North Dakota is a U.S. state in the Upper Midwest, named after the indigenous Dakota Sioux. North Dakota is bordered by the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the north and by the U.S. states of Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south, and Montana to the west. It is believed to host the geographic center of North America, Rugby, and is home to the tallest man-made structure in the Western Hemisphere, the KVLY-TV mast.
North Dakota is located in the Upper Midwest region of the United States. It lies at the center of the North American continent and borders Canada to the north. The geographic center of North America is near the town of Center. Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota, and Fargo is the largest city.
View of western North Dakota Soil is North Dakota’s most precious resource. It is the base of the state’s great agricultural wealth. North Dakota also has enormous mineral resources. These mineral resources include billions of tons of lignite coal. In addition, North Dakota has large oil reserves.
Petroleum was discovered in the state in 1951 and quickly became one of North Dakota’s most valuable mineral resources. In the early 2000s, the emergence of hydraulic fracturing technologies enabled mining companies to extract huge amounts of oil from the Bakken shale rock formation in the western part of the state. North Dakota’s economy is based more heavily on farming than the economies of most other states. Many North Dakota factories process farm products or manufacture farm equipment. Many of the state’s merchants also rely on agriculture.
North Dakota has a continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The temperature differences are significant because of its far inland position and being roughly equal distance from the North Pole and the Equator.
In 2010, 94.86% (584,496) of North Dakotans over 5 years old spoke English as their primary language. 5.14% (31,684) of North Dakotans spoke a language other than English. 1.39% (8,593) spoke German, 1.37% (8,432) spoke Spanish, and 0.30% (1,847) spoke Norwegian. Other languages spoken included Serbo-Croatian (0.19%), Chinese and Japanese (both 0.15%), and Native American languages and French (both 0.13%). In 2000, 2.5% of the population spoke German in addition to English, reflecting early 20th century immigration.
The Pew Research Center determined 77% of the adult population was Christian in 2014. In contrast with many southern U.S. states, mainline Protestantism was the largest form of Protestantism practiced (28%). The largest mainline Protestant denomination in North Dakota was the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the United Methodist Church was the second largest. Evangelical Protestants, forming the second largest Protestant branch (22%), were also dominated by Lutherans; the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod was the largest Evangelical denomination. Among the Christian population of North Dakota, the Roman Catholic Church was the single largest Christian denomination.
Non-Christian religions accounted for 3% of the adult population, with Islam being the largest non-Christian religion. Other faiths such as Unitarians and New Agers collectively made up 1% of the practicing population. At the 2014 survey, 20% were unaffiliated with any religion, and 2% of North Dakotans were atheist; 13% of the population practiced nothing in particular.
Agriculture is North Dakota’s largest industry, although petroleum, food processing, and technology are also major industries. Its growth rate is about 4.1%. According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis the economy of North Dakota had a gross domestic product of $55.180 billion in the second quarter of 2018. The per capita income for the state was $34,256, when measured from 2013 to 2017 by the United States Department of Commerce. The three-year median household income from 2013 to 2017 was $61,285.
According to Gallup data, North Dakota led the U.S. in job creation in 2013 and has done so since 2009. The state has a Job Creation Index score of 40, nearly 10 points ahead of its nearest competitors. North Dakota has added 56,600 private-sector jobs since 2011, creating an annual growth rate of 7.32 percent. According to statistics released in December 2020, by the Bureau of Economic Analysis, North Dakota had the highest rate of annual growth in personal consumption expenditures of all 50 states, from 2009-2018. During this time period, annual nominal personal income growth averaged 6% per year, compared to the U.S. average of 4.4%. North Dakota’s personal income growth is tied to various private business sectors such as agriculture, energy development, and construction. North Dakota also had the highest growth in personal expenditures on housing and utilities of all states, reflecting the sharply increased demand for housing in the 2010s.
The state has 10 daily newspapers, the largest being The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. Other weekly and monthly publications (most of which are fully supported by advertising) are also available. The most prominent of these is the alternative weekly High Plains Reader. The state’s oldest radio station, WDAY-AM, was launched on May 23, 1922. North Dakota’s three major radio markets center around Fargo, Bismarck, and Grand Forks, though stations broadcast in every region of the state. Several new stations were built in Williston in the early 2010s. North Dakota has 34 AM and 88 FM radio stations. KFGO in Fargo has the largest audience.
Broadcast television in North Dakota started on April 3, 1953, when KCJB-TV (now KXMC-TV) in Minot started operations. North Dakota’s television media markets are Fargo-Grand Forks (117th largest nationally), including the eastern half of the state, and Minot-Bismarck (152nd), making up the western half of the state. There are currently 31 full-power television stations, arranged into 10 networks, with 17 digital subchannels.
Transportation in North Dakota is overseen by the North Dakota Department of Transportation. The major Interstate highways are Interstate 29 and Interstate 94, with I-29 and I-94 meeting at Fargo, with I-29 oriented north to south along the eastern edge of the state, and I-94 bisecting the state from east to west between Minnesota and Montana. A unique feature of the North Dakota Interstate Highway system is virtually all of it is paved in concrete, not blacktop, because of the extreme weather conditions it must endure. BNSF and the Canadian Pacific Railway operate the state’s largest rail systems. Many branch lines formerly used by BNSF and Canadian Pacific Railway are now operated by the Dakota, Missouri Valley and Western Railroad and the Red River Valley and Western Railroad.
North Dakota’s principal airports are the Hector International Airport (FAR) in Fargo, Grand Forks International Airport (GFK), Bismarck Municipal Airport (BIS), Minot International Airport (MOT) and Williston Basin International Airport (XWA) in Williston.
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