Like all states, North Dakota has certain places that are going on hard times. These North Dakota places have an above-average percentage of people living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.
Even as the economy continues to improve, it’s worthwhile to look at the places in each state struggling to make ends meet. So we set our sites on locating the poorest places in North Dakota.
To do so, we used Saturday Night Science to analyze the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 25 cities in North Dakota with more than 2,000 people.
What’s the poorest city in North Dakota? According to the facts, Devils Lake is the poorest place in North Dakota for 2023.
This isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.
For more North Dakota reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In North Dakota
- Cheapest Places To Live In North Dakota
- Most Dangerous Cities In North Dakota
- The poorest states in the US
- The poorest cities in the US
The 10 Poorest Cities In North Dakota For 2023
Devils Lake, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in North Dakota thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.
The city of 7,201 people averages the lowest median household income in North Dakota and the 2nd highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.
The second poorest city in North Dakota is Wahpeton.
The city ranks as having the 5th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 11th highest in the Peace Garden State.
Placing as the third poorest city, Jamestown’s median income ranks as the 3rd lowest.
And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 14.358723046765613% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.
But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Peace Garden State.
New Town ranks as the fourth poorest place in North Dakota.
The town ranks as having the 8th lowest median household income and the highest incidence of poverty in the state.
That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.
The fifth poorest city in North Dakota is Grand Forks.
The city ranks as having the 6th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 4th highest in North Dakota.
Still not the best news for Grand Forks.
Lisbon ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Peace Garden State.
It ranks as having the 3rd highest incidence of poverty and the 5th highest unemployment rate.
Rugby places as the seventh poorest city in North Dakota.
The city of over 2,546 ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.
Valley City ranks as the eighth poorest city in North Dakota.
The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 9th highest in the state.
Grafton couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in North Dakota; it ranks number 9.
While the median income is the 4th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Grafton ranks as having the 16th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in North Dakota.
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 3)
Median Income: $63,077 (13th lowest)
Poverty Rate: 14.2% (7th highest)
People In Poverty: 303
More on Bottineau: Data
And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in North Dakota is Bottineau.
The city of 2,141 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Peace Garden State.
Methodology: How We Determined The Poorest Places In North Dakota for 2023
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.
However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “poorest places”. So we used Saturday Night Science to look at this set of criteria from the newly released 2017-2021 American Community Survey:
- Poverty Level
- Median Household Income
After we collected the data for all 25 places with more than 2,000 people in North Dakota, we ranked each place from 1 to 25 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.
We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Poor Score” with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Devils Lake, crowned the “Poorest Place In North Dakota For 2023”.
This report has been updated for 2023, which is our tenth time ranking the poorest places in North Dakota.
Summary: The Poorest Cities In North Dakota For 2023
Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in North Dakota, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in North Dakota.
When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.
If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in North Dakota, according to data:
2nd Richest: Stanley
3rd Richest: West Fargo
For more North Dakota reading, check out:
- Richest Cities In North Dakota
- Safest Places In North Dakota
- Worst Places To Live In North Dakota
- Most Expensive Places To Live In North Dakota
Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In North Dakota
|Rank||City||Population||Poverty Rate||Median Income||People In Poverty|