Northern Great Plains growing faster than the rest of the United States

Local News

The sun sets behind an idle pump jack near Karnes City, Texas, Wednesday, April 8, 2020. Demand for oil continues to fall due to the new coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

The population of the Northern Great Plains, a region that experienced declining populations for much of the 20th Century, grew at a faster pace than that of the nation over the past decade.

That’s according to recently published data by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The oil boom in North Dakota, according to the data, was a key reason for that growth.

The growth from 2010 to 2019 was primarily driven by 19 of the 106 counties that extend across parts of North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming, hugging the border with Canada.

The Northern Great Plains’ population was 1.1 million in 2019, up 8.3% since 2010, exceeding the 6.3% growth of the nation’s overall population during the same period.

The five fastest-growing counties in the Northern Great Plains between 2010 and 2019 were also among the fastest-growing ones in the nation. All were in North Dakota, in areas that experienced an oil extraction boom: McKenzie County, Williams County, Mountrail County, Stark County, and Dunn County.

McKenzie was the fastest-growing county in the nation during this period. All five of these counties experienced growth at the beginning of the decade, lost population in the middle of the decade, and then grew again.

You can read more on the Census data here.

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