St. Louis Park is a great place to find a balance between the bustling energy of the city and the quiet, down-to-earth feel of a smaller town.
This community of about 49,000 takes up about 11 square miles directly to the west of Minneapolis. It is part of the inner ring of suburbs around the Twin Cities metro area, providing easy access to the central business district, entertainment, and many great restaurants.
A 15-minute drive to the east gets you to the heart of the downtown. Or take I-394 to the west for the same amount of time and you’ll arrive at Lake Minnetonka, one of the ten largest lakes in the state. But you don’t have to go even that far to find a spot by the water—Westwood Lake and Meadowbrook Lake are right in St. Louis Park, and popular Bde Maka Ska (formerly known as Lake Calhoun) is just past the eastern edge.
Both urban and suburban, neither too posh nor too modest, St. Louis Park may just be your Goldilocks town in Minnesota!
Here’re 7 Key Factors You Should Consider Living in St. Louis Park, MN
Table of Contents:
1. St. Louis Park Lifestyle
A good percentage of baby boomers and young professionals in particular find themselves comfortable in St. Louis Park. Not only is the commute to the city center convenient (especially when the traffic cooperates), but the international Minneapolis-St. Paul airport is only 20 minutes away, so traveling for business or leisure is easy to do.
While St. Louis Park has lots of convenient retail stores for homeowners, including Costco and Trader Joe’s, and plenty of tasty restaurants to fit any preference or diet, it also has its share of families. Households with young children make up a smaller proportion of the population compared to other suburbs, which may appeal to those who stay up past 9 p.m.
True to its name, St. Louis Park offers a number of green spaces for its residents, and outdoor activities include trail hiking and skating. The town also shares the state of Minnesota’s love of sports. Locals cheer for the Minnesota Vikings NFL team, the Twins MLB team, and the Wild in the NHL. As to college sports, the Minnesota Golden Gophers reign supreme.
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2. St. Louis Park Cost of Living
The cost of living in St. Louis Park is comparable to that of Minneapolis in general, though housing tends to be more affordable here, just outside the city lines. Still part of Hennepin County, here an adult without children can live on wages as low as $12.37 per hour. Two adults living with two children would need a total before-tax income of around $71,000 to live comfortably here, according to MIT’s Living Wage Calculator.
Compared to other suburbs, St. Louis Park comes in pretty moderate in home prices and shares with its neighbors the benefits of life in the Midwest versus the much pricier coasts.
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3. Housing in St. Louis Park
The area’s higher-than-average income per household comes with higher-than-average home prices, though the location gets you much more for your money than it would downtown.
The Census Bureau lists the median price for an owner-occupied home in St. Louis Park around $255,200. That price tag might buy you a three-bedroom, 1700-square-foot house built in the 1950s. There are a lot of homes like that here; a construction boom in the late 1940s and 1950s produced many of the homes that exist within the city today. Needless to say, more modest homes can be found throughout the city particularly in the central areas. Newer, more opulent homes are concentrated closer to the lakes and in the southern part of the city.
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4. Safety & Health Care
Despite a population density that is higher than the country as a whole, residents of St. Louis Park appreciate the fact that crimes are very minimal here.
In addition, St. Louis Park is a good place to get health care. Park Nicollet Clinic and Specialty Center and Park Nicollet Methodist Hospital, part of HealthPartners, are the largest care centers in the area. The hospital has been recognized as one of Watson Health’s 2019 100 Top Hospitals, and the clinic is the second largest in Minnesota.
The hospital and clinic together offer over 50 specialties. The area boasts 339 physicians per 100,000 residents, well above the national average of 210, and health costs are lower than average in the U.S. Only 3.4% of the population is without health insurance.
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5. Employment in St. Louis Park
Major employers in St. Louis Park include Park Nicollet Health Services, Northland Aluminum Products (makers of NordicWare), Travelers Express/MoneyGram, AAA, and local schools as well as city government. Jobs have been plentiful in St. Louis Park in recent years; the unemployment rate is only 2.5% (lower than the county, state, and country).
And if you’re looking to start a business, St. Louis Park may be a great place for you. The city’s small business liaison and free Open to Business program provide helpful resources to those who seek them.
As a suburb just outside of the metropolitan area, St. Louis Park also offers easy access to all of the major employers in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area, which is home to Target, Hennepin Healthcare, Wells Fargo, Ameriprise, U.S. Bank, and Xcel Energy, among others.
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6. Education in St. Louis Park
The St. Louis Park area attracts an educated population; over 96% of residents are high school graduates and well over half hold at least a bachelor’s degree.
The community is very supportive of its public schools. Recently, 81% of voters supported a referendum to provide funding. No wonder the local public school system offers great opportunities, like dual language immersion starting in some elementary schools. The district boasts a 92% four-year graduation rate, and 79% of graduates pursue higher education.
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7. St. Louis Park Climate
The summers in St. Louis Park can be beautiful, if a bit muggy. Average high temperatures peak from June through August in the 80s—86 degrees in July—but highs can easily climb into the 90s. September has the most precipitation, averaging over 12 inches.
In the winter, average temperatures drop substantially—lows of the day in January average only 7 degrees—and weather forecasts in the winter often feature negative numbers. Snowfall varies widely year to year (averaging 45.3 inches), and Twin Cities area natives are used to at least a couple of major blizzards per year. They’ll tell you that the winter weather “keeps out the riff-raff.”
If you want to experience each season fully, St. Louis Park is in the right part of the country. Once you’ve been here a few years you’ll be able to handle anything the skies can throw at you!
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To sum up: St. Louis Park is a great place to find the benefits of living in the Twin Cities with the convenience of a suburban lifestyle. Whether you’re a retiree, young professional, starting a family, or anything in between, St. Louis Park offers plenty of green space, upscale shopping, and easy commutes to practically anywhere. You may find just what you need in this westside suburb.