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

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

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

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 comes in 2nd in our best places to live in North Dakota analysis.

Ranking highly for its exceptionally low unemployment rate (4th overall) and crime rate (7th overall), West Fargo is the exact kind of place you’d want to live with a family.

Several large companies call the surrounding area home which should keep West Fargo in our lists for years to come.

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

Little Stanley has it made. It has the 22nd lowest unemployment rate, and crime is far below average for North Dakota.

Residents here have great jobs, and the home price proves it’s a highly desirable location in the state, for those who can afford the high cost of living

We’d recommend you start saving up!

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

If you live in Hazen, you probably know how great it is already.

Hazen has a stable economy where residents earn a large salary ($77,275). And the crime is really, really low (1st lowest in North Dakota).

If we could afford to move here, we probably would.

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

Horace is known for having a great education system and has the 21st shortest commute time.

Additionally, the unemployment rate in Horace is the 5th lowest in North Dakota and the median income is the highest 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

The crime rate is much lower here than in the rest of North Dakota, as there were only 75 violent crimes in the city limits last year. The unemployment rate is the 10th lowest in North Dakota (2.2%), and the public schools are ranked 3rd in the state in terms of spending per student.

Additionally, homes are the 3rd most expensive in Williston ($223,800), meaning a lot of people want to live there.

Plus, the residents earn a really great salary: $90,875 a year.

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 has a strong showing in our best places to live in North Dakota analysis, coming it at 7th 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, Lisbon is a great option.

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

The Town of Dickinson consistently ranks as one of the best places to live. There aren’t any surprises here. Which probably adds credibility to our data, right?

Let’s see why Dickinson ranks so high. First of all, the homes in Dickinson are the 2nd most expensive in the state of North Dakota, with the average home worth a whopping $224,800. We’re not elitists, nor are we saying that big homes means a better place to live. But price reflects demand, and simply put, a lot of people want to live in Dickinson if they can afford it.

Other numbers that stand out: Dickinson residents have the 5th highest income in the state, and the 9th lowest crime numbers 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

Bismarck has a really low crime rate (20th lowest) and only 1.9% of the people are unemployed. Additionally, residents here have high paying jobs ($60,320). And that goes a long way.

The population is growing at a steady clip, and the cost of living is lower than it should be. So people have an extra incentive to live in Bismarck.

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

We wouldn’t be surprised to see CNN call Minot one of the best places to live in the United States. Not only do the residents all make great livings, there’s essentially no crime in the entire city. And the residents are very involved in the community.

They can’t build homes fast enough here as it seems everyone wants a piece of Minot.

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

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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