Is It Worth Moving to North Dakota?

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You have finally decided to make the big move to North Dakota and are looking into buying or leasing a home. You came from another state or country and are wondering if this is really the place you want to be. Is it worth moving to North Dakota? Is this state really as bad as everyone says it is? How is the economy doing there? How are the schools? Will your kids like it? How dangerous is the weather? These are all important questions and it’s best to ask them before you make any kind of commitment to live here. The fact is, we have not heard a lot of good things about North Dakota, but that does not mean that everything is bad. It just means that you need to do some research before you make up your mind. Let’s take a closer look at this beautiful but unfortunate state and see what really makes it special.

Geography

This state is located in the middle of the country and shares borders with both Montana and Canada. It covers an area of approximately 102,400 square miles and has a population of about 753,000 people, which places it at number 11 on America’s most populated area. With over 200 days of sunshine a year and average temperatures between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, North Dakota is definitely a place to live. The natural beauty of the area is something that you will not soon forget. Whether you are in the great outdoors hunting, fishing, or just relaxing in the great plains, being in North Dakota is bound to be a life-changing experience. Of course, there is more than one side to this story. Geography will open up new opportunities for you, but it also has some pretty serious drawbacks. You will quickly learn that the nearest large town is almost 250 miles from your home, which is not exactly close proximity when you think about the daily grind of life. Rural areas are largely devoid of jobs and amenities, which means that if you do not like small-town life, North Dakota is probably not the place for you. In fact, over 40% of the state’s population lives in small towns, with only 14.5% living in larger cities. In comparison, the national average is 22% and 38% for the smaller and larger cities, respectively. If you are looking for urban excitement, then North Dakota is not the place for you. Of course, there is always the possibility of moving to a larger city if you should decide that this is the right place for you. The point is, North Dakota is not exactly the center of the universe and you should know what you are getting into. Take your time, do your research, and make sure that this is the right place for you.

Economy

North Dakota is often described as being ‘struggling’ or ‘in decline, which is far from the truth. In fact, North Dakota has the twelfth largest economy in the United States, averaging around $200 billion per year. This makes it the third largest in terms of purchasing power, after Texas and New Mexico. Farming and oil are the mainstays of the state’s economy, with over 90% of the jobs being linked to these sectors. In the past, the economy relied heavily on agriculture and fishing, but since the start of the 21st century, oil and gas have taken over as the primary industry. Despite the state’s natural resources, manufacturing, and tourism, which together provide a total of 16.5 million in annual revenue, only around 70,000-80,000 people work in these industries. While there is a large amount of employment in North Dakota, the average wage is only $38,600 per year. This is substantially less than the national average of $54,500. In some respects, North Dakota is a victim of its own success in terms of recruiting and hiring. More people are moving to the state to take advantage of the relatively high wages and stable economy. In a nutshell, North Dakota is doing quite well for itself and is definitely not in decline.

Climate

This is quite a contentious issue when it comes to deciding whether or not to move to North Dakota. On the one hand, you have beautiful scenery, vast open spaces, and a relatively mild climate. On the other hand, you have the wind chill that can make it feel like you have a heat wave on your hands, with lows in the 20s and 30s and highs in the 40s and 50s. You will find that the farther north you go, the worse the wind chill. Living in North Dakota is certainly not for the faint of heart, as the climate is much more extreme than most places. While you will likely not experience the extremes in terms of temperature, you will have to contend with the wind chill, which can make staying outdoors uncomfortable for longer than usual. If you love the great outdoors, then this surely is the place for you, as you will be able to enjoy all that nature has to offer. Just make sure that you bring along the appropriate clothing, as the temperature may not be what you are used to. The fact that it can be quite cold in North Dakota certainly does not mean that it is worth postponing going outdoors. While it is not exactly a tropical retreat, you will not get complacent and soon find that the climate does not get the best of you. You will have to put up with the wind chill and be prepared to bundle up when venturing outdoors, especially at night. If you can handle the climate, then North Dakota is certainly a place to consider, as you will be able to enjoy life to the fullest.

 

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