The 10 Worst St. Paul Suburbs For 2022


We used science and data to determine which St. Paul suburbs are the real pits.

RoadSnacks is reader-supported. When you click through real estate links on our site, we earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

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 100 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 2022:

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

What's the worst suburb of St. Paul? Lexington ranks as the worst suburb of St. Paul for 2022 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 2022

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 13th worst in the St. Paul area, and to make matters worse, the city ranks 6th 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

5
/10

Population: 2,276
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Income: $65,333 (13th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 7.8% (3rd highest)
Median Home Value: $199,800 (6th lowest)
More on Lexington:  Data | Photos

Lexington, MN

Source: Public domain

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

This city is 13.2 miles to St. Paul. Income levels here are the 12th lowest in the metro area, where families bring in about $64,023 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.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 30,755
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 1)
Median Income: $64,023 (12th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 6.2% (6th highest)
Median Home Value: $187,400 (2nd lowest)
More on Brooklyn Center:  Data | Photos

Brooklyn Center, MN

3. 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.

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,842
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Income: $70,370 (20th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.6% (20th highest)
Median Home Value: $187,300 (lowest)
More on Somerset:

If you live in Newport, most likely you struggle to make ends meet every month. It ranks as the 5th lowest St. Paul suburb when it comes to residents making money.

Not only that, but this is the 34th worst unemployed suburb you can live in if you choose to live near St. Paul. Remember, we looked at 100 cities for this study.

Newport is about 7.3 miles to downtown.

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,664
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Median Income: $58,569 (5th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (34th highest)
Median Home Value: $227,900 (2lowest)
More on Newport:  Data

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

All snarkiness aside, Fridley has the 12th lowest home values in the metro St. Paul area, where the median price is $211,900. To put that into perspective, in North Oaks, the median income is $210,370, which is the best in the area.

Fridley has an unemployment rate of 5.02% which ranks 13th worst.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 27,789
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Median Income: $65,669 (15th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.0% (13th highest)
Median Home Value: $211,900 (12th lowest)
More on Fridley:  Data | Photos

Fridley, MN

Columbia Heights has 20,247 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 12.377396066716454%.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 20,247
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Median Income: $60,778 (8th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.5% (8th highest)
Median Home Value: $193,700 (3rd lowest)
More on Columbia Heights:  Data | Photos

Columbia Heights, MN

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

It's the place with the 10th most out of work residents in the St. Paul metro area (5.4%).

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 19,805
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Median Income: $57,142 (4th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 5.4% (10th highest)
Median Home Value: $215,500 (14th lowest)
More on West St. Paul:  Data | Photos

West St. Paul, MN

South St. Paul 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. South St. Paul has the 2most uninsured people, 11th worst incomes, and has the 18th highest unemployment rate (4.8%) in the entire St. Paul metro area.

Homes only cost $207,200 for a reason. That's cheap for St. Paul standards.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 20,132
Rank Last Year: 12 (Up 4)
Median Income: $63,204 (11th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.8% (18th highest)
Median Home Value: $207,200 (10th lowest)
More on South St. Paul:  Data | Photos

South St. Paul, MN

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

About 2.96% of residents are out of work.

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,423
Rank Last Year: 8 (Down 1)
Median Income: $55,893 (3rd lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 3.0% (54th highest)
Median Home Value: $245,200 (3lowest)
More on Little Canada:  Data

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

Located 6.0 miles outside the city, Maplewoods is a real pit when you look at the data. Its residents have the 32nd highest unemployment rate (4.02%), and poverty is far above the area average.

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 40,684
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $72,959 (26th lowest)
Unemployment Rate: 4.0% (32nd highest)
Median Home Value: $230,100 (23rd lowest)
More on Maplewood:  Data | Photos

Maplewood, MN

Methodology: Determining The Worst Suburbs Around St. Paul for 2022

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 2016-2020, 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 100 suburbs to evaluate around St. Paul.

We ranked each place with scores from 1 to 100 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.

Summary: The areas around St. Paul where the dream is more of a nightmare for 2022

