5 MN Cities Rank Among 25 “Best Places to Live” in U.S.

Eden Prairie, Woodbury, Eagan, Lakeville, and Maple Grove are among the best small U.S. cities in which to live, according to an annual ranking by CNN’s Money magazine.

Five Twin Cities suburbs are among the 25 best places to live in the country—and Eden Prairie ranks among the top three.

That’s according to a recently released list compiled by CNN’s Money magazine, which ranked smaller cities and did not include major metropolitan areas. Eden Prairie was the highest-ranked Minnesota city on the list, coming in third.

“Not much has changed in Eden Prairie lately, and that’s a good thing,” the magazine wrote. “It still has the heady combination of terrific employment prospects, natural beauty, and a well-educated work force. It’s also kept a healthy budget surplus of 2 percent the past two years.”

Money said that Eden Prairie is already home to many businesses, and the community’s poised for additional expansion.

Carmel, Indiana, and McKinney, Texas, beat out Eden Prairie for the top two spots.

The other Minnesota cities that appeared on this year’s list include Woodbury (11th), Eagan (14th), Lakeville (19th), and Maple Grove (22nd).

“These terrific small cities offer what American families care about most—strong job opportunities, great schools, low crime, quality health care, and plenty to do,” Money said of this year’s selected cities. “And they’re true communities too.”

This marks the third consecutive year that five Minnesota cities have made the list. Money alternates every year between ranking cities with populations of 50,000 to 300,000 and those with fewer than 50,000 residents.

The 2012 and 2010 lists focused on cities with populations of between 50,000 and 300,000. In 2010, Eden Prairie actually topped the list.

Last year, when the publication focused on cities with fewer than 50,000 residents, Chanhassen ranked 10th, while Arden Hills ranked 14th, Lino Lakes ranked 44th, Savage ranked 51st, and Shoreview ranked 52nd.

To view the online version of the 2012 list, which will also appear in the September issue of Money magazine, click here.