The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In North Dakota For 2021

We used data and science to determine the places in North Dakota everyone wants to move to today.

Editor’s Note: Data has been updated for 2021. This is our seventh time ranking the fastest growing cities in North Dakota.

Is being in an area that's growing quickly a good thing or a bad thing?

Depends on who you ask. Some want bigger, more exciting cities like Fargo and Bismarck, while others want peace and quiet like in Valley City and Watford City, thank you very much.

But today we're going to put opinions aside and just look at the cold hard facts -- over the past five years, which cities in North Dakota have the grown the fastest.

After getting knee deep in the Census's American Community Survey, we emerged with this set of cities in the Peace Garden State that have people climbing over each other to get in.

These are the 10 fastest growing cities in North Dakota for 2021 according to the most recent census data:

The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In North Dakota For 2021

  1. Watford City
  2. Williston
  3. West Fargo
  4. Dickinson
  5. Mandan
  6. Minot
  7. Bismarck
  8. Fargo
  9. Grand Forks
  10. Devils Lake

What's the fastest growing city in North Dakota for 2021? Based on the most recent ACS data, Watford City ranks as the fastest growing city in North Dakota. If you happen to be a resident of Watford City, you're probably not too surprised to find it on our list.

If you're surprised--and you're wondering why these places are kind of a big deal--keep reading. We'll tell you what makes each of these 10 places in North Dakota are growing like weeds.

And if you already knew these places were happening, check out the best places to live in North Dakota or the Fastest Growing States In America.

For more North Dakota state reading:

The 10 Fastest Growing Cities In North Dakota For 2021

1. Watford City

Watford City, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 6,912
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Population 2010: 1,746
Percent Growth 295.9%
Absolute Growth: 5,166
More on Watford City: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

2. Williston

Williston, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 27,250
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Population 2010: 13,852
Percent Growth 96.7%
Absolute Growth: 13,398
More on Williston: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

3. West Fargo

West Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 35,397
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Population 2010: 23,868
Percent Growth 48.3%
Absolute Growth: 11,529
More on West Fargo: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

4. Dickinson

Dickinson, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,882
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Population 2010: 17,168
Percent Growth 33.3%
Absolute Growth: 5,714
More on Dickinson: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

5. Mandan

Mandan, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 22,301
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 1)
Population 2010: 17,813
Percent Growth 25.2%
Absolute Growth: 4,488
More on Mandan: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

6. Minot

Minot, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 48,261
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 1)
Population 2010: 39,054
Percent Growth 23.6%
Absolute Growth: 9,207
More on Minot: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

7. Bismarck

Bismarck, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 72,777
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Population 2010: 59,988
Percent Growth 21.3%
Absolute Growth: 12,789
More on Bismarck: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

8. Fargo

Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 121,889
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Population 2010: 102,527
Percent Growth 18.9%
Absolute Growth: 19,362
More on Fargo: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

9. Grand Forks

Grand Forks, ND

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility


Population: 56,500
Rank Last Year: 9 (No Change)
Population 2010: 52,294
Percent Growth 8.0%
Absolute Growth: 4,206
More on Grand Forks: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

10. Devils Lake

Devils Lake, ND

Overall SnackAbility


Population: 7,344
Rank Last Year: 10 (No Change)
Population 2010: 7,040
Percent Growth 4.3%
Absolute Growth: 304
More on Devils Lake: Homes For Sale | Data | Photos

How We Measured The Fastest Growing Cities In the Peace Garden State for 2021

To figure out which cities are growing the most, we simply had to look at the growth rates for cities sine the beginning of the decade, according to the American Community Survey put out by the census every year. Specifically:

  • Current Population
  • Population in 2010
  • Growth rate from 2010 to Current (The latest available data which came out in Dec 2018)

We ranked all 13 North Dakota cities with a population over 5,000 people from highest growth rate to lowest.

The city with the highest growth rate during this time was crowned the fastest growing city in the Peace Garden State.

And for those of you who are a little rusty with their statistics, you can calculate the growth rate by the following formula:

[Current Population - Population 2010] / [Population 2010]

Here's a graph of the cities in North Dakota with the largest percent increase in population:
Fastest Growing Cities in North Dakota Graph For 2021

Click to enlarge

These Places Grew Up So Fast In North Dakota, You Know?

So there you have it, the fastest growing cities in North Dakota are led by Watford City which has been growing at a blistering pace this decade relative to other cities and towns around the state.

It'll be interesting to see if these places can keep growing at the same rate over the next couple of years. We'll be here to let you know!

These places have been growing (or shrinking) the slowest (fastest):

  1. Valley City
  2. Wahpeton
  3. Jamestown

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of Fastest Growing Places In North Dakota For 2021

Rank City Growth Population Population 2010
1 Watford City 295.9% 6,912 1,746
2 Williston 96.7% 27,250 13,852
3 West Fargo 48.3% 35,397 23,868
4 Dickinson 33.3% 22,882 17,168
5 Mandan 25.2% 22,301 17,813
6 Minot 23.6% 48,261 39,054
7 Bismarck 21.3% 72,777 59,988
8 Fargo 18.9% 121,889 102,527
9 Grand Forks 8.0% 56,500 52,294
10 Devils Lake 4.3% 7,344 7,040

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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.

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