NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) — The COVID-19 pandemic, rising inflation and a higher cost of living in major cities have combined with opportunities for remote work over the past two years. This combination has fueled a major migration across the country. In the first year of the pandemic, migration out of densely populated, expensive cities like New York and San Francisco was especially notable. Many moved to Sunbelt cities where the weather is warmer and the cost of living significantly lower.

But not everyone who moved in recent years went very far. Analysis of movement out of crowded cities shows that many of those leaving city centers moved into nearby suburbs in the same state, rather than making cross country moves.

Other trends suggest that many people are sticking close to home, remaining in or moving back to the state, or even the town they were born in. Even before the pandemic, the number of younger adults living with their parents was on the rise, mostly due to financial difficulties. This economic hardship was made worse by the pandemic, and resulted in many moving back in with their parents. By the end of 2020, more than half of Americans under the age of 29 were living at home, exceeding the share of young adults living with their parents during the Great Depression.

Apart from the pandemic, many people choose not to leave the state they were raised in, for reasons ranging from wanting to be close to family to not having the resources to leave, to sticking with a lower cost of living.

In order to determine where people stay put, Stacker compiled a list of counties with the most born-and-bred residents in North Dakota using data from the U.S. Census Bureau. Counties are ranked by the highest percentage of residents that were born in the state according to 2020 5-year estimates.

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#53. Williams County

– Population: 36,044
– Born in North Dakota: 15,590 (43.3% of population)
– Born in a different state: 17,515 (48.6% of population)
— Midwest (16.6%), Northeast (2.1%), South (10.1%), West (19.9%)
– Born in another country: 2,651 (7.35% of population)
— Africa (2.59%) , Asia (1.24%), Europe (0.75%), Latin America (2.52%), North America (0.19%), Oceania (0.06%)

#52. McKenzie County

– Population: 13,836
– Born in North Dakota: 6,452 (46.6% of population)
– Born in a different state: 6,881 (49.7% of population)
— Midwest (17.4%), Northeast (0.9%), South (6.4%), West (25.0%)
– Born in another country: 406 (2.93% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.59%), Europe (0.30%), Latin America (1.89%), North America (0.15%), Oceania (0.00%)

#51. Richland County

– Population: 16,245
– Born in North Dakota: 7,628 (47.0% of population)
– Born in a different state: 8,401 (51.7% of population)
— Midwest (44.4%), Northeast (1.0%), South (2.3%), West (4.0%)
– Born in another country: 148 (0.91% of population)
— Africa (0.02%) , Asia (0.47%), Europe (0.06%), Latin America (0.18%), North America (0.18%), Oceania (0.00%)

#50. Sargent County

– Population: 3,899
– Born in North Dakota: 2,086 (53.5% of population)
– Born in a different state: 1,638 (42.0% of population)
— Midwest (34.0%), Northeast (0.8%), South (2.6%), West (4.6%)
– Born in another country: 157 (4.03% of population)
— Africa (1.46%) , Asia (0.31%), Europe (1.31%), Latin America (0.72%), North America (0.23%), Oceania (0.00%)

#49. Grand Forks County

– Population: 70,243
– Born in North Dakota: 37,902 (54.0% of population)
– Born in a different state: 27,626 (39.3% of population)
— Midwest (23.0%), Northeast (2.7%), South (6.1%), West (7.6%)
– Born in another country: 3,864 (5.50% of population)
— Africa (1.26%) , Asia (2.55%), Europe (0.56%), Latin America (0.63%), North America (0.49%), Oceania (0.01%)

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#48. Cass County

– Population: 179,937
– Born in North Dakota: 97,296 (54.1% of population)
– Born in a different state: 67,292 (37.4% of population)
— Midwest (27.2%), Northeast (1.3%), South (3.2%), West (5.7%)
– Born in another country: 13,955 (7.76% of population)
— Africa (3.34%) , Asia (3.12%), Europe (0.47%), Latin America (0.48%), North America (0.32%), Oceania (0.02%)

#47. Stark County

– Population: 31,164
– Born in North Dakota: 17,315 (55.6% of population)
– Born in a different state: 12,506 (40.1% of population)
— Midwest (13.4%), Northeast (1.4%), South (5.3%), West (20.1%)
– Born in another country: 1,064 (3.41% of population)
— Africa (0.92%) , Asia (0.87%), Europe (0.39%), Latin America (0.93%), North America (0.28%), Oceania (0.03%)