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
  • North Hudson

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst St. Paul Suburbs

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Values
1 Lexington 2,276 $65,333 $199,800
2 Brooklyn Center 30,755 $64,023 $187,400
3 Somerset 2,842 $70,370 $187,300
4 Newport 3,664 $58,569 $227,900
5 Fridley 27,789 $65,669 $211,900
6 Columbia Heights 20,247 $60,778 $193,700
7 West St. Paul 19,805 $57,142 $215,500
8 South St. Paul 20,132 $63,204 $207,200
9 Little Canada 10,423 $55,893 $245,200
10 Maplewood 40,684 $72,959 $230,100
11 Anoka 17,512 $60,890 $215,900
12 Richfield 36,253 $70,091 $241,100
13 New Hope 20,913 $60,762 $235,600
14 Oakdale 27,925 $74,303 $232,900
15 Minneapolis 424,536 $66,068 $268,100
16 Mounds View 13,193 $73,243 $221,600
17 Brooklyn Park 80,173 $73,207 $233,700
18 Hopkins 18,400 $59,141 $251,700
19 River Falls 15,870 $62,786 $222,300
20 Lauderdale 2,624 $65,578 $223,800
21 Inver Grove Heights 35,492 $83,155 $273,000
22 Osseo 2,738 $54,636 $206,700
23 Forest Lake 20,393 $84,436 $286,500
24 Burnsville 61,536 $76,017 $263,700
25 North St. Paul 12,421 $67,595 $219,800
26 St. Paul Park 5,404 $84,167 $204,800
27 Bloomington 85,226 $78,224 $265,700
28 Spring Lake Park 6,582 $71,958 $199,300
29 Crystal 22,937 $70,724 $211,800
30 Coon Rapids 62,706 $76,169 $216,000
31 Robbinsdale 14,393 $73,510 $213,100
32 Shakopee 41,423 $90,642 $280,500
33 Blaine 65,048 $86,796 $240,700
34 New Brighton 22,663 $75,099 $267,800
35 Vadnais Heights 13,565 $81,643 $243,300
36 Bayport 3,758 $87,986 $279,000
37 White Bear Lake 25,718 $70,981 $241,400
38 Roseville 36,139 $74,571 $266,100
39 Arden Hills 10,276 $105,664 $296,500
40 Falcon Heights 5,586 $72,616 $300,700
41 Hudson 13,912 $74,207 $255,100
42 Prescott 4,278 $67,491 $194,100
43 Dayton 6,258 $112,557 $357,000
44 Ramsey 27,201 $97,779 $264,900
45 East Bethel 11,958 $90,809 $261,900
46 Circle Pines 4,951 $84,550 $200,700
47 Eagan 66,377 $93,332 $298,700
48 Oak Park Heights 4,914 $71,140 $261,300
49 Apple Valley 53,728 $90,162 $270,600
50 Wyoming 7,976 $88,876 $247,200
51 Hastings 22,796 $75,026 $229,900
52 Centerville 4,006 $110,341 $265,200
53 Chaska 26,753 $90,161 $290,300
54 Farmington 22,996 $95,326 $269,500
55 Oak Grove 8,819 $107,112 $309,700
56 Golden Valley 21,611 $97,783 $329,400
57 Savage 31,758 $116,895 $326,800
58 Carver 5,438 $109,589 $326,400
59 Minnetrista 7,989 $144,188 $509,200
60 Excelsior 2,414 $80,750 $773,100
61 Corcoran 6,113 $138,848 $376,700
62 Champlin 24,980 $96,469 $254,200
63 Woodbury 71,298 $108,055 $336,600
64 Spring Park 2,136 $48,661 $482,300
65 Cottage Grove 37,120 $102,600 $261,500
66 Rosemount 24,792 $110,573 $295,800
67 Ham Lake 16,630 $99,736 $325,400
68 Stillwater 19,471 $91,947 $302,500
69 Hugo 15,008 $92,032 $262,300
70 Mound 9,498 $75,542 $255,200
71 St. Louis Park 48,874 $84,694 $290,500
72 Eden Prairie 64,481 $115,227 $374,700
73 Columbus 4,109 $93,892 $296,500
74 Afton 3,008 $109,387 $556,400
75 St. Anthony 9,035 $85,469 $281,600
76 Prior Lake 26,775 $108,481 $328,400
77 Shoreview 26,922 $97,633 $285,500
78 Grant 4,106 $115,850 $484,700
79 Lino Lakes 21,748 $107,647 $299,000
80 Wayzata 4,591 $88,431 $596,400
81 Andover 33,019 $112,967 $305,900
82 Lakeville 65,710 $112,020 $325,400
83 Minnetonka 53,760 $100,363 $362,100
84 Maple Grove 71,569 $113,793 $299,700
85 Mahtomedi 8,232 $112,105 $353,000
86 Lake Elmo 9,071 $145,433 $433,500
87 Victoria 9,787 $166,477 $460,200
88 Scandia 4,135 $84,741 $403,200
89 Plymouth 78,879 $112,631 $368,600
90 Shorewood 7,939 $146,029 $520,500
91 Edina 52,215 $108,576 $501,400
92 Orono 8,217 $169,557 $763,700
93 Elko New Market 4,715 $133,333 $333,800
94 Mendota Heights 11,339 $119,347 $402,600
95 Chanhassen 25,965 $124,184 $400,300
96 Medina 6,549 $156,563 $547,900
97 Rogers 13,183 $133,988 $357,900
98 North Hudson 3,819 $108,500 $313,600
99 Deephaven 3,904 $132,813 $583,100
100 North Oaks 5,244 $210,370 $672,600

How Is Your Town In ?

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 2022. This is our ninth time ranking the worst suburbs around St. Paul.
 Worst