10 Worst Places To Live In Minnesota For 2019

We used science and data to determine which places in Minnesota 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 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the worst places to live in Minnesota.

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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 143 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:

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. And the worst place to live in Minnesota? That would be Bemidji.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers and see how your city fared in 2019.

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

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

The 10 Worst Places To Live In Minnesota For 2019

Bemidji, MN

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Population: 14,803
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $130,100 (18th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.9% (3rd worst)
More on Bemidji:  Data | Photos

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 1st-highest in the state per capita, according to the FBI data base.

Residents in Bemidji had a 1 in 11.7 chance of being robbed in 2018. 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 (7.9%) and income levels of its residents ($33,260).

Review Of Bemidji by HomeSnacks User

Came up to Bemidji,MN for school seemed like a nice quaint town. And first year of school was great… at least up until the end. End of 2nd semester of college I broke my jaw… ok it sucked but the town was nice still. Boy was i wrong. Cant find a decent paying job, moved tword the police station and within the first 3 months in the house it was broken into and a shooting happened close to where I live. Not to mention I had a gun pulled out on me. The job market it terrible. Cant find a job and the ones you can find dont allow you to save money. They pay so little and rent is high being it is a college town. If you are thinking about moving here I’d suggest you dont, unless you have a specific skill or trade you get a job offer for. And I’m not talking selling drugs. Huge homeless problem along with M**h and H****n. I give it a 2 star being it is not the worst place I have ever lived. I’m from a city where 1+ murder not including all the other shootings in one night is not out of the ordinary. It is beautiful up here, if you live in the right area you can keep away from all the stealing and drug abusers. There is alot of nothing up here and alot of lakes for fishing and public land for hunting. But with the huge drug trade not even 40 miles north in Red lake, the problem with people stealing babies from the hospital here, the very live s*x trafficking around the area, and all of the nothingness, I’d be willing to bet more goes on here that meets the eye.

I basically said everything I have to say about bemidji. Not the worse town in America if your in the right places. It really is not that bad on the surface, but if you dont have a trade or skill to get work. Prepare to become traped in this cold h**l hole.

Waite Park, MN

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Population: 7,457
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $135,600 (20th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (65th worst)
More on Waite Park:  Data | Photos

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 12.7 residents here was the victim of some type of reported theft in 2019.

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.

Virginia, MN

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Population: 8,570
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $83,600 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.0% (18th worst)
More on Virginia:  Data | Photos

Little Virginia, Minnesota could use a big hug right now. The crime is the 19th 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.

Review Of Virginia by HomeSnacks User

Virginia suffers the same way much of rural America does. The iron mines used to be the biggest employeer, but a combination of higher competition and more efficient production methods have killed many of the jobs. Combine the unemployment and high levels of drug use and a breeding ground for property crime has emerged. By and large, the locals are friendly, but rather aloof. Any newcomers may feel a bit lonely and will likely have to make an effort to establish meaningful relationships. Houses are remarkably low priced, so if you do manage to find a good paying job, you will be able to find a house at a fraction of the cost you would pay almost anywhere else.

The Good- In the summer the two lakes in the town are lovely. Lots of ducks, geese, and even some loons and swans. The mine pits have some wonderful overlooks on them as well. The town also has some interesting sculptures, artwork, and a nice park.

The Bad- Drug use is quite high for a town of it’s size. Good paying jobs are very hard to find. The number of car thefts and break-ins are ridiculous for such a small town. The local hospital, while trying their best, has an awful reputation for care.

The Ugly- Some of the streets are in terrible condition and the downtown and local mall are filled with empty storefronts. The city infrastructure is in very rough shape. One hundred year old steam pipes have breaks and cracks all over.

The Really Ugly- Winters are a b***h. If you cannot tolerate snow and cold, you will not last more than a year or two. Snow can last until May, and January temps can get down to -30.

Red Wing, MN

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Population: 16,334
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $163,200 (40th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (10th worst)
More on Red Wing:  Data | Photos

The same problems that plague other cities on the list also affect Red Wing. The only real difference is Red Wing is a tiny bit safer, and the schools are rated a lot higher in terms of resources for students.

However, the unemployment rate in Red Wing is at 6.6%, which is the 10th worst in Minnesota. And households earn a combined $50,746 a year, which is far below the state average. An average home in Red Wing is merely $163,200.

Red Wing is across the Tangier Sound on Route 50.

Brainerd, MN

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Population: 13,394
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $110,400 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (83rd worst)
More on Brainerd:  Data | Photos

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 83rd highest in the state here (3.5%), the residents in Brainerd earn the smallest household income in the state of Minnesota. At a combined income of $34,358, 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 18th highest crime rate in the state.

Review Of Brainerd by HomeSnacks User

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

Brooklyn Center, MN

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Population: 30,885
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $151,500 (32nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (21st worst)
More on Brooklyn Center:  Data | Photos

When you’re looking at the worst places you could live in Minnesota, Brooklyn Center came in 6th. Let’s see why.

When you’re comparing the unemployment rate to the rest of the nation, Minnesota residents are very hard workers. But when comparing the unemployment rate among cities in Minnesota, you can see some really big differences. In Brooklyn Center, the number of people out of work is 5.7%

In Minnesota, that’s the 21st highest in the state.

The residents in Brooklyn Center have the 30th lowest incomes in the state. Folks in Brooklyn Center average $50,618 a year. Which isn’t too shabby in comparison to the other ‘lowest’ income cities in most other states.

Additionally, the homes are valued at $151,500 on average. That’s the 32nd lowest in the state.

St. Paul, MN

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Population: 300,820
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $187,400 (68th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.7% (8th worst)
More on St. Paul:  Data | Photos

When you’re looking at things from purely a scientific standpoint, St. Paul is the 7th worst place in the state of Minnesota.

The U.S. defines the poverty line at $24,600 a year for a family of four. St. Paul is right on the verge of that when you look at what the average citizen there earns a year. And the home values are eye-opening low. On average, the home value in St. Paul are the 68th lowest in the entire state.

And when you factor in high crime and a high tax rate, it really can’t get much worse in Minnesota.

Review Of St. Paul by HomeSnacks User

The weather s***s! Its now May, and we have snow up north-! Winters are freezing cold, summers are super hot with mosquitoes, the State bird! Taxes are ridiculous and the roads have potholes the size of Texas!

Stillwater is a beautiful city on the river, with lots of cute shops and restaurants, which is worth your trip!

Fridley, MN

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Population: 27,573
Rank Last Year: 17 (Up 9)
Median Home Value: $174,000 (55th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (12th worst)
More on Fridley:  Data | Photos

Fridley, MN needs a big hug right now. The unemployment rate here is 6.4%, the median income is just above the poverty line, and the crime is the 29th highest in the state. You have a 1 in 26.7 chance of being robbed here every year.

You could find a much better place to call home.

St. Cloud, MN

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Population: 67,093
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $145,500 (29th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.4% (12th worst)
More on St. Cloud:  Data | Photos

St. Cloud is one of the poorest cities in the state of Minnesota. This city has 6.4% of its residents out of work, and those who have jobs earn under $46,601 a year.

Cities can be charming, but not when they are dangerous. St. Cloud has the 23rd highest crime rate in Minnesota. While the numbers aren’t staggering (Minnesota is a relatively safe place when you compare it to the rest of the country), it’s still undesirable when you consider that there are far safer (and more stimulating) places to make your home in the North Star State.

West St. Paul, MN

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Population: 19,750
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $183,300 (64th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (14th worst)
More on West St. Paul:  Data | Photos

When you’re looking at science and data, West St. Paul is the worst place you can live in Minnesota. Let’s see why.

The unemployment rate here is 6.3%. The schools are underfunded, and property values are well below the state average. A home costs $183,300, which is a sure sign of lack of demand.

You have a 1 in 20.3 chance of being the victim of some type of property crime here every year. That’s not fun, either.

West St. Paul is a far drive south from Louisville.

