The 10 Best Small Towns In Minnesota For 2022


We used science and data to determine which small towns in Minnesota are the best of the best.

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You've seen these lists before: Best places to live in Minnesota, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the North Star State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that's all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in Minnesota based on numbers--not opinions or hearsay.

We'll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in Minnesota ranked the based--you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 15, here's a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in Minnesota for 2022.

What's the best small town in Minnesota? Deephaven is the best small town in Minnesota based on the most recent Census data. If you live in one of these small towns like Deephaven, chances are, you're not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you--keep reading and we'll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the North Star State check out:

The 15 Best Small Towns In Minnesota For 2022

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 3,904
Median Income: $132,813 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $583,100 (5th Best)
More on Deephaven: Data | Homes For Sale

Source: Public Domain
Overall SnackAbility

/10

Population: 1,067
Median Income: $121,875 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $360,900 (14th Best)
More on Birchwood Village: Data | Homes For Sale

Wayzata, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 4,591
Median Income: $88,431 (27th Best)
Median Home Value: $596,400 (4th Best)
More on Wayzata: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,517
Median Income: $120,625 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $324,800 (16th Best)
More on Oronoco: Data | Homes For Sale

Lonsdale, MN

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 4,102
Median Income: $95,398 (19th Best)
Median Home Value: $234,300 (34th Best)
More on Lonsdale: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

St. Bonifacius, MN

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,017
Median Income: $95,750 (18th Best)
Median Home Value: $270,900 (24th Best)
More on St. Bonifacius: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,778
Median Income: $180,357 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $548,400 (7th Best)
More on Independence: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

10
/10

Population: 4,715
Median Income: $133,333 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $333,800 (15th Best)
More on Elko New Market: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,914
Median Income: $71,140 (53rd Best)
Median Home Value: $261,300 (28th Best)
More on Oak Park Heights: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,103
Median Income: $68,235 (62nd Best)
Median Home Value: $163,200 (83rd Best)
More on Scanlon: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,136
Median Income: $48,661 (158th Best)
Median Home Value: $482,300 (9th Best)
More on Spring Park: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,313
Median Income: $100,958 (15th Best)
Median Home Value: $252,200 (30th Best)
More on Mayer: Data | Homes For Sale

Dilworth, MN

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 4,430
Median Income: $68,772 (58th Best)
Median Home Value: $217,600 (39th Best)
More on Dilworth: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 1,466
Median Income: $135,167 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $674,800 (2nd Best)
More on Tonka Bay: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,091
Median Income: $83,056 (35th Best)
Median Home Value: $265,700 (25th Best)
More on Lake St. Croix Beach: Data | Homes For Sale

Methodology: How We Determined The Coolest Towns In Minnesota

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census's 2016-2020 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot - 212 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 212, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in Minnesota. Top of that list -- Deephaven. You can download the data here.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 15 best small towns in Minnesota.

Summary: Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we'll say it again -- this list: it's just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 15 small towns in Minnesota are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you're curious, here are the worst small towns in Minnesota:

  1. Sandstone
  2. Appleton
  3. Keewatin

For more Minnesota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In Minnesota

