Out of Reach 2024

Stable housing should not be something you have to think about, and it should be something that families can count on every day. But when families pay too much for rent, they’re forced to sacrifice to make ends meet — cutting back at the grocery store or delaying a trip to the doctor. Out of Reach is released annually by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and provides rental affordability data for every state, metro area, and county in the US. You can read the full 2024 report here. MHP’s Minnesota snapshot of the 2024 Out of Reach report highlights state and county trends that reveal that households in every corner of Minnesota are spending thousands of dollars more than they can afford each year just to pay the rent for a modest apartment.

Some Minnesota highlights from the 2024 report include:

Breakdown of renter data for Minnesota from the National Low Income Housing Coalition's Out of Reach 2024
  • The Fair Market Rent (FMR) for a two-bedroom apartment in Minnesota is $1,418. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn $4,727 monthly or $56,728 annually.
  • Minnesota ranks #24 in the nation for the highest wages required to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. The wage required to afford a modest two- bedroom apartment in Minnesota is the most expensive in the Midwest, including $5.56 higher than the Wisconsin housing wage, $7.59 higher than South Dakota’s, and $8.89 higher than North Dakota’s housing wage. 

“HOUSING WAGE” — Wage necessary to afford a two-bedroom apartment

  • The housing wage represents what Minnesota workers need to earn in order to afford rent without paying more than 30% of their income on housing. In 2024, a Minnesotan would need to earn an annual income of $56,728 to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment. However, the average Minnesota worker earns an estimated $20.21 per hour, or the equivalent of $42,037 annually.
  • Compared to the state average of $27.27, the housing wage in non-metro areas is $19.20 for a two-bedroom apartment.
  • The Minneapolis / St. Paul metro area has the highest housing wage in the state, with a worker needing to earn $31.19 per hour — or earning an annual salary of $64,880 — to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment in the region.
Map of counties of Minnesota charting the hourly wage needed to afford a 2-bedroom apartment, "Housing Wage"

Rent affordable to median-income renter

  • Median-income renters in Washington County can afford the highest rent in the state at $1,635 per month.
  • Median-income renters in Aitkin County can only afford $763 per month, the lowest level in the state.
  • In contrast to the $1,287 affordable to the median-income renter at the statewide level, the median-income renter household in non-metro Minnesota can afford far less — just $981 per month.

Hours at minimum wage to afford 1 bedroom apartment:

Map of counties in Minnesota charting the hours per week at minimum wage needed to afford 1 bedroom apartment
  • Minimum wage workers in Minnesota must work 82 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment and 101 hours per week for a modest two-bedroom. This is the equivalent of working 2 or 2.5 full time jobs to afford a one and two-bedroom apartment, respectively.
  • Workers earning minimum wage in Minnesota must work at least 49 hours per week in every county in the state to be able to afford rent for a one-bedroom apartment. Statewide, a one-bedroom apartment costs $586 more per month, or $7,032 annually, than a full-time minimum wage earner can afford.
  • In non-metro areas, minimum wage workers must work 56 hours per week to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment, and 71 hours for a two-bedroom.

Many of the most in demand jobs earn less than the housing wage, including critically needed healthcare jobs.

  • Home health and personal care aides, one of Minnesota’s most in demand occupations, do not earn enough to afford a one-bedroom at fair market rent. The median hourly wage for over 112,00 people working in this field falls short by $10,703 annually to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment.
  • Six of the top ten in demand jobs in Minnesota do not pay enough to afford a modest one-bedroom apartment, and eight of the top ten occupations do not pay enough to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment.

Out of Reach data is available for every county and metro area in the country. Click here to see how Minnesota counties compare with each other.