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 Valley City and Devils Lake, 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 2018 according to the most recent census data:
- Williston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- West Fargo (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Dickinson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Minot (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Mandan (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bismarck (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Fargo (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Grand Forks (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Devils Lake (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Jamestown (Photos | Homes For Sale)
If you happen to be a resident of Williston, 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–but first, a bit about our methodology.
How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In Peace Garden State
To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities sine the begining of the decade, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:
- Population in 2016
- Population in 2010
- Growth rate from 2010 to 2016 (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2017)
We ranked all 12 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:
[Population 2016 – Population 2010] / [Population 2010]
Population: 23,902 Population 2010: 13,852
Growth Rate: 72.55%
Absolute Growth: 10,050
More on Williston: Homes For Sale | Data
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.
2. West Fargo
Population: 31,557 Population 2010: 23,868
Growth Rate: 32.21%
Absolute Growth: 7,689
More on West Fargo: Homes For Sale | Data
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.
Population: 21,985 Population 2010: 17,168
Growth Rate: 28.06%
Absolute Growth: 4,817
More on Dickinson: Homes For Sale | Data
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.
Population: 47,338 Population 2010: 39,054
Growth Rate: 21.21%
Absolute Growth: 8,284
More on Minot: Homes For Sale | Data
Minot (/mant/ ( listen) 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 (24 km) 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.
Population: 68,981 Population 2010: 59,988
Growth Rate: 14.99%
Absolute Growth: 8,993
More on Bismarck: Homes For Sale | Data
Bismarck (/bzmrk/) 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.
Population: 115,950 Population 2010: 102,527
Growth Rate: 13.09%
Absolute Growth: 13,423
More on Fargo: Homes For Sale | Data
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.
8. Grand Forks
Population: 55,831 Population 2010: 52,294
Growth Rate: 6.76%
Absolute Growth: 3,537
More on Grand Forks: Homes For Sale | Data
Grand Forks is the third-largest city in the State of North Dakota (after Fargo and Bismarck) 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.
9. Devils Lake
Population: 7,299 Population 2010: 7,040
Growth Rate: 3.68%
Absolute Growth: 259
More on Devils Lake: Homes 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.
Population: 15,441 Population 2010: 15,292
Growth Rate: 0.97%
Absolute Growth: 149
More on Jamestown: Homes For Sale | Data
Jamestown is a city in Stutsman County, North Dakota, United States. It is the county seat of Stutsman County. The population was 15,427 at the 2010 census, making it the ninth largest city in North Dakota. Jamestown was founded in 1872.
These Places Grew Up So Fast, You Know?
So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in North Dakota are led by Williston 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!
For more North Dakota reading, check out:
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In North Dakota
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In North Dakota
- 10 Worst Places To Live In North Dakota
Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In North Dakota