These Are The 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:

  1. Bemidji (Photos)
  2. Waite Park (Photos)
  3. Virginia (Photos)
  4. Red Wing (Photos)
  5. Brainerd (Photos)
  6. Brooklyn Center (Photos)
  7. St. Paul (Photos)
  8. Fridley (Photos)
  9. St. Cloud (Photos)
  10. West St. Paul (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. 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:

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.

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 Andie Gacha

I live in Minnesota bemidji oh g*d at least I live in a area that no one comes to I should move back to Cass Lake who lives In bemidji with me

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

Overall SnackAbility


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.

Red Wing, MN

Overall SnackAbility


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

Sure, it’s in a beautiful area, and there’s lots of culture, especially in terms of music. But, if you’re measuring desirability, it’s the 4th worst in Minnesota.

Red Wing residents had a 1 in 34.0 chance of being the victim of a property crime. Meaning lots of stolen laptops, cell phones and sports jerseys.

The unemployment rate in Red Wing is through the roof, as more than 6.6% of the population can’t get a job. At least their mortgages aren’t too high; at $163,200, Red Wing has the 40th-lowest home prices in the state of Minnesota.

Brainerd, MN

Overall SnackAbility


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.

Brooklyn Center, MN

Overall SnackAbility


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

According to science, Brooklyn Center is the 6th worst place you can live in Minnesota.

Let’s see why. Brooklyn Center has the 32nd-highest crime rate in the state, surprisingly. In terms of number of crimes per person, Brooklyn Center is certainly up there.

Factor in a very low housing cost ($151,500), and the 21st-highest unemployment rate in the state (5.7%), and across the board, Brooklyn Center doesn’t sound like the best of the best.

Plus, there’s simply not a lot to do here (unless you count having a Walmart and a Piggly Wiggly as fun). We’re aware that people enjoy outdoor activities, but in terms of pure entertainment, you’d have to drive a ways away.

Review Of Brooklyn Center by I love queen park chaeyoung

I live in Brooklyn center….and its not that bad

St. Paul, MN

Overall SnackAbility


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

Welcome to St. Paul, which might be one of the poorest areas in Minnesota. Residents average $52,841 a year in combined income, which is right at the poverty line. In fact, 20.4% of St. Paul residents live below the poverty level.

Homes here go for an average of $187,400 and the unemployment rate hovers near 6.7%.

Fridley, MN

Overall SnackAbility


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

If you’re looking to live in Minnesota, Fridley might not be the best choice as it places 8th in our ranking of the worst places to live in the North Star State for 2019.

The average family earns $56,583 a year out here, and 10.7% of the population is below the poverty line. Nearly 6.4% of the population is out of work.

And when you consider the crime, it’s just crazy to think of how dangerous it is to live way out here. When you’re in Fridley, every year, you have a 1 in 26.7 chance of being robbed. Can you imagine? Perhaps it’s an economic factor, or the fact that the people out there are so isolated, but the fact remains, it’s the 29th most dangerous place in the state, per capita.

St. Cloud, MN

Overall SnackAbility


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 another place in the North Star State that has some real eye-opening numbers. The unemployment rate in St. Cloud is a staggering 6.4%, but at least those who have jobs earn a modest salary ($46,601 a year). Homes are actually priced respectfully at $145,500, but still far lower than the state average.

Crime in St. Cloud is bad, but not horrible.

West St. Paul, MN

Overall SnackAbility


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

West St. Paul is the 10th worst city in Minnesota for 2019. When you’re comparing other cities to West St. Paul, things just don’t look great, at least according to science.

West St. Paul is the 15th 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 6.3%, worse than the state average.

Home values are really low ($183,300), and residents earn just $52,144 a year.

