Quality of Life

Central Iron Range Quality of Life

Residents of the Central Iron Range enjoy a quality of life that combines opportunities for personal and professional fulfillment with access to the scenic north woods of Minnesota.

Across the Central Iron Range, mining, health care and state, county and municipal jobs dominate local employment. Light manufacturing is also prevalent in the employment landscape, as well as companies that serve the mining industry, such as engineering firms, welding and fabrication shops and other suppliers. Employment remains on par with or slightly above the state average, while entrepreneurship is supported by local and regional foundations, venture capital funds and flexible banking institutions.

Other features that contribute to an economically stable and well-served region include: a highly developed health care system with a 175-bed hospital, numerous clinics, mental health providers, assisted living centers and nursing homes. An airport serves the region with daily flights to Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport. Homeownership rates are high, and the region offers diversity in home styles, as well as rural and lakeshore acreage for development. Home prices are well below those in the Twin Cities for similar quality homes. Local elementary and secondary school students generally perform at levels well beyond the national average. Local private schools serve the Catholic and Protestant communities, with a community and technical college offering certificates, customized training and two-year degrees plus four-year and some master's degrees through partnerships with state and private universities. Low-income residents and others in need are served by a variety of local training and assistance programs. Child care needs are met by numerous daycare centers and in-home providers. A strong and growing retail sector offers options at national retailers and locally owned business. A constantly improving physical infrastructure, along with an advanced technology infrastructure that includes fiber optics and a high level of access to the Internet in homes, schools and businesses, helps keep the region connected. 

These combined assets, along with our natural resources, set the stage for successful healthy businesses and families. Surrounding the Central Iron Range communities are thousands of acres of public land, alive with forests and marshes, plus dozens of small, undeveloped lakes, and recreational trails that are both intriguing and accessible during four dynamic and distinct seasons.

Explore this site's Family Life, Cultural Recreational and Natural Resources pages for more information on ways Central Range residents enjoy a high quality of life.