The 10 Most Expensive Places To Live In North Dakota For 2022


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

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2022. This is our ninth 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 2022.

So where is the most expensive place to live in North Dakota? That would be Watford City.
the 2016-2020 American Community Survey for the 51 places in North Dakota with more than 1,000 people.

Here are the 10 most expensive places to live in North Dakota for 2022:

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

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

So hopefully Rolla (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 2022

1. Watford City

Watford City, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 7,146
Rank Last Year: 3 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.8x (4th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 65.0x (7th most expensive)
More on Watford City: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Watford City comes in at $75,000 and the median home value is $283,000 for 2022.

2. Surrey

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 1,061
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.5x (7th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 41.2x (most expensive)
More on Surrey: Real Estate | Data

The median income in Surrey comes in at $65,469 and the median home value is $230,300 for 2022.

3. Grand Forks

Grand Forks, ND

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 56,588
Rank Last Year: 2 (Down 1)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.2x (most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 61.4x (3rd most expensive)
More on Grand Forks: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Grand Forks comes in at $50,194 and the median home value is $209,800 for 2022.

4. Fargo

Fargo, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 123,550
Rank Last Year: 4 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.9x (3rd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 70.1x (11th most expensive)
More on Fargo: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Fargo comes in at $57,520 and the median home value is $225,500 for 2022.

5. Dickinson

Dickinson, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 22,880
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.6x (6th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 73.3x (18th most expensive)
More on Dickinson: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Dickinson comes in at $66,306 and the median home value is $237,900 for 2022.

6. Bismarck

Bismarck, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 73,435
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 2)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.7x (5th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 77.4x (25th most expensive)
More on Bismarck: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Bismarck comes in at $67,629 and the median home value is $249,200 for 2022.

7. Williston

Williston, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 27,812
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.2x (9th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 76.2x (22nd most expensive)
More on Williston: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Williston comes in at $76,873 and the median home value is $244,400 for 2022.

8. Minot

Minot, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 47,834
Rank Last Year: 8 (No Change)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.3x (8th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 73.0x (17th most expensive)
More on Minot: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Minot comes in at $64,401 and the median home value is $211,000 for 2022.

9. Casselton

Casselton, ND

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,738
Rank Last Year: 27 (Up 18)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 4.0x (2nd most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 82.6x (34th most expensive)
More on Casselton: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Casselton comes in at $54,570 and the median home value is $219,800 for 2022.

10. Jamestown

Jamestown, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 15,216
Rank Last Year: 15 (Up 5)
Home Price To Income Ratio: 3.0x (11th most expensive)
Income To Rent Ratio: 72.5x (16th most expensive)
More on Jamestown: Real Estate | Data | Photos

The median income in Jamestown comes in at $49,846 and the median home value is $151,100 for 2022.

Methodology: How We Determined The Most Expensive Places To Live In The Peace Garden State For 2022

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 2016-2020 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 51 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 Watford City. You can download the data here.

Summary: Taking A Chunk Out Of Your Paycheck In North Dakota For 2022

Well there you have it, the places in North Dakota that have the highest cost of living, with Watford City 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. Rolla
  2. Cooperstown
  3. Oakes

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 Watford City 4.33 7,146 3.8x 65.0x
2 Surrey 5.33 1,061 3.5x 41.2x
3 Grand Forks 6.0 56,588 4.2x 61.4x
4 Fargo 7.67 123,550 3.9x 70.1x
5 Dickinson 10.0 22,880 3.6x 73.3x
6 Bismarck 11.0 73,435 3.7x 77.4x
7 Williston 11.67 27,812 3.2x 76.2x
8 Minot 12.67 47,834 3.3x 73.0x
9 Casselton 16.0 2,738 4.0x 82.6x
10 Jamestown 16.67 15,216 3.0x 72.5x
11 Rugby 17.33 2,583 2.8x 70.9x
12 Mandan 17.33 22,482 3.1x 81.4x
13 Lincoln 18.33 4,140 2.5x 77.7x
14 Devils Lake 18.67 7,302 2.9x 64.6x
15 Valley City 19.33 6,393 2.6x 70.4x
16 Wahpeton 20.0 7,772 2.8x 66.9x
17 New Town 21.33 2,693 2.6x 71.5x
18 West Fargo 21.33 36,406 2.8x 91.6x
19 Burlington 23.0 1,455 2.5x 79.7x
20 Parshall 23.5 1,364 2.5x 70.3x
21 Horace 24.0 2,847 2.6x 190.1x
22 New Salem 27.0 1,019 2.4x 80.6x
23 Garrison 28.0 1,708 2.6x 86.9x
24 Carrington 28.33 1,977 2.6x 81.9x
25 Bowman 28.67 1,592 2.4x 88.6x
26 Lisbon 28.83 1,788 2.3x 75.7x
27 Harvey 30.0 1,625 2.3x 65.9x
28 Velva 30.67 1,256 2.6x 114.7x
29 Cando 31.0 1,206 2.4x 74.6x
30 Washburn 31.33 1,361 2.4x 103.2x
31 Beulah 32.67 3,201 2.3x 111.7x
32 New Rockford 32.67 1,428 2.1x 63.4x
33 Larimore 32.67 1,298 2.4x 89.6x
34 Mayville 33.33 1,892 2.2x 86.4x
35 Hettinger 33.33 1,027 2.3x 76.6x
36 Stanley 33.33 2,697 2.0x 87.2x
37 Thompson 33.67 1,143 2.2x 172.4x
38 Crosby 33.83 1,244 1.7x 68.1x
39 Cavalier 34.33 1,328 2.2x 75.8x
40 Bottineau 35.0 2,017 2.3x 88.0x
41 Park River 35.33 1,478 1.6x 57.3x
42 Hillsboro 36.0 1,627 2.3x 94.8x
43 Hazen 37.67 2,448 1.8x 94.8x
44 Gwinner 38.17 1,054 1.9x 78.4x
45 Grafton 39.67 4,139 1.7x 76.3x
46 Beach 41.0 1,027 1.8x 87.1x
47 Langdon 42.33 1,936 2.0x 93.9x
48 Ellendale 44.0 1,054 1.7x 78.2x
49 Oakes 45.67 2,036 1.7x 123.5x
50 Cooperstown 46.33 1,042 1.8x 91.0x
51 Rolla 47.33 1,409 1.7x 91.5x

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.