These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Minnesota For 2018

We used science and data to determine which places in Minnesota are the real pits.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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If you ask someone from Minnesota what they love about their state, you’ll get a lot of answers. Friendly people, beautiful scenery, and hockey. Lots and lots of hockey.

It’s not an easy life for most of the year. But if you ask people who live there, they are fiercely protective of their state. They stick together up there, and would probably rather you stay out. Unless you’re on vacation.

But is it all great in The Land of 10,000 Lakes? Of course not. Just like every other state, Minnesota has its trouble spots. The purpose of this post is to use science and data to determine which cities in Minnesota are the least desirable to live in.

Of course, many of the cities on this list would rank highly if they were in other states. But nonetheless, according to science, these cities are the worst places you could possibly live if you make Minnesota your home. These places need a big hug right about now.

After analyzing 142 of the state’s most populous cities (over 5,000 people), we came up with this list as the 10 worst places to live in Minnesota:

  1. Bemidji (Photos)
  2. Virginia (Photos)
  3. Brainerd (Photos)
  4. Waite Park
  5. International Falls (Photos)
  6. Brooklyn Center
  7. St. Cloud (Photos)
  8. Faribault (Photos)
  9. Red Wing (Photos)
  10. Cambridge (Photos)

What? Where are these places you wonder? And before you get all riled up and say we’re picking on small town America, that’s not the case. We understand there’s a lot of good in every place.

However, according to data (which doesn’t measure things like beauty and ‘friendly people’), there are far better options in the state for making a place home. Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2018.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

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How we determined the worst places to live in Minnesota 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 don’t think it’s a stretch to assume that people like the following things:

  • Good education
  • Lots of jobs
  • Low crime
  • Low poverty
  • Nice homes
  • High incomes
  • High population density (Lots of things to do)
  • Short work commutes
  • Health insurance

The data comes from the Census’s most recent American Community Survey and from the FBI Uniform Crime Report.

We broke crime down into violent crime and property crime to give violent crime a larger weight — if you did a simple calculation of all crimes per capita, property crimes are normally 7x more common and really bias that ranking.

Furthermore, only cities with at least 5,000 people were considered — leaving 142 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 142 for all the criteria with a #1 ranking being the worst for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the rankings into one ‘Worst Place To Live Score’.

Finally, we ranked every city on the ‘Worst Place To Live Score’ with the lowest score being the worst city in Minnesota — Bemidji. Read on for a detailed look at the 10 worst cities in Minnesota.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

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1. Bemidji

Bemidji, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,664
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Home Values: $125,300 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 9.3% (3rd worst)
Bemidji is way out at the intersection of Highways 2 and 71. And you may be surprised to hear that the crime here is the 6th-highest in the state per capita, according to the FBI data base.

Residents in Bemidji had a 1 in 14.4 chance of being robbed in 2014. To put things into perspective, since the average person has 300 friends on Facebook, if everyone you friended lived in Bemidji, statistically, 25 of them would have been the victim of a property crime, meaning a home robbery, car break in or a stolen wallet.

Bemidji’s other issues are a very high unemployment rate (9.3%) and income levels of its residents ($33,680).

2. Virginia

Virginia, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,594
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Home Values: $87,500 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.1% (12th worst)
Little Virginia, Minnesota could use a big hug right now. The crime is the 7th highest in the state, income levels and home values are in the bottom half, and the unemployment rate is far above average. Virginia, which has seen its population shrink 5% over the last 10 years, is about an hour’s drive north of Duluth.

Famous winemaker Robert Mondavi was born in Virginia. Unfortunately, the town has some sour grapes to contend with these days.

On the bright side, the public schools in Virginia are some of the highest rated when it comes to the amount of spending and 1-on-1 student support.

3. Brainerd

Brainerd, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,440
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 2)
Home Values: $106,400 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (52nd worst)
Brainerd is way up on 371, north of Little Falls. You can’t blame them for living up here, since it’s really beautiful. But there are sacrifices you make to live in the boonies. One of them is income.

