These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In North Dakota For 2019


These are the cream of the crop in the Peace Garden State.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our fifth time ranking the best places to live in North Dakota.

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Where are the best places in the state of North Dakota?

To the untrained eye they are the places that have awesome economies. They’re the places in Peace Garden State where people have the best jobs, residents are all above average, and the sun shines the most.

However, here at HomeSnacks, we don’t trust the untrained eye and instead look to data to understand the best places to call home in North Dakota.

There might be some surprises on this list, but when you look at the unbiased data, it’s hard to argue against.

After analyzing 22 places in North Dakota, we came up with this list of the best places.

Well, it looks like you should check out Lincoln if you’re thinking of moving to North Dakota — it’s the best the Peace Garden State has to offer according to the data.

Follow along as we provide more insight into how we reached our overall best places to live in North Dakota.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the best states in America or the best places to live in America.

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

Mapping The Best And Worst Places To Live in North Dakota

The Pressing Question: Size

Before we even started to collect data, we had to answer a tough question: Is it fair to pit Bismarck with a population of 68,981 against places with a population of 18?

We firmly decided no, that just isn’t fair.

So to create our ranking, we broke places to live into three tiers:

  • Cities — Populations over 2,000
  • Towns — Populations between 1,000 and 2,000
  • Small Towns — Populations below 1,000

This left us with 22 cities, 27 towns, and 261 small towns.

We then decided, no matter how much anyone loves their town, the best places have more of everything and therefore you need to have over 2,000 people to truly be ‘the best’.

Now we also realize that city living might not be your cup of tea, so we ran the following analysis on towns and then again for small towns.

You can see those two top tens at the bottom of the post.

How We Calculated The Best Cities To Live In North Dakota

Now that we had our set of cities, it was time to rank them.

We ranked each place in North Dakota across a number of criteria from one to 22, with one being the best.

We then took the average rank across all criteria, with the city posting the lowest overall score being crowned the winner of the title “Best Place To Live In North Dakota”.

The criteria we looked at were:

  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Population Density (Higher better)
  • Unemployment Rate
  • Commute Time
  • Crime
  • Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty rates

Sources of criteria include the New Census Data and FBI Crime Data.

After the dust settled, what was the best place to live in North Dakota? That would be Lincoln.

If your city or town isn’t among the top 10, jump down to the bottom of the post to see a detailed chart of the best places in North Dakota.

Otherwise, buckle up for a ride down good living lane with Lincoln at the end of the cul-de-sac.

The 10 Best Places To Live In North Dakota For 2019

Lincoln, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,311
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 3)
Median Home Value: $186,800 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.7% (14th best)
More on Lincoln: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The crime is the 2nd lowest in the state in Lincoln, and there were only 3 violent crimes in the entire city last year. We think it’s even safer here than the numbers indicate.

The schools are some of the best in North Dakota, and residents live in very expensive homes. They also earn more than most every other city in the state. Residents in Lincoln earn $74,048 a year.

West Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 31,557
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $190,400 (6th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.2% (4th best)
More on West Fargo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

West Fargo broke into the top ten best places to live in North Dakota on the back of a low unemployment and a quality schools system.

It placed 4th overall for its low unemployment rate and the 7th highest median income of any place in our analysis.

However, it only has the 14th shortest average commute time of any place in North Dakota.

Stanley, ND

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,328
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 13)
Median Home Value: $182,400 (8th best)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (22nd best)
More on Stanley: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Good things do come in small packages; it’s true for Stanley, which with a population of 2,328 makes it one of the smallest on this list.

Relatively low unemployment and relatively high adjusted income are just two blessings Stanley residents enjoy.

The 4th lowest crime rate in all of North Dakota makes Stanley one of the safest place on this list.

Hazen, ND

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 2,653
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $146,700 (14th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.0% (3rd best)
More on Hazen: Real Estate | Data | Photos

At an unemployment rate of 1.0%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Hazen. And the residents command high salaries ($77,275 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($146,700 each).

We’re not saying money is why these cities are the ‘best’ in North Dakota. What we’re implying is that money means safety and peace of mind. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Horace, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,559
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 4)
Median Home Value: $237,400 (1st best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.5% (5th best)
More on Horace: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Perhaps what makes Horace so amazing is the high emphasis they put on quality education: they have one of the highest rate of education at attainment for adults.

However, quality education isn’t all that makes Horace great. They also have the 1st highest median income and the 21st shortest commute time.

