North Dakota’s increase represents nation’s largest
Gov. Jack Dalrymple welcomed news this week that North Dakota’s population has reached an alltime high of 756,927, an increase of 16,887 residents since last year’s U.S. Census Bureau count.
North Dakota’s population has grown by 2.5 percent since last year, the largest percent increase among all states, the Census Bureau reported.
“It’s great to see that our economic growth continues to keep North Dakotans home and that we are attracting new residents who come for good jobs, a strong economy and our great quality of life,” Gov. Jack Dalrymple said. “After decades of out-migration and population decline, North Dakota’s economy continues to drive a dramatic shift in our demographics.
North Dakota’s population is growing, getting younger and our citizens are taking advantage of more opportunities than ever before.”
In the early 200s, North Dakota was one of only a few states with a declining and aging population. The state began to reverse that trend in 2004, with an estimated population of about 645,000 residents. Since then, North Dakota’s population has grown every year, with a total increase of more than 110,000 residents.
The in-migration of adults of child-bearing age is playing a major role in the state’s current population trend, said Kevin Iverson, manager of the North Dakota Census Office. In just the past 10 years, the number of births in North Dakota has steadily increased from about 8,380 to last year’s birth count of 11,352.
Additionally, North Dakota is becoming younger, with the state’s median age dropping in 2014 to 34.9 years of age – two years younger than the median age recorded just 10 years ago, Iverson said. North Dakota’s median age is now the 4th youngest in the nation. In 2010, North Dakota’s median age ranked 24th, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Driving North Dakota’s positive demographic trends are the state’s economy and plentiful job opportunities. North Dakota’s economy continues to be among the nation’s strongest. In the past five years, the state’s economy has averaged an annual growth rate of nearly 12 percent, four times that of the national economy. North Dakota’s unemployment rate of 2.7 percent is the nation’s lowest.
The state has created more than 123,000 net jobs since 2000, and employers currently report having nearly 16,000 open positions. Personal incomes in North Dakota have also improved dramatically in just the past 10 years. In 2004, the state’s per-capita personal income was below the national average and ranked 38th among all states. Last year, North Dakota’s per-capita personal income ranked 4th highest among all states at 121 percent of the national average.