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)
  2. Eden Prairie (Photos)
  3. Waconia (Photos)
  4. Victoria (Photos)
  5. Chanhassen (Photos)
  6. Plymouth (Photos)
  7. Rogers (Photos)
  8. Minnetonka (Photos)
  9. Lakeville (Photos)
  10. Maple Grove (Photos)

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.

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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 543 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.

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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.

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1. Edina

Edina, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 49,976
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $424,500 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (46th best)
Edina is another great city in Minnesota with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.

Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: ” We feel incredibly safe in Edina. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”

Enough said.

2. Eden Prairie

Eden Prairie, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 63,206
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Home Values: $319,400 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (30th best)
In Eden Prairie, everyone loves to call Eden Prairie home! The median home value is the 10th highest in Minnesota.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 30th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in North Star State.

Eden Prairie should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

3. Waconia

Waconia, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 11,523
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Values: $252,200 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (18th best)
When you’re looking at the best places you could live in Minnesota, Waconia came in 3rd. Let’s see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Waconia has an impressive history for a place of just over 11,523 people. The median home costs a cool $252,200 and households make $87,394 which is good for 30th in Minnesota.

4. Victoria


Population: 8,385
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Home Values: $394,800 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.1% (8th best)
Victoria has a really low crime rate (21st lowest) and only 2.1% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($132,431). And that goes a long way.

The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Victoria.

5. Chanhassen

Chanhassen, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 24,796
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Home Values: $339,800 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (25th best)
The Town of Chanhassen consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?

Let’s see why Chanhassen ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Chanhassen are the 9th most expensive in the state of Minnesota, with the average home worth a whopping $339,800. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Chanhassen if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Chanhassen residents have the 6th highest income in the state, and the 21st lowest crime numbers in Minnesota.

6. Plymouth

Plymouth, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 75,105
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Home Values: $310,900 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (22nd best)
Plymouth has some of the most employed as well as the highest earning residents in the entire state of Minnesota. Factor in a very low crime rate, and this Plymouth is a real gem.

With high incomes comes a high cost of living, which can been seen in the home pricese. Additionally, the commute time for Plymouth residents to work is significantly higher than average.

7. Rogers


Population: 12,284
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Values: $279,600 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.7% (2nd best)
Rogers’s unemployment rates are some of the lowest in the state and the median income is the 7th highest, making Rogers a great place to work and settle down if you’re look for a stable job with a stable income.

Additionally, Rogers has above average education and low crime, making this place a safe place to live.

8. Minnetonka

Minnetonka, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 51,651
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 9)
Home Values: $301,400 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (65th best)
Minnetonka is another great city in Minnesota with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.

Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: ” We feel incredibly safe in Minnetonka. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”

Enough said.

9. Lakeville

Lakeville, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 59,786
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Values: $260,400 (24th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (20th best)
When you’re looking at the best places you could live in Minnesota, Lakeville came in 9th. Let’s see why.

It has a low unemployment rate and high incomes.

Plus, Lakeville has an impressive history for a place of just over 59,786 people. The median home costs a cool $260,400 and households make $98,864 which is good for 15th in Minnesota.

10. Maple Grove

Maple Grove, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 66,969
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Home Values: $254,400 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (46th best)
Maple Grove is feeling the love as it ranks as the 10th best city to live in Minnesota for 2015.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (19th overall) and low crime (43rd overall and one of the best in the top ten).

We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like “The Place To Be In Minnesota”.

Wrapping Up The Best Of The Best 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. Fish Lake (Pop. 96)
  4. Sabin (Pop. 585)
  5. Woodland (Pop. 449)
  6. Pine Springs (Pop. 429)
  7. Loretto (Pop. 672)
  8. Medicine Lake (Pop. 315)
  9. Florence (Pop. 16)
  10. Long Beach (Pop. 314)

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

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

For more Minnesota reading , check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Minnesota

