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


Here are the top-notch places you can live in the North Star State.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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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:

  1. Edina (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Eden Prairie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Waconia (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Victoria (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Chanhassen (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Plymouth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Rogers (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Minnetonka (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Lakeville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. 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.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

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’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

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
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

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.

Edina, MN

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 49,976
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $424,500 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (46th best)
More on Edina: Real Estate| Data| Photos

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.

Eden Prairie, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 63,206
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $319,400 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (30th best)
More on Eden Prairie: Real Estate| Data| Photos

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.

Waconia, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,523
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $252,200 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (18th best)
More on Waconia: Real Estate| Data| Photos

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.

Victoria, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 8,385
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $394,800 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.1% (8th best)
More on Victoria: Real Estate| Data| Photos

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, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 24,796
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $339,800 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (26th best)
More on Chanhassen: Real Estate| Data| Photos

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, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 75,105
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $310,900 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (22nd best)
More on Plymouth: Real Estate| Data| Photos

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.

Rogers, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 12,284
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $279,600 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.7% (2nd best)
More on Rogers: Real Estate| Data| Photos

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, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 51,651
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $301,400 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (66th best)
More on Minnetonka: Real Estate| Data| Photos

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.

Lakeville, MN

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 59,786
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $260,400 (24th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (20th best)
More on Lakeville: Real Estate| Data| Photos

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.

Maple Grove, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 66,969
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $254,400 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (46th best)
More on Maple Grove: Real Estate| Data| Photos

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

  1. Deephaven (Pop. 3,786)
  2. Oronoco (Pop. 1,532)
  3. Elko New Market (Pop. 4,472)
  4. Long Lake (Pop. 1,704)
  5. Carver (Pop. 4,328)
  6. North Oaks (Pop. 4,832)
  7. Wayzata (Pop. 4,296)
  8. Tonka Bay (Pop. 1,344)
  9. Nicollet (Pop. 1,040)
  10. Circle Pines (Pop. 4,947)

Best Small Towns To Live In Minnesota

  1. Skyline (Pop. 301)
  2. Minnetonka Beach (Pop. 586)
  3. Sabin (Pop. 585)
  4. Fish Lake (Pop. 96)
  5. Woodland (Pop. 449)
  6. Pine Springs (Pop. 429)
  7. Loretto (Pop. 672)
  8. Medicine Lake (Pop. 315)
  9. Long Beach (Pop. 314)
  10. Greenwood (Pop. 755)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Minnesota according to the data:

