3 MN Cities Make List of Best Places to Live, 1 Gets Snubbed
Three Minnesota cities just made a list of Top 100 Places to Live, but Minneapolis wasn't one of them.
For the past seven years, Livability.com has released a data-driven list of the 100 Top Best Places to live across the country. Every year, that list has changed as Livability adjusts its algorithms and launches new studies and surveys. This year, especially, has changed many aspects of our lives, including where and how we work, school and pastime. Many people have found themselves asking open-ended questions about their living situations and reevaluating what's important to them.
To determine this year's list, Livability analyzed more than 1,000 small to mid-sized cities on factors like safety, affordability, economic stability, outdoor recreation, accessibility and community engagement. They also added a new factor -- an “opportunity score” used to determine each city’s landscape of opportunity, including variables like job numbers, broadband access, economic resilience and growth.
As we'd hope (maybe even expect), several Minnesota cities made the list...and one --noticeably -- did not. Following are the Minnesota cities to make Livability's 2020 Top 100 Best Places to Live list:
Rochester (No. 5)
Coming in at an impressive No. 5 (again) on Livability's list is the home of the Mayo Clinic. "If you know the Mayo Clinic, then you know Rochester," Livability had to say. We're not entirely sure that's true, though Livability did go on to recognize local hotspots and highlights like Cafe Steam (Best Coffee Shop), Forager Brewery (Best Local Beer/Brewery), Collider Coworking (Best Co-Working Space), Rochester Art Center (Best Creative Hub) and Thursdays Downtown Summer Market & Music Festival (Best Free Way to Have Fun). "Rochester has been recognized as an all-American city, a gold LEED certified city and is consistently recognized as one of America's most livable cities," Jenna Bowman, City of Rochester Communications and Engagement Manager, is quoted as saying.
St. Paul (No. 64)
Not surprisingly, one-half of the Twin Cities and Minnesota's capital made Livability's list of Top 100 Best Places to Live, though it's rank at only No. 64 may raise some questions. Dubbed a "a hip, diverse city with a friendly, Midwestern vibe that’s welcoming to families, young professionals and retirees alike," Livability recommends St. Paul as a great place to start a business -- especially one with an international reach thanks to the more than 100 languages spoken here. Notable hotpots and highlights include Urban Growler Brewing (Best Local Beer/Brewery), The Nook's Juicy Lucy Burger (Must-Have Meal), Bad Weather Brewery (Best Meetup Spot), Lowertown Arts District (Best Creative Hub) and Mississippi National River & Recreation Area (Best Weekend Activity). "The people here are proud and they care," says Terry Mattson, President & CEO of Visit St. Paul, "we are a diverse community that looks forward, while honoring its roots and history."
Duluth (No. 80)
Rounding out the Top 80 best places to live is Minnesota's " increasingly not-so-hidden gem" Duluth. "Folks here love that they are a just-right sized city with lots of amenities placed in one of the most beautiful spots in the country," says Livability. Noted hotspots and highlights include Duluth Coffee Company (Best Coffee Shop), Bent Paddle Brewery (Best Local Beer/Brewery), Sir Benedict's Tavern on the Lake (Must-Have Meal), Zenith Bookstore (Creative Hub), and the Superior Hiking Trail (Free Way to Have Fun). "Duluth is a unique community that enjoys a creative juxtaposition of a Northwoods aesthetic with a rich, cultural vibe," says Dave Grandmaison, Experience Designer for The Duluth Experience.
Minneapolis was noticeably absent from Livability's list this year (last year it ranked No. 13th best place to live). While we can only speculate, perhaps this year's murder of George Floyd and the events around the city that followed had something to do with it's place on Livability's list. St. Cloud, MN has never made the list.