How young do you feel in the state of North Dakota? New data shows that our state was the only one to get younger this past decade out of the entire nation.
North Dakota is ranked the 4th youngest state in the country right now, but compare this to 20 years ago when we were ranked 35th.
The research not only found out we are the only state getting younger, but we are attracting more and more diverse groups as well.
North Dakota Census Office Manager, Kevin Iverson says, “In our case because of the oil boom and because of the very healthy economy we have had in the state of North Dakota our number of children has increased.”
Iverson says the 2008 oil boom switched North Dakota from an out-migration state to in-migration one, and the individuals that were coming in tended to be the younger, which is just what we needed.
“As we grow older we have to have those youth there because they eventually replace us. So if we don’t have them there who is there to carry on our legacy as a state,” says Iverson.
North Dakota’s median age dropped from 37 in 2010 to just a little over 35 in 2018. These numbers come at no surprise to one the chairmen of the North Dakota Young Professionals group.
Chairman of Bismarck/Mandan Young Professionals, Jillian Lagasse says, “In the past 2 years we have really seen a huge increase in 31 to 35-year-olds. So we have really seen this middle age range really grow for us.”
The past 5 years The Bismarck Mandan Young Professionals have grown to around 250 members. Lagasse says we have to recognize the needs of young professionals has changed.
“A lot of millennials these days will move for a job, but it has to be a job that makes an impact and is strong in the community andthere’ss a lot of opportunities in North Dakota that speak to that,” says Lagasse.
If we want to keep the younger generation in our state, Lagasse says we need to continue giving them more than just well paying jobs.
“It’s the work-life balance here,” Lagasse adds. “It’s the affordable cost of living for young professionals. You can get a really nice paying job, but then you have these really great paying schools, public or private schools on the flipside if you ever do want to start a family.”
Iverson says he does not think we will catch up with the 3 younger states any time soon, but says we have a big enough lead over the states behind us that we shouldn’t be losing our number 4 spot.
Grand Forks and Sioux Counties were the youngest places in North Dakota.
Iverson also wants to remind everyone about how important is for you to actually participate in the upcoming census.