St. Paul is Minnesota’s capital city, forming the “Twin Cities” with neighboring Minneapolis. There are also several distinct neighborhoods within the town, each with a different personality and heritage, earning it the moniker: “The City of Neighborhoods.”
The world’s giant hockey mural, 300 feet by 500 feet, is in St. Paul’s Downtown Treasure Island Center. Most of the time, people often compare St. Paul with Minneapolis. Nevertheless, each city is unique in its charm, and there is no way the two cities would merge into one anytime soon because of political power conflict.
Regarding livability, St. Paul ranks 27 among the best places in the United States. However, the city ranks 131 among the best places to retire in the country. To better illustrate what it’s like in St. Paul, MN, the city’s following highlighted pros and cons are below.
Is St. Paul, Minnesota, A Good Place to Live In? – A large and desirable city
The Good Side
Diverse and large population
Despite Minneapolis topping the largest population in Minnesota, St. Paul isn’t far behind. The city ranks 2nd among the cities in Minnesota with a large population. As of 2022, St. Paul has 2,967,000 residents, a 0.71% increase from 2021.
Since 2018, the city’s population growth has been steadily increasing, with an average of 0.66% growth each year. The steady increase of a city’s population growth indicates how desirable the city is as time goes by.
Aside from positive population growth, St. Paul grew from a city home to European settlers into a diverse community. Below are the city’s demographics as of 2022:
- White: 55.2%
- Black or African American: 15.5%
- Asian: 19.1%
- American Indian and Alaska Native: 0.8%
- Two or more races: 6.3%
- Other race: 3.01%
White still dominates the population, yet if you compare it with the past few years, St. Paul’s diversity score has improved by 4.50% and earned the 29th spot in diversity.
St. Paul has one of Minnesota’s largest public school districts for parents looking for reputable schools to enroll their children.
Aside from its excellent reputation, the public school in the city has early childhood programs and Head Start aside from its recreational and K-12 programs. Private schools are also available in St. Paul; half have religious affiliations, mainly Lutheran and Catholic.
For higher education, the metropolis has plenty of universities you can choose from:
Another great thing about St. Paul is its roster of available libraries to broaden your knowledge. The Saint Paul Public Library, Science Museum of Minnesota, and James J. Hill Reference Library grant everyone access to the books and resources.
Splendid natural beauty
Minnesota as a whole is a state with distinct seasons and gorgeous beauty. It is hardly surprising that St. Paul has magnificent natural beauty you will admire once you move here.
One of the best pros of living in cities located in Minnesota is its four seasons. If you come from a town with a tropical climate, moving to St. Paul means you have to deal with its pleasant summers, lovely springs, spectacular autumns, and icy winters.
Due to the city’s nice weather, you can enjoy spending time outside and visiting nearby lakes and parks.
For instance, the Como Park & Zoo Conservatory is an excellent place for a Saturday walk surrounded by animals and plants. It has an admirable landscape, and you can also participate in exclusive special events.
St. Paul’s food scene offers many diverse dishes, and you’ll probably end up going on a weekly food trip because of the numerous cuisine waiting for you to taste.
For those who love fresh seafood, don’t miss the fresh Oysters served at Meritage. If you want to try something new like a Turkish dish, try Black Sea’s Döner, a pita pocket filled with lamb served with homemade tzatziki.
If you are a steak lover, you must head to Mancini’s to try its St. Paul-styled steak. Or, try the Classic Pho at Trieu Chau for a Southeast Asian delectable.
In St. Paul, tasteful dishes are endless. Your tummy will have its fill every day the moment you reside here.
Plenty and accessible healthcare alternatives
Before moving to a new place, you should consider the healthcare alternatives in the city. A metropolis with a few clinics and hospitals won’t do good, especially during emergencies.
Luckily, St. Paul provides plenty and accessible healthcare options. The metropolis is home to the largest hospital in the east, United Hospital, with two important centers: Nasseff CyberKnife Center and John Nasseff Neuroscience Institute.
Other hospitals in St. Paul are Bethesda Hospital, Regions Hospital, and Gillette’s Children’s Hospital. Also, a short distance from the city is the famous Mayo Clinic located in Rochester, Minnesota.
Notable historical landmarks
The metropolis has notable historical landmarks that attract tourists and locals alike. For a city with rich history, it is essential to preserve as many artifacts to remember and impact what made St. Paul what it is today.
One of the historical landmarks you can find in St. Paul is the Minnesota State Capitol. The building, completed in 1904, has a radiant beauty with its white marble and granite exterior.
Another historical landmark St. Paul is proud of is the Cathedral of Saint Paul. This gorgeous church speaks a lot about the city’s origins and events hundreds of years ago. Moreover, it is the country’s fourth-tallest church, composed of Gothic, Baroque, and Beaux-Arts structural designs.
Exciting activities and festivities
Besides historical landmarks, St. Paul has a wide array of exciting activities and festivals, too. Whether you are an outdoor type, a sports fan, or someone who loves anything about art, the metropolis has it all for you.
Some of the festivities you can expect to experience here are Lantern Lighting Festival, Minnesota State Fair, St. Patrick’s Day, and Cinco de Mayo Fiesta.
The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is the city’s most awaited event during the winter season. Snow sculptures, parades, ice carvings, medallion hunts, games, and Vulcan antics are a few endless activities in this seasonal carnival.
