Relocate to North Dakota: What You Need to Know
One of the few states in the entire United States that has not had major problems because of the Great Recession is North Dakota. The unemployment rate is less that half of the national average. There is a giant government surplus. There is opportunity for those who are willing to take a risk. While there is quite a bit of opportunity, there are also some important things that need to be taken into consideration.
Why Relocate to North Dakota?
There are a number of reasons why people might want to relocate to North Dakota. The main reasons people move anywhere are usually economic. There are many jobs available in North Dakota and some of the states that adjoin it. The Great Plains have generally done much better than the nation on average over the past five years. In fact, North Dakota unemployment has not even touched 5% since 1990. North Dakota unemployment currently sits at about 3%. Just about anyone who wants a job can get a job.
Why is North Dakota in the midst of an economic boom? Two words come to mind: oil and agriculture. Both are products that everyone has a need for. Both are abundant in North Dakota. New drilling techniques have allowed for the exploitation of the Bakken Shale in western North Dakota. Some oil companies are having difficulty keeping up with demand. Industries that serve the growing communities in the oil field are having trouble maintaining an adequate staff. There are reports of truck drivers making close to six-figure salaries and people working at fast food outfits making $12-$15 per hour to start.
Of course, this has led landlords to raise rates, and the infrastructure of the region is stretched to the max. The state is making investments to improve the infrastructure, and some of the oil companies have built "man camps" to alleviate the housing shortage. This is rather common for boom towns.
There are also educational opportunities in North Dakota. North Dakota State University is one of the leading agricultural schools in the nation, and the University of North Dakota has a leading flight school. There are several small state schools spread throughout the state that frequently cost lest than many of the leading private schools in the country.
The people of North Dakota are some of the most friendly in the country. The state also has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. The state is a nice place to raise a family.
Would You Consider Moving to North Dakota?
Would You Consider Moving to North Dakota?
Things to Consider Before Moving to North Dakota
While there are many things that can endear the State of North Dakota to those looking to move, there are also some parts of life in the state that some people will not like.
There are no big cities in North Dakota. The biggest town in North Dakota is Fargo, which has a population of around 100,000. The capital of Bismarck and Grand Forks both have between 50,000 and 60,000. Some of the amenities that city lovers like will be missed in most of North Dakota. Those who have disdain for urban environments will be quite at home.
There is a housing shortage in towns like Minot and Williston. Developers are working to alleviate this problem, but it will take a little bit of time.
There is quite a bit of wide open space in North Dakota. This can be something that some people enjoy. Others will find the lack of people or civilization for miles along major roads a bit scary. For example, between Grand Forks and Fargo, there are only two exits in a 75-mile stretch that have any major signs of civilization. Be sure to fill up before getting low on gas.
Finally, there is the weather. When most people think of North Dakota, they think of snow and cold. The state has some of the wildest weather in the country. The record temperatures span over 150 degrees. The record high in Grand Forks is 109, and the record low is -42. There are several nights that will drop to -20 or lower each winter. There will also periodically be stretches where the temperature will not get above zero for days. People actually have to plug their cars in if they do not have garages protect their vehicles from freezing up.
The locals say that "30 below keeps the riff-raff out." To a large degree, this is the case, as can be seen above. The summers can be quite hot. The Red River Valley along the eastern border can see temperatures near 100 with high humidity. The western areas of the state can get even hotter, although the humidity is not usually as high. Precipitation is generally quite low, but snow can pile up and last for about six months or longer.
For those who can handle the weather and want a great opportunity, North Dakota can be a great place to live. For those who want to adapt to the community, it is a wonderful place to raise children. There are also jobs. The winter weather can seem to last forever, but it can be worth it.
One of the leading centers of the Bakken Shale boom.
One of the towns most stressed by the oil boom.
North Dakota State Capitol, home of the North Dakota Heritage Center. Free attraction for everyone.