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Duluth Area Apartment Rentals Rank Among Least Affordable in Minnesota

Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

For those of you that rent apartments, this may not come as much of a shock. Data released by the Minnesota Housing Partnership shows that Minnesota ranks last in affordability for 2-bedroom apartment rentals in the 12-state Midwestern region.

The data shows that minimum wage earners in Minnesota have to work 91 hours per week, or hold 2.3 full time jobs, in order to afford what the research calls a modest 2-bedroom apartment. Following Minnesota, Wisconsin comes in fourth in the unaffordability rankings, requiring 81 hours; falling behind the slightly higher pricing in Illinois and Michigan.

Minnesota Housing Partnership

Breaking down state data by average cost of unit for a modest 2-bedroom apartment, the Twin Cities leads the list in Minnesota. The Duluth market is actually toward the bottom of the list of Minnesota metro areas, at seventh on the list of nine biggest metros in the state.

  1. Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington MSA $946
  2. Rochester HMFA $863
  3. St. Cloud MSA $752
  4. Grand Forks MSA $725
  5. Mankato-North Mankato MSA $704
  6. La Crosse MSA $699
  7. Duluth MSA $692
  8. Fargo MSA $684
  9. Wabasha County HMFA $637

While costs alone are a factor, the average wage also varies from place to place. The combination of rental cost and average wage creates an index of affordability. St. Louis and Carlton counties are two of the 17 least affordable counties to rent in the state.

Leading the list of least affordable counties is Wadena, where 68% of the estimated renting population can’t afford a two-bedroom apartment on their current wage. From there, Todd (66%), Mower, Mahnomen, Winona, and Itasca (all 64%) counties follow. Carlton County data shows 62% of estimated renters can’t afford a modest 2-bedroom apartment, while St. Louis County data shows 59% of estimated renters can’t afford prices for the same type of rental unit.

Minnesota Housing Partnership

See Full Rental Affordabilty Study Report

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