Not only is the unemployment rate the 52nd highest in the state here (4.8%), the residents in Brainerd earn the smallest household income in the state of Minnesota. At a combined income of $32,154, families of four are barely above the poverty line.

In addition, the crime here is really high for a small city in Minnesota. Brainerd has the 8th highest crime rate in the state.

4. Waite Park

Population: 7,371
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Values: $134,100 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (55th worst)
It might seem really odd to hear that little Waite Park has the worst crime, per capita, in Minnesota. A suburb of St. Cloud, this little city’s issues are with property crimes. A staggering 1 in 11.4 residents here was the victim of some type of reported theft in 2015.

That’s just about as high as it gets, nationwide. And yes, we’re aware that there is a huge amount of retail here, which might skew the numbers. But if you live in a place where people are stealing from stores and breaking into parked cars left and right, is that enjoyable?

Besides very low household income and home values, everything else is average.

Just remember to lock your doors when you go there. It’s simply not a safe place at all.

5. International Falls

International Falls, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,226
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Home Values: $84,100 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.8% (1st worst)
Say what you want about how beautiful International Falls might be. The fact is that the economy here is one of the worst in the state.

The unemployment rate rankss 1st highest in the state at 10.8%. Homes are the 1st lowest priced ($84,100), and the median income per household is just a tad over $38,750.

The fact is most of the people who live here are having a hard time making ends meet, when you consider their earned incomes and lack of jobs.

6. Brooklyn Center

Population: 30,785
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Home Values: $140,000 (27th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (18th worst)
You might have passed through Brooklyn Center once and probably throught it seems to be a relatively quiet, clean place.

Here’s what science says about why Brooklyn Center needs some love: The unemployment rate is nearly 6.3%, residents earn about $46,400 a year, and home prices are just over $140,000. Across the board, those are in the bottom half in the state. Not absolutely horrible, but not desirable, either.

And there simply isn’t anything to do in Brooklyn Center.

7. St. Cloud

St. Cloud, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 66,770
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Home Values: $144,100 (30th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (15th worst)
St. Cloud is the 24th most dangerous place in the state of Minnesota. That’s part of the reason it’s the 7th worst place in Minnesota.

The fact remains, that when you’re within St. Cloud city limits, you have a 1 in 24.0 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.Does that sound like a fun place to live?

Did you know St. Cloud also has the 16th highest unemployment rate in the state at 6.7%? Or that homes are only valued at $144,100?

Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s little demand to live in St. Cloud.

8. Faribault

Faribault, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 23,530
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 2)
Home Values: $138,500 (24th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (23rd worst)
When you’re looking at science and data, Faribault is the 8th worst place you can live in the state of Minnesota. Let’s see why.

First off, the crime here is really high, in comparison to the rest of Minnesota. Faribault is the 59th most dangerous place you can live in the state, where you have a 1 in 44.9 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime. Meaning lots of people are getting robbed here.

Homes here average $138,500, which is the 24th lowest in the state. You can defend ‘cheap living’ all you want, but the fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s not a lot of demand to live in Faribault.

Income levels are just about $50,481, the 36th lowest in Minnesota.

When you add it all up, Faribault really is quite an undesirable place to live. The people who have to live in here could use a big hug right about now.

9. Red Wing

Red Wing, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 16,484
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 4)
Home Values: $158,000 (40th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (15th worst)
Red Wing is the 9th worst city in Minnesota for 2015. When you’re comparing other cities to Red Wing, things just don’t look great, at least according to science.

Red Wing is the 43rd most dangerous place in Minnesota, according to FBI statistics. And the residents here have a hard time keeping a job — at least in comparison to the rest of the state. The unemployment rate is 6.7%, worse than the state average.

Home values are really low ($158,000), and residents earn just $49,236 a year.

10. Cambridge

Cambridge, Minnesota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 8,383
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 4)
Home Values: $131,100 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (52nd worst)
It was a close call, but Cambridge ranks as the worst place you can live in Minnesota, barely beating out Brainerd. Let’s see why. When you’re comparing the unemployment rate to the rest of the nation, Minnesotans are very hard workers. But when comparing the unemployment rate among cities in Minnesota, you can see some really big differences. In Cambridge, the number of people out of work is 6.3%, which is right at the national average.

