"I have always said I would not have been President had it not been for my experience in North Dakota." - Theodore Roosevelt plant
Life in North Dakota

North Dakota is known as the "Peace Garden State," which sounds pretty darn pleasant and lovely, right? The nickname is a fitting one since the nation's 39th state is filled with beautiful landscapes and scenic grassland. It also marks the "Geographic Center of the North American Continent." North Dakota is the 19th largest state in the nation, covering 70,762 square miles. If you can deal with the locals' famously distinctive accent, you're home free residing in this lovely section of the United States' Midwest.

Moving to North Dakota

So you're interested in North Dakota? Make sure to plan your move when the weather is most suitable for lugging around furniture. This means you should avoid the winter months since the cold and snow will surely be an obstacle. You may also want to avoid July and August since temperatures can get high into the mid 80s. Also be careful moving in during the spring months because tornadoes tend to visit the state around then.

A majority of homes in North Dakota are single detached homes, but those looking to find hi-rise apartments will be please to know they have a good chance of snagging one. Renters may face stiff competition when looking for a home in North Dakota since over half of the state is owner occupied.

If you are renting, be sure you bring all the proper documents with you; copies of ID, letters of reference, rental history, bank statements, etc. Most importantly, don't forget your checkbook or your duffel bag of cash since you will need to pay a deposit along with any other applicable fees.

Major Cities in North Dakota

Check out the list below for an overview of major cities in North Dakota and what each city can offer you.

Bismarck: This well-known state capital city is also the county seat of Burleigh County. With the second largest city population in the state (61,272 people at the 2010 census to be exact), Bismarck is fittingly home to the North Dakota State Capitol building, the tallest building statewide. Founded in 1872, this city has a rich history and has served as state capital since 1889. This city has more than just government buildings full of suits and ties. With numerous city-wide parks, hiking trails, sports facilities, nature preserves and biking trails, outdoor lovers will have no problem enjoying the beauty of nature. If you do happen to wear a tie, make sure you put down the paperwork for a moment to stop and smell the roses.

In February 2007, 8,962 people gathered at the capitol grounds and participated in a snow angel event for the books, breaking the record for most snow angels made in one place.

Fargo: You've seen the movie, but that doesn't mean you know Fargo. The Academy Award-winning movie written and directed by brothers Joel and Ethan Coen definitely put Fargo on the map, but the city was actually founded way back in 1871. It also happens to serve as the county seat of Cass County and claims the championship title of most populous city in the state, reporting 105,549 citizens for the 2010 census. If big city stomping grounds sound ideal to you, then Fargo is likely your best bet to rent an apartment in North Dakota -- "you betcha."

You're sure to find plenty of apartments for rent in the area around the 258-acre North Dakota State University that serves just under 15,000 enrolled students. Founded in 1890, the school was originally known as North Dakota Agricultural College and features several agricultural research extension centers across the area.

Fargo is located in the Red River Valley, aptly named for the Red River of the North's western bank's city border. This body of water makes the city a hub of rich soil, thus its agricultural roots. The river actually formed from the draining of glacial Lake Agassiz almost 10,000 years ago.

Grand Forks: The popular city of Grand Forks is the county seat of Grand Forks County (naturally). With a population of 52,838 in 2010, "The Forks" is the third most populated city in the state. Founded in 1870, the city has a great deal of history behind it. Interestingly enough, scenes from the movie "Fargo" were largely filmed in the Grand Forks area and never in Fargo itself. How's that for some movie trivia? Now go impress your friends.

Minot: The city of Minot boasts a population of 40,888 according to the 2010 census and is the county seat of Ward County. Minot was founded in 1886 and is the fourth most populated city in the state, only slightly behind the major players of Grand Forks, Fargo and Bismarck. Minot's noted Air Force Base, founded in 1957, is actually so populated that it's officially a census designated place. The base has two wings, including the 5th Bomb Wing and 91st Missile Wing.

Life in North Dakota

If you're looking for a solid workforce with ample opportunities, look no farther. This fortunate and thriving state can thank its bounty of agriculture, oil, food processing and technology industries, all of which have kept the economy here consistently thriving and robust. With such economic stability, you'll easily find apts for rent to meet any of your housing needs, from all bills paid to pet-friendly apartments.

The North Dakota state fair is held annually in Minot and happens to be the state's single largest event. Held in the beautiful sunshine of July since 1922, the fair features carnival rides, numerous exhibitions, and all kinds of music and lively entertainment. The festivities draw enormous crowds of more than 300,000 people each year.

The Plains Art Museum features three separate galleries chock full of artwork from both local and out-of-area talents. The museum's creative exhibits and displays will satisfy your inner Van Gogh, or at the very least inspire an A+ stick figure attempt.

Are you someone who just has to touch things that irritatingly read "do not touch?" Well, first off that's likely proved problematic for you, but you can touch all you like at Bismarck's Gateway to Science center. This innovative science museum offers actual hands-on activities and exhibits to dutifully enrich visitors minds with the thrill of science. What better way to learn, right? No other science center in the state allows you to touch the displays -- doing so just gets you thrown out of most places instead.

The Empire Arts Center is known as "a jewel in the heart of Greater Grand Forks." Located in the downtown area and renovated in 1998, it features a theater and gallery with a movie-house feel and holds a vast array of entertainment and community events for residents each year.

Scandinavian Heritage Park features replicas from each of the five Scandinavian countries: Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.

University of North Dakota is the state's oldest and largest and is ranked among the country's top 100 public universities by U.S. News & World Report. It also features the only law and medicine schools statewide and an impressive School of Aerospace Sciences.

North Dakota is a wonderful place to not only find a job or rent an apartment, but also to build a life. "Dakota" itself is the Sioux word for "friend," and the locals will surely greet you as such. With such a booming economy and the beautiful Great Plains, it's the second happiest state in the country for a reason.

ND Renter Confidence Survey
National study of renter’s satisfaction with their cities and states

Here’s how ND ranks on:

Overall satisfaction
Safety and crime rate
Jobs and career opportunities
Recreational activities
Quality of schools
Social Life
Commute time
State and local taxes
Public transit

Overview of Findings

Apartment List has released North Dakota’s results from the third annual Apartment List Renter Satisfaction Survey. This survey, which drew on responses from over 45,000 renters, provides insight on what states and cities must do to meet the needs of 111 million American renters nationwide.

"North Dakota renters expressed general satisfaction with the state overall," according to Apartment List. "They gave most categories above-average or average scores."

Key findings in North Dakota include the following:

  • North Dakota renters gave their state an A overall.
  • The highest-rated categories for North Dakota were jobs and career opportunities, safety and low crime rate and commute time, which both received A+ grades.
  • The areas of concern to North Dakota renters are weather (F), public transit (C) and recreational activities (C).
  • North Dakota earned similar scores compared to nearby Minnesota (A+), Montana (A) and South Dakota (A+).
  • North Dakota did relatively well compared to other states nationwide, including Michigan (B-), Washington (B-) and New York (C+).
  • The top rated states nationwide for renter satisfaction include Colorado, Alaska, South Dakota, Idaho and Minnesota. The lowest rated states include Wyoming, Arkansas, Mississippi, West Virginia and Louisiana.