For those who love soccer, cheer for the Minnesota Wild professional hockey team as they play against other opposing teams at the Xcel Energy Center.
If you are into museums and arts, check out these countless museums in St. Paul: Minnesota History Center, Science Museum of Minnesota, Minnesota Children’s Museum, and Minnesota Museum of American Art.
The Bad Side
Most complained con: traffic.
Traffic seems pretty standard in the United States. However, some cities have better transit systems than others; sadly, St. Paul is not one of them. The leading cause of this nuisance may be the population itself.
Compared to huge cities like Los Angeles and New York, the traffic in St. Paul is not that bad. But, this con is something you must think through when you are not used to the hustle and bustle of going to and from home.
St. Paul’s area size is not too small and not too big either. Nevertheless, with the city’s yearly steady increase in population growth, more and more people traverse the city to arrive at their destination.
Additionally, St. Paul is Minnesota’s second most populated metropolis next to Minneapolis. Therefore, you better buckle up for possible rush-hour traffic, especially on weekdays.
This con is debatable, but if you are looking for that big city vibe even in the suburbs, you will most likely see old houses instead of modern high-tech ones in St. Paul.
Since the terrain in the city is very rough, making it challenging to build a new house, living in an old house with a sturdier design is preferable.
On the bright side, if you prefer the benefits and beauty of old houses, you would love living in St. Paul.
Beware of summer mosquito bites!
Getting bitten by a mosquito is not something one would love to experience. Although mosquito bites are not harmful, they can be very annoying.
Unfortunately, summer mosquitoes are a phenomenon in St. Paul because of the warm and wet summer weather. Better stock up a lot of mosquito repellent spray or apply a mosquito repellent cream on your body.
What Is the Cost of Living in St. Paul, Minnesota? – say hi to savings!
The Good Side
Relatively low living expenses
St. Paul’s current living cost index is 99.7 over 100. It means that the metropolis is cheaper than the national average cost of living. Although it may seem like the prices are not that cheap, living in St. Paul won’t cost you too much compared to other major cities.
For instance, it will only cost you $116.15 for a doctor’s appointment and $107.58 for a visit to an optometrist in St. Paul. The city’s healthcare is 2% lower compared to the national average.
Residents in St. Paul also enjoy 5% lower utility fees. You can expect to pay $162.77 for your monthly energy bill or a monthly phone bill of only $179.11.
Meanwhile, the transportation fees in St. Paul are pretty high, which are 5% higher. However, residents enjoy a relatively low living cost in the city.
Low house prices
Whether you plan to rent or buy a house in “The City of Neighborhoods,” you will be glad to know that house prices here are 2% lower than the US average.
Residents likely spend $388,832 median home price in St. Paul. Additionally, the median rent here is only $1,188 per month.
The Bad Side
The sales tax rate is high.
Bad news, folks! St. Paul has a high sales tax rate. Before you pack up your things, you should know that as of 2022, the city requires you to pay a sales tax rate of 7.875% or 7.88%.
You may be wondering why it is so high. To answer your question, refer to the breakdown below:
- Minnesota sales tax rate: 6.88%
- City’s sales tax rate: 0.5%
- Special tax rate: 0.5%
- County sales tax rate: 0.0%
If you total these rates, you will reach an overall sales tax rate of 7.88%. St. Paul’s is undeniably higher than the United States’ average sales tax rate of 7.3%.
Luckily, there is no applicable county sales tax rate. Thankfully, it saves you from further costs.
Why Work in St. Paul, Minnesota? – Jobs are easy to find!
The Good Side
Work opportunities in neighboring cities
The suburbs and neighboring cities can offer you additional employment, as well. Numerous towns surround St. Paul, and you won’t have difficulty looking for other work opportunities outside the city.
Some people prefer to live in one city and work in another, and St. Paul can give you that lifestyle. Towns and suburbs surrounding St. Paul where you can look for employment options are Minneapolis, Vadnais Heights, Woodbury, Roseville, Little Canada, Maplewood, and White Bear Lake.
Positive job market growth
As of April 2022, St. Paul hit its lowest unemployment rate of only 1.6%! St. Paul’s job market grew by 1.8% in the past year, and in the next ten years, experts foresee the job growth of St. Paul to be 35.9%, higher than the US average of 33.5%.
The major playing industries in St. Paul are food and hospitality, retail, healthcare, banking, manufacturing, professional services, and educational services. It is best to find work in these sectors to have a better shot at getting hired fast.
Furthermore, among the Fortune 500 companies, about 17 of them are in St. Paul. You can apply to a few popularly large companies in the city, such as Allina Health, Travelers, 3M, Securian Financial, Ecolab, and Lawson Software.
The Bad Side
7.1% income tax and low median household income
Low median household income is not that much of a burden, but when there’s a high-income tax to pay, it just alleviates the misfortune.
If you compare St. Paul’s income tax of 7.1% to the country’s average income tax of only 4.6%, you can tell that the city’s rate is too high. Adding to your misery, St. Paul’s median household income of $48,258 is $5,224 less than the US average of $53,482.
“The City of Neighborhoods” is a fantastic place to reside if you are looking for a metropolis with a robust economy, impressive job market, relatively low living costs, rich history, and lovely surroundings.
As you try to decide whether to move to St. Paul or not, it is essential to manage your expectations and oversee its shortcomings by reading the pros and cons enumerated above. We hope we were of great help in helping you decide on your big step in life.