What's it like to live in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN?


Rachael Weir

Profile written by local expert:

Rachael Weir

Minneapolis and St. Paul not only have big-city amenities like museums and sports stadiums, but also have an approachable Midwestern feel. Separated by the Mississippi River, the Twin Cities are considered one metropolitan area but actually include two unique cities, featuring downtown cosmopolitan cores surrounded by distinctive neighborhoods and suburban communities.

St. Paul, Minnesota's capital, offers residents a historic atmosphere with parks, government offices and museums. The Summit Hill neighborhood is filled with grand historic homes like the James J. Hill mansion, while Grand Avenue showcases the city lifestyle with bungalow-style homes, locally owned eateries and boutique shopping. About 12 miles west, Minneapolis – once known as The Flour Milling Capital of the World – features a mix of historic architecture and contemporary skyscrapers, as well as a bevy of restaurants, bars and entertainment venues. The 17-block area known as Eat Street offers more than 50 dining options.

The geographic location and climate in The Land of 10,000 Lakes play an important role in the culture of the area, with residents taking advantage of the changing seasons. Locals embrace the harsh winters and partake in hockey, ice fishing and cross-country skiing. During the spring, summer and fall, Minneapolis and St. Paul come alive with outdoor music festivals, baseball games at Target Field and recreational opportunities on the area's lakes.

Rankings

U.S. News analyzed 125 metro areas in the United States to find the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people's desire to live there.

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota is ranked:

#9 in Best Places to Live

#70 in Best Places to Retire

7.2

Overall

Scorecard

Best Places to Live

  • Desirability
    6.6
  • Value
    7.9
  • Job Market
    7.7
  • Quality of Life
    6.9
  • Net Migration
    6.1

Read how we rank places

Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN Quick Stats

  • 3,488,436

    Metro Population

  • $55,010

    Average Annual Salary

  • 55.2° / 37.2°

    Avg High/Low Temps

  • 36.7

    Median Age

  • $237,367

    Median Home Price

  • 30.6 inches

    AVG Annual Rainfall

  • 3.3%

    Unemployment Rate

  • $963

    Median Monthly Rent

  • 25.2 minutes

    Avg Commute Time

What's the cost of living in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN?

The median home price in the area is higher than the national median. 

Value Index

Index Score: 7.9 /10

How we calculate this.


Minneapolis-St. Paul offers a better value than similarly sized metro areas when you compare housing costs to median household income.

Housing Costs this Year


Minneapolis-St. Paul
$237,367

USA
$222,408

Housing Costs Over Time

Data sourced from Zillow median home sale price data series. Additional data provided by the Austin Board of Realtors, Houston Association of Realtors, Intermountain MLS, Omaha Area Board of Realtors, San Antonio Board of Realtors, and the Salt Lake Board of Realtors.

Buying or selling a home? Find top real estate agents in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN.

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What's the weather like in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN?

Winters in the area can be brutally cold, so the cities created a series of climate-controlled skyways in downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul to allow people to walk around without facing the winter chill. Spring and summer bring more comfortable conditions for outdoor activities.

Seasonal Temperature (Avgs)

18.7°F


Winter

46.5°F


Spring

71.3°F


Summer

48.2°F


Fall

Seasonal Rainfall (Avgs)

1.2 in


Winter

3.4 in


Spring

4.3 in


Summer

3.1 in


Fall

Monthly High and Low Temperatures (°F)

Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center.

What's the best way to get around Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN?

The area's Metro Transit system offers an extensive bus system throughout the downtown areas and suburbs. The growing Metro light rail system connects downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul with the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and the Mall of America in Bloomington. Meanwhile, the Northstar commuter rail provides transportation to the northern suburbs. There's also the Union Depot in St. Paul, with Amtrak and light rail access.

The city centers are walkable and bike-friendly. But, because a large portion of the population lives in suburban areas, many residents drive alone to work, which causes a high amount of rush-hour traffic and congestion throughout the metropolitan area.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport has two terminals and serves as a hub for Delta Air Lines. 

Commuting in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Means of Transportation
Driving
86%
Equal to national average

Bicycling
1%
Equal to national average

Walking
2%
Equal to national average

Public Transit
5%
Equal to national average
Average Commute Time

25.2 minutes

0.9 minutes less than national average

Average Commute Times by Zip Code

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

Who lives in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN?

The Twin Cities has a major focus on family-friendly activities. In St. Paul, about half of residents live in family households, which is slightly higher than in Minneapolis.
Neighborhoods such as Minneapolis' Uptown, South Minneapolis and St. Paul's Highland Park offer a range of homes that attract families and young professionals wanting to be close to the area's parks, restaurants and activities. The Dinkytown area is home to the University of Minnesota, and St. Paul's Lowertown offers a thriving arts district.
The Twin Cities is experiencing a growth in its international populations, with residents moving there from countries like Mexico, India, Laos and Somalia. Plus, the area offers a range of worship options, including a great number of churches, synagogues and mosques.

Neighborhoods such as Minneapolis' Uptown, South Minneapolis and St. Paul's Highland Park offer a range of homes that attract families and young professionals wanting to be close to the area's parks, restaurants and activities. The Dinkytown area is home to the University of Minnesota, and St. Paul's Lowertown offers a thriving arts district.

The Twin Cities is experiencing a growth in its international populations, with residents moving there from countries like Mexico, India, Laos and Somalia. Plus, the area offers a range of worship options, including a great number of churches, synagogues and mosques.

Age Distribution

Marital Status Breakdown


About the same number of single people in Minneapolis-St. Paul as national average

Data sourced from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey.

What is there to do in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN?

People living in Minneapolis-St. Paul have access to a wealth of cultural, culinary and recreational opportunities – all of which vary by season. Snowy winter weather creates opportunities for cross-country skiing along Minneapolis' Chain of Lakes and Wirth Winter Recreation Area Trails.

The area offers a thriving arts scene. St. Paul has a number of highly regarded performance venues like the Ordway and the Fitzgerald Theater, as well as the Lowertown artists' quarter. In Minneapolis, there's the Minneapolis Institute of Art with an extensive international art collection, as well as the contemporary Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. Plus, Minneapolis has a host of performance venues including Orchestra Hall; the Orpheum Theater, which hosts touring Broadway shows; and the Guthrie Theater with independent productions.

The Twin Cities is also home to professional baseball, hockey, football, basketball and soccer teams.

Find out more about what there is to see and do in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN