ND Department of Economic Development and Finance
North Dakota Details
"No matter where I went, it was a presentable city and you could see people have pride in the community. Even when the garages were open, you could see the insides were immaculate."

John Sykes, Sykes Enterprises, Inc.

Quality Living

According to the Morgan Quitno Press, "Certain states just seem to have a better track record of maintaining an all around high quality of life for their citizens." This assertion supports the heart of this chapter and offers another reason you'll find North Dakota a great place to do business.

North Dakota ranked tenth in the nation as the 1996 Most Livable State, up from 14th in 1995. This award is based on numerous factors, from median household income to crime rate, sunny days to highway mortality rate, and reflects the state's basic quality of life.

Money Magazine, in its 1996 search for best places to live, ranked Fargo 14th out of 300 cities. These rankings are based on detailed factors within the categories of weather, economy, housing, health care, education, crime, transportation, leisure, arts and culture.

North Dakotans don't lose valuable time commuting to and from work because we don't experience the stress of traffic congestion. The average commute in North Dakota is 13 minutes, as compared to 22.4 in the U.S. We have the lowest average travel time in the nation; New York has the highest with 28.6 minutes.

In North Dakota, a strong family-oriented lifestyle is not a thing of the past. Traditional values continue to weave people together and create strong progressive communities.


There's Safety in (Low) Numbers

The uncrowded land of North Dakota may surprise you. It's inviting and friendly, no longer the mysterious frontier of days past. We believe our state is a well-kept secret, a place unlike most of the nation. We trust our neighbors and rarely feel that our trust is misplaced.

In 1994, North Dakota had 9.2 persons per square mile. Only three other states had lower densities: Alaska, Wyoming and Montana. The U.S. average density: 73.6 persons per square mile.

You'll find friendly, honest people are the rule and not the exception. We consistently rank at the top of any survey on low crime-rates; but, more than that, everyday living is less stressful because our towns and communities are safe. Parents bring their children here because they want them to grow up without fear, where it's safe to play in their own backyards.

Numerous reports verify that fact...

"North Dakota has the lowest violent crime rate of 50 states - 82.2 per 100,000 population. Not only does ND have the nation's lowest violent crime rate, it's also a safe place for possessions."

American Demographics, January, 1995

Crime Stoppers - Best Crimefighters

National Criminal Justice Report
State Ranking State Ranking
North Dakota 1 Mississippi 46
Maine 2 Alabama 47
New Hampshire 3 California 48
Iowa 4 Texas 49
Minnesota 5 Louisiana 50

"A new report ranks North Dakota as the top crime fighting state in the nation. When crimes occur in ND, law enforcement officials do a good job of catching the criminals and moving them through the judicial system - ND recorded just eight homicides in 1995.

"ND law enforcement officials like to think their state is tops in crime-fighting for other reasons, like its low jobless rates and strong community- police ties. ND, for example, has an unemployment rate of 3.2% compared with the national rate of 5.8%. The more people work, the less time they have to commit crimes." National Criminal Justice Commission Report, March 12, 1996

North Dakota ranked second among the fifty states for overall child well-being in the 1996 Kids Count Data Book. This ranking is based on ten indicators that measure the educational, social, economic, and physical well-being of children. And North Dakota ranked in the top five for half of the indicators!

Overall Well-Being of Children

USA Today, June 3, 1996 - The Annie E. Casey Foundation
State Ranking State Ranking
New Hampshire 1 South Carolina 46
North Dakota 2 Alabama 47
Iowa 3 Florida 48
Maine 4 Mississippi 49
Vermont 5 Louisiana 50


Quality Education

The quality of our schools is a major factor employers cite when they decide to locate to our state. Parents also want to know their children will be safe. In North Dakota, children enjoy a strong learning environment without fear for their safety. North Dakota also has the lowest high school dropout rate in the nation and one of the highest attendance rates. For businesses, this translates into workers who have grown up with values of dedication and reliability.

North Dakota ranks first among all states in the percentage of high school graduates who go on to college and has the largest per capita number of school-age children whose parents have attended colleges or universities. Our tradition of continuing education is apparent, and access to "trainable" workers is of great value to all employers.


Quality Health Care

Low-cost, high-quality health care is available in North Dakota! This isn't news to most North Dakotans, but for a business looking at our state, it may well be. We have a tradition of getting the most for our money from our state-of-the-art health care facilities.

North Dakota ranks 47th in the U.S. in average cost for a community hospital stay per patient, at $507 per day. ND also ranks third highest in the U.S. in number of nurses per 100,000 persons.

In addition, our residents have a tradition of making quality health care a priority. American Demographics statistics bear that out. "Connecticut is the state with the highest share of non-elderly with private health insurance - 83 percent. Utah, Wisconsin and North Dakota are next, each with 81% of the population covered through private sources."


Quality Environment

For most North Dakotans, air pollution is some-thing that's only experienced on trips outside the state. Clean air and clean communities are the norm. In 1994, North Dakota ranked 1st in air quality. We value the air, earth and water responsible for good crops, a clean environment and a healthy lifestyle.



The median price for homes in North Dakota is far below the national average. According to Century 21, the average price for a 3-bedroom home in Fargo, ND is $82,100 and $79,900 in Bismarck, as compared to a national average of about $105,000. The price of a similar home in Grand Forks, ND is $77,793.


Low Insurance Costs

According to the National Association of Independent Insurers, states with higher average auto insurance premiums tend to have higher average costs of living, high vehicle density, higher average hospitalization costs and collision repair costs. Auto insurance in North Dakota was the lowest in the U.S. in 1993.

Our state ranks low in injury accidents, car theft and number of uninsured drivers. We're 49th in number of injury accidents; 48th with respect to vehicle thefts; and 43rd for estimated number of uninsured drivers.


Community Pride

John Sykes, President and Chief Executive Officer of the computer support firm, Sykes Enterprises, Incorporated, believes in looking a community over before locating an office there. When speaking about his tour of the Bismarck area he said, "No matter where I went, it was a presentable city, and you could see people have pride in the community. Even when the garages were open, you could see the insides were immaculate."

North Dakota has much to offer its citizens - friendly neighbors with lifestyles that respect family, property, education and environment.

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