The 10 Worst Minneapolis Suburbs For 2021


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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst suburbs around Minneapolis.

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 111 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 2021:

  1. Lexington
  2. Newport
  3. Brooklyn Center
  4. West St. Paul
  5. Jordan
  6. St. Paul
  7. Columbia Heights
  8. Rockford
  9. Fridley
  10. Little Canada

What's the worst suburb of Minneapolis? Lexington ranks as the worst suburb of Minneapolis for 2021 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 2021

Lexington, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,144
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $57,025 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (highest)
Median Home Value: $176,100 (2nd lowest)
More on Lexington:  Data | Photos

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 5th worst in the Minneapolis area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 2nd 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

6
/10

Population: 3,532
Rank Last Year: 22 (Up 20)
Median Income: $59,167 (10th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (2highest)
Median Home Value: $216,300 (23rd lowest)
More on Newport:  Data

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

This city is 14.5 miles to Minneapolis. Income levels here are the 10th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $59,167 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.

Brooklyn Center, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 30,849
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $59,550 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $172,800 (lowest)
More on Brooklyn Center:  Data | Photos

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

West St. Paul, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 19,779
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Income: $56,097 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $199,400 (13th lowest)
More on West St. Paul:  Data | Photos

If you live in West St. Paul, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 3rd lowest Minneapolis suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 2nd worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near Minneapolis. Remember, we looked at 111 cities for this study.

West St. Paul is about 9.9 miles to downtown.

Jordan, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 6,230
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $74,167 (33rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $235,900 (32nd lowest)
More on Jordan:  Data | Photos

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

All snarkiness aside, Jordan has the 32nd lowest home values in the metro Minneapolis area, where the median price is $235,900. To put that into perspective, in North Oaks, the median income is $178,816, which is the best in the area.

Jordan has an unemployment rate of 5.46% which ranks 5th worst.

St. Paul, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 304,547
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $57,876 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $208,000 (20th lowest)
More on St. Paul:  Data | Photos

St. Paul has 304,547 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 18.906326382684625%.

Columbia Heights, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 20,118
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 4)
Median Income: $57,882 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $177,300 (3rd lowest)
More on Columbia Heights:  Data | Photos

Ah, Columbia Heights. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around Minneapolis.

It's the place with the 4th most out of work residents in the Minneapolis metro area (5.67%).

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 4,551
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 6)
Median Income: $65,548 (18th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (37th highest)
Median Home Value: $181,900 (4th lowest)
More on Rockford:  Data

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 4th most uninsured people, 18th worst incomes, and has the 37th highest unemployment rate (3.55%) in the entire Minneapolis metro area.

Homes only cost $181,900 for a reason. That's cheap for Minneapolis standards.

Fridley, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 27,668
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Median Income: $63,836 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (24th highest)
Median Home Value: $198,200 (11th lowest)
More on Fridley:  Data | Photos

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

About 4.1% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,451
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Median Income: $52,842 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (28th highest)
Median Home Value: $242,500 (36th lowest)
More on Little Canada:  Data

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

Located 9.9 miles outside the city, Little Canadas is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 28th highest unemployment rate (3.94%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Minneapolis for 2021

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 2015-2019, 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 111 suburbs to evaluate around Minneapolis.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 111 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.

The areas around Minneapolis where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021

