These are the 33 best cities to live in Minnesota, study says

Duluth just made the cut at No. 33, according to the study.
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It's time again to toss aside personal opinion and find out the best cities to live in Minnesota, all based on data. 

How'd Chamber of Commerce come up with its list? Its methodology is explained as follows: 

"We ranked a total of 2,509 qualified cities (those with populations above 25,000 and enough data for analysis) by five factors: employment (number of establishments, median earnings); housing (owner-occupied housing with a mortgage, monthly housing costs); quality of life (work commute, poverty levels); education (percentage with a bachelor’s degree or higher); and health (obesity ratios)."

Overall, 33 cities qualified for the study, and the top spot belongs to Eden Prairie, with Rochester, Osseo, Minneapolis and Hopkins rounding out the top five. 

  1. Eden Prairie
  2. Rochester
  3. Osseo
  4. Minneapolis
  5. Hopkins
  6. Chaska
  7. Savage
  8. St. Paul
  9. Lakeville
  10. Stillwater
  11. Moorhead
  12. Rosemount
  13. Winona
  14. Shakopee
  15. Prior Lake
  16. Cottage Grove
  17. Hastings
  18. Austin
  19. Owatonna
  20. Burnsville
  21. Farmington
  22. Bemidji
  23. Brainerd
  24. Northfield
  25. Circle Pines
  26. St. Cloud
  27. Inver Grove Heights
  28. Elk River
  29. Mankato
  30. Andover
  31. Anoka
  32. Faribault
  33. Duluth

The flaws with the study

What's a bit perplexing is that Plymouth, a city of nearly 80,000 residents, didn't make the list in Minnesota.

Go back just over a decade and you'll find that CNN Money ranked Plymouth as the No. 1 place to live in the entire United States.

Other notable omissions are the likes of Chanhassen, Minnetonka and Edina, which are home to high-quality schools and high median incomes, albeit consequentially have a higher cost of housing and living.

There are only 41 cities in Minnesota with populations above 25,000, so quite why Chamber of Commerce narrowed it down to a "Top 33" is unknown.

What's more, you can't claim to identify the "best cities" in a given state while ignoring the many with populations below 25,000, which in Minnesota includes the likes of Bemidji, Alexandria, Marshall and Willmar.

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