The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In North Dakota For 2021


We used science and data to determine which cities in North Dakota that will put a big dent in your wallet.

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

Everyone wants a home that mixes affordability with comfort and North Dakota does this very well. Families love the Peace Garden State's beaches, midlands, and mountains as tourists before moving here and calling it home.

But before you decide to relocate, you have to do some research into the exact cost of living around the state -- and that's how we're going to help you.

These are the places in North Dakota that cost a pretty penny -- the most expensive cities in the state.

After we saved up for months and could finally afford it, we landed on this list of the ten most expensive cities in North Dakota for 2021.

So where is the most expensive place to live in North Dakota? That would be Surrey.
the 2015-2019 American Community Survey for the 52 places in North Dakota with more than 1,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in North Dakota for 2021:

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

What's the most expensive place to live in North Dakota? Well, HomeSnacks crunched the numbers and discovered that Surrey is the most expensive place to live in North Dakota.

So hopefully Harvey (the cheapest place to live in North Dakota) can show these guys how to live on a budget in the coming years. Read on for how these places had costs rise faster than inflation.

And if you already knew these places were expensive, check out some more reading about North Dakota and the most expensive cities in the country:

The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In North Dakota For 2021

1. Surrey

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 1,053
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 7)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 43.1x (most expensive)
More on Surrey: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Surrey comes in at $66,477 and the median home value is $232,000 for 2021.

2. Grand ForksGrand Forks, ND

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 56,500
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.7x (3rd most expensive)
More on Grand Forks: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Grand Forks comes in at $50,076 and the median home value is $210,300 for 2021.

3. Watford CityWatford City, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 6,912
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 6)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.4x (4th most expensive)
More on Watford City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Watford City comes in at $74,797 and the median home value is $236,400 for 2021.

4. FargoFargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 121,889
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 67.5x (7th most expensive)
More on Fargo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Fargo comes in at $55,551 and the median home value is $212,100 for 2021.

5. BismarckBismarck, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 72,777
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 74.3x (14th most expensive)
More on Bismarck: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Bismarck comes in at $64,444 and the median home value is $245,300 for 2021.

6. LincolnLincoln, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,703
Rank Last Year: 6 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.6x (18th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 58.7x (2nd most expensive)
More on Lincoln: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Lincoln comes in at $90,231 and the median home value is $238,200 for 2021.

7. DickinsonDickinson, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 22,882
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 74.9x (15th most expensive)
More on Dickinson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Dickinson comes in at $68,718 and the median home value is $238,000 for 2021.

8. MinotMinot, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 48,261
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 72.1x (11th most expensive)
More on Minot: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Minot comes in at $66,194 and the median home value is $208,700 for 2021.

9. MandanMandan, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 22,301
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 4)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.1x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 79.5x (2most expensive)
More on Mandan: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Mandan comes in at $69,014 and the median home value is $215,300 for 2021.

10. WillistonWilliston, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 27,250
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 2.8x (13th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 87.9x (32nd most expensive)
More on Williston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Williston comes in at $84,710 and the median home value is $238,700 for 2021.

How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Peace Garden State For 2021

Map Of The Cheapest Places To Live In North Dakota
The two most important things to think about when it comes to being able to afford if you can live comes down to:

  1. How much do money do I make?
  2. How much do I have spend to live there?

You need to understand your costs in the context of how much money you make.

For example, if the median household earns $100,000 and spends $40,000 on housing it's actually cheaper to live there than a place with a median income of $50,000 and housing costs of $21,000. You might spend more on housing, but you have more money overall to play with.

With that example in mind, we derived several statistics from the latest Census American Community Survey 2015-2019 around incomes and costs. They are:

  • Median Home Price / Median Income (lower is better)
  • Median Income / Median Rent (Higher is better)
  • Median Home Price

We added simply median home price because high home prices generally correlate with higher expenses for all costs related to homes (heating, electricity, etc).

You can then compare these metrics in each of the places in North Dakota to figure out which is the most expensive.

