The 10 Worst St. Paul Suburbs For 2021


We used science and data to determine which St. Paul suburbs 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 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the worst suburbs around St. Paul.

Not everyone is cut out for city life. Some people would prefer to live in the cities and towns that surround St. Paul.

So the question arises, do the suburbs maintain a semblance of the larger-than-life appeal of their more famous neighbor?

Today, we'll use science and data to determine which St. Paul 'burbs need a little tender loving care - the sore thumbs of the St. Paul area if you will. Realistically, you can't expect all the suburbs to live up to St. Paul proper, although North Oaks certainly tries.

Of course, not all suburbs of St. Paul are created equally, which is precisely why we set out to find the best ones..

We examined the 99 biggest suburbs of St. Paul to find out the worst places to live. And while you won't necessarily find them on the worst places to live in minnesota lists, these ten places are a little too far downwind of St. Paul in terms of quality of life.

Here are the 10 worst suburbs around St. Paul for 2021:

  1. Lexington
  2. Newport
  3. Brooklyn Center
  4. Somerset
  5. West St. Paul
  6. Columbia Heights
  7. Fridley
  8. Little Canada
  9. Maplewood
  10. Minneapolis

What's the worst suburb of St. Paul? Lexington ranks as the worst suburb of St. Paul for 2021 based on the most recent Census and FBI data.

Read on to see how we determined the places around St. Paul that need a pick-me-up. And remember, don't blame the messenger.

Or, if you're thinking of moving to elsewhere in minnesota check out the best places in minnesota overall or the worst.

And remember, there are some good places to live around St. Paul too.

Editor's Note: If you see a slight difference between the worst in state rankings and this suburb ranking, it's because of the methodology. We needed a way to include more places, so we eliminated crime and commute times as criteria for this analysis.

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

The 10 Worst St. Paul Suburbs To Live For 2021

Lexington, MN

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,144
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $57,025 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.4% (highest)
Median Home Value: $176,100 (3rd lowest)
More on Lexington:  Data | Photos

We'll get the ball rolling with Lexington, the absolute worst place to live around St. Paul according to the data.

And in the world of worst rankings, Lexington beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 5th worst in the St. Paul area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 3rd worst when it comes to home values.

But hey, at least it's cheap to live there. But there's a reason for that... it's Lexington.

You won't feel bad about not having a great income for the area, there aren't a bunch of places to spend your money anyway.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,532
Rank Last Year: 21 (Up 19)
Median Income: $59,167 (9th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (18th highest)
Median Home Value: $216,300 (22nd lowest)
More on Newport:  Data

Welcome to Newport. Home to KMart, Big Lots, and a lot of gas stations.

This city is 7.3 miles to St. Paul. Income levels here are the 9th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $59,167 a year, which doesn't go a long ways even on a shoestring budget.

But on the bright side, there are a lot of fast food joints in the area.

Brooklyn Center, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 30,849
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Median Income: $59,550 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $172,800 (2nd lowest)
More on Brooklyn Center:  Data | Photos

Back up the highway we go for the third worst St. Paul suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Brooklyn Center on here. While the cost of living is low, your entertainment and work options are limited. And that's an understatement.

In terms of numbers, it's in the worst 15% for insurance, and the adult high school drop out rate is poor compared to other St. Paul suburbs.

But at least there are nice parks to bring the kids during the day.

4. Somerset

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,789
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Median Income: $66,146 (19th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (7th highest)
Median Home Value: $172,600 (lowest)
More on Somerset:

If you live in Somerset, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 19th lowest St. Paul suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 7th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near St. Paul. Remember, we looked at 99 cities for this study.

Somerset is about 24.3 miles to downtown.

West St. Paul, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 19,779
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $56,097 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (2nd highest)
Median Home Value: $199,400 (14th lowest)
More on West St. Paul:  Data | Photos

West St. Paul has the distinction of being a St. Paul suburb. Which means that's about all it has going for it.

All snarkiness aside, West St. Paul has the 14th lowest home values in the metro St. Paul area, where the median price is $199,400. To put that into perspective, in North Oaks, the median income is $178,816, which is the best in the area.

West St. Paul has an unemployment rate of 6.32% which ranks 2nd worst.

