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 Minot don’t mind us spreading the word. Here are our top ten places in the Peace Garden State to retire:

  1. Minot
  2. West Fargo
  3. Wahpeton
  4. Grand Forks
  5. Bismarck
  6. Fargo
  7. Jamestown
  8. Jamestown
  9. Mandan
  10. Williston

Why did Minot take the top spot? And where are Fargo and Bismarck? Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details.

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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 Minot, 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. Minot

Minot, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 44,533
Cost Of Living: 110
Distance to Closest Airport: 1 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,049
Minot ranked 1 overall thanks to its 11 place rank for cost of living and 4 place safety rank.

2. West Fargo

West Fargo, North Dakota

Source: Flickr

Population: 28,371
Cost Of Living: 86
Distance to Closest Airport: 76 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,111
West Fargo ranked 2 overall thanks to its 2 place rank for cost of living and 1 place safety rank.

3. Wahpeton

Wahpeton, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,804
Cost Of Living: 88
Distance to Closest Airport: 118 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,127
Wahpeton ranked 3 overall thanks to its 5 place rank for cost of living and 2 place safety rank.

4. Grand Forks

Grand Forks, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 54,095
Cost Of Living: 99
Distance to Closest Airport: 5 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,090
Grand Forks ranked 4 overall thanks to its 9 place rank for cost of living and 5 place safety rank.

5. Bismarck

Bismarck, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 65,123
Cost Of Living: 112
Distance to Closest Airport: 102 miles
Crime Per 100k: 2,902
Bismarck ranked 5 overall thanks to its 12 place rank for cost of living and 3 place safety rank.

6. Fargo

Fargo, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 110,725
Cost Of Living: 98
Distance to Closest Airport: 76 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,117
Fargo ranked 6 overall thanks to its 8 place rank for cost of living and 6 place safety rank.

7. Jamestown

Jamestown, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,407
Cost Of Living: 88
Distance to Closest Airport: 101 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,134
Jamestown ranked 7 overall thanks to its 5 place rank for cost of living and 8 place safety rank.

8. Jamestown

Jamestown, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,407
Cost Of Living: 88
Distance to Closest Airport: 113 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,134
Jamestown ranked 8 overall thanks to its 5 place rank for cost of living and 8 place safety rank.

9. Mandan

Mandan, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,381
Cost Of Living: 106
Distance to Closest Airport: 100 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,410
Mandan ranked 9 overall thanks to its 10 place rank for cost of living and 11 place safety rank.

10. Williston

Williston, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,849
Cost Of Living: 116
Distance to Closest Airport: 1 miles
Crime Per 100k: 6,625
Williston ranked 10 overall thanks to its 14 place rank for cost of living and 14 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 Minot.

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

  • Dickinson
  • Devils Lake
  • 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
Minot 1 44,533 110 1 3,049
West Fargo 2 28,371 86 76 2,111
Wahpeton 3 7,804 88 118 2,127
Grand Forks 4 54,095 99 5 3,090
Bismarck 5 65,123 112 102 2,902
Fargo 6 110,725 98 76 3,117
Jamestown 7 15,407 88 101 3,134
Jamestown 8 15,407 88 113 3,134
Mandan 9 19,381 106 100 3,410
Williston 10 19,849 116 1 6,625
Jamestown 11 15,407 88 64 3,134
Jamestown 12 15,407 88 79 3,134
Devils Lake 13 7,218 84 79 5,126
Dickinson 14 19,920 115 97 3,493

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