  1. Brainerd (Pop. 13,440)
  2. Virginia (Pop. 8,594)
  3. Bemidji (Pop. 14,664)

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Minnesota

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Edina 49,976 3.6% $424,500
2 Eden Prairie 63,206 3.2% $319,400
3 Waconia 11,523 2.8% $252,200
4 Victoria 8,385 2.1% $394,800
5 Chanhassen 24,796 3.1% $339,800
6 Plymouth 75,105 3.0% $310,900
7 Rogers 12,284 1.7% $279,600
8 Minnetonka 51,651 4.1% $301,400
9 Lakeville 59,786 2.9% $260,400
10 Maple Grove 66,969 3.6% $254,400
11 Woodbury 66,699 4.0% $282,700
12 Medina 5,633 2.2% $586,600
13 Mendota Heights 11,231 4.3% $351,100
14 Champlin 23,929 3.4% $205,700
15 Lino Lakes 20,758 4.0% $263,800
16 Sartell 16,442 2.7% $180,300
17 Minnetrista 6,963 2.2% $422,400
18 Falcon Heights 5,534 4.7% $283,200
19 Kasson 6,143 1.9% $154,800
20 Farmington 22,226 2.4% $213,800
21 Stillwater 19,142 3.4% $248,400
22 St. Anthony 8,790 3.2% $232,300
23 Chaska 25,078 2.5% $243,700
24 Eagan 65,874 4.4% $251,500
25 Albertville 7,286 3.1% $189,600
26 North Mankato 13,451 4.1% $170,800
27 Rosemount 23,099 4.0% $240,300
28 Orono 7,772 4.9% $593,000
29 Delano 5,754 3.5% $234,300
30 Mahtomedi 7,964 3.9% $298,200
31 Shorewood 7,548 2.9% $428,100
32 Golden Valley 21,040 5.4% $264,900
33 Ramsey 25,329 3.6% $210,200
34 Savage 29,399 3.3% $263,300
35 Corcoran 5,572 4.0% $305,100
36 Shoreview 26,161 2.8% $238,100
37 Byron 5,191 1.9% $179,300
38 Cottage Grove 35,632 4.3% $216,500
39 Prior Lake 24,997 3.7% $286,100
40 Apple Valley 50,602 3.7% $218,100
41 St. Michael 17,045 4.0% $223,100
42 New Prague 7,534 3.9% $208,200
43 Lake Elmo 8,445 3.1% $375,800
44 Wyoming 7,785 5.0% $201,300
45 Otsego 15,065 2.0% $193,900
46 Northfield 20,405 4.1% $196,400
47 New Ulm 13,279 2.6% $133,100
48 St. Louis Park 47,486 4.1% $236,900
49 St. Joseph 6,775 3.3% $158,100
50 Hugo 14,223 2.4% $236,200
51 Jordan 5,981 2.5% $210,500
52 Arden Hills 10,126 7.1% $282,200
53 Dayton 5,031 4.2% $238,900
54 Elk River 23,743 3.9% $214,900
55 Oakdale 27,956 4.1% $201,900
56 White Bear Lake 24,992 3.9% $192,800
57 Hermantown 9,599 3.4% $213,800
58 Thief River Falls 8,726 2.3% $111,200
59 East Grand Forks 8,636 3.3% $170,700
60 Belle Plaine 6,892 5.2% $177,600
61 New Brighton 22,233 4.7% $223,400
62 Baxter 7,858 3.2% $190,900
63 St. Peter 11,567 3.4% $164,600
64 Blaine 61,210 4.2% $189,100
65 Vadnais Heights 13,115 3.1% $206,400
66 Andover 31,906 3.7% $241,800
67 Stewartville 6,062 0.6% $157,900
68 Moorhead 41,321 3.4% $166,000
69 Hutchinson 13,891 3.5% $138,600
70 Owatonna 25,580 4.4% $146,200
71 Shakopee 39,656 5.3% $221,500
72 Bloomington 85,080 4.3% $221,900
73 St. Francis 7,377 5.7% $165,200
74 Crystal 22,777 4.1% $159,600
75 Roseville 35,254 4.2% $224,000
76 Rochester 111,396 4.7% $167,800
77 Hastings 22,501 4.9% $182,800
78 New Hope 20,819 4.6% $194,900
79 Monticello 13,214 5.5% $169,400
80 Mound 9,306 4.5% $225,200
81 Isanti 5,453 4.1% $138,500
82 Ham Lake 15,878 4.9% $268,600
83 Hopkins 18,077 4.6% $204,300
84 Burnsville 61,158 5.0% $215,300
85 Morris 5,343 3.4% $151,300
86 Forest Lake 19,208 4.2% $234,700
87 Buffalo 15,927 5.9% $180,600
88 Zimmerman 5,330 5.0% $146,400
89 Litchfield 6,667 3.1% $122,400
90 Coon Rapids 62,159 5.4% $171,200
91 Glencoe 5,535 4.8% $124,100
92 Montevideo 5,207 1.7% $86,000
93 Waseca 9,267 4.6% $123,500
94 Inver Grove Heights 34,757 5.5% $216,400
95 Detroit Lakes 9,060 3.4% $162,000
96 North St. Paul 12,102 9.0% $180,200
97 Mounds View 12,708 5.5% $168,600
98 Little Falls 8,682 3.1% $118,700
99 St. Paul Park 5,352 5.7% $161,300
100 Marshall 13,616 4.9% $143,900

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