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Minnesota is a great place to live. We know that. We're consistently ranking at or near the top of lists -- good lists, the kinds of lists that make us stand out and look better than other states. For instance, Minnesota was recently named 2021's Best State for Women. Minnesota was also recently named the 6th Safest State to live in during COVID-19. In 2020 Minnesota cracked the Top 10 of Most Patriotic States in the country. Last year, ours was named the Least-Stressed State in America. When Minnesota wins, we all win. Which is why a new study by Niche is so baffling and, frankly, offensive. Apparently they didn't get the memo that Minnesota is more than just Minneapolis and St. Paul.

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A new 2021 study by Niche -- the "market leader in connecting colleges and schools with students and families" -- has ranked the 20 best neighborhoods and towns in Minnesota to live in, and every one of them is in or around the Twin Cities. Looking at a variety of factors including Cost of Living, Higher Education Rate, Housing, Public Schools, Diversity, Crime & Safety, Health & Fitness, Jobs and more, Niche ranked what it determined to be the 20 Best Places to Live in Minnesota. Noticeably, the list lacks one of its own factors -- diversity. Here are the Top 20 Best Places to Live in MN according to Niche:

  1. Macalester-Groveland — Neighborhood in Saint Paul
  2. St. Anthony Park — Neighborhood in Saint Paul
  3. Eden Prairie — Town
  4. Falcon Heights — Suburb of Minneapolis
  5. Summit Hill — Neighborhood in Saint Paul
  6. Lauderdale — Suburb of Minneapolis
  7. Edina — Suburb of Minneapolis
  8. Union Park — Neighborhood in Saint Paul
  9. Como — Neighborhood in Saint Paul
  10. Highland — Neighborhood in Saint Paul
  11. Linden Hills — Neighborhood in Minneapolis
  12. Shoreview — Suburb of Saint Paul
  13. Hamline-Midway — Neighborhood in Saint Paul
  14. Lowry Hill — Neighborhood in Minneapolis
  15. Fulton — Neighborhood in Minneapolis
  16. Shorewood — Suburb of Minneapolis
  17. Chanhassen — Suburb of Minneapolis
  18. Plymouth — Town
  19. Downtown St. Paul
  20. Mendota Heights — Suburb of Saint Paul

Now, we're not here to say that St. Cloud or any Central Minnesota town in particular deserve a spot on Niche's list, but the absence of cities (or neighborhoods within) like Rochester and Duluth is suspicious. Last year, Rochester (No. 5), St. Paul (No. 64) and Duluth (No. 80) all made Liveability's list of Top 100 Best Places to Live in the country. Rochester's Mayo Clinic was just named America's Best Hospital for the sixth year in a row, and St. Cloud's CentraCare hospital made the same list ranking No. 45.

We may not have the figures or data to dispute Niche's study, but we're calling BS anyway...in the most Minnesota Nice way possible.

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