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:

Detailed List Of 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
11 Minneapolis 411,452 6.0% $222,600
12 Columbia Heights 19,823 6.8% $161,100
13 Maplewood 40,127 5.0% $198,400
14 Brooklyn Park 79,462 5.1% $194,200
15 Willmar 19,608 4.0% $131,800
16 Austin 24,882 6.2% $99,500
17 Oak Grove 8,453 3.4% $255,200
18 Faribault 23,577 4.0% $143,900
19 East Bethel 11,733 3.9% $223,200
20 Anoka 17,374 5.8% $175,200
21 Hibbing 16,183 6.7% $103,800
22 Redwood Falls 5,031 3.2% $94,500
23 Duluth 86,066 4.7% $152,300
24 Spring Lake Park 6,535 6.3% $167,900
25 Cambridge 8,462 3.7% $139,300
26 Fergus Falls 13,606 3.4% $121,300
27 Worthington 13,142 8.7% $128,800
28 Richfield 35,993 5.1% $197,500
29 Glencoe 5,511 5.0% $127,800
30 North Branch 10,241 3.6% $172,500
31 Albert Lea 17,716 4.8% $94,400
32 Little Canada 10,321 4.2% $202,700
33 Detroit Lakes 9,078 3.9% $167,000
34 Winona 27,153 6.9% $138,900
35 South St. Paul 20,280 5.0% $169,200
36 Cloquet 11,965 3.7% $139,900
37 International Falls 6,121 9.3% $86,500
38 Ham Lake 16,119 3.7% $280,000
39 Crookston 7,780 3.4% $110,900
40 Monticello 13,316 5.0% $184,600
41 Burnsville 61,302 5.0% $224,700
42 Inver Grove Heights 34,976 5.3% $226,900
43 Marshall 13,706 4.1% $142,700
44 St. Francis 7,475 5.0% $172,300
45 St. Paul Park 5,376 6.5% $167,300
46 North St. Paul 12,241 6.8% $183,300
47 Mound 9,380 4.7% $228,100
48 Forest Lake 19,406 3.6% $244,500
49 Litchfield 6,645 2.4% $122,900
50 Coon Rapids 62,342 4.8% $178,400
51 Alexandria 13,203 3.0% $165,000
52 Robbinsdale 14,446 5.1% $171,800
53 Montevideo 5,165 1.6% $84,800
54 Fairmont 10,251 3.6% $121,800
55 Little Falls 8,648 3.9% $120,900
56 Mankato 41,241 5.0% $165,600
57 Arden Hills 10,250 6.9% $283,700
58 Andover 32,257 2.9% $258,400
59 Bloomington 85,417 3.9% $227,900
60 Grand Rapids 11,099 1.1% $141,800
61 Crystal 22,910 4.4% $168,200
62 Isanti 5,458 2.9% $147,200
63 Shakopee 40,024 4.0% $241,100
64 Oakdale 27,972 4.1% $205,800
65 New Hope 20,909 4.6% $202,400
66 Hopkins 18,217 5.8% $214,200
67 Elk River 23,924 4.5% $229,000
68 Belle Plaine 6,935 4.9% $188,000
69 Roseville 35,624 3.7% $232,100
70 Buffalo 15,996 4.6% $185,600
71 Jordan 6,079 3.6% $204,100
72 Sauk Rapids 13,354 5.2% $154,000
73 Waseca 9,151 3.2% $120,900
74 St. Michael 17,128 4.1% $232,700
75 Rochester 112,683 4.8% $176,100
76 Mounds View 12,872 3.7% $179,300
77 White Bear Lake 25,411 3.4% $204,900
78 Dayton 5,238 2.8% $246,800
79 Hastings 22,620 4.3% $192,500
80 East Grand Forks 8,614 3.9% $181,000
81 New Brighton 22,440 4.6% $230,200
82 Shorewood 7,696 3.4% $436,100
83 Corcoran 5,671 3.8% $304,500
84 Delano 5,854 4.8% $246,300
85 Blaine 62,453 3.5% $202,000
86 Vadnais Heights 13,283 2.5% $221,200
87 Otsego 15,630 1.9% $199,600
88 Wyoming 7,793 4.4% $210,500
89 Thief River Falls 8,769 1.2% $117,600
90 Owatonna 25,613 4.8% $151,000
91 Moorhead 41,801 3.1% $171,100
92 Prior Lake 25,452 3.5% $286,300
93 Hermantown 9,603 2.5% $221,800
94 Lake Elmo 8,621 3.4% $394,500
95 Hutchinson 13,836 2.6% $141,200
96 Zimmerman 5,420 3.4% $161,800
97 Cottage Grove 35,902 4.1% $224,300
98 New Ulm 13,249 2.0% $136,400
99 Shoreview 26,432 3.1% $248,600
100 St. Peter 11,682 2.9% $167,600

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42 thoughts on “These Are The 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:

  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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