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How much does it cost to live in Wadena County?: DEED figures may surprise you


by Karin L. Nauber

What does it cost to live in Wadena County? The answer may surprise you, upset you or make you feel like you’ve made a good choice.

According to the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development Cost of Living Tool (found at:, it really depends on many factors including if you have a child, if you are married or partnered and other factors.

The Cost of Living  (COL)Tool provides a yearly estimate of the basic-needs cost of living in Minnesota, for individuals and families, by county, region and statewide in seven categories: food, housing, healthcare, transportation, child care, other necessities and net taxes.

The average family size in Minnesota is three persons and the average workweek is less than 35 hours.

You can use the tool to define several family units from single with no children to partnered both working with a whole bunch of children!

But why is this information important?

According to the DEED website, “Employers want to set wages that attract and retain good workers. The Cost of Living Tool can help gauge whether a wage in a certain county will pay the bills and keep workers afloat.

“Job seekers want to know which kinds of work will cover family costs in their county.

“Policymakers and planners want to know if the need for public subsidies is likely to rise or fall. Regional wages that meet or exceed the cost of living can signal reduced need for subsidies.

“Policymakers and planners also want to know if the economy’s engine of consumer expenditures is running well. Regional wages that meet or exceed the cost of living can signal conditions conducive to strong consumer expenditures.”

Sounds like a bunch of political double-speak, but the bottom line is, it gives everyone a good idea of what it costs to live somewhere. . . .

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