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Cost of Living in Minneapolis, MN 2021

November 15, 2021

There's no denying that Minneapolis is a city with tons to offer. As home to major sports teams, an incredible art scene, and the best park system in the US, the City of Lakes is a great place to call home.

But is moving to Minneapolis right for you? Most importantly, can you afford to live in Minneapolis?

If you're not sure whether you’re financially prepared to live in Minneapolis, don't worry! This guide will break down everything you need to know about the cost of living in Minneapolis. Let's dive in!

Minneapolis Housing Costs

As a premier city, Minneapolis housing costs are on the more expensive side, ranking between Denver and Chicago. That said, rent prices aren't exorbitant. However, they’re well above the national average.

The current median rate for a one-bedroom apartment in Minneapolis sits at $1,114, while the median cost for a two-bedroom unit is $1,457.

As a result of the pandemic, Minneapolis's rent costs have seen a significant decline starting in March and have been getting lower every month since then.

Rent prices have declined by 0.7% in the last month alone. They’re up by 1.9% from the same time last year. Home prices have faced similar drops.

With some light at the end of the Coronavirus tunnel, these low rent prices are not likely to last. If you’re financially stable, making the move now might be your best bet to get a great deal throughout your next lease period.

Keep an eye out for rent specials in Minneapolis, which are becoming increasingly common.

Learn more about average rent prices in Minneapolis.

Minneapolis Food Costs

According to data pulled from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) cost of living data tool, the monthly food costs for a single individual under the age of 51 is $365. For two individuals, that cost rises to $833.

However, the methodology for this data excludes going out for drinks and eating out at restaurants, two activities that many Minneapolis residents enjoy. So, it's important to have an item line for them in your budget.

Data from Numbeo shows that a meal at an inexpensive restaurant for one would come to just under $18. However, if you want to enjoy a meal with someone else at a mid-range restaurant, expect to pay $66.94 plus tip for a three-course meal.

Minneapolis Healthcare Costs

Following the trend across the US, health care costs for individuals and families are rising. A recent report suggests that these trends are predicted to continue. That’ll increase the need for affordable public coverage.

Data suggests that the out-of-pocket healthcare premium cost for individuals under the age of 51 is $146 monthly. For those over the age of 51, that cost rises to $192.

Low-income individuals and families can look to Minnesota Health Care Programs for affordable health insurance options. This program offers free or low-cost care in which individuals may pay a small portion of expenses or a copay.

For example, the MinnesotaCare program requires individuals over the age of 21 to pay a $75 copay for ER visits and a $25 copay for eyeglasses.

Of course, your monthly health insurance premium cost will depend on your circumstances, including whether you receive employer-sponsored health insurance or are insuring your family. Be sure to research your options to ensure that you find an effective health insurance policy that meets your budget.

Minneapolis Transportation

Minneapolis has a robust public transportation system. It’s centrally located in the downtown area and spans the city’s borders.

A light rail system and other typical modes of transportation such as buses and taxis make up the public transportation options offered through Minneapolis Metro Transit. Bus fare will cost $2.00 to $3.25 depending on the time of day.

However, Minneapolis has gone above and beyond by offering residents a plethora of transportation options. Of course, popular ride-sharing options like Uber and Lyft are available. Zipcar users can simply rent a nearby car for the day.

For those who prefer using their own steam to get around, the Nice Ride bike-sharing system with e-bikes and scooters offers options to get around at the low price of $2 for a single ride. Designated bike lanes run throughout the city, which is known for its walk- and ride-ability.

If you're getting around in your own vehicle, expect to pay parking fees when you arrive downtown.

Minneapolis Utilities

Utility costs for a Minneapolis apartment unit can vary greatly. However, Numbeo puts basic utilities for a 915 sq. ft. apartment at $153.43 monthly. That includes water, cooling, heating, garbage, and electricity.

Minnesota is known for its very cold winters. If you're determined to cut costs, investing in a heating blanket, layering up, and drinking lots of tea are options.

However, for most individuals, this just means accounting for higher costs during the colder months. Be sure to ask about energy efficiency before signing a lease agreement to avoid huge bills in the winter.

Estimating utility costs can be challenging, as these costs can depend on a few factors. Those factors include individual preferences, whether the unit has been upgraded to be energy-efficient, and yearly climate. In short, there are a host of factors that you should consider before trying to come up with a number.