In Minnesota, that’s the 8th highest in the state.

Crime is really high in Cambridge, when compared to the rest of the state. Residents had a 1 in 27 chance of being the victim of some sort of property crime here. That’s a lot of stolen cell phones, car break ins and missing hockey sticks.

Overall, Cambridge ranks as the 12th most dangerous place in the state.

Cambridge, located a short drive north of Minneapolis on route 65, also has the 15-lowest rated public education, when it comes to the financial support for its students.

Wrapping Up The Worst In Minnesota

If you’re looking at areas in Minnesota with the worst economic situations, where there’s higher than average crime, and not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

And in the end, Bemidji ranks as the worst city to live in Minnesota for 2018.

If you’re curious enough, here are the best cities to live in Minnesota:

  1. Edina (Pop. 49,976)
  2. Eden Prairie (Pop. 63,206)
  3. Waconia (Pop. 11,523)

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Cities In Minnesota

City Rank Previous Rank Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
Bemidji 1 3 14,664 9.3% $125,300
Virginia 2 2 8,594 7.1% $87,500
Brainerd 3 1 13,440 4.8% $106,400
Waite Park 4 4 7,371 4.7% $134,100
International Falls 5 9 6,226 10.8% $84,100
Brooklyn Center 6 5 30,785 6.3% $140,000
St. Cloud 7 10 66,770 6.7% $144,100
Faribault 8 6 23,530 5.8% $138,500
Red Wing 9 13 16,484 6.7% $158,000
Cambridge 10 14 8,383 4.8% $131,100
Austin 11 11 24,841 7.1% $98,600
St. Paul 12 12 297,160 7.8% $178,400
Redwood Falls 13 21 5,086 4.0% $99,500
Columbia Heights 14 16 19,689 8.7% $155,300
Willmar 15 7 19,641 5.0% $130,600
Minneapolis 16 17 404,670 6.9% $212,800
Winona 17 30 27,372 7.6% $137,700
West St. Paul 18 18 19,779 8.6% $175,100
Duluth 19 25 86,164 5.6% $148,900
Fridley 20 23 27,447 5.8% $166,600
Hibbing 21 8 16,230 7.7% $98,600
Anoka 22 19 17,325 6.2% $167,800
Worthington 23 15 13,036 10.0% $121,400
Cloquet 24 24 12,047 4.2% $142,600
Fergus Falls 25 27 13,310 4.1% $118,500
Albert Lea 26 22 17,775 5.1% $95,200
Brooklyn Park 27 26 78,823 5.7% $186,400
South St. Paul 28 32 20,281 6.3% $160,800
Spring Lake Park 29 19 6,519 7.3% $160,400
Fairmont 30 40 10,311 3.4% $116,900
Maplewood 31 42 39,678 6.2% $188,400
Crookston 32 36 7,814 5.0% $99,700
Mankato 33 48 40,900 5.5% $159,500
Oak Grove 34 33 8,334 3.8% $239,000
Robbinsdale 35 38 14,382 5.5% $166,600
