These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Minnesota


We used science and data to determine which places in Minnesota are the unhappiest of all.

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Do you live in one of the most miserable places in Minnesota?

According to a Harris Poll taken in October of 2015, only a third of Americans say they are truly happy. That’s too bad, considering that Americans – especially folks in Minnesota – don’t really have it too bad, in the grand scheme of things.

But, we were curious – which Minnesota cities might be the most miserable? We’re about to find out, using science and data.

After analyzing the largest cities, we sadly present the most miserable cities in the North Star State:

  1. Minneapolis (Photos)
  2. Brainerd (Photos)
  3. Crosby (Photos)
  4. Princeton (Photos)
  5. Brooklyn Center
  6. Bemidji (Photos)
  7. Columbia Heights (Photos)
  8. Worthington (Photos)
  9. Lexington (Photos)
  10. Winona (Photos)

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and how your town ranked. If you have a smile on your face, you probably don’t live in one of these cities.

Oh, and by the way, Mendota Heights is the happiest place in Minnesota.

Or check out the Most Miserable Cities In America.

If you’re looking for something more positive, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

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How We Measured The Most Miserable Cities In Minnesota

In order to rank the unhappiest places in Minnesota, we had to determine what criteria makes people happy. It isn’t a stretch to assume that happy people earn great salaries, are relatively stress free, and have a stable home life.

So we went to the Census’s American Community Survey 2010-2014 report for the criteria, flipped the list, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible:

  • Percentage of residents with a college degree
  • Average commute times
  • Unemployment rates
  • Cost of living
  • % of married couples
  • % of home owners
  • Poverty rate

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 108 places in Minnesota with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 168 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the most miserable (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Miserable Index for each place with the lowest overall Miserable Index ‘earning’ the title ‘Most Miserable City In Minnesota’.

If you’d like to see the complete list of states, most miserable to happiest, scroll to the bottom of this post to see the unabridged chart.

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1. Minneapolis

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 394,424
People Who Own Their Home: 44.88%
Married Adults: 33.41%

2. Brainerd

Brainerd, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,521
People Who Own Their Home: 45.9%
Married Adults: 36.38%

3. Crosby

Crosby, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,397
People Who Own Their Home: 50.08%
Married Adults: 43.35%

4. Princeton

Princeton, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 4,725
People Who Own Their Home: 51.57%
Married Adults: 38.77%

5. Brooklyn Center

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 30,549
People Who Own Their Home: 57.15%
Married Adults: 41.61%

6. Bemidji

Bemidji, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,319
People Who Own Their Home: 46.47%
Married Adults: 32.32%

7. Columbia Heights

Columbia Heights, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,605
People Who Own Their Home: 61.53%
Married Adults: 40.5%

8. Worthington

Worthington, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 12,920
People Who Own Their Home: 56.73%
Married Adults: 46.25%

9. Lexington

Lexington, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 2,019
People Who Own Their Home: 59.85%
Married Adults: 37.68%

10. Winona

Winona, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 27,526
People Who Own Their Home: 56.0%
Married Adults: 34.09%

There You Have It

Like we said earlier, trying to determine the most miserable cities in {state} is usually a subjective matter. But if you’re analyzing cities where people are not stable, where you’re stuck in traffic, and no one spent the time to go to college, then this is an accurate list.

If you’re curious enough, here are the happiest cities in {state}, according to science:
For more Minnesota reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Miserable Places In Minnesota

