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:

  1. Lincoln (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. West Fargo (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Stanley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Hazen (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Horace (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Williston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Lisbon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Dickinson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Bismarck (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Minot (Photos | Homes For Sale)

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.

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

Well, I guess technically 2.7% of Lincoln residents who want to have a job can’t find one, so not everyone has a job, but it’s the 14th closest of any city in North Dakota.

You can tell they take business seriously as they have by far the coolest Chamber of Commerce website we came across in our research.

In addition to its incredibly low unemployment rate, Lincoln also ranked well for crime (2nd) and median income ($74,048).

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 just about as close to a perfect area as you can get. Residents here are gainfully employed, and the schools are some of the best in the state. It’s safe, and residents get to enjoy the benefits of quality at home living.

It’s quite a gem tucked away 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

The tiny town of Stanley may not remain tiny forever. The word has been out for a long, long time about how special this place is.

The residents are heavily involved in making their community even more awesome, and as many North Dakota residents know, Stanley is a great central spot for making the most of life.

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 has a long and illustrious history and its ranking in the top ten of our best places to live is just another notch in its belt.\n\Hazen had the 3rd highest household median income adjusted for cost of living at $77,275.

Not to mention that its residents have plenty to do on the weekends.

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

In Horace, everyone loves to call Horace home! The median home value is the 1st highest in North Dakota.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 5th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Peace Garden 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

Williston is by far one of the best places to live in North Dakota: the math proves it! This city has the 10th lowest unemployment rate and the 2nd highest median income in all of North Dakota.

Plus, the median home values are the 3rd highest in the state. And if all of that isn’t enough to convince you, then check this out: their crime rate is the 14th lowest in the state, making Williston a safe and great place to live.

Lisbon, ND

Overall SnackAbility

5
/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

At an unemployment rate of 0.7%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Lisbon. And the residents command high salaries ($55,136 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($106,700 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.

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

In Dickinson, everyone loves to call Dickinson home! The median home value is the 2nd highest in North Dakota.

Additionally, the unemployment rate is the 16th lowest in the state. and the crime rates are some of the lowest in Peace Garden State.

Dickinson should consider renaming to Paradise Valley in our humble opinion.

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

Bismarck has been called one of the best small towns in America. If you live here, you’re most likely already aware of how great it is to live there.

Just about everyone who wants a job in Bismarck has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 1.9% and lowering. And the Bismarck police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 20th lowest in the state here.

Who wouldn’t want to live in a place like this?

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 takes 10th place on our list of best places in North Dakota for 2019 thanks to a strong showing in unemployment rate (10th overall) and things to do.

Minot is no stranger to top ten lists, being named one of the best places to live in the country by multiple outlets over the past ten years. And that tends to happen when home prices hit $201,900 at the median.

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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