These Are The 10 Best Places To Live In North Dakota For 2018

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

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2018.

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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 Place 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.

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


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

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

Lincoln has some of the highest home values in North Dakota, and they’re going up fast. Additionally, Lincoln only has 50.0% of its residents living in poverty.

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

West Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility


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

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of North Dakota, as there were only 66 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 4th lowest in North Dakota (1.2%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 6th most expensive in West Fargo ($190,400), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $71,516 a year.

Stanley, ND

Overall SnackAbility


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

Stanley has a strong showing in our best places to live in North Dakota analysis, coming it at 3rd best.

It ranks highly like many others in the top ten for a low unemployment rate and high adjusted median income. It scored extra points relative to the top ten for its size and things to do.

If you’re thinking of moving to North Dakota, Stanley is a great option.

Hazen, ND

Overall SnackAbility


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

The crime is the 1st lowest in the state in Hazen, and there were only 0 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 Hazen earn $77,275 a year.

Horace, ND

Overall SnackAbility


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

If you want to live in North Dakota, you can’t go wrong if you decide to make the Horace area your home. However, everyone and their mother wants to live here.

Can you blame them? It’s a beautiful place with really low crime, where a majority of residents are wealthy (a $107,000 median income will do that).

Plus, the residents are really involved with helping to make Horace as great as possible. You can’t get it much better than in Horace.

Williston, ND

Overall SnackAbility


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 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 Williston has one; the unemployment rate is hovering at about 2.2% and lowering. And the Williston police department is doing a solid job, as crime is the 14th lowest in the state here.

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

Lisbon, ND

Overall SnackAbility


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

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

The unemployment rate here is really low, and at 0.7%, Lisbon 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, Lisbon is doing quite well.

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

Dickinson, ND

Overall SnackAbility


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

Say what you want about cheap living. The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s A LOT of demand to live in Dickinson.

Dickinson ranked impressively high for its crime rate (9th overall) and its short commute times (14th).

We think that’s worth the price of admission.

Bismarck, ND

Overall SnackAbility


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

By far the largest city at the top of our rankings, Bismarck has a well deserved spot on this list. Let’s look at why.

It is a solid place to live due to the relatively low crime for a city its size and the fact that residents are employed at a high rate.

Plus, obviously, there’s a boat load of things to do every day of the week.

Minot, ND

Overall SnackAbility


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

Things can’t get much better than in the town of Minot. The crime is the 13th lowest in the entire state, and the residents who live in Minot make huge salaries, and almost all of them have great jobs.

The median home costs a cool $201,900 and households make $62,324 which is good for 9th in North Dakota.

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 2018.

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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