What you are left with is a "Cost of Living Index" by taking the average rank of each of these metrics for each city.

So we used that cost of living index in order to rank all of the 52 places in North Dakota that have more than 1,000 people.

The place with the highest cost of living in North Dakota according to the data is Surrey. You can download the data here.

Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In North Dakota For 2021

Well there you have it, the places in North Dakota that have the highest cost of living, with Surrey ranking as the most expensive city in the Peace Garden State.

Here's a look at the most affordable cities in North Dakota according to the data:

  1. Harvey
  2. Gwinner
  3. Cooperstown

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Expensive Cities In North Dakota

Rank City ExpensiveScore Population Home/Income Ratio Income/Rent Ratio
1 Surrey 4.33 1,053 3.5x 43.1x
2 Grand Forks 5.0 56,500 4.2x 61.7x
3 Watford City 5.67 6,912 3.2x 65.4x
4 Fargo 6.33 121,889 3.8x 67.5x
5 Bismarck 6.33 72,777 3.8x 74.3x
6 Lincoln 8.33 3,703 2.6x 58.7x
7 Dickinson 8.67 22,882 3.5x 74.9x
8 Minot 10.33 48,261 3.2x 72.1x
9 Mandan 12.67 22,301 3.1x 79.5x
10 Williston 16.33 27,250 2.8x 87.9x
11 West Fargo 16.67 35,397 2.8x 92.5x
12 Valley City 17.0 6,460 2.8x 69.3x
13 Burlington 17.33 1,420 2.6x 74.0x
14 Rugby 17.67 2,724 2.8x 68.5x
15 Jamestown 19.33 15,289 2.8x 76.2x
16 Wahpeton 20.0 7,802 2.7x 67.5x
17 Devils Lake 22.33 7,344 2.9x 83.4x
18 Parshall 23.33 1,119 2.6x 81.2x
19 Stanley 24.33 2,655 2.4x 82.2x
20 Mayville 25.0 1,808 2.6x 77.8x
21 Hillsboro 25.33 1,601 2.8x 93.5x
22 Garrison 25.67 1,623 2.4x 77.7x
23 Bowman 27.17 1,560 2.6x 96.4x
24 Velva 27.33 1,379 2.8x 111.5x
25 Horace 28.0 2,741 2.3x 216.5x
26 Casselton 28.33 2,677 2.6x 116.5x
27 New Town 29.67 2,525 2.3x 86.1x
28 Bottineau 29.67 2,094 2.5x 91.1x
29 Hettinger 30.0 1,065 2.4x 79.9x
30 Carrington 30.0 2,133 2.5x 93.7x
31 Beach 30.67 1,024 2.1x 73.8x
32 Thompson 31.67 1,133 2.3x 139.0x
33 Tioga 32.0 1,062 1.8x 82.6x
34 Washburn 33.0 1,391 2.2x 110.4x
35 Cavalier 33.33 1,130 2.2x 79.1x
36 Hazen 33.83 2,543 1.9x 95.3x
37 New Rockford 34.67 1,393 1.9x 70.6x
38 Beulah 34.67 3,235 2.0x 136.2x
39 Crosby 34.67 1,138 2.0x 80.2x
40 Park River 36.0 1,499 1.6x 67.0x
41 Larimore 36.67 1,381 2.1x 92.0x
42 Grafton 40.67 4,182 1.6x 78.0x
43 Walhalla 41.0 1,058 1.8x 87.6x
44 Rolla 42.0 1,299 1.8x 91.4x
45 Lisbon 42.33 2,009 1.8x 109.4x
46 Ellendale 42.67 1,211 1.7x 80.8x
47 Oakes 42.67 2,129 1.7x 107.3x
48 Cando 43.33 1,083 1.7x 81.6x
49 Langdon 45.0 1,924 1.8x 110.1x
50 Cooperstown 45.33 1,103 1.9x 116.3x
51 Gwinner 46.0 1,081 1.6x 102.3x
52 Harvey 46.67 1,761 1.7x 98.0x

How Is The Area In ?

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.