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:

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

You might be surprised to see the Town of Lincoln so high on the list. Unless you live in Lincoln.

The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 2.7%, Lincoln residents are some of the hardest working in the state of North Dakota. When you factor in high home prices, high incomes and low crime, Lincoln is doing quite well.

Let’s be honest — Lincoln is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

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 is known for having a great education system and has the 14th shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in West Fargo is the 4th lowest in North Dakota and the median income is the 7th highest in the state.

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

The Stanley has the 22nd lowest unemployment rate in North Dakota. The population growth here has been 8% over the last 15 years, meaning a lot of people want to live here. If they can afford it; the cost of living in Stanley is higher than the national average and households make $60,500 per year.

We’d move to Stanley if we could in a heart beat.

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

Hazen ranks 4th on our list of best places to live in North Dakota thanks to its low unemployment and high adjusted median income.

Additionally, its crime rate ranks in the lowest 10% of all places in North Dakota that we examined.

People have been flocking to Hazen over the past years. Goes to show that everyone wants in on this great community.

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

With the unemployment rate being the 5th lowest in North Dakota and very stable household median incomes, it’s easy to see why someone would want to live in Horace.

Plus, the crime rate is the 18th lowest in the state!

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

Who doesn’t want to live in Williston? Because, according to the data, most everyone should want to.

Crime is lower than the state average, and the unemployment rate sits at only 2.2%. The school systems are generally well funded, meaning lots of personal attention for area kids.

Expect to see more of Williston in the news in the coming months.

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

Lisbon is by far one of the best places to live in North Dakota: the math proves it! This city has the 2nd lowest unemployment rate and the 13th highest median income in all of North Dakota.

Plus, the median home values are the 18th highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 6th lowest in the state, making Lisbon a safe and great place to live.

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 is feeling the love as it ranks as the 8th best city to live in North Dakota for 2019.

It ranked highly because of its high incomes (5th overall) and low crime (9th overall and one of the best in the top ten).

We think the city should probably change its motto at this point to something like “The Place To Be In North Dakota”.

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

We think the motto in Bismarck should be “Everything is greater in Bismarck,” and that seems to be pretty close to the truth.

Bismarck has some of the highest home values in North Dakota, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Bismarck only has 870.0% of its residents living in poverty.

Crime is also well below the state average, making Bismarck a solid option for people who value safety. At least those who can afford it.

Review Of Bismarck by HomeSnacks User

Currently live in Bismarck. I could only live here or Fargo/West Fargo in this state. I love ND though, and it truly is the best state in the country

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 is another great city in North Dakota with a low unemployment rate and where residents earn high salaries.

Said one reviewer on City-Data.com: ” We feel incredibly safe in Minot. The houses and neighborhoods are beautiful, the people are friendly, and it’s wonderful to have such good neighbors. People watch out for each other here, they teach their children to be respectful of others and things.”

Enough said.

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.

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:

Where Are The 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

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