The 10 Worst Minneapolis Suburbs For 2022


We used science and data to determine which Minneapolis suburbs are the real pits.

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Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Minneapolis.

So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?

Today, we'll use science and data to determine which Minneapolis 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the Minneapolis area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to Minneapolis proper, although North Oaks certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of Minneapolis are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..

We examined the 113 biggest suburbs of Minneapolis to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in Minnesota lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of Minneapolis in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around Minneapolis for 2022:

  1. Lexington
  2. Brooklyn Center
  3. Newport
  4. Fridley
  5. Columbia Heights
  6. St. Paul
  7. West St. Paul
  8. South St. Paul
  9. Maplewood
  10. Anoka

What's the worst suburb of Minneapolis? Lexington ranks as the worst suburb of Minneapolis for 2022 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around Minneapolis that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.

Or, if you're thinking of moving to elsewhere in Minnesota check out the best places in Minnesota overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around Minneapolis too.

Editor's Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it's because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Minneapolis Suburbs To Live For 2022

We'll get the ball rolling with Lexington, the absolute worst place to live around Minneapolis according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Lexington beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 13th worst in the Minneapolis area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 6th worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it's cheap to live there. But there's a reason for that... it's Lexington.

You won't feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren't a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,276
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $65,333 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $199,800 (6th lowest)
More on Lexington:  Data | Photos

Lexington, MN

Source: Public domain

Welcome to Brooklyn Center. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 7.7 miles to Minneapolis. Income levels here are the 12th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $64,023 a year, which doesn't go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 30,755
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $64,023 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $187,400 (lowest)
More on Brooklyn Center:  Data | Photos

Brooklyn Center, MN

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Minneapolis suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Newport on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that's an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it's in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school drop out rate is poor compared to other Minneapolis suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,664
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $58,569 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (33rd highest)
Median Home Value: $227,900 (2lowest)
More on Newport:  Data

If you live in Fridley, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 15th lowest Minneapolis suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 12th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Minneapolis. Remember, we looked at 113 cities for this study.

Fridley is about 8.4 miles to downtown.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 27,789
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 5)
Median Income: $65,669 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $211,900 (12th lowest)
More on Fridley:  Data | Photos

Fridley, MN

Columbia Heights has the distinction of being a Minneapolis suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, Columbia Heights has the 3rd lowest home values in the metro Minneapolis area, where the median price is $193,700. To put that into perspective, in North Oaks, the median income is $210,370, which is the best in the area.

Columbia Heights has an unemployment rate of 5.47% which ranks 8th worst.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 20,247
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $60,778 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $193,700 (3rd lowest)
More on Columbia Heights:  Data | Photos

Columbia Heights, MN

St. Paul has 305,877 residents that probably know it's a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you've ever been there, you don't need to look at the data.)

Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 17.94761729098897%.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 305,877
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $59,717 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $217,100 (17th lowest)
More on St. Paul:  Data | Photos

St. Paul, MN

Ah, West St. Paul. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Minneapolis.

It's the place with the 10th most out of work residents in the Minneapolis metro area (5.4%).

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 19,805
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Median Income: $57,142 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $215,500 (14th lowest)
More on West St. Paul:  Data | Photos

West St. Paul, MN

South St. Paul is a city about 12.3 miles from Minneapolis, but Minneapolis probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.

You'd be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. South St. Paul has the 22nd most uninsured people, 11th worst incomes, and has the 18th highest unemployment rate (4.8%) in the entire Minneapolis metro area.

Homes only cost $207,200 for a reason. That's cheap for Minneapolis standards.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 20,132
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 5)
Median Income: $63,204 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (18th highest)
Median Home Value: $207,200 (10th lowest)
More on South St. Paul:  Data | Photos

South St. Paul, MN

If you absolutely have to live near Minneapolis, then Maplewood might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst Minneapolis suburb.

About 4.02% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 40,684
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 2)
Median Income: $72,959 (24th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (3highest)
Median Home Value: $230,100 (23rd lowest)
More on Maplewood:  Data | Photos

Maplewood, MN

Rounding out the ten worst Minneapolis suburbs to call home is Anoka.

Located 18.6 miles outside the city, Anokas is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 17th highest unemployment rate (4.83%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 17,512
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 2)
Median Income: $60,890 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $215,900 (15th lowest)
More on Anoka:  Data | Photos

Anoka, MN

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Minneapolis for 2022

To figure out how bad a place is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what cities have the least amount of those things.

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2016-2020, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school drop outs
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of Minneapolis.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 113 suburbs to evaluate around Minneapolis.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 113 in each category, where 1 was the "worst".

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the "Worst Suburb near Minneapolis." We're lookin' at you, Lexington. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.

Summary: The areas around Minneapolis where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Minneapolis with Lexington casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around Minneapolis aren't all bad. North Oaks takes the cake as the best place to live around Minneapolis.

