Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012)

This article, the twenty-ninth in a 50-state series, ranks the best places to live in Minnesota based on three criteria: (1) median household income (adjusted for cost of living); (2) educational attainment (% of residents 25 years and over who have earned a bachelor’s degree or higher); and (3) property crime rates per 1,000 residents (burglary and automobile thefts). For purposes of these rankings, “places” are incorporated municipalities with populations greater than 2,000.

Among the twenty best places to live in Minnesota, eighteen are suburbs of Minneapolis-St. Paul and two are suburbs of Rochester. By county, nine of the best places to live in Minnesota are located in or partially in Hennepin County, six in Washington County, two in Olmsted County, two in or partially in Carver County, and one each in Dakota and Ramsey Counties.

After reading “Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012),” return to this link to read “Largest Cities in Minnesota (2012).” A collection of similar articles for the remaining 49 states can be found at these links: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

For the culmination of the 50-state series, read “Best Places to Live in America (2012).”

This article may be updated as new data becomes available.

1. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – North Oaks, MN (Ramsey County)

Population: 4,523

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $128,009
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 74.6%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 1.67

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 12 miles S
Minneapolis, MN: 16 miles SW

2. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Deephaven, MN (Hennepin County)

Population: 3,786

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $106,589
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 68.1%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 1.89

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 24 miles E
Minneapolis, MN: 16 miles ENE

3. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Medina, MN (Hennepin County)

Population: 4,967

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $130,341
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 55.2%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 4.03

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 29 miles ESE
Minneapolis, MN: 21 miles ESE

4. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Minnetrista, MN (Hennepin County)

Population: 5,855

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $123,812
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 50.4%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 2.1

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 33 miles E
Minneapolis, MN: 25 miles ENE

5. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – West Lakeland, MN (Washington County)

Population: 3,796

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $111,018
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 58.8%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.41*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 17 miles W
Minneapolis, MN: 25 miles W

6. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Rochester Township, MN (Olmstead County)

Population: 2,082

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $116,202
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 55.8%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 4.93

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 85 miles NNW
Rochester, MN: 6 miles NNW

7. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Cascade Township, MN (Olmsted County)

Population: 2,942

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $104,675
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 57.8%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.05*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 74 miles NNW
Rochester, MN: 7 miles S

8. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Victoria, MN (Carver County)

Population: 6,805

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $96,098
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 57.9%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 1.62*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 33 miles ENE
Minneapolis, MN: 26 miles NE

9. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Orono, MN (Hennepin County)

Population: 7,786

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $97,453
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 60.1%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.08

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 27 miles E
Minneapolis, MN: 20 miles E

10. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Chanhassen, MN (Carver and Hennepin Counties)

Population: 23,288

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $87,385
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 58.2%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 2.57*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 28 miles ENE
Minneapolis, MN: 22 miles NE

11. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Grant, MN (Washington County)

Population: 3,995

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $116,807
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 43.7%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.41*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 18 miles SSW
Minneapolis, MN: 23 miles WSW

12. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Shorewood, MN (Hennepin County)

Population: 7,455

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $94,028
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 54.8%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.51*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 28 miles ENE
Minneapolis, MN: 19 miles NE

13. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Eden Prairie, MN (Hennepin County)

Population: 61,283

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $81,368
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 59.9%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.05

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 23 miles NE
Minneapolis, MN: 18 miles NE

14. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Stillwater, MN (Washington County)

Population: 2,584

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $95,694
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 49.7%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.52

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 20 miles SW
Minneapolis, MN: 25 miles WSW

15. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Afton, MN (Washington County)

Population: 2,838

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $93,602
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 50.1%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.41*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 20 miles WNW
Minneapolis, MN: 29 miles WNW

16. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Mendota Heights, MN (Dakota County)

Population: 11,519

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $89,902
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 56.1%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 5.25

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 7 miles N
Minneapolis, MN: 11 miles NW

17. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Edina, MN (Hennepin County)

Population: 45,569

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $67,381
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 61.2%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.41

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 17 miles ENE
Minneapolis, MN: 10 miles NNE

18. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Mahtomedi, MN (Washington County)

Population: 7,962

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $80,443
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 50.5%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.41*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 14 miles SW
Minneapolis, MN: 20 miles SW

19. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – May Township, MN (Washington County)

Population: 2,989

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $86,254
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 46.2%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.41*

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 28 miles SW
Minneapolis, MN: 33 miles SW

20. Best Places to Live in Minnesota (2012) – Maple Grove, MN (Hennepin County)

Population: 61,293

Median household income (adjusted for cost of living): $80,896
Bachelor’s degree or higher (25 years and over): 48.3%
Property crime rate per 1,000 residents (burglary and auto thefts): 3.07

Distance to Familiar Cities:

St. Paul, MN: 25 miles SE
Minneapolis, MN: 17 miles SE

*In some cases, municipalities do not report their crime statistics to the FBI or they contract for services with the state or a county law enforcement agency. For those towns, crime rates are extrapolated from municipal, county, state, or contiguous municipality data.

Source(s):

“All Cities in Minnesota,” City-Data.com
” American Community Survey ,” U.S. Census Bureau
” American Fact Finder ,” U.S. Census Bureau
“Uniform Crime Report,” Federal Bureau of Investigation