These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In North Dakota For 2019


We used science and data to determine which small towns in North Dakota are the best of the best.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2019.

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You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in North Dakota, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Peace Garden State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in North Dakota based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in North Dakota ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 20, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in North Dakota for 2019:

  1. Thompson (Photos | Homes)
  2. Horace (Photos | Homes)
  3. Lincoln (Photos | Homes)
  4. Gwinner (Homes)
  5. Casselton (Photos | Homes)
  6. Carrington (Photos | Homes)
  7. Bowman (Homes)
  8. Hazen (Photos | Homes)
  9. Surrey (Homes)
  10. Oakes (Homes)

If you live in one of these small towns like Thompson, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Peace Garden State check out:

How We Determined The Coolest Towns In North Dakota

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 41 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 41, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in North Dakota. Top of that list — Thompson.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 20 best small towns in North Dakota.

Thompson, ND

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 1,161
Median Income: $94,167 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $180,700 (6th Best)
More on Thompson: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Horace, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,603
Median Income: $110,870 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $254,200 (1st Best)
More on Horace: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Lincoln, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,467
Median Income: $76,789 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $207,500 (2nd Best)
More on Lincoln: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,012
Median Income: $74,250 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $118,800 (19th Best)
More on Gwinner: Data | Homes For Sale

Casselton, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,773
Median Income: $69,858 (11th Best)
Median Home Value: $171,400 (8th Best)
More on Casselton: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Carrington, ND

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 1,923
Median Income: $54,722 (21st Best)
Median Home Value: $132,700 (17th Best)
More on Carrington: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 1,611
Median Income: $62,550 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $166,200 (10th Best)
More on Bowman: Data | Homes For Sale

Hazen, ND

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 2,643
Median Income: $83,542 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $160,200 (12th Best)
More on Hazen: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 1,165
Median Income: $76,765 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $201,200 (3rd Best)
More on Surrey: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,018
Median Income: $57,841 (18th Best)
Median Home Value: $109,400 (22nd Best)
More on Oakes: Data | Homes For Sale

Lisbon, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,082
Median Income: $59,412 (17th Best)
Median Home Value: $111,300 (21st Best)
More on Lisbon: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Beulah, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 3,312
Median Income: $86,518 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $172,900 (7th Best)
More on Beulah: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,332
Median Income: $93,125 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $186,600 (5th Best)
More on Burlington: Data | Homes For Sale

Stanley, ND

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,487
Median Income: $62,273 (15th Best)
Median Home Value: $189,100 (4th Best)
More on Stanley: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Hettinger, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,124
Median Income: $55,278 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $135,900 (15th Best)
More on Hettinger: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,432
Median Income: $76,250 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $168,100 (9th Best)
More on Washburn: Data | Homes For Sale

Harvey, ND

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,762
Median Income: $45,962 (31st Best)
Median Home Value: $85,600 (31st Best)
More on Harvey: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Hillsboro, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,576
Median Income: $50,223 (28th Best)
Median Home Value: $144,200 (14th Best)
More on Hillsboro: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Langdon, ND

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,946
Median Income: $65,493 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $97,300 (26th Best)
More on Langdon: Data | Homes For Sale

Velva, ND

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,288
Median Income: $50,699 (25th Best)
Median Home Value: $160,600 (11th Best)
More on Velva: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 20 small towns in North Dakota are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in North Dakota:

  1. Shell Valley
  2. Fort Totten
  3. Belcourt

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In North Dakota

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Thompson 1,161 $94,167.0 $180,700.0
2 Horace 2,603 $110,870.0 $254,200.0
3 Lincoln 3,467 $76,789.0 $207,500.0
4 Gwinner 1,012 $74,250.0 $118,800.0
5 Casselton 2,773 $69,858.0 $171,400.0
6 Carrington 1,923 $54,722.0 $132,700.0
7 Bowman 1,611 $62,550.0 $166,200.0
8 Hazen 2,643 $83,542.0 $160,200.0
9 Surrey 1,165 $76,765.0 $201,200.0
10 Oakes 2,018 $57,841.0 $109,400.0
11 Lisbon 2,082 $59,412.0 $111,300.0
12 Beulah 3,312 $86,518.0 $172,900.0
13 Burlington 1,332 $93,125.0 $186,600.0
14 Stanley 2,487 $62,273.0 $189,100.0
15 Hettinger 1,124 $55,278.0 $135,900.0
16 Washburn 1,432 $76,250.0 $168,100.0
17 Harvey 1,762 $45,962.0 $85,600.0
18 Hillsboro 1,576 $50,223.0 $144,200.0
19 Langdon 1,946 $65,493.0 $97,300.0
20 Velva 1,288 $50,699.0 $160,600.0
21 Bottineau 2,300 $52,560.0 $132,800.0
22 Cavalier 1,203 $46,741.0 $97,200.0
23 Ellendale 1,271 $44,297.0 $66,900.0
24 Tioga 1,116 $70,658.0 $156,300.0
25 Rugby 2,847 $38,750.0 $109,400.0
26 Linton 1,047 $35,417.0 $82,100.0
27 Garrison 1,508 $54,663.0 $121,000.0
28 Cando 1,085 $50,250.0 $74,800.0
29 Mayville 1,874 $40,521.0 $104,200.0
30 Larimore 1,518 $50,268.0 $105,100.0
31 Grafton 4,243 $43,585.0 $84,600.0
32 New Town 2,459 $57,105.0 $114,700.0
33 Parshall 1,036 $64,044.0 $95,000.0
34 Cooperstown 1,166 $51,000.0 $89,200.0
35 Park River 1,452 $45,547.0 $80,300.0
36 Rolla 1,273 $40,625.0 $88,900.0
37 New Rockford 1,405 $49,667.0 $67,700.0
38 Walhalla 1,008 $59,712.0 $76,300.0
39 Belcourt 1,933 $24,783.0 $82,300.0
40 Fort Totten 1,372 $24,861.0 $31,900.0
41 Shell Valley 1,360 $36,625.0 $56,600.0

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