Worst St. Paul Suburbs For 2020


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 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the worst suburbs around St. Paul.

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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. So without further ado...

We examined the 98 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.

What's the worst suburb of St. Paul? Brooklyn Center ranks as the worst suburb of St. Paul for 2020 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 2020

Brooklyn Center, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 30,899
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $54,786 (7th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.9% (5th highest)
Median Home Value: $161,300 (2nd lowest)
More on Brooklyn Center:  Data | Photos

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

And in the world of worst rankings, Brooklyn Center beat the competition pretty handily thanks to scoring in the bottom 15% in three major categories. Income is the 7th worst in the St. Paul area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 2nd 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 Brooklyn Center.

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.

Columbia Heights, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 19,958
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $54,393 (6th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.3% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $169,600 (3rd lowest)
More on Columbia Heights:  Data | Photos

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

This city is 9.8 miles to St. Paul. Income levels here are the 6th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $54,393 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.

3. Somerset

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,740
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 2)
Median Income: $62,770 (18th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (9th highest)
Median Home Value: $160,000 (1st lowest)
More on Somerset:

Back up the highway we go for the third worst St. Paul suburb you can live in. You might have expected to see Somerset 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.

Fridley, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 27,614
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Income: $59,770 (14th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $184,100 (9th lowest)
More on Fridley:  Data | Photos

If you live in Fridley, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 14th lowest St. Paul suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 10th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near St. Paul. Remember, we looked at 98 cities for this study.

Fridley is about 12.1 miles to downtown.

Anoka, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 17,419
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Median Income: $54,171 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.2% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $189,600 (14th lowest)
More on Anoka:  Data | Photos

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

All snarkiness aside, Anoka has the 14th lowest home values in the metro St. Paul area, where the median price is $189,600. To put that into perspective, in North Oaks, the median income is $161,392, which is the best in the area.

Anoka has an unemployment rate of 5.2% which ranks 8th worst.

West St. Paul, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 19,750
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $54,290 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.8% (1st highest)
Median Home Value: $192,700 (19th lowest)
More on West St. Paul:  Data | Photos

West St. Paul has 19,750 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 13.970097107331862%.

Minneapolis, MN

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 416,021
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 2)
Median Income: $58,993 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $235,900 (35th lowest)
More on Minneapolis:  Data | Photos

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

It's the place with the 6th most out of work residents in the St. Paul metro area (5.51%).

Maplewood, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 40,387
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 5)
Median Income: $66,758 (24th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (16th highest)
Median Home Value: $211,700 (24th lowest)
More on Maplewood:  Data | Photos

Maplewood is a city about 6.0 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. Maplewood has the 15th most uninsured people, 24th worst incomes, and has the 16th highest unemployment rate (4.56%) in the entire St. Paul metro area.

Homes only cost $211,700 for a reason. That's cheap for St. Paul standards.

South St. Paul, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 20,256
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Median Income: $60,588 (16th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (31st highest)
Median Home Value: $177,700 (6th lowest)
More on South St. Paul:  Data | Photos

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

About 3.96% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,387
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 13)
Median Income: $51,510 (2nd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.9% (12th highest)
Median Home Value: $216,300 (28th lowest)
More on Little Canada:  Data

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

Located 5.2 miles outside the city, Little Canadas is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 12th highest unemployment rate (4.91%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Determining The Worst Suburbs Around St. Paul for 2020

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 2014-2018, 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 98 suburbs to evaluate around St. Paul.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 98 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, Brooklyn Center. 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 2020

Well there you have it -- the worst of the 'burbs surrounding St. Paul with Brooklyn Center 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
  • Victoria

