North Dakota

North Dakota is a state of the United States located in the north of the United States on the Canadian border. North Dakota is 183,112 km² and has a population of over 750,000 (89% White, 5% Native American, 3% Hispanic, 2% Black and 1% Other). The capital is Bismarck. The climate is cool-temperate.

North Dakota became the 39th state to join the Union after the division of the Dakota Territory in 1889. North Dakota has the nicknames Peace Garden State, named after the International Peace Garden on the border with Canada at Dunseith, and Sioux State. The name Dakota derives from the Dakota Native American ethnic group who lived in this area before it was conquered by immigrants and who still live here today.



1 Bismarck - State capital and seat of the governor, resort town, picturesque center of North Dakota, growing daily.
2 Devils Lake - the heart of North Dakota's lake country.
3 Dickinson Crown of the Southwest, Gateway to the Badlands.
4 Fargo - North Dakota's largest city, home of North Dakota State University, cultural, medical and commercial center of the state.
5 Grand Forks - Home of the University of North Dakota.
6 Jamestown – the Buffalo City, Pride of the Prairie.
7 Minot - The Magic City, the capital of northwestern North Dakota
8 Rugby - the geographic center of North America
9 Williston - the largest city on upper Missouri and the epicenter for the state's recent oil boom


Other destinations

Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site is an open air ethnographic museum on a site of three former Native American villages situated half a mile North of a town of Stanton, ND.

Theodore Roosevelt National Park is situated in Billings County and McKenzie Counties in a state of North Dakota in US.


Getting here

By plane
Bismarck Municipal Airport (IATA: BIS)
Hector International Airport (IATA: FAR) . near Fargo.

In the street
I94 Billings MT - Bismarck ND - Fargo ND - Minnesota MN - Minneapolis MN
I29 Sioux City IA - Sioux Falls SD - Fargo ND - Canada
H2 Spokane WA - Grand Forks ND - Duluth MN
H85 Cheyenne WY - Deadwood SD - Fortuna ND - Canada



The design of the North Dakota flag is an almost exact copy of the flag carried by the North Dakota contingent of state troops in the Philippine-American War. It was passed by the North Dakota Legislature on March 3, 1911. Legislation in 1943 brought the flag into line with the original flag of the Philippine War troops, which is on display at the Heritage Center in Bismarck.

The measurements of the official flag are 33:26.



Since at least 2000 BC hunter-gatherers and sedentary farmers lived in North Dakota. Several distinct groups of Native Americans lived in the region when the first Europeans arrived. The Dakota/Sioux, the Assiniboine and the Cheyenne were nomadic and primarily hunted herds of bison. This way of life only became possible when riding horses became available in the 18th century. Around 1800 some Chippewa groups also moved to the Red River Valley in eastern South Dakota. Other Native American groups such as the Mandan, the Hidatsa, and the Arikara lived primarily from agriculture and trade, with only occasional hunting. Their fortified settlements on the Missouri River developed into fur trading centers in the 18th and 19th centuries.

The first European to reach the area was the French Canadian La Vérendrye, who led an expedition to the Mandan villages around 1738. Trade between tribes was arranged in such a way that North Dakota tribes rarely traded directly with Europeans. Nonetheless, by the time of the Lewis and Clark expedition, the tribes maintained sufficient contact with Europeans via the fur trade to be aware of French and Spanish claims to their territory. In 1837/38 a smallpox epidemic broke out in the villages on the Missouri River, killing about 90% of the native people.

The Dakota Territory was sparsely populated until the late 19th century, when railroads were being built rapidly and land was sold on a large scale. A law of February 22, 1889 under the presidency of Grover Cleveland cleared the way for North and South Dakota as well as for Montana and Washington to become a state. With the signature of his successor Benjamin Harrison, the recording took place on November 2, 1889. The dispute between the two new states as to which of them should be admitted first posed a problem. Harrison instructed his Secretary of State, James G. Blaine, to shuffle the papers and thereby obscure the order of the signatures. However, because "North Dakota" comes before "South Dakota" in the alphabet, North Dakota was included first in the statute book, making it the 39th state ahead of South Dakota.

The territorial governments, like the first state governments, were considered very corrupt. In the early 20th century, the strong influence of the Nonpartisan League led to social reform. The Great Depression hit North Dakota very hard and was compounded by the farm crisis of the 1920s. The original North Dakota Capitol burned down in the 1930s. A limestone-faced Art Deco "skyscraper," which still stands today, replaced it.

