Rochester was named the most affordable city in Minnesota back in 2016. Minnesota's Med-City also took the top spot on Livability’s 100 Best Places to Live that year.

Rochester is still a great city to live in, but the price to live there has shot through the roof. Livability says the median home price in 2016 was $163,400. Current prices are more than double that. says median listing prices were $339.9K in January of 2023. See which town has the lowest cost of living for 2023 below.

US News says Minnesota ranks 28th in the country when it comes to cost of living and 17th in the United States in terms of housing affordability. So where can you go to get the most bang for your buck?

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The team at Area Vibes used Livability’s scoring to rank cities all around North America to help people find the best places to live. Below you'll see the 5 most affordable cities in Minnesota.

The 5 Most Affordable Places To Live in Minnesota


#5) Thief River Falls 

If you love the outdoors you'll love this small town in NW Minnesota. There are over 500 miles of snowmobiling trails in the area and canoeing, tubing, and fishing on the rivers in the summer.

The cost of living in Thief River Falls is much lower than the statewide average.

#4) Worthington

Worthington prides itself on being a "clean, friendly community." The small town is located in the southwest corner of the state and is the 4th most affordable place to live in the state.

Housing, groceries, and utilities are all cheaper than the statewide average in Worthington.

#3) Crookston

North of Fargo but south of Thief River Falls, Crookston is a town of roughly 8,000 people. The University of Minnesota-Crookston says the area's economy is based primarily on agriculture.
Housing costs are extremely low in Crookston compared to the statewide average.

#2) Albert Lea


Albert Lea, located in southeast Minnesota has a really nice lake that provides enjoyment for outdoor enthusiasts year-round.  Boating, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, golfing, and camping are popular activities in the Albert Lea area.

And you'll have more money to invest in those hobbies in Albert Lea because the cost of living is lower than the statewide average.  Groceries, goods and services, and housing are all cheaper in Albert Lea.

 And, The Most Affordable Place In Minnesota Is Up North... Way Up North!


#1 International Falls

The nationwide cost-of-housing score is set at 100 anything over is above average and anything under is below. The housing score in International Falls is 50!

This town, located on the Canadian border, is known as the "Ice Box of the Nation" according Britannica because "its winter temperatures are frequently the lowest in the contiguous 48 states."

Locals celebrate the cold with an annual outdoor event known as "Ice Box Days."

Take a Peek Into the Minnesota Version of Barbie's Dream House

If Barbie were to own a home in Minnesota, what would it look like? I think I've found the Minnesota version of Barbie's Dream House and it's for sale in Wayzata.

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