These Are The 10 Worst Minneapolis Suburbs For 2018


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 Victoria 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 84 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 2018:

  1. Brooklyn Center (Photos)
  2. Columbia Heights (Photos)
  3. Anoka (Photos)
  4. Fridley (Photos)
  5. St. Paul (Photos)
  6. South St. Paul (Photos)
  7. West St. Paul (Photos)
  8. Spring Lake Park (Photos)
  9. Richfield (Photos)
  10. Brooklyn Park (Photos)

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:

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around Minneapolis for 2018

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, 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 5,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 84 suburbs to evaluate around Minneapolis.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 84 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.

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.

1. Brooklyn Center

Brooklyn Center, Minnesota

Population: 30,785
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
Median Home Price: $140,000
Median Income: $46,400
More on Brooklyn Center: Data | Jobs

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 1st 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.

2. Columbia Heights

Columbia Heights, Minnesota

Population: 19,689
Unemployment Rate: 8.7%
Median Home Price: $155,300
Median Income: $48,791
More on Columbia Heights: Data | Jobs

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 2nd lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $48,791 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.

3. Anoka

Anoka, Minnesota

Population: 17,325
Unemployment Rate: 6.2%
Median Home Price: $167,800
Median Income: $48,850
More on Anoka: Data | Jobs

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

4. Fridley

Fridley, Minnesota

Population: 27,447
Unemployment Rate: 5.8%
Median Home Price: $166,600
Median Income: $55,006
More on Fridley: Data | Jobs

If you live in Fridley, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 11th 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 84 cities for this study.

Fridley is about 8.4 miles to downtown.

5. St. Paul

St. Paul, Minnesota

Population: 297,160
Unemployment Rate: 7.8%
Median Home Price: $178,400
Median Income: $50,820
More on St. Paul: Data | Jobs

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 13th lowest home values in the metro Minneapolis area, where the median price is $178,400. To put that into perspective, in Victoria, the median income is $143,191, which is the best in the area.

St. Paul has an unemployment rate of 7.8% which ranks 4th worst.

6. South St. Paul

South St. Paul, Minnesota

Population: 20,281
Unemployment Rate: 6.3%
Median Home Price: $160,800
Median Income: $54,777
More on South St. Paul: Data | Jobs

South St. Paul has 20,281 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 13.1%.

7. West St. Paul

West St. Paul, Minnesota

Population: 19,779
Unemployment Rate: 8.6%
Median Home Price: $175,100
Median Income: $51,066
More on West St. Paul: Data | Jobs

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

It’s the place with the 3rd most out of work residents in the Minneapolis metro area (8.6%).

8. Spring Lake Park

Spring Lake Park, Minnesota

Source: Public domain

Population: 6,519
Unemployment Rate: 7.3%
Median Home Price: $160,400
Median Income: $57,993
More on Spring Lake Park: Data | Jobs

Spring Lake Park is a city about 10.6 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. Spring Lake Park has the 17th most uninsured people, 14th worst incomes, and has the 5th highest unemployment rate (7.3%) in the entire Minneapolis metro area.

Homes only cost $160,400 for a reason. That’s cheap for Minneapolis standards.

9. Richfield

Richfield, Minnesota

Source: Public domain

Population: 35,912
Unemployment Rate: 5.5%
Median Home Price: $188,100
Median Income: $54,642
More on Richfield: Data | Jobs

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

About 5.5% of residents are out of work.

10. Brooklyn Park

Brooklyn Park, Minnesota

Source: Public domain

Population: 78,823
Unemployment Rate: 5.7%
Median Home Price: $186,400
Median Income: $65,695
More on Brooklyn Park: Data | Jobs

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

Located 10.9 miles outside the city, Brooklyn Parks is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 12th highest unemployment rate (5.7%), and poverty is far above the area average.

The areas around Minneapolis where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2018

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. Victoria takes the cake as the best place to live around Minneapolis.

