Most Americans have never been to small town North Dakota. However, as the North Dakotan who live there know, small town North Dakota is an awesome place to call home.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, North Dakota has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using Saturday Night Science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Peace Garden State. Don’t freak out, we will use data to show which places have high crime, poverty, and unemployment.
After analyzing more than 42 of North Dakota’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in North Dakota where you’d never want to live:
So what is the worst small town to call home in North Dakota for 2023? According to the most recent census data, Shell Valley is the worst small town to live in North Dakota.
While many of these small towns have seen better days, they have wonderful communities and people. This report in no way means to knock the folks that call towns like Shell Valley home. Everyone
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
The 10 Worst Small Towns In North Dakota For 2023
Median Home Value: $63,900 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 26.7% (worst)
Median Home Value: $50,400 (worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (12th worst)
Median Home Value: $101,000 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.6% (4th worst)
Median Home Value: $101,700 (9th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 7.0% (6th worst)
Median Home Value: $113,300 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.1% (8th worst)
Median Home Value: $144,700 (22nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (23rd worst)
Median Home Value: $82,500 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.7% (19th worst)
Median Home Value: $151,000 (26th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (17th worst)
Median Home Value: $88,400 (5th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 1.9% (29th worst)
Median Home Value: $86,600 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.2% (16th worst)
Methodology: How do you decide if a small place in North Dakota is lousy or not?
To rank the worst small towns to live in North Dakota, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. Assuming that people like low crime, solid education, things to do, and a stable economy isn’t a stretch.
We then analyzed the criteria using Saturday Night Science, the thinking you’d use at a bar. It seems like even your crazy Uncle would agree that a town with high crime is worse than a town with low crime; all else the same.
- Population Density (The lower, the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- Education (Number of high school dropouts)
- High Crime
We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which there were many – 42 to be exact.
We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets them from the cities. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
We base all our research on facts, which is meant as infotainment. We updated this article for 2023, which is our tenth time ranking the worst small places to live in North Dakota.
There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In North Dakota
If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Peace Garden State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in North Dakota, according to science:
- Lincoln (Pop. 4,126)
- Horace (Pop. 3,141)
- Thompson (Pop. 1,194)
For more North Dakota reading, check out:
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In North Dakota
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