The Best Places to Live in Minnesota

Factoring in affordability and quality of life, these are the eight best places to live in Minnesota.
Written by Julian de Sevilla
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Eden Prairie, Blaine, and Minneapolis are a few of the best places to live in
thanks to the balance of affordability, safety, and quality of life they offer.
U.S. News ranks the state of Minnesota the second-best state in the country in which to live based on a range of factors including opportunity, infrastructure, and access to health care. Boasting an unemployment rate well below the national average and over 10,000 lakes, Minnesota is a great place to live and work as long as you don’t mind the cold. 
The state comprises over 800 cities and towns of all sizes, so choosing your new home is a huge decision. There’s a lot to consider, so here’s a breakdown of some of the best places to live in Minnesota from
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What makes a good place to live?

Much of it
depends on the individual
, of course. Serious commitments to jobs or families can determine your options, as can something as simple as the weather you prefer—once again, we wouldn’t recommend Minnesota if you’re averse to the cold. 
For a clearer picture of life in Minnesota, we gathered some information on eight of its cities and towns: Shorewood, Eden Prairie, Hibbing, Montevideo, New Ulm, Minneapolis, Crystal, and Blaine. They range in size from tiny to major, so there’s something for everyone. 
For each city, we’ve tracked the following factors:
  • Unemployment rate
  • Median household income
  • Median home price
  • FEMA risk index ratings
  • School ratings
Based on these, we broke down the best places to live in Minnesota into three categories: the best places for families, the most affordable places, and the best places to buy a house.

The best places for families to live in Minnesota

Quality of education
crime rates
were top of mind when considering places in Minnesota to live with a family. These towns fared best:

Eden Prairie

:Hennepin County
Median household income
Median home price
: $368,100
The city of
Eden Prairie
, southwest of Minneapolis, makes the list largely because of the quality of its public schools and the relatively low school property taxes associated with them.
Eden Prairie Schools has a 95% graduation rate
, and this was one of the only school districts in the state to not show significant declines in standardized test scores as a result of the pandemic. 
There’s plenty to do and see there, as well, and data shows those who live there are largely pleased:
93% of Eden Prairie residents
described the quality of life in the city as “well above average.” Almost 10,000 acres of the city’s land are devoted to parks and public spaces, leaving no shortage of opportunities to enjoy nature and fresh air. 


:Hennepin County
Median household income
Median home price
It’s important to note that Shorewood, a small city west of Minneapolis on the shores of Lake Minnetonka,
is the richest city in Minnesota.
The median home price is about double the state’s average at over half a million dollars. However, this also represents a high quality of life, low crime rate, and access to good health care and schools. 
If you can afford it, Shorewood is a great place to raise a family. Shorewood is part of the highly-rated Minnetonka Public School District, where
94% of parents rate the education as excellent or good

The most affordable places to live in Minnesota

Costs of living vary widely across Minnesota, but these
generally smaller towns are some of the most affordable
in the state. Keep in mind that the state is one of the coldest in the country, so
utility costs will be high in the winter
just about anywhere.


:Saint Louis County
Median household income
Median home price
The small city of
is one of the most affordable in the state, with a median rent of under $600 and an average commute time of around 17 minutes. The home-price-to-income ratio is also one of the best in the state.
Hibbing is home to the Hull-Rust-Mahoning Open Pit Mine, the largest open-pit iron mine in the world.  


:Chippewa County
Median household income
Median home price
, near Minnesota’s western border, has been called
the most affordable town in the state
and one of the 100 most affordable in the country. This is largely due to its remarkably low home prices and decent median incomes. 
Keep in mind that home prices are often low for a less-than-exciting reason: Montevideo is a very small town with relatively little to offer in terms of culture or entertainment.

New Ulm

:Brown County
Median household income
Median home price
Known for its German heritage,
New Ulm
is the seat of Brown County in southern Minnesota. Despite
housing costs 31% below the national average
, New Ulm has plenty to offer residents: one of America’s oldest breweries, three school systems, 40 parks, and the
New Ulm Medical Center,
which has been awarded for innovation in patient care. 

Best places to buy a house in Minnesota

If you want to buy a house to settle down in, or even as an investment, you’ll want to consider a city’s
housing market and climate risks
. In general,
Minnesota faces less risk
from climate or natural disasters than other states thanks to its location. The most common concerns are due to the state’s harsh winters:
strong winds, snowstorms, and hail


:Hennepin County
Median household income
Median home price
As one of Minnesota’s “Twin Cities” and the birthplace of Prince,
is one of America’s iconic metropolitan areas. It also has a dynamic housing market with many factors contributing to rising home values. Thanks to the
state’s biggest job market,
unemployment is decreasing while the population increases. 
Crucially, Minneapolis is the biggest city in the country to eliminate single-family zoning laws, creating
more opportunities for homeownership
by allowing duplexes and triplexes to be built where they previously couldn’t. 


:Hennepin County
Median household income
Median home price
Those who want to settle down close to the city should consider Crystal, Minnesota, a suburb northwest of Minneapolis. The area offers 27 parks and close proximity to hospitals and schools while reaping the same benefits as the rest of Minneapolis. 
Crystal is just small enough to feel quieter and more removed from the heart of the city, but it’s still less than an hour away from many of Minneapolis’s greatest attractions. The
Como Park Zoo & Conservatory,
which is completely free to visit, is just 30 minutes away.
The Mall of America,
our nation’s monument to retail and the country’s biggest shopping mall, is about 23 minutes away.


:Anoka County
Median household income
: $86,796
Median home price
Blaine, Minnesota is a larger city a little farther north of the Twin Cities. It led the Twin Cities metro region in home construction for years. Its home values have risen over 8% in the last 5 years and are projected to continue. 
Blaine is home to the
National Sports Center,
the country’s biggest amateur sports facility, which contains 50 soccer fields, a golf course, an ice rink, and more. For the less competitive among us, there’s the
Blaine Wetland Sanctuary
—over 500 acres of protected natural beauty. 

How to find affordable homeowners and car insurance in Minnesota

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