Williston, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 23,902
Rank Last Year: 23 (Up 17)
Median Home Value: $223,800 (3rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (10th best)
More on Williston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Williston ranks as the 6th best place in North Dakota for 2019. Let’s take a look at why.

Williston has a lower crime rate than the cities mentioned above. Williston’s cost of living is a tick higher, but families also earn much higher salaries – to the tune of $90,875 a year.

The knock? We can’t really find one 🙂

Lisbon, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,091
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $106,700 (18th best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.7% (2nd best)
More on Lisbon: Real Estate | Data | Photos

With the unemployment rate being the 2nd lowest in North Dakota and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in Lisbon.

Plus, the crime rate is the 6th lowest in the state!

Dickinson, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 21,985
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 7)
Median Home Value: $224,800 (2nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 3.5% (16th best)
More on Dickinson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Dickinson had the 16th lowest unemployment of any place in our research (3.5%) and the 9th lowest crime rate. However, the relative lack of population density and long commute times held it back from being higher on our list.

Dickinson is home to an exceptional Volunteer Fire Department that represents so much about what it’s like to live there.

Bismarck, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 68,981
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 3)
Median Home Value: $205,500 (4th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.9% (7th best)
More on Bismarck: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Taking its place as the 9th best place in North Dakota is Bismarck. Residents here earn a really high salary each year, and crime is fairly low, in comparison to the rest of North Dakota.

It’s considered a cultural community, as it boasts an arts scene, and many ethnic restaurants, too. Which means you can’t be bored here.

An unemployment rate of only 1.9% helps thing too.

Minot, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 47,338
Rank Last Year: 20 (Up 10)
Median Home Value: $201,900 (5th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (10th best)
More on Minot: Real Estate | Data | Photos

Minot makes a case for being one of the best places to live in North Dakota mainly because of a low crime rate and a higher than average household income level.

And when school spending is higher than the national average and only 2.2% of folks are jobless, you can bet Minot residents are glad to live where they do.

Wrapping Up The Best Places When It Comes To Living In North Dakota

If you’re looking at areas in North Dakota with the best economic situations, where there’s lower than average crime, and a lot to do, this is an accurate list.

Lincoln made a strong showing to take in the overall number one spot for the best place to live in North Dakota for 2019.

Best Towns To Live In North Dakota

  1. Thompson (Pop. 1,196)
  2. Surrey (Pop. 1,079)
  3. Langdon (Pop. 1,929)
  4. Hettinger (Pop. 1,140)
  5. Burlington (Pop. 1,235)
  6. Washburn (Pop. 1,464)
  7. Carrington (Pop. 1,980)
  8. Bowman (Pop. 1,717)
  9. Hillsboro (Pop. 1,643)
  10. Crosby (Pop. 1,000)

Best Small Towns To Live In North Dakota

  1. Reile’s Acres (Pop. 514)
  2. Briarwood (Pop. 54)
  3. Prairie Rose (Pop. 84)
  4. North River (Pop. 60)
  5. Newburg (Pop. 147)
  6. Frontier (Pop. 192)
  7. Oxbow (Pop. 395)
  8. Pembina (Pop. 502)
  9. Harwood (Pop. 767)
  10. Buchanan (Pop. 63)

If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in North Dakota according to the data:

  1. Jamestown (Pop. 15,441)
  2. Grafton (Pop. 4,287)
  3. Devils Lake (Pop. 7,299)

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In North Dakota

Rank City Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Lincoln 3,311 2.7% $186,800
2 West Fargo 31,557 1.2% $190,400
3 Stanley 2,328 5.7% $182,400
4 Hazen 2,653 1.0% $146,700
5 Horace 2,559 1.5% $237,400
6 Williston 23,902 2.2% $223,800
7 Lisbon 2,091 0.7% $106,700
8 Dickinson 21,985 3.5% $224,800
9 Bismarck 68,981 1.9% $205,500
10 Minot 47,338 2.2% $201,900
11 Oakes 2,043 2.6% $110,300
12 Casselton 2,500 2.7% $168,100
13 Wahpeton 7,844 4.0% $103,400
14 Beulah 3,328 3.0% $157,500
15 Mandan 20,613 2.0% $175,400
16 Grand Forks 55,831 3.7% $172,700
17 Fargo 115,950 3.6% $178,300
18 Bottineau 2,340 4.3% $128,900
19 Rugby 3,092 0.0% $96,400
20 Jamestown 15,441 2.4% $120,100
21 Grafton 4,287 5.2% $83,100
22 Devils Lake 7,299 1.6% $92,800

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