How can a small town in Minnesota be named the worst place to live? I grew up in a small town in Northern Minnesota, and I loved it. But, according to the research done by a private company, the worst place to live in Minnesota is in a small town with less than 10,000 people.

Worst Places To Live In Minnesota

RoadSnacks put together a list of the worst places to live in Minnesota (and other states).  The methodology for analyzing the data comes from the following things:

  • Good Education
  • job availability
  • crime rate
  • poverty
  • income
  • condition of homes
  • drive time to and from work
  • things to do (higher population density)
  • health insurance

Only cities with more than 5,000 residents were included in the study.

Only cities with a population of more than 5,000 people were included in the research. That means 145 potential cities in Minnesota were analyzed.

5. Brooklyn Center

google maps
google maps

Brooklyn Center, a suburb of Minneapolis, came in as the 5th worst place to live in Minnesota.

Crime is a big problem according to the study. The crime rate in Brooklyn Center is 70% above the national average. The public school system is also considered 'subpar' with none of them rating more than 5/10 on Great Schools.

While there is a strong housing market, the median home price is $278,078, which is a stretch on the average household income of $70,692.

Read More: Minnesota Named Least Stressed State

4. Bemidji

google maps
google maps

The main points that hurt Bemidji in the rankings are crime, high unemployment, and income levels. The city has a population of 15,441. It has the highest crime rate in the state per capita. Roadsnacks says you had a 1 in 12.8 chance of being robbed in 2023 in Bemidji.

3. Red Wing

google maps
google maps

What's the problem with Red Wing? The factors going against it are related to poverty and crime. Going off of crime stats from 2021, there were 509 property crimes in the small town of 16,627 people. The median income level is considered lower than average in the study.

2. Brainerd

google maps
google maps

The nice thing about Brainerd is that it's a really beautiful place. Many people love living in small towns across the state of Minnesota. However, when you get out of the big cities, the income level usually takes a hit. Brainerd has a high unemployment rate of 7.4% and the lowest median household income in the state at $46,933.

1. Waite Park

Waite Park is a suburb of St. Cloud, Minnesota. They have a population of less than 10,000 people (8,290.) Crime again is the city's issue. 1 in 13.2 residents were the victim of a crime.

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There is a lot of retail in the suburbs, which could be reflecting the crime rate with shoplifting and theft. The household income is lower than average at $52,391. Roadsnacks goes as far as to even say that you should lock your doors when you go there because it's "simply not a safe place at all."

Take this research with a grain of salt.

I still say it's a lot safer living in a small town in Minnesota than in a big city. Sure, there aren't a ton of things to do, but you definitely have more of a sense of community and looking out for each other.

LOOK: Here's where people in every state are moving to most

Stacker analyzed the Census Bureau's 2019 American Community Survey data to determine the three most popular destinations for people moving out of each state.

Gallery Credit: Amanda Silvestri

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