The Northland is an affordable place to live, thanks in large part to its relatively cheap housing stock. Rarely do costs rise high above the national average, and in the few cases where they do, it’s driven by real estate along Lake Superior. The region’s affordability becomes especially obvious when compared to other major cities in the region and across the country.

Sperling’s Best Places measures the cost of living in an area relative to a US average of 100. If the number is above 100, it’s more expensive to live in that area. If the number is below 100, then it’s less expensive in that area.

The total of all costs of living is weighted subjectively as follows: housing (30%), food and groceries (15%), transportation (10%), utilities (6%), health care (7%), and miscellaneous expenses such as clothing, services, and entertainment (32%). State and local taxes are not included in any category.

This table lists 20 of the largest communities in the region. For information on smaller towns, contact Karl Schuettler at 218-481-3899 or kschuettler@northspan.org.


Cost of Living

 

Overall

Grocery

Health

Housing

Utilities

Transportation

Miscellaneous

  Aitkin

80.9

97.8

73.5

74.7

92.6

62.7

98

  Chisholm

71.6

90.8

81.7

25.3

98.3

85.8

101.3

  Cloquet

83.8

97.2

82.7

66.9

92.3

84.8

98.1

  Cohasset

86.6

99

80.5

88.3 92.6

66.1

98

  Duluth

85.8

97.4

81.7

76

85.4

81.5

100.7

  Ely

79.6

94.6

81.7

51.4

93.4

86.2

100.9

  Eveleth

74.5

92.3

81.7

37.5

90.7

85.6

99.9

  Grand Marais

92.4

102.6

81.5

101.8

91.7

65.8

104.6

  Grand Rapids

80.9

97.5

80.5

71.8

87.6

65.1

98.5

  Hermantown

96

99

81.7

107.4

82.8

86

99.8

  Hibbing

74.3

92.4

81.7

39.1

87.2

82.7

100.5

  Hoyt Lakes

71

91

81.7

27.1

88.1

85.8

99.8

  International Falls

68.6

94.9

80.7

29

95.6

65.7

99.7

  Moose Lake

83.9

96.6

82.7

66.3

92.9

86.3

98.1

  Mountain Iron

81.1

94.2

81.7

54.9

97.3

86.3

101.4

  Proctor

84.1

97.8

81.7

66.7

89.5

85.6

100.4

  Rice Lake

69.8

99.3

82.4

25

91.2

80.8

96.1

  Silver Bay

73.6

94.2

82.4

38.8

88

74.9

103.3

  Superior

82.6

94.6

105.6

53.6

97.1

86.9

98.4

  Two Harbors

81.2

96.5

82.4

64

83.4

75.3

103.4

  Virginia

72

92.2

81.7

31.4

97.3

79.1

100

Source: Sperling’s Best Places (www.bestplaces.net)