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Minneapolis Suburbs

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Median Home Price Median Income
1 Brooklyn Center 30,785 6.3% $140,000 $46,400
2 Columbia Heights 19,689 8.7% $155,300 $48,791
3 Anoka 17,325 6.2% $167,800 $48,850
4 Fridley 27,447 5.8% $166,600 $55,006
5 St. Paul 297,160 7.8% $178,400 $50,820
6 South St. Paul 20,281 6.3% $160,800 $54,777
7 West St. Paul 19,779 8.6% $175,100 $51,066
8 Spring Lake Park 6,519 7.3% $160,400 $57,993
9 Richfield 35,912 5.5% $188,100 $54,642
10 Brooklyn Park 78,823 5.7% $186,400 $65,695
11 North St. Paul 12,102 9.0% $180,200 $57,156
12 Mounds View 12,708 5.5% $168,600 $56,753
13 Maplewood 39,678 6.2% $188,400 $63,367
14 St. Paul Park 5,352 5.7% $161,300 $68,586
15 Inver Grove Heights 34,757 5.5% $216,400 $69,893
16 Little Canada 10,202 5.1% $203,600 $51,154
17 New Hope 20,819 4.6% $194,900 $50,000
18 Robbinsdale 14,382 5.5% $166,600 $60,388
19 Hastings 22,501 4.9% $182,800 $62,155
20 Hopkins 18,077 4.6% $204,300 $51,466
21 Coon Rapids 62,159 5.4% $171,200 $66,313
22 Crystal 22,777 4.1% $159,600 $60,494
23 Burnsville 61,158 5.0% $215,300 $66,225
24 Shakopee 39,656 5.3% $221,500 $79,648
25 Bloomington 85,080 4.3% $221,900 $67,473
26 Roseville 35,254 4.2% $224,000 $63,022
27 Dayton 5,031 4.2% $238,900 $78,477
28 New Brighton 22,233 4.7% $223,400 $66,003
29 Forest Lake 19,208 4.2% $234,700 $73,091
30 East Bethel 11,618 4.2% $210,300 $90,134
31 Jordan 5,981 2.5% $210,500 $66,818
32 Oakdale 27,956 4.1% $201,900 $67,991
33 Oak Grove 8,334 3.8% $239,000 $85,446
34 Blaine 61,210 4.2% $189,100 $79,915
35 Elk River 23,743 3.9% $214,900 $83,585
36 White Bear Lake 24,992 3.9% $192,800 $63,916
37 Cottage Grove 35,632 4.3% $216,500 $85,516
38 Wyoming 7,785 5.0% $201,300 $84,712
39 Vadnais Heights 13,115 3.1% $206,400 $72,673
40 Mound 9,306 4.5% $225,200 $78,920
41 Golden Valley 21,040 5.4% $264,900 $81,919
42 St. Louis Park 47,486 4.1% $236,900 $68,451
43 Hudson 13,367 3.6% $225,900 $65,182
44 Chaska 25,078 2.5% $243,700 $76,673
45 Eagan 65,874 4.4% $251,500 $82,855
46 Apple Valley 50,602 3.7% $218,100 $83,450
47 Corcoran 5,572 4.0% $305,100 $101,659
48 Falcon Heights 5,534 4.7% $283,200 $75,167
49 Arden Hills 10,126 7.1% $282,200 $91,875
50 Ham Lake 15,878 4.9% $268,600 $93,900
51 Ramsey 25,329 3.6% $210,200 $88,286
52 St. Anthony 8,790 3.2% $232,300 $64,504
53 Otsego 15,065 2.0% $193,900 $89,556
54 Rosemount 23,099 4.0% $240,300 $92,939
55 Farmington 22,226 2.4% $213,800 $86,447
56 Lake Elmo 8,445 3.1% $375,800 $96,944
57 Hugo 14,223 2.4% $236,200 $86,789
58 St. Michael 17,045 4.0% $223,100 $97,000
59 Prior Lake 24,997 3.7% $286,100 $101,128
60 Savage 29,399 3.3% $263,300 $97,584
61 Stillwater 19,142 3.4% $248,400 $79,293
62 Andover 31,906 3.7% $241,800 $100,358
63 Minnetonka 51,651 4.1% $301,400 $83,496
64 Delano 5,754 3.5% $234,300 $78,114
65 Orono 7,772 4.9% $593,000 $119,393
66 Lakeville 59,786 2.9% $260,400 $98,864
67 Lino Lakes 20,758 4.0% $263,800 $105,934
68 Champlin 23,929 3.4% $205,700 $84,042
69 Shoreview 26,161 2.8% $238,100 $81,353
70 Albertville 7,286 3.1% $189,600 $93,045
71 Mahtomedi 7,964 3.9% $298,200 $95,679
72 Minnetrista 6,963 2.2% $422,400 $143,191
73 Plymouth 75,105 3.0% $310,900 $88,378
74 Mendota Heights 11,231 4.3% $351,100 $100,903
75 Maple Grove 66,969 3.6% $254,400 $96,410
76 Woodbury 66,699 4.0% $282,700 $101,922
77 Medina 5,633 2.2% $586,600 $137,692
78 Eden Prairie 63,206 3.2% $319,400 $101,094
79 Chanhassen 24,796 3.1% $339,800 $115,449
80 Waconia 11,523 2.8% $252,200 $87,394
81 Edina 49,976 3.6% $424,500 $91,847
82 Rogers 12,284 1.7% $279,600 $109,023
83 Shorewood 7,548 2.9% $428,100 $123,629
84 Victoria 8,385 2.1% $394,800 $132,431

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5 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Minneapolis Suburbs For 2018

  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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