An online real estate brokerage has named Rogers the sixth and St. Michael the eighth “top place to live” in Minnesota.
Movoto Real Estate used the following measurable criteria in selecting the list:
• Unemployment rate
• Cost of living
• Crime rate
• High school graduation rate
• Median household income
• Median home price
• Median rent price
“Minnesota is literally one of the coolest states in the United States, and yet it seems like everyone but those who live there have one misconstrued notion after another about the Gopher State — mostly that the whole place is just freezing,” Natalie Grigson of Movoto said. “Sure, this may be true in the winter (negative 20 degrees in January? Really?), but these freezing temps can only mean one thing: There must be something truly wonderful about this place if residents are willing to stick around throughout the year.”
The top 10 cities (three cities tied) are 1. Chanhassen; 2. Lakeville; 3. Plymouth; 3. Maple Grove; 5. Hugo; 6. Ham Lake; 6. Rogers; 8. St. Michael; 9. Woodbury; and 9. Eden Prairie
“We started out with a list of the 100 most populous places Minnesota, some as small as Waseca, all the way up to the state’s largest city, Minneapolis, with almost 393,000 residents,” Grigson said. “We gave each place, large and small, a rank from one to 100 in each of the criteria above. From there, we averaged the criteria together and gave each an overall score; the lower the number, the better.”
She said each of the 10 cities made it to the top of the list for some commonalities: low unemployment rates, low costs of living, and low crime rates; and high median incomes, home prices, rent prices, and a majority of residents hold high school diplomas.
Here is what they said about Rogers and St. Michael:
“Located in Hennepin County, Rogers made it to the top 10 for its high median income of $92,202, its median home price of $294,100, and its crime rate of just 854 crimes per 100,000 people, making it the safest city on our entire list.
“With benefits like these, it is no wonder Rogers has seen such steady growth over the past 20 years. Just from 2000-2010, the population growth rate was 139.6 percent.
“Where Rogers really shines, though, is in its sense of community and history. Some of the earliest family names in Rogers still serve as key community members. Otto Scharber, for example, was a prominent businessman, owning a grocery store, hardware store, and John Deere dealership, which is still in operation today.”
“With a median household income of $86,427, a median rent price of $1,047, and an unemployment rate of just 4.8 percent, it’s no wonder St. Michael made it into our top 10. This city also has a cost of living of just 106, and while that isn’t as low as, say, Moorhead’s (86), it is only 2 percent higher than the state’s average, making St. Michael the least expensive city in our top 10.
“Located in Wright County between St. Cloud and Minneapolis, this city is ideally placed for many of Minnesota’s northern recreational areas and access to the Twin Cities, but with the added bonus of a rural and small town feel.”
Movoto is an online real estate brokerage based in San Mateo, Calif. Its blog has been recognized for a unique approach to city-based research by major news organizations around the world such as Forbes and CBS News.