Time to split the Twin Cities up! For years, people have talked about Minneapolis and St. Paul in tandem, mainly because they’re across the Mississippi River from each other. Minneapolis is the largest city in Minnesota, while St. Paul is the state capital. They share many things in common, so it makes sense to discuss them together. However, when you’re moving, you need to examine Minneapolis vs St Paul. They are distinct cities, each with their pluses and minuses.
How do you choose between St Paul vs Minneapolis? The key is to learn about the benefits of living in St Paul Minnesota, and the positives of living in Minneapolis, then contrast the cities together in several different categories. Here’s what you should know about the strengths and weaknesses of Minneapolis and St Paul.
Before you compare Minneapolis and St Paul together, you should learn a little about living in both cities. Here are the benefits and disadvantages of living in Minneapolis and living in St Paul Minnesota.
Minneapolis is one of the best cities in the United States for a car-free lifestyle. Bicycling Magazine ranked Minneapolis the fourth-best bike city in America in 2018. The city contains 16 miles of on-street protected bikeways, 98 miles of bike lanes, and 101 miles of off-street bikeways and bicycling trails. The city also contains 1,800 miles of city sidewalks, with over 90% of streets having sidewalks on both sides, so you can walk to work and attractions in Minneapolis easily.
What is Minneapolis like? Minneapolis MN has a thriving arts scene. You can visit a number of top museums and art galleries, including the Minneapolis Institute of Art, one of the largest art museums in America. The city is also home to community theaters, literary centers, dance halls, and other institutions that support local artists. Notable neighborhoods for the arts include Loring Park, the location of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden and the Walker Art Center, and a frequent hub for events and festivals.
Ask a resident about the pros and cons of living in Minneapolis, and the Minneapolis weather will come up. Minneapolis winters can be very harsh. Minneapolis receives an average of 15.4 inches of snow between December and March, with almost 60% of winter days being mostly cloudy or overcast. The average temperature remains below freezing throughout the entire winter, with average lows remaining in the 10s through most of the Minneapolis winter.
The Minneapolis cost of living is higher than the national average. The Minneapolis cost of living index is 102.9, meaning items in the city cost 2.9% more than the national average. The combined Minneapolis sales tax is 9.03%. Minneapolis also charges a 3% sales tax on entertainment and attractions and a 3% tax on food and beverages in downtown Minneapolis restaurants.
Saint Paul has a thriving and diverse economy. Between 2020 and 2021, Saint Paul added almost 3,000 jobs to its economy, including 600 healthcare jobs, 300 public administration jobs, and 700 manufacturing jobs. Saint Paul is home to the Minnesota State Capitol and state government offices, so you have opportunities to find jobs in the public sector. Roughly 58,000 students are living in Saint Paul, so the workforce will continue to develop as time goes on.
Saint Paul is home to three sports venues, including Xcel Energy Center, home to the Minnesota Wild. The Parks and Recreation Department funds and arranges athletic programs for adults and teens, including unique programs for residents with physical and developmental disabilities. St Paul City Conference Athletics organizes tournaments and meets amongst Saint Paul’s middle and high schools, supporting student-athletes during their education.
Saint Paul summers are infamous for having a lot of mosquitoes. The Metropolitan Mosquito Control District monitors mosquitoes in St. Paul and receives an average of 100 complaints from the public every day during the summer. Mosquitoes lay eggs in rivers, pools, and ponds, so it can be very difficult to enjoy outdoor attractions during the summer.
Saint Paul real estate trends old, with many homes being built over 50 years ago. While this gives you options for historic and classic homes, it means that many St Paul homes for sale lack modern and luxurious features like open floor plans. Many homes are small, containing two or three bedrooms and less than 2,000 square feet of space, which can make it hard for large families to live in St. Paul.
The Minneapolis population is 429,985, while the St Paul population is 311,518. The median age of Minneapolis is younger than St. Paul’s median age (33.3 as opposed to 34.1), but St. Paul has higher percentages of young people. 6.7% of the St Paul population is under the age of 5, and 24% are under the age of 18, while 5.8% of the Minneapolis population is under 5, and 19.1% are under 18.
As compared with Minneapolis demographics, St Paul demographics are more diverse overall. 18.4% of the St Paul population is Asian, compared to 5.2% of the Minneapolis population. 18.8% of St. Paul residents are foreign-born, compared to 14.5% of Minneapolis residents.
