Worst Minneapolis Suburbs For 2020


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

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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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst suburbs around Minneapolis.

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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. So without further ado...

We examined the 110 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.

What's the worst suburb of Minneapolis? Brooklyn Center ranks as the worst suburb of Minneapolis for 2020 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 2020

Brooklyn Center, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 30,899
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $54,786 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $161,300 (1st lowest)
More on Brooklyn Center:  Data | Photos

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

And in the world of worst rankings, Brooklyn Center beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 7th worst in the Minneapolis area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 1st 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 Brooklyn Center.

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.

Columbia Heights, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 19,958
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $54,393 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $169,600 (2nd lowest)
More on Columbia Heights:  Data | Photos

Welcome to Columbia Heights. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 6.0 miles to Minneapolis. Income levels here are the 6th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $54,393 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.

Jordan, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 6,155
Rank Last Year: 26 (Up 23)
Median Income: $61,592 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $208,200 (23rd lowest)
More on Jordan:  Data | Photos

Back up the highway we go for the third worst Minneapolis suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Jordan 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.

Fridley, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 27,614
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Income: $59,770 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (11th highest)
Median Home Value: $184,100 (9th lowest)
More on Fridley:  Data | Photos

If you live in Fridley, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 14th lowest Minneapolis suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 11th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Minneapolis. Remember, we looked at 110 cities for this study.

Fridley is about 8.4 miles to downtown.

St. Paul, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 302,760
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Income: $55,085 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $196,500 (21st lowest)
More on St. Paul:  Data | Photos

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

All snarkiness aside, St. Paul has the 21st lowest home values in the metro Minneapolis area, where the median price is $196,500. To put that into perspective, in North Oaks, the median income is $161,392, which is the best in the area.

St. Paul has an unemployment rate of 5.65% which ranks 6th worst.

Anoka, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 17,419
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Median Income: $54,171 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $189,600 (13th lowest)
More on Anoka:  Data | Photos

Anoka has 17,419 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 11.152106641275887%.

West St. Paul, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 19,750
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Income: $54,290 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $192,700 (18th lowest)
More on West St. Paul:  Data | Photos

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

It's the place with the 1st most out of work residents in the Minneapolis metro area (6.83%).

Maplewood, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 40,387
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Median Income: $66,758 (24th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (17th highest)
Median Home Value: $211,700 (26th lowest)
More on Maplewood:  Data | Photos

Maplewood is a city about 12.2 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. Maplewood has the 16th most uninsured people, 24th worst incomes, and has the 17th highest unemployment rate (4.56%) in the entire Minneapolis metro area.

Homes only cost $211,700 for a reason. That's cheap for Minneapolis standards.

South St. Paul, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 20,256
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $60,588 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (33rd highest)
Median Home Value: $177,700 (5th lowest)
More on South St. Paul:  Data | Photos

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

About 3.96% of residents are out of work.

Mounds View, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 12,959
Rank Last Year: 24 (Up 14)
Median Income: $62,458 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $188,100 (12th lowest)
More on Mounds View:  Data | Photos

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

Located 10.3 miles outside the city, Mounds Views is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 9th highest unemployment rate (5.21%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Minneapolis for 2020

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 2014-2018, 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 110 suburbs to evaluate around Minneapolis.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 110 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, Brooklyn Center. 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.

The areas around Minneapolis where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2020

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding Minneapolis with Brooklyn Center 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
  • Victoria

