Bakken: ND has some numbers to brag aboutWe’re coming. We’re coming. Look out, Minnesotans.
By: Ryan Bakken, Forum News Service
We’re coming. We’re coming. Look out, Minnesotans. Those footsteps you hear are from North Dakotans. According to recently released U.S. Census figures, Minnesota’s population grew by only 1.4 percent from 2010 to 2012.
Meanwhile, North Dakota’s population grew by 4 percent in the same timeframe. So, if you want to be part of a winner, go west, young man and young woman.
Granted, North Dakota wins the population war only when you use percentages. In a raw body count, Minnesota added 75,214 people while North Dakota added 27,037 in those two years. So, there’s no prospect of passing the Land of 10,000 Snowmelt Runoff Reservoirs any time soon.
Still, the numbers provide some bragging rights. Ten years ago, Minnesota was the fastest-growing state in the Upper Midwest and several of its counties were among the 100 fastest-growing in the country.
The latest numbers show that North Dakota has two counties — McKenzie and Williams — ranked among the nation’s the top five fastest growing. Yes, they’re from oil country, just as the other five North Dakota counties with double-digit growth.
North Dakota’s oil-producing counties are at the forefront of almost all news in the state, whether the news is good — job growth and tax revenues — or bad — traffic fatalities and pollution.
The other big news out of the Census estimates is that population growth of North Dakota border counties are growing more than their sister counties across the Red River.
For instance, Grand Forks County has an estimated increase of 611 people, or 0.9 percent. Meanwhile, Polk County’s population has fallen by 184 people, a 0.6 percent loss. The Census estimates don’t have numbers for cities.
The comparisons are similar for the counties that harbor Fargo and Moorhead. Cass County (Fargo) has grown 4.3 percent, while Clay County has increased by 2 percent.
Bakken is a columnist for the Grand Forks Herald, which is part of
Forum News Service. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.