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North Dakota’s 2010 Census Count 2nd Highest in History

According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2010 redistricting data, the current population in North Dakota is 672,591. This is the second highest population in the state’s history and a 5 percent increase from the 642,200 people counted in the 2000 census.

This month’s “Population Bulletin,” a monthly publication from the North Dakota State Data Center at North Dakota State University, focuses on the 2010 redistricting data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

On Dec. 21, 2010, the nation saw the very first results from the 2010 census when the U.S. Census Bureau released the total population counts for the nation and each state. As mandated by the Constitution, the census counts every resident in the United States every 10 years to determine the number of seats each state receives in the U.S. House of Representatives.

These counts also show how the population has grown and shifted during the last decade.

In February and March of 2011, each state received local-level 2010 census data on race, Hispanic origin and voting age population.

As required by law, the Census Bureau provides these key demographic data to the states so state governments can redraw the boundaries of their U.S. Congressional and state legislative districts. Additional data from the 2010 census will be released on a flow basis through 2013.

The population in North Dakota continues to be concentrated. The majority of North Dakotans (53 percent in 2010) reside in the top four populated counties (Cass, Burleigh, Grand Forks and Ward), which is up from 49 percent in 2000.

In North Dakota, 11 counties grew in population from 2000 to 2010. These counties consisted of the metropolitan, reservation and a handful of western oil producing counties. From 2000 to 2010, Cass County had the largest percentage growth (22 percent), followed by Burleigh (17 percent) and Mountrail (16 percent).

Towner and Sheridan counties had the largest population percentage decreases. Each county lost approximately 22 percent of their population from 2000 to 2010.

“The small number of counties showing growth was a finding that surprised me regarding the new census figures,” says Richard Rathge, State Data Center director. “I was expecting a greater share of the population growth to be distributed in the state’s western counties. These findings reinforce how powerful the pull factor is from our state’s largest communities.”

Among all the states in 2010, North Dakota ranked 48th in total population and had the 37th largest population growth rate from 2000 to 2010.

During the last decade, only one state lost population. Michigan’s population decreased 0.6 percent from 2000 to 2010.

The fastest growing states were Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Idaho and Texas. Each state grew by 20 percent or more.

NDSU Agriculture Communication - April 5, 2011

Source:Richard Rathge, (701) 231-8621,
Editor:Rich Mattern, (701) 231-6136,
Census Statistics by County Preview
(0405 population bulletin.pdf - 213.90 Kb)
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