Minnesota Cities Named Among “Top 100 Best Places To Live”
It seems the good life is still alive in Minnesota, with two cities named to Livability.com’s 2015 “Top 100 Best Places to Live.”
The recently published list, which ranks small- to mid-size cities throughout the United States, put Rochester in second place. The metro area got some love too: St. Louis Park came in at 27th.
Livability examined more than 2,000 cities throughout the country with a focus on those with populations between 20,000 and 350,000 residents. Cities were judged on eight categories: amenities, which included climate; diversity in categories such as race, education level, socio-economic status; the economy and employment; educational achievement; access to healthcare; affordable and diverse housing stock; social and civic capital; and transportation, which includes commute times, alternative transportation and access to airports.
The Mayo Clinic’s prestige and the state’s investment in the $6 billion “destination medical center” that will shape Rochester over the next several decades helped the city climb to the top of Livability’s list. St. Louis Park made the list thanks to its large number of businesses and for its school district having earned a Blue Ribbon of Excellence by the U.S. Department of Education for all of its schools.
Rochester rose in the rankings this year after being ranked seventh in the 2014 list. St. Louis Park is a newcomer, while St. Paul was ranked 67th last year but failed to make this year’s list.
The Twin Cities and Minnesota frequently make such lists and are recognized for the relatively low cost of living, cultural amenities and a good job market. Meet Minneapolis and Greater MSP, a metro-wide booster, have used the Twin Cities’ affordability as a promotional tool.
Madison, Wisconsin took home the top spot in the 2015 Livability.com rankings. Its combination of being “both a capitol city and a hip college town” elevated it to the top.