  • North Oaks
  • Deephaven
  • Independence

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Minneapolis Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Lexington 2,276 $65,333 $199,800
2 Brooklyn Center 30,755 $64,023 $187,400
3 Newport 3,664 $58,569 $227,900
4 Fridley 27,789 $65,669 $211,900
5 Columbia Heights 20,247 $60,778 $193,700
6 St. Paul 305,877 $59,717 $217,100
7 West St. Paul 19,805 $57,142 $215,500
8 South St. Paul 20,132 $63,204 $207,200
9 Maplewood 40,684 $72,959 $230,100
10 Anoka 17,512 $60,890 $215,900
11 Richfield 36,253 $70,091 $241,100
12 Oakdale 27,925 $74,303 $232,900
13 New Hope 20,913 $60,762 $235,600
14 Little Canada 10,423 $55,893 $245,200
15 Brooklyn Park 80,173 $73,207 $233,700
16 Mounds View 13,193 $73,243 $221,600
17 Hopkins 18,400 $59,141 $251,700
18 Lauderdale 2,624 $65,578 $223,800
19 Inver Grove Heights 35,492 $83,155 $273,000
20 Rockford 4,481 $73,649 $191,900
21 Forest Lake 20,393 $84,436 $286,500
22 North St. Paul 12,421 $67,595 $219,800
23 Burnsville 61,536 $76,017 $263,700
24 Osseo 2,738 $54,636 $206,700
25 Bloomington 85,226 $78,224 $265,700
26 Spring Lake Park 6,582 $71,958 $199,300
27 St. Paul Park 5,404 $84,167 $204,800
28 Crystal 22,937 $70,724 $211,800
29 Coon Rapids 62,706 $76,169 $216,000
30 Robbinsdale 14,393 $73,510 $213,100
31 Shakopee 41,423 $90,642 $280,500
32 Blaine 65,048 $86,796 $240,700
33 New Brighton 22,663 $75,099 $267,800
34 Jordan 6,289 $89,125 $245,100
35 Vadnais Heights 13,565 $81,643 $243,300
36 White Bear Lake 25,718 $70,981 $241,400
37 Bayport 3,758 $87,986 $279,000
38 Roseville 36,139 $74,571 $266,100
39 Elk River 24,894 $87,755 $243,500
40 Arden Hills 10,276 $105,664 $296,500
41 Hudson 13,912 $74,207 $255,100
42 East Bethel 11,958 $90,809 $261,900
43 Ramsey 27,201 $97,779 $264,900
44 Falcon Heights 5,586 $72,616 $300,700
45 Prescott 4,278 $67,491 $194,100
46 Dayton 6,258 $112,557 $357,000
47 Circle Pines 4,951 $84,550 $200,700
48 Eagan 66,377 $93,332 $298,700
49 Oak Park Heights 4,914 $71,140 $261,300
50 Apple Valley 53,728 $90,162 $270,600
51 Wyoming 7,976 $88,876 $247,200
52 Hastings 22,796 $75,026 $229,900
53 Farmington 22,996 $95,326 $269,500
54 Chaska 26,753 $90,161 $290,300
55 Centerville 4,006 $110,341 $265,200
56 Oak Grove 8,819 $107,112 $309,700
57 Nowthen 4,715 $124,492 $374,400
58 Golden Valley 21,611 $97,783 $329,400
59 Otsego 17,429 $110,833 $282,500
60 Savage 31,758 $116,895 $326,800
61 Excelsior 2,414 $80,750 $773,100
62 Carver 5,438 $109,589 $326,400
63 Watertown 4,473 $94,922 $236,400
64 Champlin 24,980 $96,469 $254,200
65 Corcoran 6,113 $138,848 $376,700
66 Minnetrista 7,989 $144,188 $509,200
67 St. Bonifacius 2,017 $95,750 $270,900
68 Woodbury 71,298 $108,055 $336,600
69 Albertville 7,483 $73,913 $240,800
70 Stillwater 19,471 $91,947 $302,500
71 Cottage Grove 37,120 $102,600 $261,500
72 Hugo 15,008 $92,032 $262,300
73 Spring Park 2,136 $48,661 $482,300
74 Ham Lake 16,630 $99,736 $325,400
75 St. Louis Park 48,874 $84,694 $290,500
76 Rosemount 24,792 $110,573 $295,800
77 St. Michael 17,871 $109,487 $287,700
78 Mound 9,498 $75,542 $255,200
79 Columbus 4,109 $93,892 $296,500
80 Eden Prairie 64,481 $115,227 $374,700
81 St. Anthony 9,035 $85,469 $281,600
82 Afton 3,008 $109,387 $556,400
83 Cologne 2,199 $99,514 $277,700
84 Prior Lake 26,775 $108,481 $328,400
85 Grant 4,106 $115,850 $484,700
86 Shoreview 26,922 $97,633 $285,500
87 Wayzata 4,591 $88,431 $596,400
88 Andover 33,019 $112,967 $305,900
89 Lino Lakes 21,748 $107,647 $299,000
90 Greenfield 3,013 $123,817 $449,800
91 Lakeville 65,710 $112,020 $325,400
92 Maple Grove 71,569 $113,793 $299,700
93 Hanover 3,414 $116,458 $307,800
94 Minnetonka 53,760 $100,363 $362,100
95 Mahtomedi 8,232 $112,105 $353,000
96 Delano 6,167 $101,845 $266,900
97 Lake Elmo 9,071 $145,433 $433,500
98 Plymouth 78,879 $112,631 $368,600
99 Scandia 4,135 $84,741 $403,200
100 Waconia 12,281 $100,583 $321,500

How Is Your Town In ?

Editor's Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don't freak out we updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst suburbs around Minneapolis.

About Nick Johnson

Nick Johnson earned his masters in Business Administration from the Drucker School At Claremont Graduate University. He has written for 39 publications across the country and ran the media relations department at Movoto, a real estate portal based in San Francisco. He has been featured in over 500 publications as an expert in real estate and as an authority on real estate trends.

Nick's the creator of the HomeSnacks YouTube channel that now has over 260,000 subscribers and is an excellent source to learn about different parts of the country.