17 Cheapest Places to Live in Minnesota

Updated On February 19, 2024

Minnesota is a beautiful state, full of natural scenery.

Many people know Minnesota as being the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”

But besides having natural beauty, it is also full of some amazing towns and is home to various wildlife.

So, if you’re looking to move to Minnesota, this guide will provide you with the most affordable cities in the state to help you along your journey.

17 of the Cheapest Places to Live in Minnesota

Albert Lea
Albert Lea

1. Albert Lea

First on the list of the most affordable cities in Minnesota is Albert Lea.

Albert Lea is also known as “The Land Between the Lakes.”

The median household income is $47,508.

It has a home price-to-income ratio of 2.04%.

Albert Lea sits right between Albert Lea Lake and Fountain Lake.

There are plenty of things to do in Albert Lea, including camping, fishing, snowmobiling, golfing, boating, kayaking, and much more.

All of these activities are perfect for those who enjoy the outdoors and water sports.

There are also plenty of restaurants, shops, and events that take place around town.


2. Worthington

Worthington is also one of the cheapest cities in Minnesota to live in.

The average household income is $48,854.

The home price-to-income ratio is 2.71%.

Worthington is a small town, and its agricultural presence is solid.

The city is full of parks and perfect for those who enjoy fishing.

You can also find plenty of restaurants and shopping centers in Worthington.

In addition, you’ll quickly find that many of them serve ethnic cuisine.


3. Austin

Texas isn’t the only state that has an Austin.

Austin, Minnesota, may not be as popular, but it’s known for being one of the most affordable cities to live in.

The average household income is $48,127.

The home cost-to-income ratio is 2.24%.

Austin is located in the southern part of the state.

It is known for being welcoming and friendly.

Many people who decide to move here quickly find that meeting new people is simple.

Residents can enjoy the great outdoors, including the Jay C. Hormel Nature Center, to hike.

Some concerts take place at Bandshell Community Park.


4. Marshall

Marshall, Minnesota, is entirely affordable to live in for those looking to partake in various outdoor activities.

The average household income is $48,958.

The home cost-to-income ratio is 3.15%.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy a wide range of activities, including hunting, hiking, winter sports, fishing, archery, camping, and more.

Downtown Marshall is also vibrant and has various restaurants, shopping centers, and sports game centers.

There’s something here for everyone to enjoy.

Fergus Falls
Fergus Falls

5. Fergus Falls

Fergus Falls, Minnesota, also made the list as one of the cheapest places to live.

The median household income in Fergus Falls is $43,528.

There are more than 1,000 lakes in the area.

This means that you can enjoy various outdoor activities here.

Maplewood State Park and DeLagoon Park are just a couple of well-known areas for residents who live here.

Downtown Fergus Falls also offers a lot of things to do, including some amazing food and art scenes and various shopping centers.


6. Fairmont

Fairmont, Minnesota, has a median household income of $47,876.

But Fairmont has a lot more to offer than just affordable living.

It’s an attractive town, full of recreational activities.

Those who live here can take advantage of these activities, including snowmobiling, boating, and fishing.

There are also some amazing views of nature around Fairmont, making this a picture-perfect town.

Fairmont also has plenty of top-rated restaurants and shopping centers.

Locals also enjoy watching live performances at various venues around town.


7. Bemidji

The median household income in Bemidji, Minnesota, is $32,193.

With that being said, not only is this a charming town to live in, but it’s also highly affordable.

It’s packed with plenty of fun outdoor opportunities.

One of the most well-known areas in town is Lake Bemidji State Park.

Both tourists and locals have the chance to check out the wildlife, including loons, eagles, and birds.

You can also enjoy activities including biking, kayaking, swimming, and camping.

New Ulm
New Ulm

8. New Ulm

New Ulm, Minnesota, offers residents affordable living.

The median household income is $61,597, and the home cost-to-income ratio is 2.29%.

New Ulm is referred to as the most German town in America.

This is mainly due to the town preserving its German roots dating back to the 1800s.

However, the town has evolved and has a modern touch.

There are many attractions around town, including the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame, Morgan Creek Vineyards, and Flandrau State Park.


9. Faribault

Faribault is a beautiful city in Minnesota, but it is also one of the most affordable.

The median household income here is $50,702.

The town has an overall relaxed vibe.

There’s a lot to do and see here, including art and hiking.

Faribault also has a rich history.

For those who enjoy nature, checking out the River Bend Nature Center is a must.

And for art lovers, the Paradise Center for the Arts hosts live shows.


