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:
- Edina (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Eden Prairie (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Waconia (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Victoria (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Chanhassen (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Plymouth (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Rogers (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Minnetonka (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lakeville (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- 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.
For more Minnesota reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In Minnesota
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In Minnesota
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In Minnesota
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’.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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 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
- Deephaven (Pop. 3,786)
- Oronoco (Pop. 1,532)
- Elko New Market (Pop. 4,472)
- Long Lake (Pop. 1,704)
- Carver (Pop. 4,328)
- North Oaks (Pop. 4,832)
- Wayzata (Pop. 4,296)
- Tonka Bay (Pop. 1,344)
- Nicollet (Pop. 1,040)
- Circle Pines (Pop. 4,947)
Best Small Towns To Live In Minnesota
- Skyline (Pop. 301)
- Minnetonka Beach (Pop. 586)
- Sabin (Pop. 585)
- Fish Lake (Pop. 96)
- Woodland (Pop. 449)
- Pine Springs (Pop. 429)
- Loretto (Pop. 672)
- Medicine Lake (Pop. 315)
- Long Beach (Pop. 314)
- Greenwood (Pop. 755)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Minnesota according to the data:
- Brainerd (Pop. 13,440)
- Virginia (Pop. 8,594)
- Bemidji (Pop. 14,664)
For more Minnesota reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In Minnesota
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In Minnesota For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Minnesota
- 10 Safest Places In Minnesota
- 10 Worst Places To Live In Minnesota
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In Minnesota
|48||St. Louis Park||47,486|
|56||White Bear Lake||24,992|
|58||Thief River Falls||8,726|
|59||East Grand Forks||8,636|
|94||Inver Grove Heights||34,757|
|96||North St. Paul||12,102|
|99||St. Paul Park||5,352|