Richfield 36 42 35,912 5.5% $188,100
Alexandria 37 34 13,185 4.3% $160,500
Little Canada 38 76 10,202 5.1% $203,600
Sauk Rapids 39 29 13,334 6.3% $148,300
Grand Rapids 40 28 11,053 1.8% $146,100
North Branch 41 53 10,157 5.4% $163,000
East Bethel 42 49 11,618 4.2% $210,300
Marshall 43 37 13,616 4.9% $143,900
St. Paul Park 44 49 5,352 5.7% $161,300
Little Falls 45 35 8,682 3.1% $118,700
Mounds View 46 44 12,708 5.5% $168,600
North St. Paul 47 64 12,102 9.0% $180,200
Detroit Lakes 48 41 9,060 3.4% $162,000
Inver Grove Heights 49 54 34,757 5.5% $216,400
Waseca 50 61 9,267 4.6% $123,500
Montevideo 51 52 5,207 1.7% $86,000
Glencoe 52 47 5,535 4.8% $124,100
Coon Rapids 53 51 62,159 5.4% $171,200
Litchfield 54 39 6,667 3.1% $122,400
Zimmerman 55 44 5,330 5.0% $146,400
Buffalo 56 55 15,927 5.9% $180,600
Forest Lake 57 58 19,208 4.2% $234,700
Morris 58 83 5,343 3.4% $151,300
Burnsville 59 65 61,158 5.0% $215,300
Hopkins 60 59 18,077 4.6% $204,300
Ham Lake 61 56 15,878 4.9% $268,600
Isanti 62 46 5,453 4.1% $138,500
Mound 63 80 9,306 4.5% $225,200
Monticello 64 68 13,214 5.5% $169,400
New Hope 65 57 20,819 4.6% $194,900
Hastings 66 66 22,501 4.9% $182,800
Rochester 67 84 111,396 4.7% $167,800
Roseville 68 79 35,254 4.2% $224,000
Crystal 69 63 22,777 4.1% $159,600
St. Francis 70 62 7,377 5.7% $165,200
Bloomington 71 72 85,080 4.3% $221,900
Shakopee 72 67 39,656 5.3% $221,500
Owatonna 73 59 25,580 4.4% $146,200
Hutchinson 74 74 13,891 3.5% $138,600
Moorhead 75 70 41,321 3.4% $166,000
Stewartville 76 78 6,062 0.6% $157,900
Andover 77 73 31,906 3.7% $241,800
Vadnais Heights 78 113 13,115 3.1% $206,400
Blaine 79 85 61,210 4.2% $189,100
St. Peter 80 81 11,567 3.4% $164,600
Baxter 81 86 7,858 3.2% $190,900
New Brighton 82 95 22,233 4.7% $223,400
Belle Plaine 83 69 6,892 5.2% $177,600
Thief River Falls 84 71 8,726 2.3% $111,200
East Grand Forks 85 92 8,636 3.3% $170,700
Hermantown 86 93 9,599 3.4% $213,800
White Bear Lake 87 91 24,992 3.9% $192,800
Oakdale 88 77 27,956 4.1% $201,900
Elk River 89 74 23,743 3.9% $214,900
Dayton 90 5,031 4.2% $238,900
Arden Hills 91 131 10,126 7.1% $282,200
Jordan 92 108 5,981 2.5% $210,500
Hugo 93 88 14,223 2.4% $236,200
St. Joseph 94 110 6,775 3.3% $158,100
St. Louis Park 95 89 47,486 4.1% $236,900
New Ulm 96 94 13,279 2.6% $133,100
Northfield 97 109 20,405 4.1% $196,400
Otsego 98 82 15,065 2.0% $193,900
Wyoming 99 103 7,785 5.0% $201,300
Lake Elmo 100 112 8,445 3.1% $375,800

