It's a good time to be living in Minnesota. An incredible 6 Minnesota cities have been named to the 2018 USA Today's 50 Best Cities To Live In America List! Two of those cities are right here in Southern Minnesota. So which cities made the list? Albert Lea, New Ulm, Sartell, Thief River Falls, Hutchinson, and Elk River. So what makes these cities so great to live in? 

The USA Today listed these reasons for these Minnesota cities when they appeared in this years Top-50:

#44. Albert Lea, MN - "A number of Minnesota cities rank among the best cities to live, and of these, Albert Lea is by far the most affordable. Nationwide, the typical home is worth 3.3 times the national median household income. In Albert Lea, the typical home has a value of $95,200, just 2.3 times the city's median household income of $41,128. Overall, goods and services are 19 percent less expensive in Albert Lea than they are nationwide on average." Safety was also a reason for Albert Lea's appearance in the top-50.

#42. Hutchinson, MN - "It is a relatively safe city. As its violent crime rate of 159 incidents per 100,000 residents is less than half the U.S. violent crime rate." It's location near area lakes and hiking trails also helped it to make the top-50 along with a lower ratio between household income and home values.

#31. Thief River Falls, MN - "Like other high ranking cities in the state, the city is affordable. Median monthly housing costs total just $613, and only $580 for renters. For comparison, monthly housing costs nationwide are $1,012, and $949 for renters." The USA Today also stated that unlike its name the city is also a safe one.

#30. Elk River, MN - "The poverty rate is just 7.0 percent, less than half of nationwide poverty rate of 15.1 percent. Elk River residents tend to earn high incomes, as most households in the area earn over $83,500 a year. Areas where residents earn higher incomes tend to report lower crime rates and Elk River is no exception."

#13 Sartell, MN - Sartell "ranks as one of the best cities to live in largely because its residents tend to be relatively financially secure. Just 4.0 percent of residents live below the poverty line, less than a third of the U.S. poverty rate. The typical household in Sartell earns over $16,000 more than the typical American household." The town is located on the Mississippi River and it's recreational activities for area residents put it on the cusp of a top-10 city.

#10. New Ulm, MN - "The town's poverty rate of 8.5 percent is well below the national poverty rate of 15.1 percent. Also, the town's five-year average unemployment rate of 2.6 percent is 4.8 percentage points below the comparable nationwide rate." Also cited by the USA Today is the fact that New Ulm's average household income it higher than most other cities.

Coming in at number one was West University Place, TX with an average home price of $917,800 and an average household income of a staggering $220,868!

Curious as for why your city might not have been listed? You can dig into the methodology of the study here. 

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