The suburbs of Minneapolis call to all types of people looking to escape city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround Minneapolis to avoid all the hustle and bustle.
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 Saturday Night Science to determine which Minneapolis ‘burbs need a little tender loving care – the sore thumbs of the Minneapolis area if you will. Realistically, you can only expect some of the suburbs to live up to Minneapolis proper, although Deephaven 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.
Now don’t freak out.
What’s the worst suburb of Minneapolis? Lexington ranks as the worst suburb of Minneapolis for 2023 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.
And remember, there are some good places to live around Minneapolis too.
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The 10 Worst Minneapolis Suburbs To Live For 2023
Median Income: $69,318 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $228,400 (13th lowest)
More on Lexington:
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 14th worst in the Minneapolis area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 13th 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.
Median Income: $64,618 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $203,200 (lowest)
More on Brooklyn Center:
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 8th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $64,618 a year, which only goes so far even on a shoestring budget.
But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.
Median Income: $68,910 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.6% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $224,700 (10th lowest)
More on Fridley:
Back up the highway we go for the third worst Minneapolis suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Fridley 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 dropout rate is poor compared to other Minneapolis suburbs.
But at least there are lovely parks to bring the kids during the day.
Median Income: $71,308 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $220,200 (6th lowest)
More on South St. Paul:
If you live in South St. Paul, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 17th lowest Minneapolis suburb for median household incomes.
Not only that, but this is the 5th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Minneapolis. Remember, we looked at 113 cities for this study.
South St. Paul is about 12.3 miles to downtown.
Median Income: $58,455 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.1% (56th highest)
Median Home Value: $246,000 (26th lowest)
More on Newport:
Newport has the distinction of being a Minneapolis suburb. Which means that’s about all it has going for it.
All snarkiness aside, Newport has the 26th lowest home values in the metro Minneapolis area, where the median price is $246,000. The median income is $220,861.
Newport has an unemployment rate of 3.13% which ranks 56th worst.
Median Income: $61,959 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $247,200 (27th lowest)
More on Little Canada:
Little Canada has 10,704 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 10.398354217318124%.
Median Income: $63,483 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (18th highest)
Median Home Value: $232,400 (18th lowest)
More on St. Paul:
Ah, St. Paul. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Minneapolis.
It’s the place with the 18th most out of work residents in the Minneapolis metro area (5.12%).
Median Income: $73,859 (20th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (42nd highest)
Median Home Value: $206,300 (3rd lowest)
More on Rockford:
Rockford is a city about 24.9 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. Rockford has the 8th most uninsured people, 20th worst incomes, and has the 42nd highest unemployment rate (3.84%) in the entire Minneapolis metro area.
Homes only cost $206,300 for a reason. That’s cheap for Minneapolis standards.
Median Income: $57,434 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (19th highest)
Median Home Value: $232,400 (18th lowest)
More on West St. Paul:
If you absolutely have to live near Minneapolis, then West St. Paul might be a place for you to consider as it’s only the 9th worst Minneapolis suburb.
About 5.1% of residents are out of work.
Median Income: $69,460 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (4highest)
Median Home Value: $211,100 (4th lowest)
More on Columbia Heights:
Rounding out the ten worst Minneapolis suburbs to call home is Columbia Heights.
Located 6.0 miles outside the city, Columbia Heightss is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 4highest unemployment rate (3.87%), and poverty is far above the area average.
Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Minneapolis for 2023
To figure out how bad a Minneapolis suburb is to live in, we only needed to know what kinds of things people like and then decide what suburbs have the least amount of those things.
It’s Saturday Night Science.
We threw a lot of criteria at this one to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2017-2021, 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 dropouts
- High poverty
- High rate of uninsured families
We defined a suburb as any town within 30 miles of Minneapolis.
We also limited the analysis to places with over 1,000 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 looking at you, Lexington.
We updated this article for 2023, which reflects our tenth time ranking the worst suburbs around Minneapolis.
Summary: The areas around Minneapolis where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2023
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. Deephaven takes the cake as the best place to live around Minneapolis.
- North Oaks
- North Hudson
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Detailed List Of The Worst Minneapolis Suburbs
|4||South St. Paul||20,637|
|9||West St. Paul||20,476|
|12||Spring Lake Park||6,920|
|25||St. Paul Park||5,490|
|28||North St. Paul||12,395|
|34||Inver Grove Heights||35,539|
|38||White Bear Lake||24,520|
|44||Oak Park Heights||4,720|
|64||St. Louis Park||49,539|
|91||Elko New Market||4,777|