Minneapolis residents have top average credit score in America, says Experian

Death-by-drowning-in-credit-card-debt happens here less often than elsewhere in the country.
Death-by-drowning-in-credit-card-debt happens here less often than elsewhere in the country.

We ride bikes and go skinny dipping in urban lakes. And when we stop for a beer on the way home and charge it to our credit card, we pay that thing down more promptly than folks anywhere else in the country.

According to Experian's latest analysis of credit scores across the country, Minneapolitans are the country's most responsible consumers.

SEE ALSO: Minnesota is the state of the future, Gallup says

Apparently, Minneapolis is one thing, the rest of Minnesota is another, as an April study found Minnesota to be the most fiscally irresponsible state in the Upper Midwest, with your typical Minnesotan carrying $10,355 in credit card debt -- almost twice as much as the $5,873 average in Iowa.

Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa are the heartland of fiscal responsibility, with cities in those states accounting for the entire top five of Experian's list.

Here's the top 10 highest-credit-score cities:

1. Mpls
2. Madison
3. Wausau
4. Sioux Falls
5. Cedar Rapids
6. San Francisco
7. Green Bay
8. La Crosse
9. Boston
10. Duluth

The Star Tribune helps explain Minneapolis' top spot on the list:

An economy that's strong relative to the rest of the United States and a conservative Midwestern approach to debt help explain the area's consistently high rankings for credit scores, said Jason Plank, a certified financial planner in Edina and president-elect of the Financial Planning Association of Minnesota...

Midwesterners "use debt and leverage in a much more conservative manner," Plank said.

According to the report, Twin Cities residents average $24,890 in debt, slightly more than the national average. But median family income in the Twin Cities is $83,900, compared with $65,000 for the national average.

Minneapolis was the number-one city on Experian's list 2008 through 2010, but lost the top spot to Wausau last year.

On the other end of the spectrum, Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana account for the five cities with the worst average credit scores.

The South-Midwest credit score dichotomy is awfully similar to the split apparent in Bloomberg's recent miserable state rankings. The more of these lists we see, the more the Upper Midwest seems like a little slice of heaven on the prairie. Just keep that observation in mind a few months from now when temperatures dip below zero and you feel the impulse to pack a few bags, bust out the credit cards, and take a road trip for the Gulf.

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