These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In Minnesota


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

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Where are the best places in the state of Minnesota? They are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places where people have the best jobs, where residents are happily married, and where the sun shines the most.

And certainly, since crime is really low, every one wants to be there. It’s, literally, all sunshine and rainbows.

We looked at the 148 most populated cities in the North Star State for this study. The Minnesota cities at the top are places where things are going swimmingly right now, at least according to data, which measures the good things that people say they want in a city.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against. We had more than 10 million people read our worst cities in a state series, which was featured in hundreds of media outlets, including an NPR feature.

So we know what we’re talking about.

Here are the 10 best places to live in Minnesota:

  1. Maple Grove
  2. Edina
  3. Shoreview
  4. Plymouth
  5. Eden Prairie
  6. Shorewood
  7. Mahtomedi
  8. Woodbury
  9. Minnetonka
  10. Lakeville

We understand there’s a lot of good in every place. However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty, ‘friendly people’ and community involvement), these are the best options in Minnesota for making a place home. Most of these are Minneapolis suburbs.

The worst city to live in Minnesota? Cambridge. More on that later.

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How do you decide if a place is amazeballs or not?

In order to rank Minnesota’s best cities, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, good weather, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we crunched the numbers for Minnesota

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling’s Best Places, this is the criteria we used:

  • Strong schools
  • Low unemployment rates
  • High incomes
  • High home prices
  • Lots of sunny days a year
  • Low crime
  • Low cost of living

If you’d like to see the complete list of cities in Minnesota, scroll to the bottom of this post to see a link to the entire data set.

Note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. This list is based on data, and is entirely unbiased.

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1. Maple Grove

Best Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 61,802
Crime Index: 60
Cost Of Living Index: 116

When you look at the data, the Minneapolis suburb of Maple Grove is the best place you can live in the state of Minnesota. Crime is fairly low, there’s lots to do, and it’s relatively affordable.

2. Edina

Best Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 48,155
Crime Index: 66
Cost Of Living Index: 141

Edina is a relatively affluent suburb southwest of Minneapolis.

3. Shoreview

Best Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 25,200
Crime Index: 48
Cost Of Living Index: 117

Shoreview has a very low crime rate, and is one of the most affordable places you can live in Minnesota to get the most bang for your buck. There are a lot of small lakes in this northern Minneapolis ‘burb.

4. Plymouth

Best Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 70,895
Crime Index: 72
Cost Of Living Index: 127

Plymouth is about 10 miles west of Minneapolis. It’s the 7th largest city in the state, and the 3rd largest Minneapolis suburb.

5. Eden Prairie

Best Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 60,843
Crime Index: 68
Cost Of Living Index: 127

This is the 12-largest city in the state. A Minneapolis suburb, Eden Prairie sits on the north bank of the Minnesota River.

6. Shorewood

Best Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,350
Crime Index: 39
Cost Of Living Index: 150

Shorewood is a great place to live. It’s really safe, but the cost of living is fairly high. It sits on the banks of Lake Minnetonka.

7. Mahtomedi

Best Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,766
Crime Index: 59
Cost Of Living Index: 121

This St. Paul suburb is very close to White Bear Lake. It’s one of the safest places you can live in the North Star State.

8. Woodbury

Best Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 62,158
Crime Index: 75
Cost Of Living Index: 123

The largest city in Washington County, Woodbury is on the eastern side of St. Paul.

9. Minnetonka

Best Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 50,151
Crime Index: 70
Cost Of Living Index: 130

Minnetonka is pretty affordable and only a 10 minute drive from Minneapolis.

10. Lakeville

Best Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 55,888
Crime Index: 57
Cost Of Living Index: 125

Lakeville is the furthest city from downtown Minneapolis on this list.

There You Have It

When you consider that these cities have low crime, are relatively affordable, and have great economic conditions, this is an accurate list.

Other notable cities:
3rd Worst: Grand Rapids
2nd Worst: Brainerd
Worst: Cambridge

We also wrote about the 10 worst places to live in Minnesota if you’re curious to read that list.