Many people determine whether to live in Minneapolis or St Paul based on the cost of living. The cost of living in Minneapolis and the cost of living in St Paul MN are very similar to each other. The St Paul cost of living index is 102.6, making living in St Paul slightly less expensive than living in Minneapolis.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, a family of four living in Hennepin County (the Minneapolis county) would need to earn $100,445 a year. A family of four living in Ramsey County (the St. Paul County) would need to earn $93,656 a year.
St Paul real estate is more affordable than Minneapolis real estate. According to Redfin, the median sales price of houses for sale in Minneapolis is $330,000, with a median price per square foot of $210. The median price of St Paul MN homes for sale is $280,000 with a price per square foot of $188. According to RentCafe, the average cost of Minneapolis apartments is $1,665 a month, while the average cost of St. Paul apartments is $1,416 a month.
You should consider crime rates when you’re weighing the pros and cons of living in Minneapolis and St Paul. Here are the crime rates for Minneapolis:
Here are the crime rates for St. Paul:
St. Paul has lower crime rates in comparison with Minneapolis. The St. Paul crime rate is 20.3% lower than the Minneapolis crime rate. While the crime rates in St. Paul can be high, you can find many safe places to live in St. Paul, including neighborhoods like Macalester-Groveland.
Both Minneapolis and St. Paul have many things to do and share a similar culture, with thriving arts and sports scenes. Things to do in Minneapolis are more famous than things to do in St Paul. The Mall of America, the largest mall in the country, is just ten miles from Minneapolis. The mall contains hundreds of stores and unique points of interest, including Nickelodeon Universe, an indoor amusement park.
However, you can find many unique things to do in St Paul Minnesota that you can’t find in other cities. Can Can Wonderland is a kid-friendly indoor entertainment complex with mini golf courses, while the Celtic Junction Arts Center is the top Irish cultural center in the state. Many residents of one city visit the other city frequently to see the other city’s top attractions.
Minneapolis and St. Paul share the same climate type, hot-summer humid continental. Both cities have near-identical weather conditions in every category, with very small differences in temperature and monthly rainfall. St. Paul receives 0.3 inches more rain and 0.5 inches more snow than Minneapolis, so Minneapolis may be better if you prefer dry weather. However, there are no substantial differences between Minneapolis weather and St. Paul weather.
Minneapolis and St. Paul share the same public transportation system, Metro Transit. Metro Transit offers bus, light rail, and commuter rail services with 125 different routes; you can use the Metro Transit route map. Minneapolis traffic and St Paul traffic are similar because the two cities share the same highways, and many residents travel between Minneapolis and St Paul.
The St. Paul economy is growing faster than the Minneapolis economy. Jobs in St Paul grew by 1.89% between 2020 and 2021, while jobs in Minneapolis grew by just 0.13%. Health care and educational services are the two biggest sectors for Minneapolis jobs and St Paul jobs. St. Paul has higher percentages of manufacturing, construction, and transportation jobs than Minneapolis. Minneapolis has higher percentages of professional services, manufacturing, and finance jobs than St. Paul.
Minneapolis and St. Paul share the same sports teams on the professional level. Minneapolis is home to the US Bank Stadium, which is the venue for the Minnesota Vikings. It’s also home to the Target Center, where the Minnesota Timberwolves play. If you prefer football and basketball over other sports, you can live in Minneapolis. If you prefer other sports, or if your child is interested in sports, you should live in St. Paul to take advantage of the youth athletic programs there.
It is 11.9 miles from Minneapolis to St Paul, creating a commute of roughly 15 minutes. Interstate 94 connects the Twin Cities, making travel very easy. Several Metro Transit bus routes run between the two cities, so you can use public transportation for commuting.
Minneapolis and St Paul are grouped together as the Twin Cities for good reason. Both cities are very similar to each other, sharing the same climate and public transportation system and having nearly identical arts and sports scenes.
Minneapolis is slightly better than St. Paul for people interested in attractions, as it contains or is closer to top things to do, including the Mall of America. St. Paul is slightly better than Minneapolis for job seekers because its economy is growing faster and is a little more diverse. St. Paul is also better for families thanks to its lower crime rates, substantial support for youth athletics, and cheaper real estate.
The Minneapolis vs St Paul debate is a tricky one because the two cities are often discussed together. But they are distinct cities that can appeal to different people. People who like the arts and fun attractions should consider living in Minneapolis, while families and young professionals should consider living in St Paul MN.
No matter how you decide living in St Paul vs Minneapolis, you can get a top moving crew to lend a hand. The Move Crew has served over 10,000 customers over the last 10 years, with a 98% customer referral rate. Get a free estimate today by calling (612) 361-6787.
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