City Rank People Who Own Their Home
Minneapolis 1 44.88%
Brainerd 2 45.9%
Crosby 3 50.08%
Princeton 4 51.57%
Brooklyn Center 5 57.15%
Bemidji 6 46.47%
Columbia Heights 7 61.53%
Worthington 8 56.73%
Lexington 9 59.85%
Winona 10 56.0%
Little Canada 11 55.87%
Virginia 12 52.82%
Richfield 13 60.07%
Waite Park 14 42.4%
Montgomery 15 73.71%
Foley 16 67.7%
Anoka 17 52.09%
Fridley 18 61.63%
Faribault 19 63.51%
Little Falls 20 59.91%
Duluth 21 55.71%
New Hope 22 51.9%
Brooklyn Park 23 66.58%
Alexandria 24 46.13%
Spring Lake Park 25 67.7%
Hibbing 26 61.7%
Willmar 27 54.99%
Cambridge 28 60.73%
Hopkins 29 32.35%
Mankato 30 50.78%
Austin 31 59.21%
Bayport 32 62.3%
Detroit Lakes 33 52.07%
International Falls 34 59.81%
Tracy 35 59.65%
Sauk Rapids 36 62.6%
Crookston 37 56.29%
Red Wing 38 62.63%
Annandale 39 73.12%
Robbinsdale 40 63.78%
Spring Valley 41 62.93%
Big Lake 42 78.42%
Ely 43 57.78%
Arlington 44 56.26%
Winsted 45 70.22%
Zimmerman 46 65.58%
Grand Rapids 47 57.76%
Newport 48 64.12%
Watertown 49 74.24%
Mounds View 50 67.24%
Montrose 51 71.49%
Rockford 52 74.38%
Marshall 53 51.26%
Burnsville 54 62.22%
Moorhead 55 56.94%
Glenwood 56 49.37%
Albert Lea 57 63.99%
Cloquet 58 64.56%
Maplewood 59 69.68%
Buffalo 60 63.75%
Isanti 61 67.04%
Montevideo 62 58.32%
Glencoe 63 64.43%
Crystal 64 68.92%
Waseca 65 65.12%
Coon Rapids 66 75.18%
Caledonia 67 65.43%
Roseville 68 60.75%
Morris 69 50.11%
Bloomington 70 65.72%
Northfield 71 62.28%
North Branch 72 79.49%
Mound 73 73.23%
Fergus Falls 74 56.49%
Hastings 75 70.06%
New Brighton 76 62.03%
Litchfield 77 63.43%
Falcon Heights 78 52.14%
Inver Grove Heights 79 68.88%
Monticello 80 72.03%
Melrose 81 73.95%
Forest Lake 82 71.48%
Oakdale 83 72.95%
Jordan 84 71.53%
Thief River Falls 85 62.69%
East Grand Forks 86 60.52%
Rochester 87 65.72%
Hutchinson 88 64.66%
Benson 89 62.05%
Fairmont 90 62.13%
Redwood Falls 91 66.57%
Jackson 92 62.25%
White Bear Lake 93 67.19%
Arnold 94 83.24%
Arden Hills 95 84.16%
Cold Spring 96 74.34%
Shakopee 97 74.38%
Golden Valley 98 73.1%
Chaska 99 66.74%
Wells 100 64.6%
Elk River 101 74.16%
Owatonna 102 68.12%
Vadnais Heights 103 81.0%
Hermantown 104 63.74%
Baxter 105 64.84%
Oak Grove 106 87.22%
North Mankato 107 69.02%
Prior Lake 108 79.91%
Stillwater 109 69.12%
New Prague 110 70.46%
East Bethel 111 93.06%
Springfield 112 66.73%
Belle Plaine 113 76.1%
Lake City 114 66.32%
Ham Lake 115 90.0%
Rosemount 116 84.1%
Eagan 117 68.34%
Apple Valley 118 77.29%
Barnesville 119 71.06%
New Ulm 120 69.85%
Stewartville 121 74.82%
Delano 122 78.57%
Hugo 123 85.39%
Minnetrista 124 89.81%
Blaine 125 84.25%
Minnetonka 126 68.36%
Sartell 127 66.83%
Cottage Grove 128 84.33%
Ramsey 129 88.1%
Otsego 130 90.03%
Albany 131 67.47%
Plymouth 132 68.74%
Shoreview 133 79.5%
Savage 134 86.15%
Plainview 135 84.94%
Edina 136 68.08%
Centerville 137 83.16%
Wyoming 138 86.98%
Rockville 139 76.58%
Columbus 140 92.65%
Eden Prairie 141 71.33%
Mahtomedi 142 80.63%
Lakeville 143 86.08%
Woodbury 144 75.2%
Greenfield 145 89.58%
Janesville 146 82.56%
Corcoran 147 94.08%
Afton 148 89.4%
Independence 149 88.1%
Orono 150 76.18%
Andover 151 91.23%
Dayton 152 95.46%
Champlin 153 83.87%
Farmington 154 85.35%
Albertville 155 86.4%
Maple Grove 156 82.25%
Rogers 157 78.31%
Lino Lakes 158 88.91%
Waconia 159 76.28%
Victoria 160 88.42%
Chanhassen 161 82.65%
Hanover 162 92.86%
Shorewood 163 84.27%
Lake Elmo 164 90.16%
Grant 165 96.74%
Medina 166 92.38%
Kasson 167 79.41%
Mendota Heights 168 86.21%

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3 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Most Miserable Cities In Minnesota

  1. That is ridiculous! Just because you may not have a college degree or own your own house your miserable? I don’t see the correlation! Happiness and Money don’t necessarily go hand in hand!

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