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

Taking its place as the 1st best place in Minnesota is Edina. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of Minnesota.

It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.

An unemployment rate of only 3.6% helps thing too.

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

There’s two types of people who live in Eden Prairie. 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 $319,400 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. Eden Prairie is exactly what you hoped for when you played that board game, LIFE as a kid.

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

It’s obvious why Waconia ranks 3rd in the state for best places to live: they have the 18th lowest unemployment rate and the 26th highest home values.

Plus, they’re known for their quality education and relatively low crime, making Waconia a great place to live.

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

Looks like little Victoria might be a hidden gem in Minnesota. The population is shrinking a bit, despite the fact that home values are still rising ($394,800) and crime is really low (21st lowest in the state).

Perhaps the cat’s now out of the bag — quick better move in before prices go up more.

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

In Chanhassen, everyone loves to call Chanhassen home! The median home value is the 9th highest in Minnesota.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 26th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in North Star State.

Chanhassen should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

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

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of Minnesota, as there were only 48 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 22nd lowest in Minnesota (3.0%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 11th most expensive in Plymouth ($310,900), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $88,378 a year.

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

Rogers has a really low crime rate (32nd lowest) and only 1.7% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($109,023). 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 Rogers.

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 ranks 8th on our list of best places to live in Minnesota thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.

Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in Minnesota that we examined.

People have been flocking to Minnetonka over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.

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

In Lakeville, everyone loves to call Lakeville home! The median home value is the 24th highest in Minnesota.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 20th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in North Star State.

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

Maple Grove comes in at a close 10th. They have the 46th lowest unemployment rate in the state and the 19th highest median income as well, which means the people in Maple Grove are working and getting paid well.

Additionally, the median home value is the 25th best in the state.

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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