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40 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Places To Live In Minnesota For 2018

  1. What about towns like Canby Dawson, Madison, Henning New York Mills, Park Rapids, Onamia Hinckley Beaver Bay Silver Bay

    Why are some of These towns not included.

    1. Park Rapids is one of the worst places in Minnesota hands down to actually live. The population is highly uneducated…unemployment in the town was reported at 20 plus percent…and socially…if you like to be around the willfully ignorant and proud…Park Rapids is the place for you.

  2. Cambridge wasn’t so bad. Grew up there, attended school.
    People weren’t overly friendly, but we took care of our own. That was 30 years ago.
    High taxes and the “metro” attitude changed how people see each other, plus the crime rate makes “being friendly ” a bit more of a challenge.
    Deal with the expansions and add in the detour around Cambridge, yes, it’s become more isolated.
    Good people live there, strong family ties, good shopping options, and a real sense of community still makes it a worthy place to consider raising your kids and grand children.
    Seen far worse here in Minnesota so who ever wrote this article has a lot to learn when it comes
    to making a home and a community worth investing and living in on the long term.

    1. If you think raising children in this world in a quote “isolated” place is a good thing and prepares them to be able to navigate modern problems…and be successful…you should consider yourself entirely insane.

  3. Student to teacher ratio doesnt reflect results. How about average scores on standard tests.
    I’d also add in square miles of parks per populous. Ratio of park space to people.

    I think ave income to ave home would normalize the incomes and home prices.

    Unemployment is fair. So is crime.

  4. Nick James (author) you’re ‘science’ has very little to do with what makes a good home. The so-called best towns to live in are suburbs of Minneapolis. Have you been to any of these towns? It all depends on what you are looking for in a home but rich kids and minivans in the burbs is not what a good portion of people consider a quality home. If you’re going to be a writer you’ve got more of a responsibility to do your research. Take it from someone who was born and raised in Grand Rapids, MN, and has also lived in Minneapolis and over six cities across the country, you are sadly mistaken about some of these towns. The ‘facts’ you use are bull shit. The schools are outstanding with only the best teachers. The scenery is breathtaking and the people are kind. I don’t know what kind of existance you care to live but for a lot of people these small towns are havens. So shove your ‘science’ and ‘facts’ up your ass Nick.

    1. Ashley, at least Nick used data. The things you are using to measure how much you like a city are completely arbitrary. Breathtaking scenery? There’s no data to measure that. Kindness of people? Again, no data. Best teachers? Nope, no data to support that.

    2. I grew up in Isanti n went to high school in Cambridge. I cant believe some dipshit that never grew up in these towns have any clue who we are. I have lived in Maryland, Washington, Arizona, South Carolina, Georgia and Pa. I wish my kids could grow up were i did. The teachers are the best n care about the students. I still remember the rodeo n 4H. My gosh so much to do that doesn’t cost a dime. In Arizona u cant swim in half the lakes n ppl r rude. Most teachers dont care either unless u force them to do there job.

  5. I take pretty strong issue with your assumption that a city with a low population density has “nothing to do for inside fun”. You *prefer* high density areas. inside. You have a *bias* toward urban indoor living. Real Minnesotans enjoy the outdoors as well as the indoors. That’s what makes the lakes in Minneapolis a magnet to the young and the old. That said, let’s list some of the fun that’s available in Brainerd inside, since that’s what matters to lost transplants from the south, and then let’s add some outside fun too. I’m sure I’ll miss a bunch… First, there’s the Performing Arts Center at Central Lakes College with two theaters plus the old Tornstrom Auditorium. They offer a variety of theatrical productions, dance and concerts using community, student, and professional talent. They offer indoor athletic venues as well. That’s not boring. CLC offers classes in the performing and cultural arts too as well as a myriad of other subjects. Then there’s the Y, with a pool, racketball courts, exercise classes, gym, weight room. There are other gyms around too, of course. And yes, to the writer who dis’s hockey, there’s an indoor hockey arena to hold winter and summer leagues and hockey camps. Then there’s the Franklin Arts Center. It’s a complete community for artists, having art studio and apartment spaces. It’s full, and yes, it has gyms too. Add to that multiple theaters, good shopping and lots or fun restaurants. I’m not into bars, but yep, they’re there too. (College students here.) Now for the taboo, outdoor fun. Brainerd is surrounded with lakes. This means swimming, boating fishing, diving, skiing, wake boarding, knee boarding, etc., nice beaches, exercise trails, biking and walking paths, too many tennis courts to count, golf, golf and golf. Their high school even has a small practice course. They have a real raceway that offers quite a variety of racing and *classes* in racing. Who else has that? Winter outdoor fun includes hockey (of course), Ski Gull, vast cross-country and snowmobile trails and ice fishing. The high school’s gyms all open up together to make four indoor tennis courts and it has separate exercise gyms. Yeah, it also has a pool. Maple Grove? Please. They jump in the car and head north every chance they can get.

    1. Cheryl from Colorado says I am in agreement with rl. I grew up in Brainerd and have been amazed at the cultural community that has sprung up since I left home. I return every year and an amazed at all the big city perks in a small town. Of course, now that the money has gone to Bacter because of the highway 371 bypass it has hurt Brainerd economically. But the people are the tops and I am proud to be from Brainerd. Since it is the tourist Mecca for up north, that is where people in the cities go to get away from the rat trap, crime, sirens constantly wailing etc for beauty and fun. There was plenty to do years ago when they didn’t have all the perks. Swim in one of a thousand lakes in the Brainerd area. Get real. You can take the city.