Columbia Heights, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 20,118
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Income: $57,882 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (4th highest)
Median Home Value: $177,300 (4th lowest)
More on Columbia Heights:  Data | Photos

Columbia Heights has 20,118 residents that probably know it's a pretty crummy place to live when you look at the data. (Or, if you've ever been there, you don't need to look at the data.)

Incomes are towards the bottom and the poverty rate sits at 12.038942138806643%.

Fridley, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 27,668
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $63,836 (17th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (2highest)
Median Home Value: $198,200 (12th lowest)
More on Fridley:  Data | Photos

Ah, Fridley. You rank as the 7th worst place to live around St. Paul.

It's the place with the 2most out of work residents in the St. Paul metro area (4.1%).

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,451
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 3)
Median Income: $52,842 (lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.9% (25th highest)
Median Home Value: $242,500 (32nd lowest)
More on Little Canada:  Data

Little Canada is a city about 5.2 miles from St. Paul, but St. Paul probably wishes it was further away. It ranks as the 8th worst burb for 2018.

You'd be hard pressed to find a worse place to live. Little Canada has the 16th most uninsured people, worst incomes, and has the 25th highest unemployment rate (3.94%) in the entire St. Paul metro area.

Homes only cost $242,500 for a reason. That's cheap for St. Paul standards.

Maplewood, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 40,545
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $70,484 (25th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.3% (15th highest)
Median Home Value: $217,300 (23rd lowest)
More on Maplewood:  Data | Photos

If you absolutely have to live near St. Paul, then Maplewood might be a place for you to consider as it's only the 9th worst St. Paul suburb.

About 4.29% of residents are out of work.

Minneapolis, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 420,324
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 2)
Median Income: $62,583 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $251,600 (42nd lowest)
More on Minneapolis:  Data | Photos

Rounding out the ten worst St. Paul suburbs to call home is Minneapolis.

Located 8.1 miles outside the city, Minneapoliss is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 8th highest unemployment rate (5.08%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around St. Paul for 2021

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 threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent American Community Survey data from 2015-2019, this is the criteria we used:

  • High unemployment rate
  • Low median household incomes
  • Low population density (no things to do)
  • Low home values
  • A lot of high school drop outs
  • High poverty
  • High rate of uninsured families

FYI: We defined a suburb as being within 30 miles of St. Paul.

Additionally, we limited the analysis to places that have over 2,000 people. This left us with a grand total of 99 suburbs to evaluate around St. Paul.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 99 in each category, where 1 was the "worst".

Next, we averaged the rankings for each place to create a quality of life index.

And finally, we crowned the city with the worst quality of life index the "Worst Suburb near St. Paul." We're lookin' at you, Lexington. You can download the data here.

Read on below to learn more about what it's like to live in the worst of the worst. Or skip to the end to see the list of all the suburbs ranked from worst to best.

The areas around St. Paul where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2021

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding St. Paul with Lexington casting itself ahead of the pack.

As we mentioned earlier, the suburbs around St. Paul aren't all bad. North Oaks takes the cake as the best place to live around St. Paul.

