B
Overall Niche Grade
How are grades calculated?
  1. Public Schools
    B+
  2. Crime & Safety
    C+
  3. Housing
    B-
  4. Nightlife
    B+
  5. Good for Families
    B+
  6. Diversity
    B-
  7. Jobs
    B-
  8. Weather
    C
  9. Cost of Living
    B+
  10. Health & Fitness
    B+
  11. Outdoor Activities
    A-
  12. Commute
    A

Real Estate

Median Home Value
$106,200
National
$178,600
Median Rent
$659
National
$928
Area Feel
Suburban
Rent vs. Own
  • Rent
    52%
  • Own
    48%

Brainerd Rankings

Niche ranks thousands of places to live based on key statistics from the U.S. Census and and expert insights.

Crime & Safety

Crime & Safety
C+
Based on violent and property crime rates.
Violent Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Assault
    359
    273
  • Murder
    7
    6
  • Rape
    217
    41
  • Robbery
    30
    133
Property Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Burglary
    822
    525
  • Theft
    4,087
    2,081
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
    164
    263

Residents

Diversity
B-
Based on ethnic and economic diversity.
Median Household Income
$30,975
National
$53,889
Children
21%
Education Levels
National
  • Master's degree or higher
    6%
    11%
  • Bachelor's degree
    12%
    19%
  • Some college or associate's degree
    42%
    29%
  • High school diploma or equivalent
    32%
    28%
  • Less than high school diploma
    8%
    13%
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Brainerd Reviews

20 reviews
All Categories
It's great if you're wealthy, otherwise, Brainerd itself doesn't have a lot going for it. The surrounding towns, Crosslake, Nisswa, Lakeshore, East Gull Lake, they all have quite a bit going for them. Brainerd isn't pedestrian-friendly, nor are there any good "date" restaurants, no music venues, no hotels (they're in Baxter), and no good museums or cultural events.

My neighbor's house has been broken into twice, and his car stolen once in the last couple of years. My flowers have been trampled, and ripped out of the ground and thrown into the street. Not sure if it's the drug problem or the poverty problem.

Worth noting, Wikipedia says that, "In 2016, Brainerd was reported to be the poorest town in Minnesota, with a median household income of $32,169."

As for employment opportunities in Brainerd itself, well.... If you move here looking for a job, I hope you like slangin' Fast Food.
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Brainerd needs more employment opportunities. Area is not very walk-friendly. Has beautiful parks and a large library. Only one dog park is in town. Plenty of fast food places. Downtown area has nice historic buildings and antique shops. Only a few bookstores are available. Only one Mall (Westgate) and one movie theater (Lakes 12). Area has typical big chain stores like Walmart, Target, Home Depot. There has been more development lately but businesses don’t seem to stay around for long. Very impoverished area. School system seems typical. The area feels very peaceful to people from large cities but compared to the rest of Minnesota, Brainerd has a very high crime rate.
Brainerd has many wonderful attributes. The elementary schools are some of the highest ranked in the state, winning national blue ribbons awards for multiple years. The lakes are beautiful and create a fun atmosphere for summer outings . Neighboring towns like Nisswa, offer cute shops and are popular with the tourists. I have lived here the majority of my life and feel safe and happy in our small town. It is a great place to raise a family or come for a little R & R.