Detailed List Of Best Places To Live In Minnesota

City Rank Population Crime Index Cost Of Living Index
Maple Grove 1 61,802 60 116
Edina 2 48,155 66 141
Shoreview 3 25,200 48 117
Plymouth 4 70,895 72 127
Eden Prairie 5 60,843 68 127
Shorewood 6 7,350 39 150
Mahtomedi 7 7,766 59 121
Woodbury 8 62,158 75 123
Minnetonka 9 50,151 70 130
Lakeville 10 55,888 57 125
Rogers 11 10,035 46 118
Minnetrista 12 6,367 31 149
Champlin 13 23,198 70 108
Mendota Heights 14 11,140 52 134
White Bear Township 15 10,997 37 102
Apple Valley 16 49,336 86 113
Golden Valley 17 20,454 74 121
Victoria 18 7,407 32 133
North Mankato 19 13,320 66 97
Eagan 20 64,538 85 116
Corcoran 21 5,407 26 125
Mound 22 9,108 76 110
Chanhassen 23 23,229 51 126
Lake Elmo 24 8,013 21 142
Credit River Township 25 5,137 22 101
Savage 26 27,143 70 116
Cottage Grove 27 34,635 58 111
Orono 28 7,494 41 185
Farmington 29 20,966 52 112
Waconia 30 10,707 76 115
Richfield 31 35,347 98 107
St. Anthony (Hennepin And Ramsey Counties) 32 8,252 93 117
Prior Lake 33 22,946 65 122
Rosemount 34 21,749 58 115
Arden Hills 35 9,588 55 126
St. Louis Park 36 45,403 112 114
Andover 37 30,648 30 116
St. Peter 38 11,247 83 98
Lino Lakes 39 20,276 37 117
Hugo 40 13,198 49 113
Roseville 41 33,833 101 113
Vadnais Heights 42 12,449 75 113
Falcon Heights 43 5,352 79 121
Bloomington 44 83,658 99 111
Ham Lake 45 15,277 24 119
Stillwater 46 18,229 99 115
Rochester 47 106,903 72 101
Crystal 48 22,242 100 102
Jordan 49 5,560 79 111
St. Joseph 50 6,503 51 100
St. Michael 51 16,263 39 111
Linwood Township 52 5,125 21 96
Burnsville 53 60,676 117 113
New Brighton 54 21,549 98 113
Shakopee 55 37,150 93 111
New Hope 56 20,436 117 108
Blaine 57 57,384 85 106
Worthington 58 12,701 77 92
Oak Grove 59 8,027 20 113
Ramsey 60 23,612 40 107
Chaska 61 23,698 81 115
Robbinsdale 62 14,048 109 101
Albertville 63 6,969 81 106
Stewartville 64 5,930 55 100
East Bethel 65 11,609 24 107
Brooklyn Park 66 75,843 115 104
Moorhead 67 38,091 82 95
Morris 68 5,284 77 94
South St. Paul 69 20,299 116 102
Hopkins 70 17,661 139 107
Mounds View 71 12,229 108 105
Sartell 72 15,545 73 102
Inver Grove Heights 73 33,867 96 110
St. Paul Park 74 5,312 94 103
North St. Paul 75 11,501 101 103
Hastings 76 22,072 96 105
New Prague 77 7,273 89 103
Kasson 78 5,907 49 99
Coon Rapids 79 61,739 109 103
Otsego 80 13,506 44 106
Oakdale 81 27,508 108 110
Owatonna 82 25,489 67 99
Big Lake Township 83 7,447 58 90
Northfield 84 19,900 82 104
Belle Plaine 85 6,625 89 105
St. Paul 86 286,171 127 102
Minneapolis 87 385,023 143 108
Forest Lake 88 18,390 98 111
Winona 89 27,727 71 95
Sauk Rapids 90 12,784 53 99
West St. Paul 91 19,631 138 104
Mankato 92 39,246 99 98
Little Canada 93 9,819 111 110
Baldwin Township 94 6,719 30 101
Livonia Township 95 5,938 38 109
White Bear Lake 96 23,797 106 107
Maplewood 97 38,186 124 106
Fridley 98 27,404 134 103
Marshall 99 13,551 90 99
Lake City 100 5,173 78 99
Spring Lake Park 101 6,445 114 102
Hermantown 102 9,418 74 111
Delano 103 5,458 88 108
Brooklyn Center 104 30,144 143 99
New Ulm 105 13,435 65 94
Buffalo 106 15,379 96 102
Waseca 107 9,341 80 95
Crookston 108 7,866 62 89
Wyoming 109 7,746 67 105
Alexandria 110 11,260 94 102
Litchfield 111 6,719 73 96
Austin 112 24,632 90 88
Faribault 113 23,297 107 97
St. Cloud 114 65,787 98 93
East Grand Forks 115 8,502 83 99
Fairmont 116 10,579 81 92
Montevideo 117 5,330 79 88
Columbia Heights 118 19,549 114 99
Hutchinson 119 14,111 81 99
Anoka 120 17,250 135 101
St. Francis 121 7,159 90 101
Fergus Falls 122 13,220 81 93
Albert Lea 123 17,969 77 89
Duluth 124 86,239 86 98
Big Lake 125 10,029 89 103
Big Lake 126 10,029 89 103
Glencoe 127 5,633 72 98
Elk River 128 23,011 84 106
Monticello 129 12,711 116 101
Baxter 130 7,596 77 104
Thief River Falls 131 8,584 77 88
Willmar 132 19,541 95 96
Red Wing 133 16,444 85 97
Little Falls 134 8,344 81 93
Redwood Falls 135 5,227 94 88
Zimmerman 136 5,168 114 98
Detroit Lakes 137 8,615 110 102
Hibbing 138 16,345 68 88
Waite Park 139 6,702 146 95
North Branch 140 10,057 89 99
Isanti 141 5,228 121 99
Virginia 142 8,718 122 88
Bemidji 143 13,485 143 93
International Falls 144 6,402 98 86
Cloquet 145 12,097 98 98
Grand Rapids 146 10,865 97 97
Brainerd 147 13,609 120 93
Cambridge 148 8,088 122 98

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