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:
- Lincoln (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- West Fargo (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Stanley (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Hazen (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Horace (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Williston (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Lisbon (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Dickinson (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- Bismarck (Photos | Homes For Sale)
- 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.
For more North Dakota reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Live In North Dakota
- These Are The 10 Best Counties To Live In North Dakota
- 10 Cheapest Places To Live In North Dakota
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’.
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
- Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty rates
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 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?
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.
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.
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.
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
- Thompson (Pop. 1,196)
- Surrey (Pop. 1,079)
- Langdon (Pop. 1,929)
- Hettinger (Pop. 1,140)
- Burlington (Pop. 1,235)
- Washburn (Pop. 1,464)
- Carrington (Pop. 1,980)
- Bowman (Pop. 1,717)
- Hillsboro (Pop. 1,643)
- Crosby (Pop. 1,000)
Best Small Towns To Live In North Dakota
- Reile’s Acres (Pop. 514)
- Briarwood (Pop. 54)
- Prairie Rose (Pop. 84)
- North River (Pop. 60)
- Newburg (Pop. 147)
- Frontier (Pop. 192)
- Oxbow (Pop. 395)
- Pembina (Pop. 502)
- Harwood (Pop. 767)
- Buchanan (Pop. 63)
If you’re curious enough, here are the worst places to live in North Dakota according to the data:
- Jamestown (Pop. 15,441)
- Grafton (Pop. 4,287)
- Devils Lake (Pop. 7,299)
For more North Dakota reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In North Dakota
- These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In North Dakota For 2018
- These Are The 10 Richest Cities In North Dakota
- 10 Safest Places In North Dakota
- 10 Worst Places To Live In North Dakota
Detailed List Of The Best Places To Live In North Dakota