  • North Oaks
  • Deephaven
  • Chanhassen

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst St. Paul Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Lexington 2,144 $57,025 $176,100
2 Newport 3,532 $59,167 $216,300
3 Brooklyn Center 30,849 $59,550 $172,800
4 Somerset 2,789 $66,146 $172,600
5 West St. Paul 19,779 $56,097 $199,400
6 Columbia Heights 20,118 $57,882 $177,300
7 Fridley 27,668 $63,836 $198,200
8 Little Canada 10,451 $52,842 $242,500
9 Maplewood 40,545 $70,484 $217,300
10 Minneapolis 420,324 $62,583 $251,600
11 Anoka 17,471 $58,576 $203,100
12 South St. Paul 20,194 $63,247 $192,100
13 Spring Lake Park 6,535 $62,477 $190,400
14 Mounds View 13,094 $67,402 $206,700
15 New Hope 20,925 $60,675 $225,100
16 Brooklyn Park 80,068 $73,940 $224,300
17 Inver Grove Heights 35,320 $78,347 $254,500
18 North St. Paul 12,406 $64,722 $206,100
19 Richfield 36,063 $66,908 $225,200
20 Burnsville 61,311 $73,529 $247,500
21 St. Paul Park 5,356 $79,821 $191,800
22 Hopkins 18,382 $56,390 $227,500
23 Crystal 22,975 $67,342 $197,300
24 River Falls 15,638 $59,440 $197,000
25 Bloomington 85,332 $75,130 $251,300
26 Coon Rapids 62,517 $71,267 $204,700
27 Oakdale 27,963 $72,511 $227,700
28 New Brighton 22,556 $74,644 $256,600
29 Lauderdale 2,514 $53,684 $206,100
30 Blaine 64,114 $84,933 $230,900
31 Forest Lake 20,004 $79,840 $272,200
32 Shakopee 40,731 $87,719 $265,500
33 Robbinsdale 14,468 $70,348 $201,100
34 Roseville 36,026 $71,180 $254,200
35 Osseo 2,753 $57,946 $198,600
36 Prescott 4,258 $75,603 $186,500
37 Arden Hills 10,293 $91,250 $292,900
38 White Bear Lake 25,673 $71,709 $226,000
39 Oak Park Heights 4,889 $61,181 $245,400
40 Dayton 5,817 $97,652 $313,500
41 Wyoming 7,914 $89,967 $242,600
42 Hastings 22,738 $71,264 $214,900
43 Hudson 13,795 $75,000 $243,400
44 Chaska 26,371 $85,143 $266,200
45 Vadnais Heights 13,444 $77,413 $242,500
46 Columbus 4,055 $89,773 $275,300
47 Falcon Heights 5,571 $75,660 $293,400
48 Bayport 3,723 $78,221 $248,900
49 Apple Valley 52,889 $89,251 $258,000
50 East Bethel 11,870 $93,375 $251,100
51 Eagan 66,379 $90,515 $288,200
52 Excelsior 2,434 $70,000 $617,100
53 Lake Elmo 8,969 $118,421 $426,600
54 Ramsey 26,638 $95,014 $251,900
55 Oak Grove 8,682 $106,146 $285,800
56 Circle Pines 4,950 $83,224 $197,100
57 Savage 31,254 $119,291 $307,500
58 Corcoran 5,911 $122,075 $335,300
59 Wayzata 4,561 $86,852 $523,600
60 Centerville 3,985 $107,794 $263,500
61 Champlin 24,755 $92,858 $237,800
62 St. Anthony 9,038 $73,918 $269,300
63 Prior Lake 26,365 $109,604 $322,400
64 Eden Prairie 64,179 $111,981 $368,100
65 Mahtomedi 8,164 $105,958 $338,600
66 Rosemount 24,292 $104,743 $279,000
67 Cottage Grove 36,602 $102,039 $249,800
68 St. Louis Park 48,677 $80,627 $271,600
69 Farmington 22,869 $95,331 $254,200
70 Golden Valley 21,566 $98,058 $304,700
71 Afton 2,999 $119,511 $475,000
72 Lakeville 63,915 $110,212 $311,100
73 Shoreview 26,791 $92,826 $275,800
74 Ham Lake 16,434 $103,655 $306,700
75 Mound 9,480 $92,964 $261,300
76 Minnetonka 53,025 $95,630 $347,900
77 Andover 32,733 $109,930 $289,500
78 Hugo 14,767 $89,969 $259,300
79 Grant 4,100 $116,947 $469,100
80 Stillwater 19,341 $91,350 $291,400
81 Elko New Market 4,657 $123,294 $298,500
82 Carver 4,771 $114,906 $337,500
83 Woodbury 69,906 $108,539 $323,000
84 North Hudson 3,796 $87,569 $263,200
85 Orono 8,113 $159,028 $680,100
86 Maple Grove 70,627 $109,557 $293,400
87 Plymouth 78,134 $105,958 $351,700
88 Shorewood 7,867 $139,956 $485,300
89 Rogers 12,971 $127,629 $331,200
90 Mendota Heights 11,289 $121,214 $392,600
91 Lino Lakes 21,404 $115,368 $293,100
92 Edina 51,746 $104,244 $476,300
93 Scandia 4,112 $97,167 $387,400
94 Minnetrista 7,621 $171,786 $477,800
95 Victoria 9,383 $152,137 $427,400
96 Medina 6,380 $148,110 $606,100
97 Chanhassen 25,657 $124,125 $381,300
98 Deephaven 3,879 $139,531 $570,700
99 North Oaks 5,177 $178,816 $633,300

How Is Your Town In ?

 Worst