In the 1950s, the federal government undertook several major construction projects in North Dakota. These included the Garrison Dam and air force bases at Minot and Grand Forks. As oil prices soared and production became profitable, an oil boom began in the Williston Basin in the 1980's. As a result, the population grew to its highest level of almost 700,000 inhabitants. Today the population is around 640,000; this corresponds to the status of the 1920s.

Seven sites in the state have National Historic Landmark status for their historical significance.



North Dakota is located in the region of the US known as the Great Plains. The state shares the North Red River with Minnesota to the east; South Dakota is to the south, Montana is to the west, and the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba are to the north. North Dakota is located near the geographic center of North America, indicated by a stone marker at Rugby, marking the "geographic center of the North American subcontinent." With an area of 183,058 km², North Dakota is the 17th largest state.

The western and northern halves of the state are made up of foothills of the Great Plains and the Badlands, respectively. In fact, the state's highest point, White Butte, at 3,506 feet (1,069 m), and Theodore Roosevelt National Park, are located in the Badlands. The region is abundant in fossil fuels such as natural gas, crude oil and lignite coal. The Missouri River forms the artificial Lake Sakakawea, controlled by the Garrison Dam, the third largest artificial body of water in the United States by accumulated volume, behind lakes Mead and Powell.

The central region of the state is divided into the Drift Prairie and the Missouri Plateau. The eastern part of the state corresponds to the plain of the Red River of the North (the bottom of the glacial lake Agassiz). Its fertile soil, drained by the meandering Red River flowing north into Lake Winnipeg, supports a large agricultural industry. Devils Lake, the largest natural body of water in the state, is also located to the east.

Eastern North Dakota is generally flat. However, there are significant hills and buttes in western North Dakota. Most of the state is covered in grasslands, which cover most of eastern North Dakota but are increasingly sparse in central and further west. Natural trees in North Dakota are generally found where there is good drainage, such as the ravines and valleys near the Pembina River Gorge and the Killdeer Mountains, the Turtle Mountains, the hills around Devils Lake, in the dune area of McHenry County in the center of the state, and along the slopes of the Sheyenne River valley and delta. This diverse terrain is home to nearly 2,000 species of plants.



North Dakota is a good example of a continental climate: it is far from any large body of water that could help moderate its climate. Therefore, the climate of this state can be very hot and humid in summer, and very cold in winter.

The meeting of warm air masses from the Gulf of Mexico with cold air masses from the Arctic regions usually causes strong winds in the region. In summer, the collision of these different currents often produces thunderstorms and sometimes also hailstorms and tornadoes. In winter, the weather tends to be more stable (cold and dry), although the constant wind can bring flurries of snow at any time. In late fall or early spring there can be severe snow storms.

Temperatures as low as –51°C in winter and 49°C above zero in summer have been recorded in North Dakota.


Neighbore states

North Dakota borders the Canadian provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba to the north, Montana to the west, South Dakota to the south, and Minnesota to the east across the Red River of the North and the Bois de Sioux River.



To the west are some natural resources such as petroleum and lignite.



The climate of North Dakota is a typical example of a continental climate; the state is far from large bodies of water that might moderate the climate. The range therefore ranges from oppressively hot and dry summers to bitterly cold winters. Warm air masses from the Gulf of Mexico and cold air masses from the polar regions often cause strong winds.

In summer, the collision of arctic and tropical systems leads to thunderstorms, some of which are violent, on 20 to 40 days a year. Tornadoes are not uncommon, most commonly occurring in the southeast quarter of the state. In winter, the weather tends to be more stable: cold and dry, with occasional snowfall. Despite this, the constant wind can bring snowstorms at any time of the winter. Heavy snowstorms occur in late winter and early spring.

In spring, flooding is common in the very shallow Red River Valley. In 1997, a severe flood in eastern North Dakota submerged much of the Red River Valley and caused extensive damage to the city of Grand Forks.


Constitution, politics

The basis of state law is the Constitution of North Dakota. Amendments to the constitution are subject to a popular vote. In 1914, the instrument of the constitutional initiative was introduced, so that constitutional changes could also be introduced through the popular initiative.

legislative branch
Legislation lies with the North Dakota Legislative Assembly, which consists of two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. The state is divided into 47 legislative districts, each of which elects one senator and two members of the House of Representatives. Senators are elected every four years and members of the House of Representatives every two years.

At the lowest judicial level there are municipal and district courts, to which the North Dakota Court of Appeals is superior. The state's highest court is the North Dakota Supreme Court.

