Fastest Growing Cities In North Dakota For 2020

We used data and science to determine the places in North Dakota everyone wants to move to today.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the fastest growing cities in North Dakota.

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Is being in an area that's growing quickly a good thing or a bad thing?

Depends on who you ask. Some want bigger, more exciting cities like Fargo and Bismarck, while others want peace and quiet like in Watford City and Valley City, thank you very much.

But today we're going to put opinions aside and just look at the cold hard facts -- over the past five years, which cities in North Dakota have the grown the fastest.

After getting knee deep in the Census's American Community Survey, we emerged with this set of cities in the Peace Garden State that have people climbing over each other to get in.

These are the 10 fastest growing cities in North Dakota for 2020 according to the most recent census data:

What's the fastest growing city in North Dakota for 2020? Based on the most recent ACS data, Watford City ranks as the fastest growing city in North Dakota. If you happen to be a resident of Watford City, you're probably not too surprised to find it on our list.

If you're surprised--and you're wondering why these places are kind of a big deal--keep reading. We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 places in North Dakota are growing like weeds.

And if you already knew these places were happening, check out the best places to live in North Dakota or the Fastest Growing States In America.

For more North Dakota state reading:

The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In North Dakota For 2020

Watford City, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,197
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Population 2010: 1,746
Percent Growth 254.9%
Absolute Growth: 4,451
More on Watford City: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Williston, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 26,102
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Population 2010: 13,852
Percent Growth 88.4%
Absolute Growth: 12,250
More on Williston: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Williston is a city in and the county seat of Williams County, North Dakota, United States. The 2010 census gave its population as 14,716, and the Census Bureau gave the 2015 estimated population as 26,977, making Williston the sixth largest city in North Dakota. The North Dakota oil boom is largely responsible for the sharp increase in population.

West Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 34,419
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Population 2010: 23,868
Percent Growth 44.2%
Absolute Growth: 10,551
More on West Fargo: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

West Fargo is a city in Cass County, North Dakota, United States. It is, as of the 2016 Census Estimates, the fifth largest city in the state of North Dakota with a population estimated at 34,858, and it is one of the state's fastest growing cities. West Fargo was founded in 1926. The city is part of the Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Dickinson, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,707
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Population 2010: 17,168
Percent Growth 32.3%
Absolute Growth: 5,539
More on Dickinson: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Dickinson is a city in Stark County, North Dakota, United States. It is the county seat of Stark County. The population was 17,787 at the 2010 census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated 2015 population is 23,765.

Minot, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,304
Rank Last Year: 5 (No Change)
Population 2010: 39,054
Percent Growth 23.7%
Absolute Growth: 9,250
More on Minot: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Minot MY-not) is a city in and the county seat of Ward County, North Dakota, United States, in the state's north-central region. It is most widely known for the Air Force base located approximately 15 miles north of the city. With a population of 40,888 at the 2010 census, Minot is the fourth largest city in the state and a trading center for a large portion of northern North Dakota, southwestern Manitoba, and southeastern Saskatchewan. Founded in 1886 during the construction of the Great Northern Railway, Minot is also known as "Magic City", commemorating its remarkable growth in size over a short time.

Mandan, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 21,943
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Population 2010: 17,813
Percent Growth 23.2%
Absolute Growth: 4,130
More on Mandan: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Bismarck, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 71,731
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Population 2010: 59,988
Percent Growth 19.6%
Absolute Growth: 11,743
More on Bismarck: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Bismarck is the capital of the U.S. state of North Dakota and the county seat of Burleigh County. It is the second-most populous city in North Dakota after Fargo. The city's population was estimated in 2016 at 72,417, while its metropolitan population was 131,635. In 2015, Forbes magazine ranked Bismarck as the seventh fastest-growing small city in the United States.

Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 120,209
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Population 2010: 102,527
Percent Growth 17.2%
Absolute Growth: 17,682
More on Fargo: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Fargo is the most populous city in the state of North Dakota, accounting for nearly 16% of the state population. Fargo is also the county seat of Cass County. According to the 2016 United States Census estimates, its population was 120,762, making it the 229th-most populous city in the United States. Fargo, along with its twin city of Moorhead, Minnesota, as well as the adjacent cities of West Fargo, North Dakota and Dilworth, Minnesota, form the core of the Fargo-Moorhead, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which in 2016 contained a population of 238,124. In 2014, Forbes magazine ranked Fargo as the fourth fastest-growing small city in the United States.

Grand Forks, ND

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 56,556
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Population 2010: 52,294
Percent Growth 8.2%
Absolute Growth: 4,262
More on Grand Forks: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

Grand Forks is the third-largest city in the State of North Dakota and is the county seat of Grand Forks County. According to the 2010 census, the city's population was 52,838, while the total of the city and surrounding metropolitan area was 98,461. Grand Forks, along with its twin city of East Grand Forks, Minnesota, forms the center of the Grand Forks, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is often called Greater Grand Forks or The Grand Cities.

Devils Lake, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,317
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Population 2010: 7,040
Percent Growth 3.9%
Absolute Growth: 277
More on Devils Lake: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

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.

How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In the Peace Garden State for 2020

To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities sine the beginning of the decade, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:

  • Current Population
  • Population in 2010
  • Growth rate from 2010 to Current (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2018)

We ranked all 13 North Dakota cities with a population over 5,000 people from highest growth rate to lowest.

The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing city in the Peace Garden State.

And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate by the following formula:

[Current Population - Population 2010] / [Population 2010]

Here's a graph of the cities in North Dakota with the largest percent increase in population:
Fastest Growing Cities in North Dakota Graph For 2020

Click to enlarge

These Places Grew Up So Fast In North Dakota, You Know?

So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in North Dakota are led by Watford City which has been growing at a blistering pace this decade relative to other cities and towns around the state.

It'll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same rate over the next couple of years. We'll be here to let you know!

These places have been growing (or shrinking) the slowest (fastest):

  1. Valley City
  2. Wahpeton
  3. Jamestown

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In North Dakota For 2020

Rank City Growth Population Population 2010
1 Watford City 254.9% 6,197 1,746
2 Williston 88.4% 26,102 13,852
3 West Fargo 44.2% 34,419 23,868
4 Dickinson 32.3% 22,707 17,168
5 Minot 23.7% 48,304 39,054
6 Mandan 23.2% 21,943 17,813
7 Bismarck 19.6% 71,731 59,988
8 Fargo 17.2% 120,209 102,527
9 Grand Forks 8.2% 56,556 52,294
10 Devils Lake 3.9% 7,317 7,040

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.