Why So Many People are Moving to Minnesota from California

There are many reasons why someone would move from the Golden State to the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Some of these reasons might surprise you and others might make you feel right at home. These are the top reasons Why So Many People are Moving to Minnesota from California.

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Not that I want to pick a fight with anyone, but let’s talk about politics. Well actually the politics are pretty similar between Minnesota and California. We both vote democratic and are seen as progressive and liberal in general. Minnesota might not be as progressive as CA but you might be the type to find that refreshing.


Just like CA, Minnesota some of the highest personal income and corporate taxes. Personal income taxes in MN range from 5.35 – 9.85%, compared to 1-12.3% in CA. Corporate tax in MN is 9.8% vs 8.84% in CA.


Minneapolis was voted most LGBTQ+ friendly city in America next to San Francisco and now we both have legal marijuana! One of the big advantages MN has over CA is the cost of living that our 5.7 million residence enjoy. The median household income in Minneapolis is approximately $70k versus $85k in CA, doesn’t seem like a huge difference until you look at the median home prices.

Home Prices

The median sale price on a home in MN is right around $320,000 depending where you are, compared to like $728,000 according to Zillow. This leaves homeownership largely out of reach for many people in ca compared to MN, where you can most likely afford a home given the median income and sale price. Plus you can get up to $18,000 from the MN Housing Finance Agency to purchase a home anywhere in the state.

Cost of Living

If you’re planning on renting something in MN, you’ll spend about half of what you’d spend in CA. According to Zillow the average rent in ca is $2,950 which is almost double what it is in MN of $1,500 per month. Transportation costs in Minneapolis and St Paul aren’t so bad because the bus and light rail but if you’re living in the suburbs you’ll probably want a car if only because of the weather. Minnesota doesn’t have taxes on food or clothing helping to make MN even more affordable than CA. Minnesota also boasts that it has 16 of the fortune 500 companies here, with a very diverse economy, and one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country of around 2.8% .

The Weather

No conversation about Minnesota is complete without mentioning the weather. Yes it does get very cold in the winter; -20 degrees in January and about 30-70 inches of snow, but we’re well prepared for it and might not be as bad as it sounds. The same way that wildfires, earthquakes and droughts in CA might not sound? Of course we have access to plenty of water, fresh food, and local farms to eat and live healthy.  

Because we have all 4 seasons, there’s no shortage of activities all year round including all the major professional sports teams to root for all year round as well. Californians will enjoy Minnesota weather because of the accessibility, diversity, and beauty of nature in MN. The boundary waters in northern Minnesota is over a million acres of pristine wildlife, which is nationally renowned, and an incredible place to camp, fix, and canoe. You don’t have to go all the way up north to enjoy nature because Minnesota has really cool outdoor spaces and well kept parks everywhere you go, including right in the cities and even downtown Minneapolis and St Paul.

Friends and Family

Of course all that doesn’t matter when you’re talking about family and that’s another major reason people are moving from ca back to Minnesota. They’re originally from MN or they have family in MN so they’re making the trek back. There is a downside to this friends and family dynamic in Minnesota and that is we’re pretty clicky. It’s hard for transplants or people who didn’t grow up here to make friends and become part of social groups. Unfortunately MN nice means passive aggressive – we have a hard time expressing our feelings and getting close to new people.


Minnesota’s a great place to raise kids because of our schools and healthcare. US News ranks MN #5 best states to live in, #15 in healthcare and #21 in schools . Compared to CA which ranks #33 overall on the list. We also enjoy a pretty cool music and arts scene in the twin cities, particularly Minneapolis and St. Paul. Really cool music venues like 1st Ave downtown Minneapolis, Palace Theater in St Paul, Art-a-Whirl in Northeast Minneapolis, the Uptown Art Festival, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, the Walker Arts sculpture garden and many many other festivals, venues, and shows to go to all year round.