Don’t be afraid of the cold, snowy weather, Minnesota is one of the best states in the U.S.A. First of all, there are the lakes–all 10,000 of them–they are great for fishing, picnicking nearby, running around, or just gazing out wistfully into. Then, there’s the Jucy Lucy, a burger where the cheese is actually inside the meat.

Most importantly, though, there’s the well-educated, civic-minded populace, responsible for the fifth highest voter turnout in the nation in the last presidential election. If you have a move to Minnesota on the horizon and are wondering which city suits your needs the most, you can do no better than our list of the best Minnesota cities to live in.

1. Eden Prairie

Topping the list of Minnesota’s best cities to live in is Eden Prairie, an edge city in the Minneapolis area with numerous corporate headquarters, lakes and walking trails, shopping centers, and excellent public schools. Eden Prairie’s mixed-income model means that people from every socioeconomic background can afford housing in the city.

2. Rochester

Minnesota’s #2 most liveable city is Rochester, the state’s third largest and the county seat of Olmsted County. As home to a large IBM facility and the renowned Mayo Clinic (the largest employer in the state), Rochester’s residents are well-paid and highly educated.   

3. Osseo

At just under 3,000, #3 Osseo is the smallest city in Minnesota’s top five. The pleasant midwestern hamlet is renowned for its annual Lions Roar, a parade and celebration with crafts and food stands held in early September.

4. Minneapolis

Placing #4 is Minneapolis, the state’s largest metropolis and a global city known for its thriving economy, liberal character, and excellent nightlife scene.

5. Hopkins

Another suburb of Minneapolis, Hopkins, places #5. Hopkins median home value is lower than its neighbors, making it an affordable, yet pleasant city to settle down in.

Best Cities to Live in Minnesota, 2019

RankCity
1Eden Prairie
2Rochester
3Osseo
4Minneapolis
5Hopkins
6Chaska
7Savage
8Saint Paul
9Lakeville
10Stillwater
11Moorhead
12Rosemount
13Winona
14Shakopee
15Prior Lake
16Cottage Grove
17Hastings
18Austin
19Owatonna
20Burnsville
21Farmington
22Bemidji
23Brainerd
24Northfield
25Circle Pines
26Saint Cloud
27Inver Grove Heights
28Elk River
29Mankato
30Andover
31Anoka
32Faribault
33Duluth

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Methodology

We ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment (number of establishments, median earnings); housing (owner-occupied housing with a mortgage, monthly housing costs); quality of life (work commute, poverty levels); education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health (obesity ratios).