Minneapolis or Atlanta: Which is Better to Live In?

Minneapolis and Atlanta are great places to live, but deciding which is better depends on personal preference. Other factors play a role, such as weather, cost of living, and crime. This article dives into each city and provides essential information to help you decide. Is it better to live in Minneapolis or Atlanta?

Both cities have their pros and cons. Minneapolis has an excellent education system, beautiful parks, and a thriving cultural scene, while Atlanta has a lower cost of living, warmer weather, and a strong economy. Deciding where to live depends on your personal preference.

It isn’t easy to identify why Minneapolis is ‘better’ to live in than Atlanta or vice versa. So, we laid the groundwork for you, covering crucial factors apart from the weather and the cost of living. Read on to know what makes Atlanta or Minneapolis the better choice based on your priorities, lifestyle, and interests.

Where Is Better to Live: Minneapolis or Atlanta?

Minneapolis or Atlanta



In the early 1990s, the city was nicknamed Murderapolis, and the crime rate continues to rise as of 2020’s last quarter. Areas near downtown tend to have more crime, while northern Minneapolis is known for drive-by shootings.

Places in the suburbs like Longfellow are said to have minimal crime instances. Compared to the national average, crime in Minneapolis is higher by 184 points.


Metro crime in the city has not increased significantly in recent years, owing to how Atlanta maintains its law enforcement presence. However, the city’s crime index is 222 points above the national average.


What do the neighborhoods look like if you compare Minnesota to Georgia? Let’s look at different parts of Minneapolis and Atlanta.


Linden Hills in the southwest is among the most desirable neighborhoods within the metro. Apart from Minnehaha Creek, It has historical but high-end homes, lakes, and specialty boutiques. Its private and public schools are also top-notch.

Longfellow’s neighborhood has reasonable home prices, and it’s close to bike and walking trails along the river road or to St. Paul, a highland area that’s equally great. Its residents are mainly middle-class, with many culturally diverse restaurants and shops.

Northeast is a working neighborhood with a beer named after the area’s other name Nordeast. There are many warehouse spaces for artists who want to set up shop.

Southeast is home to the University of Minnesota, surrounded by sorority and fraternity houses and multi-unit properties. This part of Minnesota gives an industrial and working-class feel.


At the heart of Atlanta is an old-world neighborhood, with houses from the late 1800s built from old hardwood. There are pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and parks like Piedmont Park, a world-class swimming complex, and a baby pool.

Atkins Park in the northeast, standing proud since 1920, offers a mouth-watering line of Steak and Potatoes. There also are year-round festivals of art, jazz, concerts, and hot-air balloons.

Victorian houses in Virginia Highlands provide excellent fine-dining experiences. Similarly, there are exciting places worth visiting like the Fernbank Forest and Science Center planetariums, the Art Museum, and the Fox Theater.

Traversing the city is an old railroad track from 150 years ago, surrounded by concrete space to jog, walk, or ride a bicycle. The streets have plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants, and pet-friendly places.

Buckhead is a luxurious area, although traffic and costs can spike.

Gwinnett County and John’s Creek are ideal for larger families or those with young kids, but commuting can be challenging.

Smyrna and Vinings are becoming popular with their modern housing.

Cabbagetown in southeast Atlanta has skyscrapers yet offers an urban small-town ambiance.

Quality of Living

Mercer (2022) ranked 221 cities using 39 criteria which included the following:

  • Safety
  • Education
  • Hygiene
  • Healthcare
  • Culture
  • Environment
  • Recreation
  • Political-Economic Stability
  • Public Transport

From this annual survey, Atlanta ranked 64, while Minneapolis ranked 61.

Cost of Living

If you’re living in Atlanta, your cost of living is 12.9% lower than if you’re living in Minneapolis.

Is living in Atlanta worth it? If you prefer living just an hour away from mountains to explore skiing or indulge on a beach on top of a lower cost of living, then yes. The city also has made more progress than other southern cities, so if your average annual salary is around $52k, your cost of living is covered.

However, employers in Minneapolis typically pay their employees 7.2% more. This equates to more leniency in spending on necessities like food, clothing, housing, and even leisure.

So, is it worth living in Minneapolis? Yes, if living amidst beautiful parks, lakes, bicycle trails, and a superior education system are among your priorities.

For a deeper look, here are some factors affecting the cost of living in Atlanta vs Minneapolis.

Cost of living (one person)$1,922$2,091
Cost of living (family)$4,481$5,007
Rent (one person)$1,150$1,242
Rent (family)$1,846$2,170
Utilities (one person)$111$90.2
Utilities (family)$173$141
Source: livingcost.org

Minneapolis vs Atlanta: Pros and Cons

Minneapolis Winter Skyline

Minneapolis Pros


Within the same cost range, you can purchase a home in Minneapolis thrice the size of one in Los Angeles. Renting is also less expensive compared to New York or San Francisco.


