Whether living in Minneapolis or St. Paul, the job market is robust, it’s convenient and easy to get from one city to the other, and both cities offer a range of amenities that are beyond compare throughout most of the Upper Midwest. All combined, the Twin Cities are an ideal place to work and live for a great number of people.

Many celebrities have called Minneapolis or St. Paul home. They include Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Prince, acclaimed 20th century novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, actor Josh Hartnett, and recent Olympic gold medalist Sunisa Lee. If you want to join their ranks, perhaps to purify yourself in the waters of Lake Minnetonka, be in a bustling metro area to have access to great jobs, or be nearby the Mall of America, the Twin Cities have something for everyone. However, if you are on a tight budget and are looking to stretch your dollar as far as possible, it’s worth doing a little research to see which option suits your needs best.

While it’s true that St. Paul is the cheaper Twin City to live in (more on this below), by a little bit, it’s worth noting that many of the services available in each city are comparable price-wise, since the distance between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul is separated by just 7 miles. And with such a short drive, it’s not hard to live in one city but work in the other.

Dollar for Dollar, St. Paul is the Cheaper Twin

St. Paul is Minnesota’s state capital. The city is headquarters for Ecolab and Securian Financial, and home to the Minnesota Wild, Loons, Whitecaps, and Saints, the Palace and Fitzgerald theaters, and a range of popular private colleges and universities. Though it’s not as populous as Minneapolis (311,527 for St. Paul versus 429,954 for Minneapolis, according to 2020 census data), the cities take up nearly the same amount of square miles (56 for St. Paul nearly 58.5 for Minneapolis).

To keep the numbers simple, especially knowing some people prefer to live in a suburb just outside the city, data used applies to all of Ramsey County, where St. Paul is located. In 2021, the average worker in Ramsey County made $33.50 an hour and spent more than $69,000 on living expenses which include housing, transportation, food, childcare, and healthcare. Individuals living in Hennepin County, where Minneapolis is located, were paid $34.23 an hour with over $71,000 in annual expenses. Pretty close numbers, right?

Now let’s look at city-specific data. For renters, the median rent in St. Paul as of Dec. 2022 according to Zumper is shy of $1,200 per month, with a studio apartment costing almost $1,140, with one- and two-bedroom prices running about $1,190 and $1,460, respectively. Compared to rent prices a year ago, prices have increased 3%.

A Closer Look at Minneapolis

Hennepin County-based Minneapolis also has plenty to offer. First Avenue & 7th St. Entry. Museums which include the Walker Art Center and the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and the Minnesota Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves, and Lynx professional sports teams, among countless hotels, restaurants, bars, theaters, and other popular spots. It’s also the home of major organizations, which include General Mills, Target and U.S. Bancorp.

If you’d like to rent an apartment in Minneapolis today, you can expect to pay an average of nearly $1,300 per month, according to Zumper. A studio apartment is over $1,000 a month, while the median price for one- and two-bedroom apartments is nearly $1,300 and $1,800, respectively. Like St. Paul, Minneapolis rent prices have gone up 3% over the last calendar year.

Make Your Budget Go Further With REE

As you can see, St. Paul is a little cheaper to live in than Minneapolis, but not by a whole lot, and that’s how it has been for many years now. Whether you want to live in St. Paul or Minneapolis, REE can help. Contact our team for help finding a place in either city that fits your finances and life goals. With affordable options, we have a range of properties now renting that have the amenities you need and want.

We are based in St. Paul, so we have a lot of familiarity and experience working with individuals and families in the area. From what to eat at a local St. Paul Saints Triple-A baseball game to which times of day you’ll want to avoid driving on I-94 to get between the cities, we’re happy to connect and share our insights.