These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In North Dakota


We analyzed over 14 places in North Dakota to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of North Dakota.

But where exactly in North Dakota? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in North Dakota that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in West Fargo don’t mind us spreading the word.

Here are our top ten places in the Peace Garden State to retire:

  1. West Fargo (Photos)
  2. Minot (Photos)
  3. Grand Forks (Photos)
  4. Fargo (Photos)
  5. Jamestown (Photos)
  6. Wahpeton (Photos)
  7. Bismarck (Photos)
  8. Jamestown (Photos)
  9. Williston (Photos)
  10. Devils Lake (Photos)

Why did West Fargo take the top spot? And where are Fargo and Bismarck?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details. Or check out the purely worst and best places to live in North Dakota.

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How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Peace Garden State

To create our list of the best places in North Dakota to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Peace Garden State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 14 places from across the state.

For these 14, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (As measured by population density)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 14, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case West Fargo, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

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1. West Fargo

West Fargo, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 31,557
Cost Of Living: 86
Distance to Closest Airport: 76 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,898
West Fargo ranked 1st overall thanks to it’s 2nd place rank for cost of living and it’s 1st place safety rank.

2. Minot

Minot, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 47,338
Cost Of Living: 110
Distance to Closest Airport: 1 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,868
Minot ranked 2nd overall thanks to it’s 11th place rank for cost of living and it’s 4th place safety rank.

3. Grand Forks

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 55,831
Cost Of Living: 99
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,994
Grand Forks ranked 3rd overall thanks to it’s 9th place rank for cost of living and it’s 6th place safety rank.

4. Fargo

Fargo, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 115,950
Cost Of Living: 98
Distance to Closest Airport: 76 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,977
Fargo ranked 4th overall thanks to it’s 8th place rank for cost of living and it’s 5th place safety rank.

5. Jamestown

Jamestown, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,441
Cost Of Living: 88
Distance to Closest Airport: 64 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,128
Jamestown ranked 5th overall thanks to it’s 5th place rank for cost of living and it’s 8th place safety rank.

6. Wahpeton

Wahpeton, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,844
Cost Of Living: 88
Distance to Closest Airport: 118 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,116
Wahpeton ranked 6th overall thanks to it’s 5th place rank for cost of living and it’s 2nd place safety rank.

7. Bismarck

Bismarck, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 68,981
Cost Of Living: 112
Distance to Closest Airport: 102 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,739
Bismarck ranked 7th overall thanks to it’s 12th place rank for cost of living and it’s 3rd place safety rank.

8. Jamestown

Jamestown, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,441
Cost Of Living: 88
Distance to Closest Airport: 79 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,128
Jamestown ranked 8th overall thanks to it’s 5th place rank for cost of living and it’s 8th place safety rank.

9. Williston

Williston, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 23,902
Cost Of Living: 116
Distance to Closest Airport: 1 miles
Crime Per 100k: 5,501
Williston ranked 9th overall thanks to it’s 14th place rank for cost of living and it’s 14th place safety rank.

10. Devils Lake

Devils Lake, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,299
Cost Of Living: 84
Distance to Closest Airport: 79 miles
Crime Per 100k: 5,069
Devils Lake ranked 10th overall thanks to it’s 1st place rank for cost of living and it’s 13th place safety rank.

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in North Dakota goes to West Fargo.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  • Mandan
  • Dickinson
  • Jamestown

For more North Dakota reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In North Dakota

City Rank Population Cost Of Living Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
West Fargo 1 31,557 86 76 1,898
Minot 2 47,338 110 1 2,868
Grand Forks 3 55,831 99 5 2,994
Fargo 4 115,950 98 76 2,977
Jamestown 5 15,441 88 64 3,128
Wahpeton 6 7,844 88 118 2,116
Bismarck 7 68,981 112 102 2,739
Jamestown 8 15,441 88 79 3,128
Williston 9 23,902 116 1 5,501
Devils Lake 10 7,299 84 79 5,069
Jamestown 11 15,441 88 101 3,128
Jamestown 12 15,441 88 113 3,128
Dickinson 13 21,985 115 97 3,165
Mandan 14 20,613 106 100 3,206

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