  6. I moved from St. Paul to Cambridge/Isanti 4 years ago. It’s a great place to live. Small town feel and not to far away from city fun as well. People out here enjoy living in the country. It’s a good family friendly town. They are literally picking apart marginal data and ranking. Don’t let this article fool you.

  7. You guys missed the boat on your photos. I don’t know what kind of atomic spill you had to declare in order to get all the streets deserted, but you totally forgot to toss some tumble weeds down to blow around on the streets! I was born in grand Rapids and proud of it.

  8. This is so silly. The photos show the worst possible areas of these older towns. Yes, the downtowns are pretty sad – but there are major stores such as Target in town. By the way, Minntac just opened up again and mining is resuming on the Iron Range which includes Virginia, MN and several smaller towns that didn’t qualify for this survey. Your science and statistics may be dramatically different as of today.

    In five minutes, you can be out in the Superior National Forest – from Virginia, Grand Rapids and Bemidji – wonderful lakes, forest and rivers …….many people live on lakes and there are million dollar homes on many of the northern lakes.

    1. They are talking about the town. Virginia is a dirty old hole in the ground… the school is a billion years old and the old steam heat is in shambles.

    1. Hey north mnpls has excitment like the time a few months ago this fine young fellow was right outside my bedroom window and apparently thouht it was hunting season so this ”youth” shot of 15 rounds of 40caliber hollow point bullets i guess mayby this fine young cultured youth thought it was elk season but forgot to go where the elk live because this is in north minneapolis and as far as i know i have never seen any large game trotting down 42nd ave before but i know i am culturaly enriched by this experiance, cant wait for the muslims to enrich us to death 🙂

  9. I lived in Elk River for four years and couldn’t stand it. We moved there from out of state. I found people in ER to be very unfriendly, particularly to people who did not grow up there, and generally passive-aggressive. MN is beautiful. I enjoy the outdoors and what the state has to offer in that respect. I just don’t understand the attitudes there. It’s like many people constantly pump up what a great place it is, then spend the rest of their time blaming Wisconsin for something any chance they get.

    After we left, my wife found a quote from someone on the web who left Minnesota after not liking it: “the peoples’ actions there made me feel like I was snubbed by a dork.”

    That fits somehow.

  10. 54 years in Grand Rapids and the best place to live is were the ones that love you do. Happiness is not measured by money or how smart you are. You can be rich in money and have nothing else and you could be dumb and no amount if or lack of is going to change that.

  11. I live in Hibbing mn, even though it wasn’t listed this town has very rude people who live here. If you’re not born and raised here you are not aaccepted. And that goes for the higher paying jobs, my husband who has his bachelors degree in business was never hired for any job locally because one of the questions during the interview was did you grow up in Hibbing? I mean really? What does that have to do with your qualifications??? Any ways he’s works 1.5 hours away from Hibbing and drives it everyday…. People in Hibbing are snobs!! Just my opinion…

    1. It’s funny that you say that because a lot of locals feel like they Don’t get hired at the Mines because they like hiring Out of Towners. I grew up in Hibbing & it is a VERY tight community because people have known each other for Years and for the locals it’s easy to spot an outsider.
      I’m pretty sure it’s that way in small towns all over the country not Just Hibbing : ) Hibbing has a wonderful community of kind hearted people, but the Mining Industry has a lot to do with the success or failure of its Residents. A high Unemployment rate affects the community & the crime rate & homelessness goes Up. Sorry you feel the way u do about Hibbing. Many Hibbing residents drive a distance daily to have a better paying job. It probably doesn’t make it any better for you though since it’s the Community itself that you take issue with.

  12. Lived in Edina and worked in Maple Grove for less than a year, hated everything about both, left as soon as possible. Not because of cost either, although it was $700,000 for a 3 bed, 1.5 bath in Edina.