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst St. Paul Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Brooklyn Center 30,899 $54,786 $161,300
2 Columbia Heights 19,958 $54,393 $169,600
3 Somerset 2,740 $62,770 $160,000
4 Fridley 27,614 $59,770 $184,100
5 Anoka 17,419 $54,171 $189,600
6 West St. Paul 19,750 $54,290 $192,700
7 Minneapolis 416,021 $58,993 $235,900
8 Maplewood 40,387 $66,758 $211,700
9 South St. Paul 20,256 $60,588 $177,700
10 Little Canada 10,387 $51,510 $216,300
11 Mounds View 12,959 $62,458 $188,100
12 Spring Lake Park 6,459 $59,076 $176,900
13 New Hope 20,922 $56,610 $213,900
14 Brooklyn Park 79,792 $70,448 $208,800
15 St. Paul Park 5,372 $72,477 $174,200
16 Inver Grove Heights 35,197 $74,883 $239,200
17 Hopkins 18,300 $55,025 $223,300
18 Richfield 35,982 $63,434 $211,700
19 Lauderdale 2,514 $50,909 $192,600
20 Newport 3,506 $63,341 $193,100
21 Burnsville 61,283 $70,600 $237,100
22 Robbinsdale 14,466 $65,956 $185,300
23 North St. Paul 12,342 $63,110 $192,500
24 New Brighton 22,560 $69,357 $242,900
25 River Falls 15,467 $59,879 $185,100
26 Crystal 22,934 $64,544 $180,400
27 Bloomington 85,394 $72,081 $240,100
28 Coon Rapids 62,376 $70,413 $190,000
29 Oakdale 28,018 $70,861 $216,200
30 Roseville 35,833 $68,254 $239,700
31 Forest Lake 19,643 $81,603 $260,100
32 Osseo 2,731 $52,930 $181,800
33 Oak Park Heights 4,842 $59,167 $246,400
34 Shakopee 40,418 $83,565 $252,900
35 Excelsior 2,448 $56,413 $553,900
36 Blaine 63,319 $83,201 $219,600
37 White Bear Lake 25,601 $70,012 $215,800
38 Dayton 5,487 $96,500 $277,400
39 East Bethel 11,808 $88,988 $232,600
40 Apple Valley 51,931 $87,164 $243,100
41 Columbus 4,037 $87,951 $254,700
42 Oak Grove 8,582 $100,671 $267,700
43 Wyoming 7,839 $87,462 $226,100
44 Hastings 22,690 $69,404 $199,600
45 Arden Hills 10,290 $87,313 $282,900
46 Prescott 4,235 $74,226 $184,600
47 Centerville 3,962 $106,250 $252,500
48 Lake Elmo 8,794 $115,984 $413,100
49 Corcoran 5,775 $113,051 $319,700
50 Falcon Heights 5,559 $72,660 $288,200
51 Cottage Grove 36,221 $95,453 $237,100
52 Chaska 25,998 $87,018 $257,900
53 Ramsey 26,225 $96,692 $236,600
54 Hudson 13,650 $72,181 $240,300
55 Eagan 66,363 $88,370 $276,000
56 Wayzata 4,518 $83,348 $518,900
57 Circle Pines 4,954 $84,137 $191,800
58 Rosemount 23,885 $99,221 $266,600
59 Savage 30,615 $111,324 $291,800
60 Prior Lake 25,880 $103,889 $303,300
61 Bayport 3,712 $79,107 $232,800
62 Afton 2,980 $114,375 $462,400
63 Vadnais Heights 13,376 $87,808 $236,200
64 Champlin 24,478 $87,692 $227,100
65 North Hudson 3,803 $86,857 $245,900
66 Ham Lake 16,282 $100,292 $291,400
67 Scandia 4,083 $87,969 $367,300
68 Mound 9,412 $86,432 $248,600
69 Golden Valley 21,364 $93,329 $288,700
70 St. Louis Park 48,423 $75,690 $255,200
71 Mahtomedi 8,095 $97,796 $320,000
72 St. Anthony 9,027 $70,503 $251,800
73 Stillwater 19,275 $84,104 $271,000
74 Andover 32,499 $106,337 $272,000
75 Hugo 14,587 $89,050 $250,000
76 Minnetonka 52,546 $91,374 $330,900
77 Plymouth 77,213 $100,280 $340,700
78 Farmington 22,714 $92,699 $242,100
79 Shoreview 26,627 $87,920 $265,400
80 Lakeville 62,489 $106,069 $292,800
81 Mendota Heights 11,284 $119,615 $373,900
82 Lino Lakes 21,150 $110,458 $280,300
83 Maple Grove 69,571 $105,369 $280,700
84 Eden Prairie 63,900 $106,555 $351,400
85 Woodbury 68,686 $105,393 $308,700
86 Shorewood 7,752 $129,483 $460,800
87 Rogers 12,777 $125,313 $314,900
88 Elko New Market 4,604 $123,750 $301,600
89 Orono 8,015 $146,731 $649,000
90 Edina 51,136 $99,295 $459,200
91 Chanhassen 25,357 $118,885 $378,200
92 Grant 4,138 $114,583 $460,300
93 Carver 4,629 $117,697 $322,800
94 Medina 6,191 $144,107 $636,500
95 Minnetrista 7,408 $161,392 $454,600
96 Victoria 9,032 $147,682 $427,700
97 Deephaven 3,864 $135,714 $551,000
98 North Oaks 5,068 $145,915 $622,000

How Is Your Town In ?

 Worst 

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