Moving to Minneapolis
Prairie town Minneapolis has a reputation for modern living, clean streets, snowy winters and friendly locals. Home to the fifth highest concentration of Fortune 500 companies in the US and renowned for its technological and medical research, this is a truly global city with plenty of surprises.
The 14th largest metropolitan area in the US is a prosperous city of lakes, parks, up-to-date architecture and a diverse cultural life. With an impressive skyline of modern skyscrapers and a maze-like system of enclosed walkways that link malls, office blocks and homes, moving Minneapolis feels like you live in a truly 21st century city.
Minneapolis is the centre of the second-largest economic area in the Midwest. Once made great great by the timber and flour industries, it’s now powered by business and trade and employment opportunities are varied and healthy.
Minneapolis has an active job market, coming in at number 10 on a list of top ten job markets in the US in 2015, according to ZipRecruiter, who based scores on labour statistics and job application ratios. The unemployment rate in Minneapolis was 3.3% in 2015, well below the national average of 5.5%.
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The local economy is driven by business, finance, trade and service industries. US retail giant Target is headquartered here and is one of the city’s largest employers with 10,000 jobs. Other Fortune 500 companies headquartered here include U.S Bancorp, Ameriprise Financial, Thivent Financial and Xcel Energy. Banking multinational Wells Fargo employ 7,000 people locally.
Jobs in education
The University of Minnesota is the second largest employer in the area, ranked by Forbes Magazine in the top ten best educational employers across the whole of the US.
The university is a research institution with a long history of innovation, contributing to Minneapolis’s reputation as a global tech centre. It was named Top Tech City in 2005 based on its innovative transport system and hi tech research culture.
Medical research and healthcare
Healthcare and medical research are also important sectors, with 19 medical institutions and 61 clinical labs and research centres in one 1.5-mile strip of the city. A local small business incubator invests in medical tech start-ups, of which there are over 500 in the city.
The cost of living in Minneapolis is higher than the national average, but consumer prices and accommodation costs are lower than those in comparable large cities like New York.
A meal at a mid-range restaurant in Minneapolis will cost you between $32 and $60 for two people, with drinks coming in at $4 on average for a domestic beer or $3.65 for a cappuccino. Save money at a budget restaurant with a meal for around $117.
You can expect to pay $0.89 for a litre of milk in a supermarket, $3.30 for a pack of rice, and $10 for your average pack of chicken breasts.
Minneapolis has an efficient local transport system, with bus routes, a metro transit system and a downtown trolley bus. A one-way ticket is likely to be around $2.25 or a monthly pass between $60 and $116. Taxis kick off at £3.50 plus $1.55 a kilometre and gas costs around $0.65 a litre.
A one-bedroom apartment in the centre costs around $1,125 in 2013, or a three-bed in the same area $2,515. Out in the suburbs a one-bed came in at around $775.93 in 2013, or a three-bed at $1,653.85.
To buy a home, the price per square metre in the city centre was $1,646.88 in 2013, or outside the centre $1,452.13. According to a Minneapolis city council survey, the average resale price of a downtown condo is currently $400,447.1
Over half the inhabitants (53%) of Minneapolis rent, much higher than the state average of 28%. Accommodation costs depend partly on easy access to downtown, but in this so-called City of Water, proximity to one of its many lakes is a big influence on house prices.
In 2013, the median going price for a house or apartment in the city was $98,799, and this had gone up to $202,700, while rent in 2013 was a median of $744 a month.
Minneapolis is made up of 11 communities, each divided into unique neighbourhoods with their own character.
Family-Friendly: Longfellow – a quiet, affordable suburban community of family homes with easy access to downtown.
Nokomis – a suburb of family houses where prices are kept down by proximity to airport flight paths. If the noise doesn’t bother you, you could snag a bargain.
Upmarket: Calhoun-Isles – southwest of downtown this community has high-end shopping, nightlife and is close to three lakes.
The neighbourhoods of Kenwood and Bryn Mawr have large, expensive houses, while Lyndale Avenue has a series of modern apartment blocks offering luxury condos.
Hip & Trendy: Warehouse District – in this section of the Central area of downtown, 19th-century riverside mills are being converted to luxury condos.
North Loop – on the west side of downtown, this area has converted warehouses, apartment blocks and rowhouses with new housing being built and restaurant and entertainment venues opening in the area.
Northeast Arts District – think lofts, bars, galleries, street art, creative residents and lower house prices.
Up & Coming: Philips neighbourhood – once an area with a reputation for crime, computerised law enforcement has helped with a major clean-up. Philips is now a centre for medical research companies.
Camden – an area with lots of family housing. Because it’s rather cut off from the centre prices are relatively low, although rising as families purchase houses to renovate.
Northeast – the traditional immigrant area of Minneapolis has become popular with young professionals and families, especially in more desirable enclaves like St. Anthony West and the Northeast Arts District.
Cost of Moving
The average shipping cost of moving for a family of three from the following cities to Minneapolis will cost approximately:
Schools and Education
There are around 100 public schools in the Minneapolis school district, including 45 elementary schools, seven middle schools, seven high schools and five charter schools.
There are several international schools in the area, including Twin Cities International Elementary, a school that aims to provide a culturally diverse education to its 600 students.
Universities in Minneapolis
The largest university in Minneapolis is the University of Minnesota, with its largest campus in the city. Established in 1851, this major research university is ranked 123rd in the world overall, 11th in the world for engineering and chemistry subjects and 65th for medical and life sciences.
Other higher education institutions include Augsburg College, the vocational Dunwoody College of Technology and the Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Ranking against the world
Minneapolis is a young city with a median resident age of 32, and that’s reflected in some of its many accolades for modern living.
Its reputation for innovation is well founded; magnetic tape, Scotch tape, the post-it note and the airplane black box were all invented here.
Minneapolis also has a thriving arts scene, and the Northeast Arts District with its galleries, studios, theatres and shows was chosen by USA Today and 10Best readers as the best in the entire country. Its food scene is also famous, with three Minneapolis restaurants appearing on a 2015 list of best new restaurants chose across the US, chose by Bon Appétit magazine.
The City of Lakes is one of the best in the nation for outdoor living. It was named healthiest city in 2015 by Livability.com and was rated fittest city in the US for three years running by the American Fitness Index, based on obesity, smoking rates, access to healthcare, recreational facilities and healthy food.
The city’s impressive bike lane network and a bike-share programme underpins this healthy image; a large proportion of commuters cycle to work here, unusual for the US. It was one of only two US cities to rank in the top 20 bike-friendly cities worldwide in a survey carried out by a Danish design firm.
And diversity is a matter of pride in Minneapolis; gay magazine The Advocate ranks it the GLBT capital of the nation, based on number of gay wedding officiants, openly gay politicians and gay-inclusive churches.
A day in the life
Minneapolis has a huge range of cultural, sporting and foodie delights to offer. A typical day for a Minneapolitan might start with a trip on the light rail to Mall of America for some retail therapy. The country’s largest mall is a city-sized retail hub with 520 stores, a 400-tree atrium, an aquarium and an amusement park.
All shopped out, it’s time to grab some food at one of the new Nordic cuisine eateries that the city is famous for. A kanelsnegle (cinnamon roll) is a delicious quick lunch, followed by a wander around the Walker Art Centre, one of the top five largest modern art collections in the US.Dinner might be a leisurely meal of pickled Lake Erie perch at the Bachelor Farmer restaurant with its Swedish inspired décor and menu, then on to catch the latest band at downtown’s ‘danceteria’, First Avenue, where Minneapolis’s most famous resident, Prince began his career.