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
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
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...
"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