Park||101|
|East Grand Forks||115|
|Thief River Falls||131|