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7 Biggest Cities in North Dakota: How Well Do You Know The Peace Garden State?

Image: 7 Biggest Cities in North Dakota: How Well Do You Know The Peace Garden State?
A person walks through falling snow in downtown Fargo, North Dakota. (Daniel Barry/Getty Images)

By    |   Monday, 13 Apr 2015 01:29 PM

There are no big cities in North Dakota, and even though the land is vast in the Peace Garden State, there simply aren't many people who live there. Out of the estimated 319 million people who live in the U.S., only about 739,000 have put down roots in North Dakota.

That's a tiny .002 percent of the country's population, but with the help of a robust economy during the last decade's recession — the state's unemployment mark remained at about 3 percent — the state has grown by nearly 10 percent since the last population count in 2010, according to the U.S. Census.

Here are the seven biggest North Dakota cities by population, according to the U.S. Census, via North Dakota Demographics:

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1. Fargo: The city will always have one of the greatest weather contributions in U.S. history. A tornado in 1957 killed 10 people, but since it occurred during daylight hours, a video was taken of the twister. Afterward, researchers studied the cyclone, and that led to the development of the Fujita scale, which measures the damage caused by a tornado, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The Fargo tornado was later designated an F-5, the highest level on the scale.

2. Bismarck: The state's capital, its population of 67,000 is dwarfed by Fargo's 113,000. Bismarck has been North Dakota's capital since the state entered the Union, and it features the tallest building in the entire state — the 241-foot tall state capitol building. As Capitol Ideas points out, it's the only capitol building in the country that's non-symmetrical — both legislative bodies sit on one side of the building, while an executive tower towers over them on the other side of the structure.

3. Grand Forks:
In 1997, more than 50,000 residents had to be evacuated from the city when the Red River, at more than 54 feet, broke through the city's temporary dikes and flooded the city. According to the city's website, it was the largest single-city evacuation in this country since the Civil War.

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Writes the city on its website: "Grand Forks has largely recovered from that flood and has built a permanent flood protection system. With funding assistance from our federal and state governments, the careful oversight of local officials and city staff, and the outpouring of help from countless individuals and organizations, Grand Forks found its way back to normal."

4. Minot: The fourth largest city in North Dakota, with a population of about 46,000, was established in 1886 when James J. Hill — a railroad executive — temporarily stopped building the Great Northern Railroad because of winter and because he had "trouble constructing a trestle across Gassman Coulee," according to the city's website. With so many workers stuck there, a tent town was established over night, and because all those workers appeared one day as if out of thin air, the town became known as the "Magic City."

5. West Fargo:
It's a part of the Fargo-Moorhead metro area (Moorhead is just across the state line in Minnesota), but with a population of nearly 30,000, it's still the fifth biggest city in North Dakota. From 2000-2010, West Fargo also had an impressive rate of growth, increasing in population by 72.9 percent. Along with Minot, it's also one of the top five safest cities in North Dakota, according to SafeWise.com.

6. Williston: The oil boom has been good to Williston, but if a worker wants to rent there, he or she should be prepared to pay. That's because according to The Guardian, Williston is the most expensive place in the country to rent new housing. Perhaps not surprisingly, it also features the highest average wages of any city in the U.S., but also the worst housing shortage.

7. Dickinson:
Much like Williston, the oil boom has attracted many people to this city. How unexpected was this population growth? According to The Huffington Post, the city before 2012, employed neither a city planner nor a building inspector.

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There are no big cities in North Dakota, and even though the land is vast in the Peace Garden State, there simply aren't many people who live there.Out of the estimated 319 million people who live in the U.S., only about 739,000 have put down roots in North Dakota.
biggest cities in north dakota
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2015-29-13
Monday, 13 Apr 2015 01:29 PM
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