St. Joseph, MN: Best Minnesota City for an Affordable Lifestyle
Author: The HOMEiA Team & Gloria Russell
Leading in 7 Factors for Best MN Cities for an Affordable Lifestyle
This central Minnesota town of 7,000 has an alluring natural setting and opportunities for education and employment. Its proximity to two metro areas offers even more possibilities for jobs, entertainment and recreation. Within a 90-minute drive to the international MSP airport, residents can travel with ease. Overall, it’s a safe, affordable option for those who want a healthy lifestyle, beautiful surroundings and sociable neighbors.
Table of Contents:
St. Joseph is conveniently located off I-94 just 70 miles northwest of the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro and only 15 minutes from the thriving St. Cloud metro. This is country at its best with picturesque prairies, forests and lakes—with only a short drive to two of Minnesota’s busiest metro areas and airports. Residents enjoy the outdoors and a large parks and trail system. You’ll find the trailhead for the 65-mile Lake Wobegon Regional Trail near the water tower and discover gorgeous landscapes and historic sites.
The city itself, affectionately called Joetown, has a young, well-educated population, and the unemployment rate is low. Unlike many cities where the gender ratio is roughly 50/50 for men/women, here you’ll find substantially more female residents.
With a rapidly growing population, the city is business friendly with financial and technical assistance programs for its business community. There is a grant program to help business owners with outdated commercial property as well as a variety of loans for small business development.
Major employers are in the service and professional industries, education, construction and retail. A few of the larger employers are Mosaic Life Care, Triumph Foods, the National Guard and the school district. The small city of roughly 7,000 people offers employment, accentuated by the St. Cloud metro, with possibilities in a wide variety of professions typical of a midwestern metro area. With the quick commute to this neighboring city and the surrounding towns, even more opportunities for gainful employment are readily available.
Whether you prefer owning a home or renting a house or apartment, you’ll find numerous choices in St. Joseph. About three-fourths of the population own their home and one-fourth have decided to rent, with average rent ranking lower than in most areas.
There are many styles and price ranges for both, making the city affordable and attractive to newcomers. You can choose from a residence in town or on a countryside lot. Either way, you’ll know that it’s safe and priced for your budget. You can also make the most of your dollar by shopping at thrift shops and consignment stores in St. Cloud neighborhoods.
This quiet town is perfect for students and educators because of its excellent public-school system and proximity to the nationally acclaimed liberal arts colleges at St. John’s University and the downtown College of St. Benedict (St. Ben’s). Known for their fine arts, theatre, arts, dance and music programs, these colleges draw students from near and far.
The area also allows quick access to neighboring St. Cloud, MN (pop. 100,000). With a 100-acre campus and 14,000 students, St. Cloud State University is one of the largest universities in the Minnesota public system. SCSU offers a wide range of undergraduate and graduate programs in a gorgeous setting along the Mississippi River.
6. Safety and Healthcare:
Safety is a plus in St. Joseph with much lower than average statewide crime rates and hospitable surroundings. People are welcoming, friendly and ready to give each other a hand. With the St. Cloud Hospital and a veterans’ hospital only minutes away, exceptional medical care is no problem.
As the largest hospital in the area, St. Cloud Hospital ranks high on national charts as a medical/surgical facility with four adult specialties and nine procedures. The St. Cloud VA Health Care System provides excellent care with a wide range of services and specialties for veterans and access to or views of the Veterans Public Golf Course.
Along with its 78 acres of parkland, the city provides and promotes a natural setting for outdoor activities and healthy lifestyle. You’ll find opportunities for walking, biking and hiking, and you’re sure to enjoy the natural beauty of the 265-acre Kraemer Lake-Wildwood County Park which includes trees that are over 300 years old.
Summers are warm and beautiful, and the fall season is crisp and colorful. Winters are undoubtedly cold and snowy but bring a beauty all their own. They fade away to welcome a spring renewal where blossoms and greenery abound.
To sum up:
This historic city preserves a natural environment conducive to respectful living and social engagement. With its lower cost of living and high educational standards, the city continues to grow while retaining its sense of community. It’s a safe place to live and has a variety of housing available for both homeowners and renters. You’ll find St. Joseph, Minnesota a marvelous place for families, students and retirees.