#46. Ward County

– Population: 68,962
– Born in North Dakota: 39,036 (56.6% of population)
– Born in a different state: 25,490 (37.0% of population)
— Midwest (11.0%), Northeast (3.0%), South (9.1%), West (13.8%)
– Born in another country: 3,092 (4.48% of population)
— Africa (1.34%) , Asia (1.30%), Europe (0.43%), Latin America (0.67%), North America (0.69%), Oceania (0.05%)

#45. Adams County

– Population: 2,271
– Born in North Dakota: 1,286 (56.6% of population)
– Born in a different state: 962 (42.4% of population)
— Midwest (26.5%), Northeast (0.2%), South (5.2%), West (10.5%)
– Born in another country: 23 (1.01% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.88%), North America (0.13%), Oceania (0.00%)

#44. Golden Valley County

– Population: 1,796
– Born in North Dakota: 1,019 (56.7% of population)
– Born in a different state: 762 (42.4% of population)
— Midwest (10.4%), Northeast (1.3%), South (1.6%), West (29.2%)
– Born in another country: 12 (0.67% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.11%), Latin America (0.56%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

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#43. Mountrail County

– Population: 10,348
– Born in North Dakota: 6,236 (60.3% of population)
– Born in a different state: 3,752 (36.3% of population)
— Midwest (13.3%), Northeast (1.6%), South (4.3%), West (17.1%)
– Born in another country: 242 (2.34% of population)
— Africa (0.13%) , Asia (0.25%), Europe (0.13%), Latin America (1.42%), North America (0.42%), Oceania (0.00%)

#42. Dickey County

– Population: 4,857
– Born in North Dakota: 2,928 (60.3% of population)
– Born in a different state: 1,819 (37.5% of population)
— Midwest (28.1%), Northeast (0.6%), South (2.9%), West (5.8%)
– Born in another country: 110 (2.26% of population)
— Africa (0.23%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (1.46%), Latin America (0.37%), North America (0.21%), Oceania (0.00%)

#41. Dunn County

– Population: 4,362
– Born in North Dakota: 2,748 (63.0% of population)
– Born in a different state: 1,484 (34.0% of population)
— Midwest (7.7%), Northeast (1.6%), South (7.3%), West (17.4%)
– Born in another country: 127 (2.91% of population)
— Africa (0.62%) , Asia (1.17%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.87%), North America (0.18%), Oceania (0.07%)

#40. Ransom County

– Population: 5,258
– Born in North Dakota: 3,447 (65.6% of population)
– Born in a different state: 1,460 (27.8% of population)
— Midwest (20.2%), Northeast (1.1%), South (0.8%), West (5.7%)
– Born in another country: 272 (5.17% of population)
— Africa (0.23%) , Asia (2.49%), Europe (0.82%), Latin America (0.97%), North America (0.55%), Oceania (0.11%)

#39. Divide County

– Population: 2,289
– Born in North Dakota: 1,532 (66.9% of population)
– Born in a different state: 730 (31.9% of population)
— Midwest (10.8%), Northeast (0.7%), South (3.2%), West (17.2%)
– Born in another country: 7 (0.31% of population)
— Africa (0.04%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.26%), Oceania (0.00%)

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#38. Traill County

– Population: 7,999
– Born in North Dakota: 5,382 (67.3% of population)
– Born in a different state: 2,420 (30.3% of population)
— Midwest (19.8%), Northeast (0.9%), South (3.7%), West (5.8%)
– Born in another country: 132 (1.65% of population)
— Africa (0.09%) , Asia (0.31%), Europe (0.10%), Latin America (0.88%), North America (0.18%), Oceania (0.10%)

#37. Hettinger County

– Population: 2,510
– Born in North Dakota: 1,699 (67.7% of population)
– Born in a different state: 770 (30.7% of population)
— Midwest (9.4%), Northeast (3.5%), South (3.4%), West (14.3%)
– Born in another country: 29 (1.16% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.44%), Latin America (0.72%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

#36. McIntosh County

– Population: 2,535
– Born in North Dakota: 1,743 (68.8% of population)
– Born in a different state: 687 (27.1% of population)
— Midwest (20.8%), Northeast (0.9%), South (0.6%), West (4.8%)
– Born in another country: 104 (4.10% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.63%), Europe (0.71%), Latin America (2.37%), North America (0.39%), Oceania (0.00%)

#35. Kidder County

– Population: 2,468
– Born in North Dakota: 1,704 (69.0% of population)
– Born in a different state: 694 (28.1% of population)
— Midwest (11.5%), Northeast (0.6%), South (10.4%), West (5.5%)
– Born in another country: 40 (1.62% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.24%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.89%), North America (0.36%), Oceania (0.12%)

