Most Americans have never been to Minnesota. However, as the people who live there know, Minnesota is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, Minnesota has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the North Star State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 428 of Minnesota’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in Minnesota where you’d never want to live:
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since Minnesota has its stuff figured out.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst small towns to live in Minnesota, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we crunched the numbers
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data, the Census’s 2010-2014 American Community Survey, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (The lower the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- Education (Number of high school dropouts)
- High Crime
We looked at cities with populations between 100 and 1,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 428 to be exact.
Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
Population: 423 Median Income: $25,417
Median Home Value: $46,700
2. Rice Lake
Population: 349 Median Income: $22,321
Median Home Value: $58,300
3. White Earth
Population: 563 Median Income: $19,732
Median Home Value: $63,800
4. Nett Lake
Population: 300 Median Income: $27,500
Median Home Value: $64,400
Population: 144 Median Income: $33,750
Median Home Value: $42,500
Population: 470 Median Income: $26,429
Median Home Value: $74,500
7. Ball Club
Population: 186 Median Income: $29,375
Median Home Value: $161,600
Population: 362 Median Income: $40,469
Median Home Value: $43,000
Population: 130 Median Income: $25,250
Median Home Value: $56,500
Population: 799 Median Income: $27,778
Median Home Value: $11,100
There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In Minnesota
If you’re analyzing teeny places in the North Star State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in Minnesota, according to science.
- Best: Minnetonka Beach
- 2nd Best: Loretto
- 3rd Best: Skyline
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