  13. Interesting article! I don’t comment on stuff much but two things led me to drop in some thoughts:

    1. The need to defend the home front (Cambridge). My home town. 🙂
    2. I’ve been reading Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow recently and the author dedicates an entire section to statistics and rural towns. Seems fitting for this article. I’d encourage you to check it out:

  14. I’ve lived in a few of these cities-three to be exact (I will not name them). Never again. With the exclusion of Waite Park, I wouldn’t want to live in any of these other cities. Good paying jobs are difficult to come by in these areas and there is a lack of professional jobs too. While there are some good qualities about these places that should have been mentioned in the article (its failing), there aren’t enough of those reasons for me to ever return.

  15. Hahaha…this was really fun to read. Fun because you just listed 10 of the best spots in the state to live, and must have spent some time to scour all possible indicators to somehow come up with the only conceivable negative things about these cities. Hahaha – I really got a good laugh, and to be honest, the only thing that topped that was the list of the “best” places which followed. Maple Grove=priceless. Haha, I’m busting a gut here.

  16. Are you like most from the cities who forget anything west of Delano? There are many cities that should beat any of these you have listed free up in Willmar is say it probably beats out all these other cities you have listed with his it’s declined over the years people are great except for the few who muck it up for the rest.

  17. Only proves “science” results can be swayed by the parameters set on the study. Many of the results are swayed towards an Urban environment yet that is the last thing many people prefer. If commute times and distance to recreation were main criteria the results would be considerably different.

  18. Beaver Bay is the best little town on Lake Superior. Beautiful, lots of culture, good restaurants,incredible scenery, wonderful little shops, great history etc etc. Also the neighborhoods around Minnehaha Creek and the Lakes are the best in Minnesota. Not the schools , but we have terrific private schools, great healthcare and alternative medicine and some of the best culture in the country. Having written questionaires myself yours seems quite flawed.

    1. I have lived in, and visited a number of these towns. I agree, some of the towns just outside the metro area have lost their way, and sold their soul to big city development. Mom and pop shops have closed up because locals prefer to travel into the cities where big box stores rule the roost. The range towns have been hit hard by the loss of mining jobs. Many of the Northern Minnesota towns depend on tourist dollars, and with the downturn in the economy, and a lack of good snow winters, most towns have suffered to some degree. Agriculture in southern Minnesota keeps that region stable. I lived in the prairie country to the south, East central, and The North Shore and I loved them all. One constant, you can’t pay me enough to live in the twin cities. I prefer the small town way of life.

  19. bemidji mn shudbe number one becuz the crime rate here is the highest becuz the lawenforcement in this area will stop u for not using your blinker and write u ticket for it and yet you did use your blinker and also they will stop you for bogus charges in order to get u into beltrami court system to getu on paper or pay fines here the cops are harrassers and makeup their own rules thats the reason the crime rate in bemidji is so high becuz of the extreme amount of cops for this area…who are on lookout to stop u for any little thing and lie about it this blinker thing happend to me and said on a scanner that i got stoppt for excessive speed but iwasnt speeding and they said idint use my blinker but idid and igot a ticket for it the lawenforcement here and court sytem is bogus and it is a kangaroo court determined to throw u in prison or jail for doing nothing wrong

    1. A reason why the cops might pull someone over so much in this town may be because it is a college town, and they are just trying to enforce the law and keep people safe.

  20. Perhaps the elites of MN working hard to import more diversity into the existing culture has something to do with the decline of the region as a whole?

  21. I live in Cloquet. It is literally the worst city I’ve ever lived in. From the city itself not giving a shit about any of the people in is city to doing things that are illegal (see the recent city council shenanigans involving a suspended police chief) to a terrible smell constantly filling the town from Sappi and USG (the only big local employers) there is no reason to visit and or live here. If the article didn’t convince you of that, let this comment do so.

  22. So sorry, Nick, Math wasn’t your best subject, but mathematics is a challenging subject. A total of 11 robberies in Bemidji for about 15,000 people…in a typical year… Closer to 1 in 1,400 chance. Try again!

  23. Low income housing development lining the pockets of city officials and immigration from 3rd world countries is a big part of the problem for some of these cities.

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