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Minneapolis Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Brooklyn Center 30,899 $54,786 $161,300
2 Columbia Heights 19,958 $54,393 $169,600
3 Jordan 6,155 $61,592 $208,200
4 Fridley 27,614 $59,770 $184,100
5 St. Paul 302,760 $55,085 $196,500
6 Anoka 17,419 $54,171 $189,600
7 West St. Paul 19,750 $54,290 $192,700
8 Maplewood 40,387 $66,758 $211,700
9 South St. Paul 20,256 $60,588 $177,700
10 Mounds View 12,959 $62,458 $188,100
11 Little Canada 10,387 $51,510 $216,300
12 Spring Lake Park 6,459 $59,076 $176,900
13 Rockford 4,585 $66,528 $180,200
14 Brooklyn Park 79,792 $70,448 $208,800
15 New Hope 20,922 $56,610 $213,900
16 Inver Grove Heights 35,197 $74,883 $239,200
17 St. Paul Park 5,372 $72,477 $174,200
18 Richfield 35,982 $63,434 $211,700
19 Hopkins 18,300 $55,025 $223,300
20 Lauderdale 2,514 $50,909 $192,600
21 Burnsville 61,283 $70,600 $237,100
22 Newport 3,506 $63,341 $193,100
23 Robbinsdale 14,466 $65,956 $185,300
24 Watertown 4,372 $82,130 $194,900
25 St. Bonifacius 2,219 $79,861 $241,900
26 North St. Paul 12,342 $63,110 $192,500
27 New Brighton 22,560 $69,357 $242,900
28 Crystal 22,934 $64,544 $180,400
29 Coon Rapids 62,376 $70,413 $190,000
30 Elk River 24,211 $86,584 $233,000
31 Bloomington 85,394 $72,081 $240,100
32 Oakdale 28,018 $70,861 $216,200
33 Roseville 35,833 $68,254 $239,700
34 Forest Lake 19,643 $81,603 $260,100
35 Oak Park Heights 4,842 $59,167 $246,400
36 Osseo 2,731 $52,930 $181,800
37 Shakopee 40,418 $83,565 $252,900
38 Excelsior 2,448 $56,413 $553,900
39 Blaine 63,319 $83,201 $219,600
40 White Bear Lake 25,601 $70,012 $215,800
41 Dayton 5,487 $96,500 $277,400
42 East Bethel 11,808 $88,988 $232,600
43 Columbus 4,037 $87,951 $254,700
44 Apple Valley 51,931 $87,164 $243,100
45 Oak Grove 8,582 $100,671 $267,700
46 Wyoming 7,839 $87,462 $226,100
47 Hastings 22,690 $69,404 $199,600
48 Arden Hills 10,290 $87,313 $282,900
49 Prescott 4,235 $74,226 $184,600
50 Centerville 3,962 $106,250 $252,500
51 Corcoran 5,775 $113,051 $319,700
52 Falcon Heights 5,559 $72,660 $288,200
53 Lake Elmo 8,794 $115,984 $413,100
54 Cottage Grove 36,221 $95,453 $237,100
55 Chaska 25,998 $87,018 $257,900
56 Hudson 13,650 $72,181 $240,300
57 Nowthen 4,649 $105,313 $298,400
58 Ramsey 26,225 $96,692 $236,600
59 Wayzata 4,518 $83,348 $518,900
60 Eagan 66,363 $88,370 $276,000
61 Otsego 16,189 $103,052 $227,000
62 Circle Pines 4,954 $84,137 $191,800
63 Rosemount 23,885 $99,221 $266,600
64 Bayport 3,712 $79,107 $232,800
65 Prior Lake 25,880 $103,889 $303,300
66 Afton 2,980 $114,375 $462,400
67 Savage 30,615 $111,324 $291,800
68 Vadnais Heights 13,376 $87,808 $236,200
69 Champlin 24,478 $87,692 $227,100
70 Delano 5,959 $86,034 $255,000
71 Ham Lake 16,282 $100,292 $291,400
72 North Hudson 3,803 $86,857 $245,900
73 Scandia 4,083 $87,969 $367,300
74 St. Louis Park 48,423 $75,690 $255,200
75 Mound 9,412 $86,432 $248,600
76 Golden Valley 21,364 $93,329 $288,700
77 Mahtomedi 8,095 $97,796 $320,000
78 Hanover 3,298 $97,092 $288,200
79 Greenfield 2,960 $114,213 $411,000
80 St. Anthony 9,027 $70,503 $251,800
81 Stillwater 19,275 $84,104 $271,000
82 Andover 32,499 $106,337 $272,000
83 Hugo 14,587 $89,050 $250,000
84 St. Michael 17,328 $109,456 $249,700
85 Minnetonka 52,546 $91,374 $330,900
86 Plymouth 77,213 $100,280 $340,700
87 Farmington 22,714 $92,699 $242,100
88 Shoreview 26,627 $87,920 $265,400
89 Lakeville 62,489 $106,069 $292,800
90 Albertville 7,377 $90,078 $234,200
91 Mendota Heights 11,284 $119,615 $373,900
92 Independence 3,751 $120,600 $475,000
93 Lino Lakes 21,150 $110,458 $280,300
94 Maple Grove 69,571 $105,369 $280,700
95 Eden Prairie 63,900 $106,555 $351,400
96 Woodbury 68,686 $105,393 $308,700
97 Shorewood 7,752 $129,483 $460,800
98 Orono 8,015 $146,731 $649,000
99 Rogers 12,777 $125,313 $314,900
100 Elko New Market 4,604 $123,750 $301,600

How Is Your Town In ?

5 thoughts on “Worst Minneapolis Suburbs, 2020

  1. West St. Paul is far worse than #13! Have you been on Robert Street lately? It is so ghetto and blighted. But taxes are going way way up to pay to “fix” it because it’s a state road but the state won’t pay for it. West St Paul is far worse than South St Paul, Newport, Inver Grove Heights all surrounding it. At least they have the river or some okay areas, West St Paul is just a filthy crime ridden ghetto and oh yeah, the city bans its citizens from renting their “own” homes, it’s that bad!! So if you buy a home there, you are stuck living in that horrible place. West St Paul is where dreams go to die. Avoid it like the plague!!

  2. No it isn’t! Even after the city ran up a 45 million dollar tab for Robwrt Street, a state owned road, it is to be paid for predominantly by taxpayers, not by the state!? Robert Street and West St Paul are trashy, blighted, ugly, awful places to be. Unless crime, urban blight, empty parking lots and deserted out of businesz big box stores is your thing?

  3. Do you understand the difference between Minneapolis and Saint Paul? Half of your ten worst Minneapolis Suburbs list are suburbs of Saint Paul.

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