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B
Overall Niche Grade
How are grades calculated?
  1. Public Schools
    B+
  2. Crime & Safety
    C+
  3. Housing
    B-
  4. Nightlife
    A-
  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
$106,400
National
$184,700
Median Rent
$683
National
$949
Area Feel
Suburban
Rent vs. Own
  • Rent
    53%
  • Own
    47%

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
    450
    283
  • Murder
    0
    6
  • Rape
    217
    41
  • Robbery
    15
    136
Property Crimes
  • Calculated annually per 100,000 residents
National
  • Burglary
    675
    500
  • Theft
    4,044
    2,043
  • Motor Vehicle Theft
    240
    284

Residents

Diversity
B-
Based on ethnic and economic diversity.
Median Household Income
$32,154
National
$55,322
Children
22%
Education Levels
National
  • Master's degree or higher
    6%
    12%
  • Bachelor's degree
    12%
    19%
  • Some college or associate's degree
    43%
    29%
  • High school diploma or equivalent
    31%
    28%
  • Less than high school diploma
    8%
    13%
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Brainerd Reviews

23 reviews
All Categories
Brainerd is a excellent place to enjoy the lakes of Minnesota! Fishing, swimming, boating, and water-skiing are great ways to soak up the sun, and for those that prefer to be in town, Brainerd is a little light on entertainment, but loaded with a range of dining options.
It should be noted that Brainerd is just one part of the Brainerd Lakes Area. Baxter is an intrinsic town on the border, and between those two and Nisswa there is a huge range of resorts, shops, and restaurants. Buying locally will lead you to many amazing small businesses.
The winters are understandably quiet, and in the summer you can expect public safety to be a big priority.
A low level of diversity should be noted; perhaps more so in schools. Brainerd is a town full of Germans and Scandinavians, where even those who live in town have a love for rural life. The people here love their community, and are well aware that diversity plays a key role in it's development.
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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.
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.