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)
- Eden Prairie (Photos)
- Waconia (Photos)
- Victoria (Photos)
- Chanhassen (Photos)
- Plymouth (Photos)
- Rogers (Photos)
- Minnetonka (Photos)
- Lakeville (Photos)
- Maple Grove (Photos)
Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best 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 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’.
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.
Population: 49,976Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Home Values: $424,500 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (46th best)
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.”
2. Eden Prairie
Population: 63,206Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 3)
Home Values: $319,400 (10th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.2% (30th best)
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.
Population: 11,523Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Home Values: $252,200 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (18th best)
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.
Population: 8,385 Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Home Values: $394,800 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.1% (8th best)
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.
Population: 24,796Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Home Values: $339,800 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (25th best)
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.
Population: 75,105Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 4)
Home Values: $310,900 (11th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (22nd best)
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.
Population: 12,284 Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Values: $279,600 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.7% (2nd best)
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.
Population: 51,651Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 9)
Home Values: $301,400 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (65th best)
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.”
Population: 59,786Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Home Values: $260,400 (24th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.9% (20th best)
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
Population: 66,969Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Home Values: $254,400 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.6% (46th best)
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
- 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)
- Fish Lake (Pop. 96)
- Sabin (Pop. 585)
- Woodland (Pop. 449)
- Pine Springs (Pop. 429)
- Loretto (Pop. 672)
- Medicine Lake (Pop. 315)
- Florence (Pop. 16)
- Long Beach (Pop. 314)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in Minnesota:
- Bemidji (Pop. 14,664)
- Virginia (Pop. 8,594)
- Brainerd (Pop. 13,440)
For more Minnesota reading , check out:
- These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Minnesota
- 10 Small Towns In Minnesota Where You’d Never Want To Live
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In Minnesota For 2016
Detailed List Of The Best Cities In Minnesota
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