#34. Pembina County

– Population: 6,850
– Born in North Dakota: 4,786 (69.9% of population)
– Born in a different state: 1,579 (23.1% of population)
— Midwest (11.7%), Northeast (1.6%), South (5.0%), West (4.7%)
– Born in another country: 320 (4.67% of population)
— Africa (0.22%) , Asia (0.64%), Europe (0.47%), Latin America (0.76%), North America (2.50%), Oceania (0.09%)

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#33. Burleigh County

– Population: 95,509
– Born in North Dakota: 67,662 (70.8% of population)
– Born in a different state: 24,886 (26.1% of population)
— Midwest (11.8%), Northeast (1.7%), South (3.4%), West (9.2%)
– Born in another country: 2,413 (2.53% of population)
— Africa (0.77%) , Asia (0.58%), Europe (0.47%), Latin America (0.46%), North America (0.23%), Oceania (0.01%)

#32. Renville County

– Population: 2,387
– Born in North Dakota: 1,695 (71.0% of population)
– Born in a different state: 658 (27.6% of population)
— Midwest (11.9%), Northeast (1.8%), South (5.7%), West (8.2%)
– Born in another country: 23 (0.96% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.08%), Europe (0.42%), Latin America (0.08%), North America (0.38%), Oceania (0.00%)

#31. Burke County

– Population: 2,142
– Born in North Dakota: 1,547 (72.2% of population)
– Born in a different state: 512 (23.9% of population)
— Midwest (8.2%), Northeast (0.9%), South (6.1%), West (8.7%)
– Born in another country: 67 (3.13% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (1.12%), Europe (0.70%), Latin America (0.37%), North America (0.93%), Oceania (0.00%)

#30. Stutsman County

– Population: 20,879
– Born in North Dakota: 15,082 (72.2% of population)
– Born in a different state: 5,250 (25.1% of population)
— Midwest (12.9%), Northeast (1.0%), South (2.6%), West (8.7%)
– Born in another country: 428 (2.05% of population)
— Africa (1.03%) , Asia (0.32%), Europe (0.18%), Latin America (0.20%), North America (0.23%), Oceania (0.09%)

#29. Barnes County

– Population: 10,592
– Born in North Dakota: 7,698 (72.7% of population)
– Born in a different state: 2,603 (24.6% of population)
— Midwest (12.8%), Northeast (1.5%), South (2.8%), West (7.4%)
– Born in another country: 261 (2.46% of population)
— Africa (1.21%) , Asia (0.68%), Europe (0.15%), Latin America (0.14%), North America (0.25%), Oceania (0.03%)

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#28. Mercer County

– Population: 8,359
– Born in North Dakota: 6,079 (72.7% of population)
– Born in a different state: 2,135 (25.5% of population)
— Midwest (10.3%), Northeast (0.9%), South (4.7%), West (9.6%)
– Born in another country: 107 (1.28% of population)
— Africa (0.25%) , Asia (0.25%), Europe (0.05%), Latin America (0.43%), North America (0.30%), Oceania (0.00%)

#27. McHenry County

– Population: 5,825
– Born in North Dakota: 4,237 (72.7% of population)
– Born in a different state: 1,504 (25.8% of population)
— Midwest (9.7%), Northeast (3.2%), South (5.3%), West (7.6%)
– Born in another country: 69 (1.18% of population)
— Africa (0.12%) , Asia (0.57%), Europe (0.07%), Latin America (0.33%), North America (0.10%), Oceania (0.00%)

#26. Slope County

– Population: 788
– Born in North Dakota: 579 (73.5% of population)
– Born in a different state: 207 (26.3% of population)
— Midwest (5.1%), Northeast (0.0%), South (1.9%), West (19.3%)
– Born in another country: 2 (0.25% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.25%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

#25. Walsh County

– Population: 10,642
– Born in North Dakota: 7,895 (74.2% of population)
– Born in a different state: 2,275 (21.4% of population)
— Midwest (10.5%), Northeast (1.2%), South (5.8%), West (3.8%)
– Born in another country: 359 (3.37% of population)
— Africa (0.26%) , Asia (0.42%), Europe (0.11%), Latin America (2.37%), North America (0.21%), Oceania (0.00%)

#24. Nelson County

– Population: 2,864
– Born in North Dakota: 2,129 (74.3% of population)
– Born in a different state: 596 (20.8% of population)
— Midwest (11.0%), Northeast (0.5%), South (2.9%), West (6.5%)
– Born in another country: 124 (4.33% of population)
— Africa (0.45%) , Asia (0.56%), Europe (0.42%), Latin America (2.90%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

