WHAT?! These Places Actually Ranked Better than MN in Best Places to Live?
Apparently 2021 is the year Minnesota gets snubbed of everything.
The past year's been a rough year for Minnesota's reputation. While in the past we've seen our name at or near the top of various "Best Of" lists, this year we've been left licking our wounds with snub after snub. Last month only two Minnesota cities (Duluth and Eden Prairie) made WalletHub's list of best beach towns across the country (Eden Prairie? Really?). In Travel & Leisure's list of 15 Best Lake Towns in the U.S. Minnesota showed up a total of zero times. Ely, MN saved us our third strike out by making Smithsonian Magazine's list of 15 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2021, but even that celebration has been short-lived as we find ourselves snubbed yet again.
U.S. News just revealed its list of 150 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2021. Not only did Minnesota receive just one mention on the whole list, but we ranked worse than some of our geographic neighbors we would have expected to rank below us! By U.S. News' estimation, Minneapolis/St. Paul together ranked 27th overall and above average in categories like Value (7.6 out of 10), Job Market (7.8) and Quality of Life (6.8); the Twin Cities only earned a 5.7 in Desirability, however, and ranked 125th in Best Places to Retire.
In contrast, several cities in Wisconsin, Iowa and Nebraska -- states we generally deem beneath us (both literally and figuratively) -- ranked higher. Des Moines ranked 13th overall; Madison, WI ranked 16th followed by Green Bay at 21st; Omaha, NE ranked 25th. In my humble opinion, Minnesota and St. Paul are both better places to live than any of those cities. I grew up visiting relatives in Madison and grew to appreciate the city; but as far as opportunities and attractions, I'd pick the Twin Cities any day. I've been to Des Moines and wasn't a fan -- the city grid was a maze and frustrating to navigate. I've not been to Green Bay or Omaha but really have no desire or need to. Obviously, I'm speaking personally and not objectively. But I'm surprised that "boring" Midwest cities ranked higher than Minneapolis and St. Paul.
The Top 10 Best Places to Live according to U.S. News are:
1. Boulder, CO
2. Raleigh & Durhan, NC
3. Huntsville, AL
4. Fayetteville, AR
5. Austin, TX
6. Colorado Springs, CO
7. Naples, FL
8. Portland, ME
9. Sarasota, FL
10. Portland, OR
Check out the full list of 150 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2021 here.
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