10 Best Places To Live In North Dakota For 2019

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

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


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

At an unemployment rate of 2.7%, everyone who wants a job can get one in Lincoln. And the residents command high salaries ($74,048 a year combined income), and live in big fancy homes ($186,800 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.

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

West Fargo isn't just the nicest place to live in North Dakota - it's also the one of the fastest growing places in the state. And with good reason.

It's got the 4th lowest unemployment rate, the 7th highest adjusted income, and rates above most places in education.

When you're looking at science and data, West Fargo definitely deserves a spot on the list for 2019.

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

Who wouldn't want to live in a place where there's low crime and everyone is rich? That's the case with Stanley.

Things are looking peachy keen here. The unemployment rate is the 22nd lowest in North Dakota and the median income comes in at $60,500.

This is the kind of place you brag to your friends on Facebook about.

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

Hazen is a cute little city where crime is far below the state average, and where it's affordable. The schools are also solidly rated.

Home prices clock in at $146,700 and households earn a median salary of $77,275. One could get used to that.

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

The Horace has the 5th 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 Horace is higher than the national average and households make $107,000 per year.

We'd move to Horace if we could in a heart beat.

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

Let's take a look at why Williston is a great place to call home for 2019.

There's low crime in Williston, and the residents here are gainfully employed (2.2% unemployment rate).

You can make Williston your home for only $223,800 which won't be too hard on a $90,875 household salary.

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

Lisbon 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.

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

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


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.

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


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

With the unemployment rate being the 10th lowest in North Dakota and very stable household median incomes, it's easy to see why someone would want to live in Minot.

Plus, the crime rate is the 13th lowest in the state!

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 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

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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