Where are the best places in the state of Minnesota?
To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in North Star State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.
However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in Minnesota.
There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.
After analyzing 142 places in Minnesota, we came up with this list of the best places:
- Edina (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Eden Prairie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Waconia (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Victoria (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Chanhassen (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Plymouth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rogers (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Minnetonka (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lakeville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Maple Grove (Photos | Homes For Sale)
Well, it looks like you should check out Edina if you’re thinking of moving to Minnesota — it’s the best the North Star State has to offer according to the data.
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in Minnesota.
For more Minnesota reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Minnesota
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Minnesota
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Minnesota
Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in Minnesota
The Pressing Question: Size
Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit cities with populations over 100,000 against places with a population of 18?
We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.
So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:
- Cities — Populations over 5,000
- Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 5,000
- Small Towns — Populations below 1,000
This left us with 142 cities, 215 towns, and 509 small towns.
We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 5,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.
You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.
How We Calculated The Best Place To Live In Minnesota
Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.
We ranked each place in Minnesota across a number of criteria from one to 142, with one being the best.
We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In Minnesota”.
The criteria we looked at were:
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Population Density (Higher better)
- Unemployment Rate
- Commute Time
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in Minnesota.
Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Edina at the end of the cul-de-sac.
There’s two types of people who live in Edina. Either the old hold outs who have lived there forever and are watching their home values skyrocket, or those d who can afford to buy a $424,500 home there.
Either way, you’re set. Your kids go to great schools, there’s a ton of things to do, and you earn a great salary. Edina is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.
It’s obvious why Eden Prairie ranks 2nd in the state for best places to live: they have the 30th lowest unemployment rate and the 10th highest home values.
Plus, they’re known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Eden Prairie a great place to live.
The Waconia has the 18th lowest unemployment rate in Minnesota. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Waconia is higher than the national average and households make $87,394 per year.
We’d move to Waconia if we could in a heart beat.
If you want to live in Minnesota, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Victoria area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.
Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $132,431 median income will do that).
Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Victoria as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Victoria.
Chanhassen makes a case for being one of the best places to live in Minnesota mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.
And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 3.1% of folks are jobless, you can bet Chanhassen residents are glad to live where they do.
Plymouth is a cute little city where crime is far below the state average, and where it’s affordable. The schools are also solidly rated.
Home prices clock in at $310,900 and households earn a median salary of $88,378. One could get used to that.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a place where there’s low crime and everyone is rich? That’s the case with Rogers.
Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 2nd lowest in Minnesota and the median income comes in at $109,023.
This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.
Minnetonka takes 8th place on our list of best places in Minnesota for 2018 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (66th overall) and things to do.
Minnetonka is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $301,400 at the median.
We think the motto in Lakeville should be “Everything is greater in Lakeville,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.
Lakeville has some of the highest home values in Minnesota, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Lakeville only has 490.0% of its residents living in poverty.
Crime is also well below the state average, making Lakeville a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.
The crime is the 43rd lowest in the state in Maple Grove, and there were only 44 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.
The schools are some of the best in Minnesota, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Maple Grove earn $96,410 a year.
Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In Minnesota
If you’re looking at areas in Minnesota with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
Edina made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for 2018.
Best Towns To Live In Minnesota
- Deephaven (Pop. 3,786)
- Oronoco (Pop. 1,532)
- Elko New Market (Pop. 4,472)
- Long Lake (Pop. 1,704)
- Carver (Pop. 4,328)
- North Oaks (Pop. 4,832)
- Wayzata (Pop. 4,296)
- Tonka Bay (Pop. 1,344)
- Nicollet (Pop. 1,040)
- Circle Pines (Pop. 4,947)
Best Small Towns To Live In Minnesota
- Skyline (Pop. 301)
- Minnetonka Beach (Pop. 586)
- Sabin (Pop. 585)
- Fish Lake (Pop. 96)
- Woodland (Pop. 449)
- Pine Springs (Pop. 429)
- Loretto (Pop. 672)
- Medicine Lake (Pop. 315)
- Long Beach (Pop. 314)
- Greenwood (Pop. 755)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Minnesota according to the data:
- Brainerd (Pop. 13,440)
- Virginia (Pop. 8,594)
- Bemidji (Pop. 14,664)
For more Minnesota reading, check out:
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Minnesota
- 10 Safest Places In Minnesota
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Minnesota
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Minnesota
|48||St. Louis Park||47,486|
|56||White Bear Lake||24,992|
|58||Thief River Falls||8,726|
|59||East Grand Forks||8,636|
|94||Inver Grove Heights||34,757|
|96||North St. Paul||12,102|
|99||St. Paul Park||5,352|