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Deephaven, MN 3,904 $132,813.0 $583,100.0
2 Birchwood Village, MN 1,067 $121,875.0 $360,900.0
3 Wayzata, MN 4,591 $88,431.0 $596,400.0
4 Oronoco, MN 1,517 $120,625.0 $324,800.0
5 Lonsdale, MN 4,102 $95,398.0 $234,300.0
6 St. Bonifacius, MN 2,017 $95,750.0 $270,900.0
7 Independence, MN 3,778 $180,357.0 $548,400.0
8 Elko New Market, MN 4,715 $133,333.0 $333,800.0
9 Oak Park Heights, MN 4,914 $71,140.0 $261,300.0
10 Scanlon, MN 1,103 $68,235.0 $163,200.0
11 Spring Park, MN 2,136 $48,661.0 $482,300.0
12 Mayer, MN 2,313 $100,958.0 $252,200.0
13 Dilworth, MN 4,430 $68,772.0 $217,600.0
14 Tonka Bay, MN 1,466 $135,167.0 $674,800.0
15 Lake St. Croix Beach, MN 1,091 $83,056.0 $265,700.0
16 Watertown, MN 4,473 $94,922.0 $236,400.0
17 Cold Spring, MN 4,238 $63,833.0 $180,800.0
18 Chatfield, MN 2,690 $75,106.0 $171,600.0
19 Dellwood, MN 1,295 $195,774.0 $627,900.0
20 Lindstrom, MN 4,662 $103,102.0 $232,900.0
21 Circle Pines, MN 4,951 $84,550.0 $200,700.0
22 Centerville, MN 4,006 $110,341.0 $265,200.0
23 Excelsior, MN 2,414 $80,750.0 $773,100.0
24 Grant, MN 4,106 $115,850.0 $484,700.0
25 Lakeland, MN 1,723 $86,739.0 $277,100.0
26 Cologne, MN 2,199 $99,514.0 $277,700.0
27 Zumbrota, MN 3,452 $67,353.0 $191,700.0
28 Scandia, MN 4,135 $84,741.0 $403,200.0
29 Eagle Lake, MN 3,064 $75,610.0 $195,300.0
30 Long Lake, MN 1,779 $76,417.0 $306,700.0
31 Bayport, MN 3,758 $87,986.0 $279,000.0
32 Esko, MN 2,222 $92,708.0 $206,100.0
33 Hanover, MN 3,414 $116,458.0 $307,800.0
34 Madison Lake, MN 1,081 $90,893.0 $206,400.0
35 Avon, MN 1,547 $85,463.0 $178,900.0
36 Pine Island, MN 3,629 $72,292.0 $213,300.0
37 Barnesville, MN 2,589 $66,875.0 $166,900.0
38 Eyota, MN 2,183 $64,716.0 $184,300.0
39 Medford, MN 1,220 $78,929.0 $163,900.0
40 Afton, MN 3,008 $109,387.0 $556,400.0
41 Nisswa, MN 1,742 $68,393.0 $280,100.0
42 Lake Crystal, MN 2,496 $63,672.0 $159,800.0
43 Grand Marais, MN 1,426 $55,141.0 $204,800.0
44 Columbus, MN 4,109 $93,892.0 $296,500.0
45 Greenfield, MN 3,013 $123,817.0 $449,800.0
46 Albany, MN 2,735 $65,000.0 $161,500.0
47 Dundas, MN 1,761 $94,286.0 $227,800.0
48 St. Charles, MN 3,749 $85,899.0 $205,200.0
49 Crosslake, MN 2,389 $70,331.0 $365,600.0
50 Proctor, MN 3,039 $61,176.0 $160,900.0
51 Spicer, MN 1,316 $63,750.0 $193,800.0
52 Goodview, MN 4,132 $59,036.0 $155,500.0
53 Luverne, MN 4,557 $63,368.0 $152,500.0
54 Becker, MN 4,919 $75,625.0 $198,800.0
55 Rice, MN 1,734 $85,114.0 $179,600.0
56 Rockford, MN 4,481 $73,649.0 $191,900.0
57 Cottonwood, MN 1,180 $61,625.0 $158,200.0
58 Rockville, MN 2,571 $88,438.0 $263,300.0
59 Maple Plain, MN 1,737 $64,821.0 $259,200.0
60 Hawley, MN 2,075 $78,292.0 $189,900.0
61 Cohasset, MN 2,710 $67,924.0 $212,900.0
62 Fulda, MN 1,314 $59,018.0 $114,100.0
63 Nowthen, MN 4,715 $124,492.0 $374,400.0
64 Lauderdale, MN 2,624 $65,578.0 $223,800.0
65 Rushford, MN 1,774 $62,148.0 $157,000.0
66 Breezy Point, MN 2,396 $71,845.0 $249,600.0
67 Cannon Falls, MN 4,053 $65,655.0 $195,000.0
68 Elgin, MN 1,189 $69,167.0 $166,900.0
69 Benson, MN 3,063 $44,167.0 $117,200.0
70 St. Augusta, MN 3,785 $97,167.0 $245,400.0
71 Adrian, MN 1,233 $58,333.0 $119,800.0
72 Janesville, MN 2,502 $61,452.0 $146,700.0
73 Roseau, MN 2,686 $55,815.0 $141,800.0
74 New London, MN 1,249 $56,006.0 $163,500.0
75 Richmond, MN 1,384 $56,042.0 $161,100.0
76 Springfield, MN 2,097 $49,089.0 $97,300.0
77 Starbuck, MN 1,351 $54,722.0 $123,800.0
78 Lester Prairie, MN 1,719 $63,000.0 $159,000.0
79 Mapleton, MN 1,606 $68,478.0 $140,900.0
80 Nicollet, MN 1,037 $72,188.0 $163,200.0
81 Sleepy Eye, MN 3,378 $53,629.0 $127,100.0
82 Harmony, MN 1,028 $58,125.0 $120,200.0
83 Osseo, MN 2,738 $54,636.0 $206,700.0
84 Lewiston, MN 1,828 $72,375.0 $167,400.0
85 Dawson, MN 1,507 $55,714.0 $85,200.0
86 Waverly, MN 1,513 $95,368.0 $214,100.0
87 Canby, MN 1,558 $50,992.0 $98,600.0
88 Mountain Iron, MN 2,854 $65,506.0 $160,700.0
89 Two Harbors, MN 3,511 $58,151.0 $153,800.0
90 Le Roy, MN 1,006 $45,938.0 $84,600.0
91 Glyndon, MN 1,362 $80,121.0 $191,900.0
92 Hayfield, MN 1,299 $57,198.0 $120,000.0
93 Edgerton, MN 1,257 $55,294.0 $94,900.0
94 Howard Lake, MN 1,897 $61,400.0 $175,100.0
95 Goodhue, MN 1,191 $72,037.0 $172,700.0
96 Waterville, MN 1,841 $58,900.0 $135,300.0
97 Glenwood, MN 2,563 $45,852.0 $156,900.0
98 Blooming Prairie, MN 1,939 $57,535.0 $125,300.0
99 Sauk Centre, MN 4,466 $62,079.0 $155,700.0
100 Breckenridge, MN 3,198 $42,625.0 $113,500.0

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. This is our ninth time ranking the best small places to live in Minnesota.

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.