The 10 Best Counties To Live In North Dakota For 2021


Using science and data, we can tell you which counties in North Dakota have the most for people looking to make the move to North Dakota.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the best counties to live in North Dakota.

Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is North Dakota a good place?

The answer is unequivocally yes... if you know where to locate the best places to live in North Dakota.

Lucky for you, we're here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Peace Garden State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn't our first rodeo -- we've been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.

So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of North Dakota, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 53 counties in the state.

After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Peace Garden State for 2021.

Renville County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in North Dakota. And you might want to avoid Sioux County if you can -- at least according to the data.

So if you're thinking of making the move North Dakota, we've got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out the best places to live in North Dakota and the cheapest places to live in North Dakota.

The Best Counties To Live In North Dakota For 2021

1. Renville County

Glenburn, ND

Biggest Place: Mohall

Population: 2,442
Median Income: $73,182 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $134,700.0 (23rd best)
Unemployment Rate: 221.7% (24th best)
More on Renville County: PhotosData

2. Burke County

Biggest Place: Bowbells

Population: 2,182
Median Income: $77,232 (5th best)
Median Home Price: $114,400.0 (3best)
Unemployment Rate: 241.0% (27th best)
More on Burke County: Data

3. Mclean County

Garrison, ND

Biggest Place: Garrison

Population: 9,584
Median Income: $68,529 (15th best)
Median Home Price: $174,400.0 (13th best)
Unemployment Rate: 117.2% (10th best)
More on Mclean County: PhotosData

4. Foster County

Carrington, ND

Biggest Place: Carrington

Population: 3,260
Median Income: $61,425 (27th best)
Median Home Price: $143,500.0 (2best)
Unemployment Rate: 51.1% (3rd best)
More on Foster County: PhotosData

5. Ransom County

Lisbon, ND

Biggest Place: Lisbon

Population: 5,314
Median Income: $63,903 (22nd best)
Median Home Price: $121,700.0 (26th best)
Unemployment Rate: 134.5% (14th best)
More on Ransom County: PhotosData

6. Burleigh County

Bismarck, ND

Biggest Place: Bismarck

Population: 94,793
Median Income: $71,524 (11th best)
Median Home Price: $263,600.0 (best)
Unemployment Rate: 213.7% (22nd best)
More on Burleigh County: PhotosData

7. Billings County

Medora, ND

Biggest Place: Medora

Population: 922
Median Income: $75,208 (7th best)
Median Home Price: $199,400.0 (9th best)
Unemployment Rate: 366.4% (47th best)
More on Billings County: PhotosData

8. Sargent County

Gwinner, ND

Biggest Place: Gwinner

Population: 3,872
Median Income: $63,073 (24th best)
Median Home Price: $110,200.0 (34th best)
Unemployment Rate: 132.1% (13th best)
More on Sargent County: Data

9. Dickey County

Ellendale, ND

Biggest Place: Oakes

Population: 4,938
Median Income: $65,492 (16th best)
Median Home Price: $118,100.0 (28th best)
Unemployment Rate: 248.2% (30th best)
More on Dickey County: PhotosData

10. Morton County

Mandan, ND

Biggest Place: Mandan

Population: 30,868
Median Income: $70,556 (13th best)
Median Home Price: $208,600.0 (7th best)
Unemployment Rate: 212.1% (2best)
More on Morton County: PhotosData

How do you determine which North Dakota county is the best?

To give you the best county in North Dakota, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what's a "best county" and what isn't. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you'd make at a bar using facts, don't take this analysis to court.

With that in mind, we went to two of the best sources of data on the internet; the American Community Survey data and FBI Crime data for the most recent time period.

We paid particular attention to:

  • Violent Crime Rates
  • Property Crime Rates
  • Median Home Values
  • Median Income
  • Unemployment Rates
  • Adult Education Levels
  • Health Insurance Coverage
  • Poverty Rates

We then ranked each county in North Dakota across each of the criteria from one to 53, with one being the best.

Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the "Best County To Live In North Dakota".

The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Peace Garden State.

Read on to see why Renville County is the best county, while Sioux County is probably in contention for being the worst county in North Dakota.

There You Have It - The Best Counties In North Dakota To Call Home For 2018

It turns out living in North Dakota can vary from one part of the state to the next -- who woulda thought?

But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that's why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.

Here's a look at the worst counties in North Dakota according to the data:

  1. Sioux County
  2. Benson County
  3. Towner County

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Counties In North Dakota

County Rank Population Median Income Median Home Price
Renville County 1 2,442 $73,182 $134,700.0
Burke County 2 2,182 $77,232 $114,400.0
Mclean County 3 9,584 $68,529 $174,400.0
Foster County 4 3,260 $61,425 $143,500.0
Ransom County 5 5,314 $63,903 $121,700.0
Burleigh County 6 94,793 $71,524 $263,600.0
Billings County 7 922 $75,208 $199,400.0
Sargent County 8 3,872 $63,073 $110,200.0
Dickey County 9 4,938 $65,492 $118,100.0
Morton County 10 30,868 $70,556 $208,600.0
Mercer County 11 8,462 $82,181 $177,800.0
Logan County 12 1,872 $59,375 $86,800.0
Traill County 13 8,008 $64,453 $150,600.0
Williams County 14 35,208 $87,161 $247,400.0
Pierce County 15 4,126 $55,660 $128,600.0
Slope County 16 742 $63,611 $101,800.0
Ward County 17 68,812 $68,871 $213,100.0
Oliver County 18 1,842 $78,929 $190,600.0
Stark County 19 31,081 $72,045 $239,000.0
Steele County 20 1,744 $70,724 $85,300.0
Divide County 21 2,335 $62,865 $151,200.0
Dunn County 22 4,395 $76,719 $192,500.0
Cass County 23 176,975 $64,482 $223,800.0
Mchenry County 24 5,878 $64,179 $117,100.0
Bowman County 25 3,148 $62,442 $148,600.0
Mountrail County 26 10,321 $72,147 $165,700.0
Cavalier County 27 3,803 $64,798 $104,500.0
Ramsey County 28 11,583 $58,910 $164,700.0
Adams County 29 2,311 $56,681 $121,200.0
Wells County 30 3,976 $57,582 $94,800.0
Bottineau County 31 6,502 $60,381 $150,100.0
Pembina County 32 6,947 $64,549 $93,300.0
Barnes County 33 10,706 $58,365 $141,400.0
Richland County 34 16,254 $61,371 $127,900.0
Griggs County 35 2,409 $53,565 $97,600.0
Kidder County 36 2,466 $54,643 $114,400.0
Grand Forks County 37 70,224 $54,051 $206,500.0
Mckenzie County 38 13,334 $77,845 $238,600.0
Golden Valley County 39 1,845 $58,690 $116,200.0
Lamoure County 40 4,125 $60,806 $107,700.0
Walsh County 41 10,751 $55,700 $91,100.0
Mcintosh County 42 2,597 $52,587 $77,100.0
Emmons County 43 3,310 $55,902 $97,000.0
Stutsman County 44 20,965 $57,674 $155,500.0
Eddy County 45 2,301 $54,868 $87,700.0
Hettinger County 46 2,547 $60,164 $111,200.0
Nelson County 47 2,894 $52,039 $84,300.0
Rolette County 48 14,511 $43,158 $84,000.0
Grant County 49 2,353 $50,938 $81,800.0
Sheridan County 50 1,409 $51,055 $84,400.0
Towner County 51 2,224 $52,300 $70,200.0
Benson County 52 6,873 $47,667 $78,100.0
Sioux County 53 4,373 $38,939 $83,800.0

Talk To A Relocation Expert

Need help figuring out where to move? Email YouTube star Nick Johnson at [email protected].

It's $200 for a phone consultation, and you'll go over politics, weather, cost of living, schools, culture and more to discover which city is the PERFECT place for your family to move to.

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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