Counties in North Dakota With the Most Rapid Population Decline

Exploring the 5 Counties in North Dakota With the Most Rapid Population Decline

North Dakota is a state in the northern part of the United States, near Canada and Minnesota. It’s known for its large, not-so-crowded spaces, a thriving oil and gas industry, and lots of farming.

However, North Dakota is dealing with some issues in keeping its population growing and maintaining a good quality of life. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, North Dakota’s population went up by 3,982 people from 2018 to 2019, but it went down by 0.2% from 2020 to 2021.

This drop in population is the first in a year since 2009, and it happened mainly because there were fewer jobs and less money coming in from oil and gas. This affected a bunch of small counties in North Dakota.

Here, we’ll look at the five counties that saw the biggest drop in people from 2010 to 2020.

Rolette County

In 2010, this county had 11,662 people, and by 2020, the population decreased to 11,650, a 0.32% drop. The main reason for this decline is the loss of jobs and money from the oil and gas industry, which affected many rural counties in North Dakota.

The county’s main city is Rolla, and it’s also the largest one. The people living here come from various backgrounds: 77.2% are American Indian, 20.3% are white, 0.2% are black or African American, 0.1% are Asian, and 2.1% are from two or more races.

Read More: Exploring the 5 Counties in Nevada With the Most Rapid Population Decline

Benson County

In 2010, this county had 5,754 people, and in 2020, it remained the same at 5,754, showing a slight decrease of 0.13%. The main reason for the decline is that the people living here are getting older, with low birth rates and high life expectancies compared to the rest of the state.

Counties in North Dakota With the Most Rapid Population Decline
Image By: Neilsberg

The main city in the county is Benson, which is also the second-largest. Most people in the county are white, about 98.9%, and there’s a small percentage (0.1%) of American Indian residents. The county is well-known for its oil and gas industry, which is the primary source of its economic activity.

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Grant County

In 2010, this county had 2,274 people, and by 2020, it stayed the same at 2,274, showing a slight decrease of 0.05%. The main reason for the drop is because the county heavily depends on agriculture and mining, lacking economic diversity and opportunities.

Grant City, the county seat, is the third-largest city. The county has a diverse population, with 67.8% being white, 28.9% American Indian, 0.4% black or African American, 0.4% Asian, and 1% from two or more races.

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Burke County

This county had 2,270 people in 2010 and the same number in 2020, with only a slight decrease of 0.15%. Even though this drop is small, it’s significant compared to similar-sized counties. The main reason for the decline is linked to the production of oil and gas.

Counties in North Dakota With the Most Rapid Population Decline
Image By: Neilsberg

Burke City is the county seat and the fourth-largest city, with a mostly white population (97%) and no American Indian population. The county is largely rural and not densely populated, with only about half of its residents living within its borders.

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Divide County

Divide County in North Dakota has seen a notable drop in population from 2010 to 2020, along with four other counties in the state. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the estimated population for Divide County in 2023 is 2,231, with a growth rate of 0.54% in the past year.

However, this growth is still below both the state average of 1.5% and the national average of 1.1%. Divide County is encountering challenges in maintaining its quality of life and attracting new residents. To address these issues, the county may need to invest more in education, healthcare, infrastructure, and innovation.

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Final Words

We’ve looked into the five counties in North Dakota that saw the biggest drop in population from 2010 to 2020: Rolette, Benson, Grant, Burke, and Divide.

These places have different reasons for losing people, like fewer jobs in oil and gas, an aging population, not enough economic variety, and young people moving away.

But, we found out that these counties also have good things, like a rich culture, natural resources, and chances to be creative and work together.

These counties don’t have to keep losing people; they can change and do well in the new world. But, they need to deal with some problems, like making their infrastructure, education, healthcare, and social services better. Also, they should attract and keep new residents and businesses and find solutions that fit their needs and goals.

References:

ndcompass.org, usafacts.org

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With more than two years of expertise in news and analysis, Eileen Stewart is a seasoned reporter. Eileen is a respected voice in this field, well-known for her sharp reporting and insightful analysis. Her writing covers a wide range of subjects, from politics to culture and more.