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
  • Medina

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Minneapolis Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Lexington 2,144 $57,025 $176,100
2 Newport 3,532 $59,167 $216,300
3 Brooklyn Center 30,849 $59,550 $172,800
4 West St. Paul 19,779 $56,097 $199,400
5 Jordan 6,230 $74,167 $235,900
6 St. Paul 304,547 $57,876 $208,000
7 Columbia Heights 20,118 $57,882 $177,300
8 Rockford 4,551 $65,548 $181,900
9 Fridley 27,668 $63,836 $198,200
10 Little Canada 10,451 $52,842 $242,500
11 Maplewood 40,545 $70,484 $217,300
12 Anoka 17,471 $58,576 $203,100
13 South St. Paul 20,194 $63,247 $192,100
14 Mounds View 13,094 $67,402 $206,700
15 Spring Lake Park 6,535 $62,477 $190,400
16 New Hope 20,925 $60,675 $225,100
17 Brooklyn Park 80,068 $73,940 $224,300
18 Inver Grove Heights 35,320 $78,347 $254,500
19 North St. Paul 12,406 $64,722 $206,100
20 Richfield 36,063 $66,908 $225,200
21 Burnsville 61,311 $73,529 $247,500
22 St. Paul Park 5,356 $79,821 $191,800
23 Hopkins 18,382 $56,390 $227,500
24 Crystal 22,975 $67,342 $197,300
25 Coon Rapids 62,517 $71,267 $204,700
26 Bloomington 85,332 $75,130 $251,300
27 Oakdale 27,963 $72,511 $227,700
28 Elk River 24,522 $89,596 $241,400
29 New Brighton 22,556 $74,644 $256,600
30 Watertown 4,408 $83,542 $208,300
31 Blaine 64,114 $84,933 $230,900
32 Lauderdale 2,514 $53,684 $206,100
33 Robbinsdale 14,468 $70,348 $201,100
34 Forest Lake 20,004 $79,840 $272,200
35 Shakopee 40,731 $87,719 $265,500
36 Roseville 36,026 $71,180 $254,200
37 Osseo 2,753 $57,946 $198,600
38 St. Bonifacius 2,078 $79,760 $252,500
39 Prescott 4,258 $75,603 $186,500
40 White Bear Lake 25,673 $71,709 $226,000
41 Arden Hills 10,293 $91,250 $292,900
42 Dayton 5,817 $97,652 $313,500
43 Oak Park Heights 4,889 $61,181 $245,400
44 Hastings 22,738 $71,264 $214,900
45 Hudson 13,795 $75,000 $243,400
46 Wyoming 7,914 $89,967 $242,600
47 Chaska 26,371 $85,143 $266,200
48 Columbus 4,055 $89,773 $275,300
49 Vadnais Heights 13,444 $77,413 $242,500
50 Falcon Heights 5,571 $75,660 $293,400
51 East Bethel 11,870 $93,375 $251,100
52 Apple Valley 52,889 $89,251 $258,000
53 Bayport 3,723 $78,221 $248,900
54 Nowthen 4,682 $107,688 $329,600
55 Excelsior 2,434 $70,000 $617,100
56 Eagan 66,379 $90,515 $288,200
57 Lake Elmo 8,969 $118,421 $426,600
58 Ramsey 26,638 $95,014 $251,900
59 Circle Pines 4,950 $83,224 $197,100
60 Oak Grove 8,682 $106,146 $285,800
61 Savage 31,254 $119,291 $307,500
62 Corcoran 5,911 $122,075 $335,300
63 Wayzata 4,561 $86,852 $523,600
64 Champlin 24,755 $92,858 $237,800
65 Greenfield 2,986 $116,250 $428,300
66 Centerville 3,985 $107,794 $263,500
67 St. Anthony 9,038 $73,918 $269,300
68 Prior Lake 26,365 $109,604 $322,400
69 Otsego 16,763 $105,290 $261,600
70 Cottage Grove 36,602 $102,039 $249,800
71 St. Louis Park 48,677 $80,627 $271,600
72 Eden Prairie 64,179 $111,981 $368,100
73 Rosemount 24,292 $104,743 $279,000
74 Mahtomedi 8,164 $105,958 $338,600
75 Farmington 22,869 $95,331 $254,200
76 St. Michael 17,586 $114,015 $270,600
77 Afton 2,999 $119,511 $475,000
78 Golden Valley 21,566 $98,058 $304,700
79 Ham Lake 16,434 $103,655 $306,700
80 Lakeville 63,915 $110,212 $311,100
81 Shoreview 26,791 $92,826 $275,800
82 Albertville 7,436 $85,357 $250,400
83 Hanover 3,298 $104,688 $297,800
84 Mound 9,480 $92,964 $261,300
85 Hugo 14,767 $89,969 $259,300
86 Minnetonka 53,025 $95,630 $347,900
87 Andover 32,733 $109,930 $289,500
88 Grant 4,100 $116,947 $469,100
89 Stillwater 19,341 $91,350 $291,400
90 Elko New Market 4,657 $123,294 $298,500
91 Woodbury 69,906 $108,539 $323,000
92 Delano 6,085 $101,798 $258,700
93 Carver 4,771 $114,906 $337,500
94 North Hudson 3,796 $87,569 $263,200
95 Orono 8,113 $159,028 $680,100
96 Independence 3,776 $129,732 $502,900
97 Maple Grove 70,627 $109,557 $293,400
98 Plymouth 78,134 $105,958 $351,700
99 Shorewood 7,867 $139,956 $485,300
100 Rogers 12,971 $127,629 $331,200

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