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Quality of Life

The happiest - and least stressed - state

People sometimes hesitate to move to Minnesota - but once they do, they tend to stay. Businesses here recognize that having good quality of life is important in attracting and retaining talent.

  • Across the state, our premier education and health care systems have led to a population of residents who are among the most educated and healthiest in the country. We rank first in the percentage of the population with a high school degree or above (2017).
  • For the past 28 years, Minnesota has ranked among the top 10 healthiest states in the country and placed first or second more than 10 times in America's Health Rankings (United Health Foundation).

Minnesota tops many other livability rankings as well. Here are just a few:

  • Happiest State in the U.S. (MagnifyMoney, 2018)
  • Least Stressed State in the Country (WalletHub, 2018)
  • 2nd in Quality of Life (U.S. News & World Report, 2018)
  • 3rd in Quality of Life (Forbes, 2018)
  • 3rd in Quality of Life (CNBC, 2018)
  • 4th in home ownership (U.S. Census Bureau, 2017)

Cost of Living

Whether you’re living in the Twin Cities, other Minnesota cities or in a smaller town or rural area, housing prices help make Minnesota an affordable place to live well – particularly when compared to locations on the coasts.

Median Sales Prices for Single-Family Homes in 15 major metro areas

Location Median Home Value

Minneapolis/St. Paul


Ann Arbor, Mich.


Charleston, S.C.


Madison, Wis.


Raleigh, N.C.


Austin, TX






Washington, D.C.


New York metro








Los Angeles


San Francisco


Source: National Association of Realtors, 3rd quarter 2018 (preliminary data)

Standard of Living Salary Comparisons

Standard of Living Salary Comparisons


Salary Needed for Equivalent Standard of Living

Minneapolis/St. Paul










San Francisco


New York City


Source: CNN Money Cost of Living Calculator (December 2018)

Work-life balance

Minnesota is a family-friendly place that values the importance of work-life balance:

  • Best State to Raise a Family (WalletHub, 2019)
  • Best State for Women (WalletHub, 2018)
  • 2nd Best State for Working Moms and Working Dads (WalletHub, 2018)
  • 3rd in America's Best States to Live In (CNBC, 2018)
  • 4th in Overall Child Well-Being (2018 Kids Count Data Book, Annie E. Casey Foundation)

Living options

  • Minneapolis and St. Paul's downtown's support a mix of corporate, residential, retail and entertainment spaces that give each city a unique and vivacious spirit. Outside of the each city's center, residential neighborhoods provide a variety of living options. 
  • Tying together the Twin Cities urban environment is a flourishing public transit system of buses and light rail. For those who prefer to use their own two wheels, there are over 225 miles of on- and off-street bike paths running through Minneapolis alone, which would explain its frequent inclusion in lists of the most bike-friendly cities.
  • For those looking to live outside of the Twin Cities, Minnesota is full of charming small- and medium-sized cities with thriving and emerging economic opportunities – and affordable costs of living. Rochester, Duluth, St. Cloud and Moorhead are just a few examples of smaller metropolitan centers, each with a diverse economy and many of the cultural amenities that are found in the Twin Cities.
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