10 Best Places To Raise A Family In North Dakota For 2018

We used science and data to determine which cities in North Dakota have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.


According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in North Dakota? We’ve got the answers here.

These are the best cities to raise a family in the Peace Garden State:

  1. Ellendale (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Carrington (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Cavalier (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Rolla (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Wahpeton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Hazen (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Lisbon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Stanley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Devils Lake (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Thompson (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you’re thinking of making a move to North Dakota, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in North Dakota and, for those of you on a budget, the cheapest places to live in North Dakota.

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How do you determine which place is best for families in North Dakota anyways?

To give you the places in North Dakota which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Peace Garden State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of North Dakota, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 1,000 people. For North Dakota, that meant a total of 29 cities.

Read on to see why Ellendale is where all the families are headed, while Tioga is probably a place made for singles.

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1. Ellendale

Ellendale, ND

Population: 1,432
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 35
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 20.3%
More on Ellendale: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

2. Carrington

Carrington, ND

Population: 1,980
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 20.9%
More on Carrington: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Carrington is a city in Foster County, North Dakota, United States. It is the county seat of Foster County. The population was 2,065 at the 2010 census. Carrington was founded in 1883.

Carrington is home to Dakota Growers Pasta Company, Inc.

3. Cavalier

Cavalier, ND

Population: 1,204
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 50
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 22.1%
More on Cavalier: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

4. Rolla

Rolla, ND

Population: 1,388
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 52
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 37.7%
More on Rolla: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

5. Wahpeton

Wahpeton, ND

Population: 7,844
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 40
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 23.8%
More on Wahpeton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Wahpeton is a city in Richland County, in southeastern North Dakota, United States. It is located along the Bois de Sioux River at its confluence with the Otter Tail River, forming the Red River of the North. Wahpeton is the county seat of Richland County. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city’s 2015 population was 7,899.

6. Hazen

Hazen, ND

Population: 2,653
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 54
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 30.3%
More on Hazen: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

7. Lisbon

Lisbon, ND

Population: 2,091
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 33
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 24.0%
More on Lisbon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

8. Stanley

Stanley, ND

Population: 2,328
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 25.8%
More on Stanley: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

9. Devils Lake

Devils Lake, ND

Population: 7,299
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 24.9%
More on Devils Lake: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Devils Lake is a city in Ramsey County, North Dakota, United States. It is the county seat of Ramsey County. The population was 7,141 at the 2010 census. It is named after the nearby body of water, Devils Lake. The first house in Devils Lake was built in 1882. It was surveyed in 1883 and named Creelsburg and later Creel City, after the surveyor, Heber M. Creel. In 1884 it was renamed Devils Lake.

10. Thompson

Thompson, ND

Population: 1,196
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 35
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 46.9%
More on Thompson: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

There You Have It – The Best Places To Raise A Family In North Dakota

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in North Dakota ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles North Dakota according to the data:

  1. Tioga
  2. Surrey
  3. Mandan

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places For Families In North Dakota

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Ellendale 1,432 47
2 Carrington 1,980 33
3 Cavalier 1,204 61
4 Rolla 1,388 40
5 Wahpeton 7,844 44
6 Hazen 2,653 60
7 Lisbon 2,091 60
8 Stanley 2,328 58
9 Devils Lake 7,299 47
10 Thompson 1,196 59
11 Harvey 1,923 55
12 Bowman 1,717 50
13 West Fargo 31,557 64
14 Beulah 3,328 44
15 Lincoln 3,311 59
16 Dickinson 21,985 57
17 Burlington 1,235 49
18 Hillsboro 1,643 37
19 Grafton 4,287 33
20 Rugby 3,092 44
21 Jamestown 15,441 51
22 Williston 23,902 58
23 Bismarck 68,981 79
24 Fargo 115,950 63
25 Minot 47,338 64
26 Grand Forks 55,831 64
27 Mandan 20,613 48
28 Surrey 1,079 31
29 Tioga 1,126 57

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