17. Apple Valley, MN

City of Apple Valley Apple Valley, MN

Top 50 rank: 17

Population: 49,863

If you don’t mind cold winters, there’s plenty to recommend this family-friendly Twin Cities suburb. There’s a wide range of affordable homes: The median sale price is around $200,000.

Cars are still the de facto transport here, but the city recently added a $112 million rapid-transit bus system that connects the downtown to area attractions like the Mall of America. Apple Valley is also home to the Minnesota Zoo and 53 parks. –H.L.

Apple Valley, MN

Town stats

Median family income (per year) $93,210
Job growth % (2010-2012) 2.03%
Median home price (2012) $179,000
Reading test scores (% above/below average) 7.1%
Math test scores (% above/below average) 7.9%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 13
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 223


Median family income (per year) $93,210
Family purchasing power (annual, cost-of-living adjusted) $85,947
Sales tax 7.13%
State income tax rate (highest bracket) 7.85%I
State income tax rate (lowest bracket) 5.35%I
Auto insurance premiums (Average price quotes, for the state) $1,594
Job growth % (2010-2012) 2.03%


Median home price (2012) $179,000
Average property taxes(2012) $2,722


Colleges, universities and professional schools (within 30 miles) 40
Reading test scores (% above/below state average) 7.1%
Test scores math (% above/below average) 7.9%
% students attending public/private schools (located within town limits) 99.4/0.6

Quality of life

Air quality index* (% of days AQI ranked as good) 96.7%
Personal crime incidents (per 1,000) 13
Property crime incidents (per 1,000) 223
Median commute time (in minutes) 22.6
% population with commute 45 mins. or longer 11.0%
% population walk or bike to work 1.8%

Leisure and culture

Movie theaters (within 15 miles) 34
Restaurants (within 15 miles) 2,044
Bars (within 15 miles) 191
Public golf courses (within 30 miles) 192
Libraries (within 15 miles) 53
Museums (accredited by AAM; within 30 miles) 11
Ski resorts (within 100 miles) N.A.
Arts funding (Dollars per person of state funds spent on arts) 4.5


Annual rainfall (inches) 29.41
% clear days in the area 54%
High temp in July ° F 83.6°
Low temp in Jan ° F 3.8°

Meet the neighbors

Median age 37.4
Completed at least some college (% of residents) 73.5%
Married % 56.8%
Divorced % 6.9%
Racial diversity index (100 is national average; higher numbers indicate greater diversity) 68.5
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