These Are The 10 Happiest Places In North Dakota

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 2 years ago
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There’s a search that we are all on that dwarfs our job or career search — the search for happiness.

And as we all know, where we live and the job we have can all play a big part in our overall sense of contentment and happiness. For that reason, we took a dive into a the most recent census data to help you identify which places in North Dakota have the biggest smile of them all.

On our happy data journey, we settled on seven criteria to help determine which North Dakota places are the happiest. The criteria include things like having insurance, owning a home, and having a job.

As it turns out, life is all rainbows and butterflies in West Fargo, the happiest place in North Dakota.

Don’t start feeling sad, there’s plenty of happy to go around as life is still pretty sweet in the following “Happiest Places in the Peace Garden State”:

  1. West Fargo
  2. Valley City
  3. Dickinson
  4. Bismarck
  5. Mandan
  6. Williston
  7. Jamestown
  8. Devils Lake
  9. Minot
  10. Wahpeton
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There’s Nothing We’d Rather Do Than Measure Happiness In The Peace Garden State

There’s a bunch of different studies out there that try to measure what makes people truly happy. And while we all know that money doesn’t buy happiness, it definitely removes anxieties and helps keep you healthy. It’s just that anything past about $70,000 a year doesn’t help as much.

So what else besides money contributes to your happiness? Well we think the following certainly do:

  • Being well educated (Population with at least a bachelor’s degree)
  • Having a job (As measured by the unemployment rate)
  • A short commute to work (God do people hate traffic)
  • Low cost of living
  • Having a family (Getting, and staying married, has a ton of happiness benefits, on average)
  • Owning a home (That’s a big plus)
  • And the poverty rate (Money definitely helps out)

That’s a ton of fun — and happiness — for the whole family, backed by science. The data all comes from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey.

After we decided on the criteria, we gathered the data for the 12 places in North Dakota with over 2,000 people.

We then ranked each place from one to 12 for each of the seven criteria with a score of one being the happiest (Any ties were given to the larger place).

Next, we averaged the seven rankings into a Happiness Index for each place with the lowest overall Index being crowned “Happiest Place In North Dakota”.

Read on for more happy information about the top ten or skip to the end to see a list of how every places in North Dakota ranked. Our apologies to Grand Forks which ranked 11th overall and just missed the list.

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1. West Fargo

West Fargo, North Dakota

Source: Flickr

Population: 28,371People Who Own Their Home: 65.6%
Married Adults: 57.5%

2. Valley City

Valley City, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,636People Who Own Their Home: 55.7%
Married Adults: 50.6%

3. Dickinson

Dickinson, North Dakota

Source: Flickr

Population: 19,920People Who Own Their Home: 60.2%
Married Adults: 53.1%

4. Bismarck

Bismarck, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 65,123People Who Own Their Home: 61.6%
Married Adults: 49.7%

5. Mandan

Mandan, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,381People Who Own Their Home: 68.9%
Married Adults: 53.9%

6. Williston

Williston, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 19,849People Who Own Their Home: 56.0%
Married Adults: 55.2%

7. Jamestown

Jamestown, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,407People Who Own Their Home: 56.6%
Married Adults: 44.8%

8. Devils Lake

Devils Lake, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,218People Who Own Their Home: 49.0%
Married Adults: 39.0%

9. Minot

Minot, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 44,533People Who Own Their Home: 53.2%
Married Adults: 47.3%

10. Wahpeton

Wahpeton, North Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 7,804People Who Own Their Home: 51.6%
Married Adults: 45.3%

Detailed List Of Happiest Places In North Dakota

City Rank Population People Who Own Their Home Married Adults
West Fargo 1 28,371 65.6% 57.5%
Valley City 2 6,636 55.7% 50.6%
Dickinson 3 19,920 60.2% 53.1%
Bismarck 4 65,123 61.6% 49.7%
Mandan 5 19,381 68.9% 53.9%
Williston 6 19,849 56.0% 55.2%
Jamestown 7 15,407 56.6% 44.8%
Devils Lake 8 7,218 49.0% 39.0%
Minot 9 44,533 53.2% 47.3%
Wahpeton 10 7,804 51.6% 45.3%
Grand Forks 11 54,095 44.2% 38.9%
Fargo 12 110,725 41.6% 41.1%