How we determined the worst places to live in Minnesota for 2019

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 143 cities.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 143 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.

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 2019.

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

  1. Waconia (Pop. 11,751)
  2. Eden Prairie (Pop. 63,660)
  3. Edina (Pop. 50,603)

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Where Are The Worst Places To Live In Minnesota?

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Bemidji 14,803 7.9% $130,100
2 Waite Park 7,457 3.9% $135,600
3 Virginia 8,570 6.0% $83,600
4 Red Wing 16,334 6.6% $163,200
5 Brainerd 13,394 3.5% $110,400
6 Brooklyn Center 30,885 5.7% $151,500
7 St. Paul 300,820 6.7% $187,400
8 Fridley 27,573 6.4% $174,000
9 St. Cloud 67,093 6.4% $145,500
10 West St. Paul 19,750 6.3% $183,300

42 thoughts on “10 Worst Places To Live In Minnesota For 2019

  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: http://theweek.com/articles/478388/dangers-quick-thinking

  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.

  24. Hands down for a younger generation. Glencoe MN is by far the worst town in Minnesota due to its 1st district court system which has more pull than the State Capitol St.paul. Due to it being surrounded by its military bases they get to be a first district court house which between the two allows this town to operate like a independent area allowing them to think they can do whatever they want. The hospitals, banks, schools operate in this same fashion not just in glencoe but all of McLeod county. This area should not be allowed to have more pull than the state capital which is a district two court. Minnesota should turn this area of the state into the lowest court structure in the state making it a 10th district because the judges in this county which only has 3 all suck. They convict people wrongfully and the sheriff’s office withholds stuff from cases when people fight them for their wrongful lazy negligence. The sheriff’s threaten unarmed individuals with Tazors.

  25. Bemidji worst city in MN? It’s a strong contender for worst city in the USA. A microcosm of corrupt cops and city officials going way back. Former District Attorney Tom Keyes keels over on a morning jog, bloodstream full of cocaine. Replaced by his legal firm partner in crime Tim Faver who granted legal indulgences for a handful of pills. I heard he recently retired. I wonder what dirtbag replaced him? Yeah, the judges, Terence Holter ahem, were snorting coke in the chambers in the meantime handing out heavy fines for dwi, minor alcohol consumption, and petty marijuana charges. Great people. Like they say, Minnesota nice!

    Does anyone recall the police scandal, prostitutes and after hours drinking at Bottom’s Up? I do. Nicely swept under the rug. Or the police chiefs wife getting a DWI and the Bemidji Pioneer newspaper refusing to run the story? So kooky Adam Steele puts it in the northern herald, his own self published newspaper, and Officer Porter makes sure he isn’t easily able to distribute the info. Infringes on Steele’s 1st amendment right to free press. Incredibly, Steele won his case and was awarded the princely sum of 3,000 bucks.

    I remember police chief Bob Tell racking up 12 grand in long distance charges on the public’s dime. I remember DNR Ranger Granger taking a break from harassing underage fisherman to sell a stolen helicopter for a cool quarter million. I remember popular local politician Bob Johnson and his drunkenness and sexual harassment scandal. Or how about North country regional hospital? Great place to recuperate from sickness on top of Charlie Cummer’s landfill.

    Lotta rapes, meth, drugs, heavy drinking, fighting, overdoses, suicides, and petty crimes. Too many cops, not enough real criminals. Employment? BSU or Wal-Mart unless you want a job at a convenience store or bank. Goodbye Gesell Concrete Products, Nu-Ply, Potlatch. Goodbye drag boat races, snowmobile races, and let’s forget about catering to the international raceway that wound up in Brainerd which is now a boom town. If it’s any fun, the city council will take care of it. But people gotta be entertained so let’s build the Sanford Center in the swamp so we can watch it slowly sink into the south end of the lake. Helluva good idea. Don’t forget about the most profitable municipal liquor store in the state, all city run because they don’t allow private competition.

    If you are a seeking a career as a professional a-hole or committed loser this town will make a great home for you. Highly recommended.

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