If possible, consider asking a current tenant of an apartment complex you're considering what they pay in utilities throughout the year. That'll give you a good idea of how much you'll be paying monthly.

Fitness and Entertainment

Enjoying all the things that Minneapolis has to offer means exploring fitness and entertainment options in the Twin Cities. It's important to know how these costs will affect your wallet in the long run.

Here's a breakdown of Minneapolis fitness and entertainment costs to consider.


The average cost of a single gym adult membership in Minneapolis is just under $67. For a fully equipped gym, a pool, and other amenities, the YMCA offers an adult membership for $30 and a $50 enrollment fee.

That said, it’d be a mistake to underutilize the comprehensive parks system that spans the city. Whether you’re looking to take an outdoor run braving the snow in the cold months or want to take a leisurely bike ride by the water, there is something for everyone. Better yet, it's completely free.

As a start, check out the Grand Rounds National Scenic Byway. With 51 miles of trails for walking and biking, it presents the perfect challenge for all fitness levels.


For any sports fans, Minneapolis is a dream city. With major basketball, baseball, and football teams, fans have their pick of the lot. Ticket prices vary greatly between these sports. Here's a quick breakdown of the average ticket prices for each team:

  • Minnesota Lynx: $65
  • Minnesota Timberwolves: $104
  • Minnesota Twins: $73
  • Minnesota Vikings: $137

Some Minneapolis teams have been consistent performers over the past couple of years, while others on the rise. There's a lot to look forward to in Minneapolis sports in the next few years.


A shoppers paradise? A family entertainment station? A place to get a good bite to eat? The Mall of America is all of this and more.

As the largest mall in the country and among the biggest in the world, there’s no shortage of activities to do at the mall. These activities include visiting the Nickelodeon Universe, spending a day at the aquarium, or catching a new flick at the movie theater.

However, shoppers are going to get the most bang for their buck when they visit the mall. Housing over 520 stores, the mall is the place to find anything from the newest tech to gorgeous stationery. Whatever’s on your wishlist, you'll certainly find it there.

Other Expenses to Consider in Minneapolis

When it comes to making the move to a new city, it pays (quite literally) to know exactly what you should expect to pay in the so-called "hidden costs" of Minneapolis.

Though these costs aren't a secret, people commonly miss them when budgeting. They can leave people scrambling to cover the unexpected costs.

Here are some other expenses to consider in Minneapolis.

  • Taxes: Taxes can be hard to calculate. But DEED estimates that a single individual will pay up to $399 in taxes monthly.
  • Childcare: Raising a family can be tough on your bank account. This is largely due to childcare costs, which in Minneapolis can be as much as $1,557 per month for full-day private daycare.
  • Internet and Phone Service: Both are now considered basic living necessities. On average, the cost of internet service alone is around $60. However, that’ll increase when you get better service.

What Salary Do I Need to Live in Minneapolis?

The yearly total expenses for a single individual in Minneapolis are around $34,827, which comes out to a wage of around $16 per hour.

As per the methodology by which this data was gathered, this amount represents "a living that meets basic needs for health and safety." You don't need to use this metric alone to determine whether you’ll be financially stable in Minneapolis.

The established rule of thumb is to follow the 30% rule. This rule states that an individual shouldn’t pay more than 30% of their pre-tax income toward housing costs.

The median rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Minneapolis is $1,114. This means that an individual should make at least $3,342 monthly or $40,104 annually to live comfortably in Minneapolis.

Keep in mind, this is simply a rule of thumb. If you're looking to cut costs, a studio apartment or a roommate can help you save big on an awesome apartment. Just make sure you put in the work to find a great roommate.

Final Thoughts

Minneapolis is a genuinely great city with so much to love. From the park system to the entertainment opportunities, there's truly something for everyone. That's why the city is home to such a diverse group of residents.

If you want to join that group, you'll have to do your due diligence. That means ensuring that you can afford to live in the city comfortably. In short, you'll need to ensure that your budget is airtight.

Ready to find your next home in Minneapolis? Start your apartment search using our quiz!

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Davina Ward is a contributing author at Apartment List and freelance writer specializing in real estate and digital marketing. She received her B. Read More
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