10. Hibbing

Hibbing, Minnesota, was once referred to as the iron capital of the world.

It’s also known as being one of the cheapest cities in the state, with a median household income of $49,009.

Many mines remain around the area, which gives this town a distinctive landscape.

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, be sure to check out the Hull Rust Mine, and the Laurentian Divide.

St. Cloud
St. Cloud

11. St. Cloud

St. Cloud, Minnesota, also made the list for being one of the cheapest places to live.

The average cost for a one-bedroom apartment in St. Cloud is $739.

The nearest metro area is Minneapolis, located 70 miles away.

There are nearly 68,900 people who call St. Cloud home.

St. Cloud has a lot to offer, including Musinger Gardens, located alongside the Mississippi River.

You can also enjoy downtown St. Cloud or explore the campus at St. Cloud State University.


12. Duluth

Duluth is known for having plenty of affordable housing options to meet everyone’s budget.

The average rent paid for a one-bedroom in Duluth is $1,495.

Nearly 87,000 people call Duluth home.

It’s located just along Lake Superior.

The town of Duluth offers a lot of attractions.

For example, the Glensheen Mansion is a popular spot for those looking for something to do.

You can also check out the Duluth Zoo or take a bike ride on the trails at Duluth Lakewalk.


13. Rochester

Rochester is located just 80 miles from St. Paul and is also considered one of the cheapest cities to reside in.

The average rent paid for a one-bedroom apartment in Rochester is $1,488.

It’s located in the southern part of the state and has nearly 122,000 people living here.

The town offers plenty of attractions, from historical sites, including the History Center of Olmsted County, to various museums.

The Quarry Hill Nature Center is perfect for exploring nature, and Silver Lake is great for boating.

Coon Rapids
Coon Rapids

14. Coon Rapids

Coon Rapids also made the list for being one of the cheapest cities in Minneapolis.

The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment is $1,536.

It is located just 16 miles from Minneapolis.

Nearly 64,000 residents call Coon Rapids home and for very good reason.

There are plenty of things to do, including Coon Rapids Dam Regional Park and Crooked Lake.

So, if you’re looking for an affordable town in the state, make sure you add this one to your list.


15. Burnsville

Burnsville is another great option for those looking for an affordable place to live in Minnesota.

Residents pay an average of $1,085 for a one-bedroom apartment.

It is located just 17 miles from Minneapolis.

Close to 65,000 people are living in Burnsville.

The Minnesota Zoo, Crystal Lake, and Black Dog Trail are all conveniently located in Burnsville.

But if you’re looking for more entertainment or attractions, you can always take the short drive to the Twin Cities.

Brooklyn Park
Brooklyn Park

16. Brooklyn Park

The average rent paid in Brooklyn Park is $1,585, making it one of the least expensive places to live in Minnesota.

It’s also located just a short drive from Minneapolis—11 miles, to be exact.

The population here is just a little over 86,000.

If you’re looking for a city that’s not too small and not too big, Brooklyn Park is perfect.

The area offers various parks and more.

For those who enjoy art, the Chesapeake Arts Center is truly worth a visit.

St. Paul
St. Paul

17. St. Paul

Last on the list for being one of the most affordable cities in Minnesota is St. Paul.

The average rent paid for a one-bedroom here is $1,307, and it is located just 12 miles from the Twin Cities.

St. Paul is a rather big city, with nearly 312,000 people living in it.

However, there’s a lot to take advantage of.

For instance, residents can check out the Minnesota State Capitol building or take a walk along the Mississippi River.

St. Paul Farmers Market is also a local favorite.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of living in Minnesota?

The cost of living in the state of Minnesota is 3% below the national average.

Housing costs are also 14% below the national average.

Also, worth mentioning is the cost of utilities, which is 2% below the national average.

However, necessities and groceries are 3% above the national average.

To live comfortably in Minnesota, how much money do I need to make?

The following numbers should give you a good example of affordability in Minnesota.

These numbers reflect the amount a single household must earn to support themselves or their family.

  • A family with no children can live comfortably on $58,620 annually.
  • A family with one child can live comfortably on $72,100
  • A family with two children can live comfortably on $82,254
  • A family with three children can comfortably live on $93,666

What are some of the most affordable neighborhoods in Minnesota?

Here’s a list of several affordable neighborhoods to consider in Minnesota:

  • Shingle Creek
  • Linden Hills
  • Payne-Phalen
  • Como Park
  • Thomas-Dale
  • Central Minneapolis
  • Greater East Side

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