Federal level
Like its southern neighbor and Montana to the west, North Dakota is a conservative state that, however, relies on aid from the legislature for agriculture. This constellation leads to a preference for Republicans, most recently Donald Trump, for the office of president. Overall, the Republicans have won in every presidential election since 1968. However, in recent years this has often been offset by an open attitude towards the Democratic candidates for Congress. U.S. Senators for North Dakota are Republican John Hoeven and Republican Kevin Cramer, who won the November 2018 election against Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp; In the House of Representatives, the state is represented by Republican Kelly Armstrong.

The most important universities in North Dakota are the University of North Dakota (UND) in Grand Forks and the North Dakota State University (NDSU) in Fargo. In addition to several public and private universities and colleges, there are also five colleges specifically dedicated to indigenous education.

In the north of the state, 150 Minuteman nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles from the 91st Missile Wing of the US Air Force are stationed and are in constant operational readiness. Headquarters is Minot Air Force Base.


Culture and sights


An important writer whose works are set in North Dakota is Louise Erdrich.



Bonanzaville, USA, West Fargo
Dakota Dinosaur Museum, Dickinson
North Dakota Heritage Center, Bismarck
Fargo Air Museum, Fargo
North Dakota Museum of Art, Grand Forks
Plains Art Museum, Fargo
Roger Maris Museum, Fargo
North Dakota Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center, Washburn
Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site, Stanton



In the north of North Dakota is the “International Peace Garden”, which crosses over into Canadian territory. This landscape garden gave the state its nickname, Peace Garden State.

State parks
There are 18 state parks in North Dakota, managed by the North Dakota Parks & Recreation Department.


Economy and Infrastructure

The real gross domestic product per capita (per capita real GDP) was USD 68,723 in 2016 (national average of the 50 US states: USD 57,118; national ranking: 5). Although less than 10% of the population is employed in agriculture, it continues to play an important role. Important products are grain, potatoes and flax. North Dakota is the largest producer of barley, sunflower seeds, wheat and durum wheat in the United States. Cattle farming and turkey breeding are important.

The unemployment rate was 2.2% in March 2020 (US average: 4.4%). North Dakota had the lowest unemployment rate of any state in the country.

raw materials
Oil and gas production has become increasingly important since oil reserves were discovered near Tioga in 1951, while brown coal mining has declined. Technical progress and increased oil prices have led to an “oil boom” in the region, which has large reserves of tight oil (“fracking oil”). These are now increasingly being exploited, currently in the Bakken Formation. In March 2012, 17.9 million barrels of crude oil were produced in North Dakota, meaning that North Dakota overtook Alaska (17.5 million barrels) for the first time and was the second largest oil producer in the USA behind Texas. In October 2012, 23.2 million barrels were already produced, more than 11% of the total US production of 206.7 million barrels in October 2012.

North Dakota has great potential for wind power generation in the Great Plains, which has been increasingly exploited since 2008. Before 2008, there was little significant wind power generation, but by 2010, wind power generation had increased sharply to 5,236 million kWh, accounting for just over 4 percent of total U.S. wind energy production.



The major east-west routes are US 2 and Interstate 94. State highways 5 and 200 are also significant east-west routes. The major north-south highways are Interstate 29, US 81, US 281, US 83, and US 85.

US 52 runs northwest to southeast from Portal to Jamestown and then along with I-94 to Fargo. US 12 runs through the extreme southwest of the state and intersects US 85 in Bowman to Denver and El Paso (Texas).

The BNSF Railway and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CP) maintain the most extensive rail network in North Dakota. Regional companies are the Dakota, Missouri Valley and Western Railroad (DMVW) and the Red River Valley and Western Railroad (RRVW), which mostly operate on leased BNSF and CP branch lines that were due to be closed.

In addition to those mentioned, the railway companies that operate in North Dakota include two others:
Dakota Northern Railroad
Northern Plains Railroad

Former railway companies in the state were:
Burlington Northern Railroad
Chicago and North Western Railway (CNW)
Great Northern Railway (GN)
Milwaukee Road (MILW)
Midland Continental Railroad
Northern Pacific Railway
Soo Line (SOO)

air traffic
North Dakota has 90 public airports. Regular flights serve Bismarck, Devils Lake, Dickinson, Fargo, Grand Forks, Jamestown, Minot and Williston.

Other infrastructure
Fargo is home to the KVLY-TV mast, a television broadcast tower with a height of 628.8 meters, making it the fifth tallest structure in the world (as of 2023).