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 on 4-22-2018 with a video. Article continues below video.

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

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:

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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

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

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

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

Victoria, Minnesota

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

Population: 24,796
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Home Values: $339,800 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (25th best)
More on Chanhassen: Real Estate | Data
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: Public domain

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

Rogers, Minnesota

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

Population: 51,651
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 9)
Home Values: $301,400 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (65th best)
More on Minnetonka: Real Estate | Data
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

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

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