THE 10 BEST Places To Live In Minnesota For 2020


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

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best places to live in Minnesota.

Minnesota is best known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes, but many are familiar with other fun Minnesota facts like the crazy amount of fun things to do and see.

Affordability, seasons, ice fishing, and their infamous 'hot dish,' are just a few of the reasons people flock to this northern destination. But if you're a true Minnesotan, you know that the real reason people move here is because the locals are so nice and their cities are truly the best.

Word on the street is that Minnesota is a great place to live if you're a millennial. We can't say for sure, but our stories safest states and best states to raise a family show that there really is something for everyone.

If you live in or around Minneapolis consider yourself lucky. You live in some of the best cities in the state. Not surprising, cities like Victoria, Rogers, and Maple Grove made our top ten best places to live in Minnesota list, but there can only be one star: congrats to Edina.

We analyzed over 142 cities in our research determining the best places to live in Minnesota for 2019; so if you don't see your hometown at the top, make sure you scroll down to see where your city ranked.

What city is the best place to live in Minnesota for 2020? Well according to the US Census and FBI data we crunched, Edina is the best place to live in Minnesota if you care about home values, low crime, and a high quality of life.

Hennepin County produced a lot of our top ten winners. We were definitely not surprised that Edina was at the top of the list. In true Minnesotan fashion, they scored off the charts in education, low crime, and great commute times.

If you are looking to live where people take pride in their state, where health insurance is attainable, and quality homes are affordable, look no further than our top ten best places to live in Minnesota for 2020 list.

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:

The 10 Best Places To Live In Minnesota For 2020

Edina, MN

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 51,136
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $459,200 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (71st best)
More on Edina: Real Estate | Data | Photos

At an unemployment rate of 3.5%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Edina. And the residents command high salaries ($99,295 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($459,200 each).

We're not saying money is why these cities are the 'best' in Minnesota. What we're implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Waconia, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 11,981
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $288,600 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.4% (4th best)
More on Waconia: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime is the 12th lowest in the state in Waconia, and there were only 9 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 Waconia earn $94,797 a year.

Chanhassen, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7.5
/10

Population: 25,357
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $378,200 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.9% (12th best)
More on Chanhassen: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Taking its place as the 3rd best place in Minnesota is Chanhassen. 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 1.9% helps thing too.

Victoria, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,032
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $427,700 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.5% (7th best)
More on Victoria: Real Estate | Data | Photos

There's two types of people who live in Victoria. 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 $427,700 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. Victoria 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: 63,900
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $351,400 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (40th best)
More on Eden Prairie: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The Town of Eden Prairie 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 Eden Prairie ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Eden Prairie are the 11th most expensive in the state of Minnesota, with the average home worth a whopping $351,400. 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 Eden Prairie if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Eden Prairie residents have the 15th highest income in the state, and the 36th lowest crime numbers in Minnesota.

Minnetrista, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 7,408
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 18)
Median Home Value: $454,600 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.4% (21st best)
More on Minnetrista: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Minnetrista comes in 6th in our best places to live in Minnesota analysis.

Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (21st overall) and crime rate (24th overall), Minnetrista is the exact kind of place you'd want to live with a family.

Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep Minnetrista in our lists for years to come.

Plymouth, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 77,213
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 1)
Median Home Value: $340,700 (12th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (42nd best)
More on Plymouth: Real Estate | Data | Photos

If you live in Plymouth, you probably know how great it is already.

Plymouth has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($100,280). And the crime is really, really low (27th lowest in Minnesota).

If we could afford to move here, we probably would.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,191
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $636,500 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.9% (11th best)
More on Medina: Real Estate | Data

Let's take a look at why Medina is a great place to call home for 2020.

There's low crime in Medina, and the residents here are gainfully employed (1.9% unemployment rate).

You can make Medina your home for only $636,500 which won't be too hard on a $144,107 household salary.

Lakeville, MN

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 62,489
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $292,800 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.6% (26th best)
More on Lakeville: Real Estate | Data | Photos

It's obvious why Lakeville ranks 9th in the state for best places to live: they have the 26th lowest unemployment rate and the 19th highest home values.

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

Minnetonka, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 52,546
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $330,900 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.4% (67th best)
More on Minnetonka: Real Estate | Data | Photos

With the unemployment rate being the 67th lowest in Minnesota and very stable household median incomes, it's easy to see why someone would want to live in Minnetonka.

Plus, the crime rate is the 42nd lowest in the state!

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 144 cities, 215 towns, and 509 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best cities to live in Minnesota 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 Cities 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 144, 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. You can download the data here.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in Minnesota? That would be Edina.

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.

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 the best place to live in Minnesota for 2020.

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. Virginia (Pop. 8,531)
  2. Bemidji (Pop. 15,004)
  3. Waite Park (Pop. 7,623)

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places To Live In Minnesota?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Edina 51,136 3.5% $459,200
2 Waconia 11,981 1.4% $288,600
3 Chanhassen 25,357 1.9% $378,200
4 Victoria 9,032 1.5% $427,700
5 Eden Prairie 63,900 2.9% $351,400
6 Minnetrista 7,408 2.4% $454,600
7 Plymouth 77,213 2.9% $340,700
8 Medina 6,191 1.9% $636,500
9 Lakeville 62,489 2.6% $292,800
10 Minnetonka 52,546 3.4% $330,900

How Is Your Town In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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