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Edina 1 1 49,976 3.6% $424,500
Eden Prairie 2 5 63,206 3.2% $319,400
Waconia 3 4 11,523 2.8% $252,200
Victoria 4 6 8,385 2.1% $394,800
Chanhassen 5 9 24,796 3.1% $339,800
Plymouth 6 10 75,105 3.0% $310,900
Rogers 7 7 12,284 1.7% $279,600
Minnetonka 8 17 51,651 4.1% $301,400
Lakeville 9 11 59,786 2.9% $260,400
Maple Grove 10 15 66,969 3.6% $254,400
Woodbury 11 8 66,699 4.0% $282,700
Medina 12 3 5,633 2.2% $586,600
Mendota Heights 13 19 11,231 4.3% $351,100
Champlin 14 13 23,929 3.4% $205,700
Lino Lakes 15 26 20,758 4.0% $263,800
Sartell 16 27 16,442 2.7% $180,300
Minnetrista 17 25 6,963 2.2% $422,400
Falcon Heights 18 22 5,534 4.7% $283,200
Kasson 19 14 6,143 1.9% $154,800
Farmington 20 24 22,226 2.4% $213,800
Stillwater 21 18 19,142 3.4% $248,400
St. Anthony 22 21 8,790 3.2% $232,300
Chaska 23 41 25,078 2.5% $243,700
Eagan 24 20 65,874 4.4% $251,500
Albertville 25 46 7,286 3.1% $189,600
North Mankato 26 45 13,451 4.1% $170,800
Rosemount 27 29 23,099 4.0% $240,300
Orono 28 16 7,772 4.9% $593,000
Delano 29 53 5,754 3.5% $234,300
Mahtomedi 30 28 7,964 3.9% $298,200
Shorewood 31 32 7,548 2.9% $428,100
Golden Valley 32 23 21,040 5.4% $264,900
Ramsey 33 44 25,329 3.6% $210,200
Savage 34 36 29,399 3.3% $263,300
Corcoran 35 39 5,572 4.0% $305,100
Shoreview 36 2 26,161 2.8% $238,100
Byron 37 38 5,191 1.9% $179,300
Cottage Grove 38 47 35,632 4.3% $216,500
Prior Lake 39 37 24,997 3.7% $286,100
Apple Valley 40 42 50,602 3.7% $218,100
St. Michael 41 43 17,045 4.0% $223,100
New Prague 42 56 7,534 3.9% $208,200
Lake Elmo 43 31 8,445 3.1% $375,800
Wyoming 44 40 7,785 5.0% $201,300
Otsego 45 61 15,065 2.0% $193,900
Northfield 46 34 20,405 4.1% $196,400
New Ulm 47 49 13,279 2.6% $133,100
St. Louis Park 48 54 47,486 4.1% $236,900
St. Joseph 49 33 6,775 3.3% $158,100
Hugo 50 55 14,223 2.4% $236,200
Jordan 51 35 5,981 2.5% $210,500
Arden Hills 52 12 10,126 7.1% $282,200
Dayton 53 5,031 4.2% $238,900
Elk River 54 68 23,743 3.9% $214,900
Oakdale 55 66 27,956 4.1% $201,900
White Bear Lake 56 52 24,992 3.9% $192,800
Hermantown 57 50 9,599 3.4% $213,800
Thief River Falls 58 72 8,726 2.3% $111,200
East Grand Forks 59 51 8,636 3.3% $170,700
Belle Plaine 60 74 6,892 5.2% $177,600
New Brighton 61 48 22,233 4.7% $223,400
Baxter 62 57 7,858 3.2% $190,900
St. Peter 63 62 11,567 3.4% $164,600
Blaine 64 58 61,210 4.2% $189,100
Vadnais Heights 65 30 13,115 3.1% $206,400
Andover 66 70 31,906 3.7% $241,800
Stewartville 67 65 6,062 0.6% $157,900
Moorhead 68 73 41,321 3.4% $166,000
Hutchinson 69 68 13,891 3.5% $138,600
Owatonna 70 83 25,580 4.4% $146,200
Shakopee 71 76 39,656 5.3% $221,500
Bloomington 72 71 85,080 4.3% $221,900
St. Francis 73 81 7,377 5.7% $165,200
Crystal 74 80 22,777 4.1% $159,600
Roseville 75 64 35,254 4.2% $224,000
Rochester 76 59 111,396 4.7% $167,800
Hastings 77 77 22,501 4.9% $182,800
New Hope 78 86 20,819 4.6% $194,900
Monticello 79 75 13,214 5.5% $169,400
Mound 80 63 9,306 4.5% $225,200
Isanti 81 97 5,453 4.1% $138,500
Ham Lake 82 87 15,878 4.9% $268,600
Hopkins 83 83 18,077 4.6% $204,300
Burnsville 84 78 61,158 5.0% $215,300
Morris 85 60 5,343 3.4% $151,300
Forest Lake 86 85 19,208 4.2% $234,700
Buffalo 87 88 15,927 5.9% $180,600
Zimmerman 88 98 5,330 5.0% $146,400
Litchfield 89 104 6,667 3.1% $122,400
Coon Rapids 90 92 62,159 5.4% $171,200
Glencoe 91 96 5,535 4.8% $124,100
Montevideo 92 91 5,207 1.7% $86,000
Waseca 93 82 9,267 4.6% $123,500
Inver Grove Heights 94 89 34,757 5.5% $216,400
Detroit Lakes 95 102 9,060 3.4% $162,000
North St. Paul 96 79 12,102 9.0% $180,200
Mounds View 97 98 12,708 5.5% $168,600
Little Falls 98 108 8,682 3.1% $118,700
St. Paul Park 99 93 5,352 5.7% $161,300
Marshall 100 106 13,616 4.9% $143,900

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