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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 213 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:
So what is the worst small town to call home in Minnesota for 2022? According to the most recent census data, Redby is the worst small town to live in Minnesota.
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.
And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in Minnesota or the worst places to live in Minnesota.
If you're looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In Minnesota For 2022
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $1,000 (1000th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.5% (2nd worst)
More on Redby: Data
2. Red Lake
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $97,300 (38th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.6% (worst)
More on Red Lake: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $54,300 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.8% (45th worst)
More on Appleton: Data
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $61,800 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.6% (35th worst)
More on Keewatin: Data
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $69,300 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 10.1% (9th worst)
More on Mahnomen: Data
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $62,200 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.8% (13th worst)
More on Aurora: Data
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $19,500 (worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.7% (4th worst)
More on Hilltop: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $124,200 (74th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 8.7% (15th worst)
More on Hinckley: Data
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 determined the worst small towns to live in Minnesota for 2022
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census's 2016-2020 American Community Survey, 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 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot - 213 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.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
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:
- Lonsdale (Pop. 4,102)
- Birchwood Village (Pop. 1,067)
- Deephaven (Pop. 3,904)
For more Minnesota reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In Minnesota
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