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#23. Morton County

– Population: 31,118
– Born in North Dakota: 23,161 (74.4% of population)
– Born in a different state: 6,907 (22.2% of population)
— Midwest (10.7%), Northeast (1.2%), South (2.9%), West (7.4%)
– Born in another country: 506 (1.63% of population)
— Africa (0.15%) , Asia (0.45%), Europe (0.08%), Latin America (0.63%), North America (0.32%), Oceania (0.00%)

#22. Bowman County

– Population: 3,091
– Born in North Dakota: 2,325 (75.2% of population)
– Born in a different state: 725 (23.5% of population)
— Midwest (12.2%), Northeast (0.4%), South (1.6%), West (9.3%)
– Born in another country: 28 (0.91% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.91%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

#21. McLean County

– Population: 9,531
– Born in North Dakota: 7,196 (75.5% of population)
– Born in a different state: 2,139 (22.4% of population)
— Midwest (11.3%), Northeast (0.7%), South (1.7%), West (8.7%)
– Born in another country: 142 (1.49% of population)
— Africa (0.70%) , Asia (0.06%), Europe (0.09%), Latin America (0.44%), North America (0.19%), Oceania (0.00%)

#20. LaMoure County

– Population: 4,225
– Born in North Dakota: 3,234 (76.5% of population)
– Born in a different state: 957 (22.7% of population)
— Midwest (15.5%), Northeast (1.1%), South (2.3%), West (3.8%)
– Born in another country: 34 (0.80% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.09%), Europe (0.28%), Latin America (0.43%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

#19. Griggs County

– Population: 2,314
– Born in North Dakota: 1,783 (77.1% of population)
– Born in a different state: 451 (19.5% of population)
— Midwest (11.4%), Northeast (0.2%), South (1.6%), West (6.4%)
– Born in another country: 66 (2.85% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.35%), Europe (0.09%), Latin America (1.56%), North America (0.35%), Oceania (0.52%)

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#18. Sheridan County

– Population: 1,289
– Born in North Dakota: 994 (77.1% of population)
– Born in a different state: 277 (21.5% of population)
— Midwest (15.1%), Northeast (0.5%), South (1.6%), West (4.3%)
– Born in another country: 4 (0.31% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.31%), Oceania (0.00%)

#17. Bottineau County

– Population: 6,418
– Born in North Dakota: 4,991 (77.8% of population)
– Born in a different state: 1,227 (19.1% of population)
— Midwest (7.6%), Northeast (1.4%), South (2.8%), West (7.3%)
– Born in another country: 173 (2.70% of population)
— Africa (0.03%) , Asia (0.26%), Europe (0.47%), Latin America (0.47%), North America (1.46%), Oceania (0.00%)

#16. Billings County

– Population: 886
– Born in North Dakota: 692 (78.1% of population)
– Born in a different state: 180 (20.3% of population)
— Midwest (7.9%), Northeast (0.5%), South (3.6%), West (8.4%)
– Born in another country: 11 (1.24% of population)
— Africa (0.90%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.34%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

#15. Sioux County

– Population: 4,339
– Born in North Dakota: 3,401 (78.4% of population)
– Born in a different state: 927 (21.4% of population)
— Midwest (14.1%), Northeast (0.1%), South (1.2%), West (6.0%)
– Born in another country: 4 (0.09% of population)
— Africa (0.02%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.07%), Oceania (0.00%)

#14. Grant County

– Population: 2,318
– Born in North Dakota: 1,829 (78.9% of population)
– Born in a different state: 438 (18.9% of population)
— Midwest (9.7%), Northeast (0.9%), South (1.4%), West (6.8%)
– Born in another country: 35 (1.51% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (1.25%), Europe (0.09%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.17%), Oceania (0.00%)

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#13. Foster County

– Population: 3,231
– Born in North Dakota: 2,559 (79.2% of population)
– Born in a different state: 649 (20.1% of population)
— Midwest (13.4%), Northeast (1.1%), South (2.4%), West (3.2%)
– Born in another country: 17 (0.53% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.00%), Europe (0.53%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

#12. Pierce County

– Population: 4,061
– Born in North Dakota: 3,219 (79.3% of population)
– Born in a different state: 767 (18.9% of population)
— Midwest (8.8%), Northeast (3.2%), South (1.8%), West (5.0%)
– Born in another country: 61 (1.50% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (1.11%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.12%), North America (0.27%), Oceania (0.00%)

