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List of Best Cities in Minnesota for Raising A Family, Is Your City on the List?

(Photo by Rick Gershon/Getty Images)

I ran into this article and was eager to see if any of the many cities in Minnesota I’ve lived in made the list.

According to, these are the best 10 cities to live in Minnesota to raise a young family.

This was their criteria:

  1. Does the city have good public schools? We measured schools’ academic performance with ratings from GreatSchools. This non-profit compares a given school’s standardized test scores to the state average to obtain a rating on a 1 to 10 scale (10 representing the highest score). Higher ratings led to a higher overall score.
  2. Can you afford to live there? We looked at both median home values in each city and ongoing monthly home costs, including mortgage payments, real estate taxes, insurance costs, utilities, fuel and other bills. Lower costs led to a higher overall score.
  3. Is the city growing and prospering? We assessed a city’s economy by looking at median household income and income growth over the last decade. Higher income and greater growth led to a higher overall score.

Here are the winners:

1.  Waconia

2. North Mankato

3. Sartell

4. Woodbury

5.  Stillwater

6.  Prior Lake

7.  Rosemount

8.  St. Michael

9.  Savage

10.  Shakopee


I can tell you from experience living in Savage, Prior Lake, and near Shakopee that they all are pretty nice areas.  All of these places are in metropolitan areas, or in the rustle and bustle of a big city.   Yes, by the numbers these are all great places to live.

However, numbers don’t say everything.  I’d rather raise my kids here in the Northland.  Sure the pace is a little slower and there may not be as many “city” things to do.   But where do those families go when they get a vacation?   A lot of the times, right here.


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