The University of Minnesota is famous for its engineering, law, and medical concentrations. Many Minneapolis schools also take pride in high graduation rates and yearly test scores.


Mayo Clinic, a top-notch healthcare facility, is only two hours away from the city.


Minneapolis’ theater scene is competitive, producing high-profile TV shows, movies, and actors. The Minnesota Orchestra is also world-famous under the baton of Osmo Vanska, its conductor, who has won Grammys and Gramaphone awards.


As an outdoor city, many walkable paths surround public lakes in Minneapolis, where you can fish, sail, or swim. There are sports centers, live theaters, art museums, and reputed colleges. However, solitude has a place in areas like the Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Midwest is scenic, with tons of great parks around town. Similarly, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is the largest, most diverse, and most complete horticultural site in the city, with an almost 100-year history.

There also is a selection of farmers’ markets that offer locally grown produce and meat, plus the US Bank Stadium, which hosted the 2019 Super Bowl and NCAA Men’s Final Four. In addition, Minneapolis-St. Paul has one of the few urban light rail systems in the US.


Minneapolis has four major sports leagues – Twins, Timberwolves, Wild, and Vikings. Apart from impressive stadiums with talented players, the city also offers experiences like mountain biking, cycling, and amateur racing.


Many Fortune 100 companies are headquartered in Minneapolis. Potential employers include Target, US Bank, Medtronic, United Health Group, Best Buy, Ameriprise Financial, and 3M.

Minneapolis Cons

Sense of Belonging

Minnesotans, like those living in the Twin Cities, aren’t known to be the friendliest of people. If your interests lie outside fishing, golfing, or playing hockey, you might feel that you don’t belong. While they are mostly polite, they are more passive-aggressive than friendly.


Minneapolis winter can be fierce. In 2018, the city recorded 22 inches of snow in mid-April due to a blizzard. And when iced snow meets heavy city traffic, potholes can bust your car’s axle.

Humidity during summer can also be inconvenient, encouraging mosquitoes to populate.

Social Issues

In Minneapolis, anger, loneliness, isolation, and other mental health challenges are major social issues.

Atlanta Pros

Atlanta Skyline With Ferris Wheel


Ranked as the 18th top economy in the world, Atlanta’s booming economy means an excellent pool of job opportunities.


Spring from March to May is the best time to explore the city. Apart from the pleasant weather, it’s the season for Atlanta’s popular events like the Atlanta Dogwood Festival and the Atlanta Film Festival.

Fall in October is radiantly beautiful, particularly if you witness the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival in September or the Holiday Nights in November. 

Unlike some of the northern parts of the US, Atlanta’s winter is moderate and short, giving an extended-fall feel. For food lovers, it’s the best time to indulge at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in December or the Oysterfest in February.


Amidst a thriving downtown and a growing restaurant culture, you’ll find affordable housing in Atlanta compared to other cities like Boston, LA, New York, and San Francisco.


In Atlanta, you’re not just near mountains and beaches; you may also get the chance to sit next to celebrities when dining. Your shopping experience also comes a close second to New York and LA.


While Atlanta’s only airport can get packed, it’s among the best airports in the world. You can fly non-stop to Frankfurt, Seoul, Montgomery, Tokyo, Shanghai, Buenos Aires, and more.

Atlanta Cons


Traffic in Atlanta is a nightmare if you have to commute every day because lanes on each side of the road are often congested. There’s public transportation, but it’s hit or miss depending on the area. Parking can also be costly.


Summer temperatures from June to August can shoot up in the upper 80s, and humidity is often over 70%. The closest body of water is an unnavigable river and a lake 45 minutes in the north.


Crime is ripe near the city’s center, particularly in the southwest and southeast metro.


Atlanta is mainly a business town, so you’d see torn-down buildings with character in favor of high rises. Homeless people asking for hand-outs in the downtown area is a typical scene.

Conclusion: Where Is Better to Live: Minneapolis or Atlanta?

Considering either Minneapolis or Atlanta to live in is like going through a mixed bag – your experience depends on how you value the items inside.

Atlanta is rich in history and culture yet modern in terms of industry. On the other hand, Minneapolis is the second-largest economic center in the Midwest, taking pride in its thriving culture and home to Fortune 500 companies.

The choice is difficult, but this is what this article is for – to help you dig into the bag and select the perks that matter more to you.

Kris Peter

A positive individual enjoying the journey, and always searching for adventure. I created Sunlight Living to help my parents (and eventually myself) prepare for retirement. About Kris

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