#11. Ramsey County

– Population: 11,521
– Born in North Dakota: 9,142 (79.4% of population)
– Born in a different state: 1,953 (17.0% of population)
— Midwest (8.9%), Northeast (0.7%), South (2.6%), West (4.8%)
– Born in another country: 337 (2.93% of population)
— Africa (0.15%) , Asia (1.48%), Europe (0.26%), Latin America (0.84%), North America (0.16%), Oceania (0.03%)

#10. Eddy County

– Population: 2,262
– Born in North Dakota: 1,802 (79.7% of population)
– Born in a different state: 453 (20.0% of population)
— Midwest (8.7%), Northeast (0.7%), South (0.9%), West (9.7%)
– Born in another country: 5 (0.22% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.04%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.09%), North America (0.09%), Oceania (0.00%)

#9. Towner County

– Population: 2,191
– Born in North Dakota: 1,762 (80.4% of population)
– Born in a different state: 334 (15.2% of population)
— Midwest (11.0%), Northeast (1.5%), South (0.3%), West (2.4%)
– Born in another country: 89 (4.06% of population)
— Africa (0.18%) , Asia (0.18%), Europe (0.09%), Latin America (3.15%), North America (0.23%), Oceania (0.23%)

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#8. Logan County

– Population: 1,743
– Born in North Dakota: 1,407 (80.7% of population)
– Born in a different state: 311 (17.8% of population)
— Midwest (11.6%), Northeast (0.6%), South (1.7%), West (3.9%)
– Born in another country: 21 (1.20% of population)
— Africa (0.34%) , Asia (0.06%), Europe (0.23%), Latin America (0.57%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

#7. Wells County

– Population: 3,889
– Born in North Dakota: 3,143 (80.8% of population)
– Born in a different state: 735 (18.9% of population)
— Midwest (9.5%), Northeast (1.3%), South (1.9%), West (6.3%)
– Born in another country: 9 (0.23% of population)
— Africa (0.08%) , Asia (0.15%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.00%), Oceania (0.00%)

#6. Emmons County

– Population: 3,262
– Born in North Dakota: 2,673 (81.9% of population)
– Born in a different state: 526 (16.1% of population)
— Midwest (8.1%), Northeast (1.2%), South (1.6%), West (5.3%)
– Born in another country: 61 (1.87% of population)
— Africa (0.09%) , Asia (0.95%), Europe (0.58%), Latin America (0.15%), North America (0.09%), Oceania (0.00%)

#5. Cavalier County

– Population: 3,769
– Born in North Dakota: 3,100 (82.2% of population)
– Born in a different state: 532 (14.1% of population)
— Midwest (7.1%), Northeast (0.4%), South (1.6%), West (5.0%)
– Born in another country: 48 (1.27% of population)
— Africa (0.13%) , Asia (0.16%), Europe (0.19%), Latin America (0.24%), North America (0.56%), Oceania (0.00%)

#4. Steele County

– Population: 1,817
– Born in North Dakota: 1,527 (84.0% of population)
– Born in a different state: 234 (12.9% of population)
— Midwest (6.9%), Northeast (2.4%), South (1.8%), West (1.8%)
– Born in another country: 29 (1.60% of population)
— Africa (0.11%) , Asia (0.11%), Europe (0.28%), Latin America (0.55%), North America (0.55%), Oceania (0.00%)

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#3. Oliver County

– Population: 1,962
– Born in North Dakota: 1,654 (84.3% of population)
– Born in a different state: 301 (15.3% of population)
— Midwest (8.0%), Northeast (0.6%), South (0.6%), West (6.2%)
– Born in another country: 7 (0.36% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.15%), Europe (0.00%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.20%), Oceania (0.00%)

#2. Benson County

– Population: 6,860
– Born in North Dakota: 6,080 (88.6% of population)
– Born in a different state: 722 (10.5% of population)
— Midwest (5.4%), Northeast (0.2%), South (1.8%), West (3.0%)
– Born in another country: 48 (0.70% of population)
— Africa (0.00%) , Asia (0.06%), Europe (0.03%), Latin America (0.48%), North America (0.13%), Oceania (0.00%)

#1. Rolette County

– Population: 14,437
– Born in North Dakota: 13,222 (91.6% of population)
– Born in a different state: 1,139 (7.9% of population)
— Midwest (3.2%), Northeast (0.1%), South (1.2%), West (3.4%)
– Born in another country: 46 (0.32% of population)
— Africa (0.17%) , Asia (0.08%), Europe (0.02%), Latin America (0.00%), North America (0.05%), Oceania (0.00%)

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This article has been republished pursuant to a CC by NC 4.0 License.