More than 30 years ago, Sioux Falls was basking in the glow of being hailed as Money magazine's Best Place to Live in America.

What you might not remember from that 1992 list is that Minnesota's Twin Cities also landed in the top five in the nation (#4).

Fast forward to 2024 and Livability now has a ranking of the 100 Best Places To Live in America, factoring in things like a city’s economy, housing and cost of living, amenities, transportation, environment, safety, education, and health.

All in all the Tri-State area (South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota) has a respectable eight cities on the, but in 2024, none came close to a Top Ten showing.

The high ranking goes to a Minneapolis suburb.

21. Bloomington

Livability's take on the city of 88,000:

'With its vibrant community, great schools, and a good balance of city convenience and natural beauty, Bloomington, Minnesota, has earned a well-deserved reputation as a great place to call home. The city’s strong economy, low crime rate, and top-notch healthcare facilities lend to its attraction as a family-friendly destination, while its proximity to Minneapolis and robust economy appeal to young professionals seeking to build careers in industries such as retail, hospitality, and health care.'

A second North Star State city is in the Top 30.

30. Rochester

From Livability:

'With its thriving job market, inviting climate, abundant outdoor activities, and family-friendly events, Rochester, Minnesota, stands out among the crowd as an excellent place to live in the Midwest. Home to the renowned Mayo Clinic, new residents often find plenty of opportunities in industries such as health care, research, and other medical-related fields.'

A pair of Iowa cities landed in the Top 55.

41. Cedar Rapids

'Cedar Rapids, IA, is one of the best places to live in the U.S. and the second-largest city in the state. It earns that esteemed ranking because of its affordability, inclusivity, innovation — and a whole lot more. The Cedar River, which anchors this city of nearly 138,000, allows residents to stretch their legs at nature centers, parks, and on the water.'

55. Iowa City

'What stands out about Iowa City, IA? Just about everything. Located in the eastern part of the state, Iowa City boasts friendly folks, an incredible arts scene, highly-ranked medical care (Mercy Iowa City and University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics care for residents), safe neighborhoods, and quality schools. The University of Iowa adds that fun college vibe to the city, bringing locals together to cheer on the Hawkeyes.'

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South Dakota's highest showing is nearly two-thirds of the way through the Top 100.

64. Sioux Falls

'The city offers a low cost of living, respectable transportation options and is ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S. It’s also an excellent place for families, with over 80 parks, including the beautiful Falls Park with more than 120 acres and scenic falls that tumble over rocks, a farmers market and more. Other amenities include 30 miles of bike paths, a roster of annual events, historic sites, and cute antique shops and boutiques. For art lovers, the Washington Pavilion offers Broadway shows, a planetarium, movies, an art gallery, and a science center.'

Minnesota wasn't done yet, with two more places in the Top 80.

66. Duluth

'Perched along the shores of Lake Superior, Duluth, Minnesota, offers a front-row seat to the breathtaking beauty of the Great Lakes. Many residents love to explore its rugged cliffs, serene beaches, and winding trails. Other favorite pastimes include enjoying water sports and relaxing in one of the many city parks. The University of Minnesota Duluth and St. Luke’s Hospital are major employers, and the growing craft brewery scene and thriving tech and start-up culture provide additional employment opportunities. The vibrant Canal Park district offers myriad dining, shopping, and arts options.'

79. St. Paul

'St. Paul, Minnesota’s combination of natural beauty and urban vibrancy creates a high quality of life that attracts residents of every stripe. Young people will find a variety of exceptional schools and a robust job market, while families will appreciate the many parks and the local arts and culture scene that features everything from museums and theaters to local gatherings and festivals. Plus, St. Paul’s temperate climate makes it easy to get outside year-round.'

Just before the elite list comes to an end, the Mount Rushmore State was able to slide in one more city.

93. Rapid City

'With its proximity to attractions like Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse Memorial, Rapid City, South Dakota, is a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts and history buffs. The city boasts a lively cultural scene and a vibrant downtown. But what really sets Rapid City apart is its deep connection to Native American culture. Explore the stories of the Plains Indian tribes at the Journey Museum and Learning Center, or attend the annual Black Hills Powwow, a celebration of Native American traditions, dance, and music.'

Overall it was an impressive showing for Indiana. The Hoosier State locked down two of the top four spots (Carmel, Fishers).

Texas also landed a pair of cities in the Top Ten (Sugar Land, Frisco).


  1. Carmel, Indiana
  2. Cary, North Carolina
  3. Columbia, Maryland
  4. Fishers, Indiana
  5. Naperville, Illinois
  6. Broomfield, Colorado
  7. Overland Park, Kansas
  8. Sugar Land, Texas
  9. Frisco, Texas
  10. Troy, Michigan

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