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North Dakota’s Population Grows With More Births and Net In-migration

With the exception of 2004, North Dakota hasn’t seen a net in-migration since 1981

As of July 1, 2009, North Dakota’s population totaled 646,844, which is an increase of 5,423 since July 1, 2008 (641,421 people).

This month’s “Population Bulletin,” a monthly publication from the North Dakota State Data Center at North Dakota State University, focuses on components of North Dakota’s population change (births, deaths and migration) from July 1, 2008, to July 1, 2009, as released from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Population Division.

The increase in North Dakota’s population is the result of 3,420 more births than deaths. This is the largest annual natural increase in the past couple of decades. During the same time, the state experienced an overall net in-migration of 1,896 people.

“The positive net migration is exciting news,” says Richard Rathge, State Data Center director. “Until now, with the exception of 2004, North Dakota hasn’t seen a net in-migration since 1981. This is contributing to the population growth in the western part of the state.”

Migration statistics consist of domestic and international movement. From 2008 to 2009, North Dakota experienced net domestic in-migration of 1,375 people moving to North Dakota from another state. At the same time, the state experienced a net international in-migration of 521 people.

Population change also is affected by natural change (births minus deaths). From 2008 to 2009, North Dakota reported 9,052 births and 5,632 deaths. The difference between births and deaths resulted in a natural population increase of 3,420 residents.

When net in-migration (1,896) and natural change (3,420) are combined, the result is an overall population gain of 5,316 people. The reason this number (5,316) is slightly lower than the 5,423 total gain reported by the Census Bureau is because a national population control must be applied to state and county population estimates to align them to the national estimate.

Of the 20 counties in North Dakota that had an increase in population from 2008 to 2009, 16 experienced net in-migration. The remaining four growth counties had a net out-migration but also had a natural increase that exceeded the migration loss.

NDSU Agricultural Communication

Source:Richard Rathge, (701) 231-8621,
Editor:Rich Mattern, ((701) 231-6136,
Population Changes by County Preview
(0504 population bulletin.pdf - 281.74 Kb)
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