A website called "Livability" recently named the 100 best places to live across the United States, and four Minnesota cities made the list.

Unlike some of these "reports" that seem to identify major cities or nearby suburbs, Duluth was actually one of two non-Twin Cities area cities among the four that make the list of top 100 in the country.

Livability claims to be a site to find the best places across the country to live, work, and play, using data they collected from their editors and researchers to name the best places to live based on factors like the local economy, education options in the area, transportation, housing and cost of living, and amenities for residents.

In all, they say they use "nearly 100 data points" to come up with a livability score for each city, which is how they generate their list each year.

Interestingly enough, their 2024 list isn't a whole lot different than last year's list, though there is one notable addition that wasn't on the 2023 top 100 cities list.

Minnesota cities named among the '100 best places to live'

Photo by Matt Barton on Unsplash
Photo by Matt Barton on Unsplash

St. Paul, Minnesota - Overall score: 722 out of 1,000

Minnesota's capital city is the lowest-scoring of the four cities on the list, but still comes in the middle of the pack around the country for cities on this list. It returns again this year, also on the 2023 list.

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Livability highlights the key things that St. Paul scores well on being the local economy (72/100), health (74/100), and amenities (79/100).

The site calls the city a "hip, diverse city with a friendly, Midwestern vibe that is welcoming to families, young professionals, and retirees alike".

Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth
Nick Cooper - TSM Duluth

Duluth, Minnesota - Overall score: 736 out of 1,000

That one notable addition I was referring to is Duluth, which was not on last year's list.

The website admits that while Duluth sees harsher winters than many other cities on their list, locals find ways to come with and even embrace the snow and cold. They say "Everyone in Minnesota already knows Duluth is great, so when the rest of the country notices, we’re simultaneously proud and nervous that too many people will discover this hidden gem."

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Of the key criteria Livability scores cities on, the places Duluth scored the best were in the categories of health (62/100), education (70/100), and housing & cost of living (77/100).

While locals might chuckle about the housing and cost of living score, as these are notable points of conversation among many locals, on a national scale the numbers Duluth offers must be pretty decent to earn the score the city got.

Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash
Photo by Solen Feyissa on Unsplash

Rochester, Minnesota - Overall score: 775 out of 1,000

Rochester was another of three cities that were also on the 2023 list from Livability, getting the second-highest score in the state this year.

Livability highlights "Medicine and education are the hallmarks of Rochester", pointing to the Mayo Clinic, University of Rochester, and the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine. The top-scoring categories for Rochester include education (73/100), health (74/100), and housing & cost of living (77/100).

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Bloomington, Minnesota - Overall score: 803 out of 1,000

Locals that are over the Mall of America might roll their eyes, but that's one of the top selling points Livability highlights when talking about the highest-scoring Minnesota city on their list - though it isn't the biggest thing that helped the city get the score and helping the city return to the list again this year after appearing in 2023.

The website also highlights the close proximity to Minneapolis, public parks, and the number of companies that call the city home.

The top categories for Bloomington are health (83/100), local economy (77/100), and education (76/100).

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