These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In North Dakota For 2019


Using science and data, we can tell you which teeny specks in ND are the pits.

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Editor’s Note: This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out we updated this article for . This is our fourth time ranking the worst small places to live in North Dakota.

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Most Americans have never been to North Dakota. However, as the people who live there know, North Dakota is an awesome state.

But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, North Dakota has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Peace Garden State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.

After analyzing more than 40 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:

These are the worst small towns in North Dakota for 2019:

  1. Fort Totten
  2. Shell Valley
  3. Rolla (Photos)
  4. New Rockford
  5. Walhalla (Photos)
  6. Park River (Photos)
  7. Cooperstown (Photos)
  8. Parshall
  9. Linton (Photos)
  10. Ellendale (Photos)

So what is the worst small town to call home in North Dakota for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Fort Totten is the worst small town to live in North Dakota.

Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since North Dakota has its stuff figured out.

Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.

And if you already know about the small towns, check out the best places to live in North Dakota or the worst places to live in North Dakota.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the worst cities in America or the worst states in America.

How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?

In order to rank the worst small towns to live in North Dakota, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.

So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.

How we determined the worst small towns to live in North Dakota for 2019

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census’s 2013-2017 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:

  • 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 a lot – 40 to be exact.

Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.

This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.

Overall SnackAbility

2
/10

Population: 1,372
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $31,900 (1st worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.1% (2nd worst)
More on Fort Totten:  Data

Overall SnackAbility

3
/10

Population: 1,360
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $56,600 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 14.6% (1st worst)
More on Shell Valley:  Data

Rolla, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,273
Rank Last Year: 4 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $88,900 (11th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 3.8% (14th worst)
More on Rolla:  Data | Photos

New Rockford, ND

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,405
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $67,700 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.2% (24th worst)
More on New Rockford:  Data

Walhalla, ND

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,008
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 2)
Median Home Value: $76,300 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.1% (12th worst)
More on Walhalla:  Data | Photos

Park River, ND

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,452
Rank Last Year: 11 (Up 5)
Median Home Value: $80,300 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 1.7% (26th worst)
More on Park River:  Data | Photos

Cooperstown, ND

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,166
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 6)
Median Home Value: $89,200 (12th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 4.7% (11th worst)
More on Cooperstown:  Data | Photos

Parshall, ND

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,036
Rank Last Year: 7 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $95,000 (13th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 5.7% (4th worst)
More on Parshall:  Data

Linton, ND

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 1,047
Rank Last Year:
Median Home Value: $82,100 (8th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 2.8% (20th worst)
More on Linton:  Data | Photos

Ellendale, ND

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 1,271
Rank Last Year: 6 (Down 4)
Median Home Value: $66,900 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 1.0% (29th worst)
More on Ellendale:  Data | Photos

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:

  1. Horace (Pop. 2,603)
  2. Lincoln (Pop. 3,467)
  3. Thompson (Pop. 1,161)

For more North Dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In North Dakota

Rank Town Population Unemployment Rate Home Value
1 Fort Totten 1,372 14.1% $31,900
2 Shell Valley 1,360 14.6% $56,600
3 Rolla 1,273 3.8% $88,900
4 New Rockford 1,405 2.2% $67,700
5 Walhalla 1,008 4.1% $76,300
6 Park River 1,452 1.7% $80,300
7 Cooperstown 1,166 4.7% $89,200
8 Parshall 1,036 5.7% $95,000
9 Linton 1,047 2.8% $82,100
10 Ellendale 1,271 1.0% $66,900
11 Grafton 4,243 3.6% $84,600
12 Cando 1,085 5.3% $74,800
13 Mayville 1,874 4.0% $104,200
14 New Town 2,459 5.4% $114,700
15 Harvey 1,762 3.5% $85,600
16 Rugby 2,847 0.6% $109,400
17 Cavalier 1,203 5.0% $97,200
18 Larimore 1,518 2.9% $105,100
19 Garrison 1,508 0.0% $121,000
20 Tioga 1,116 3.6% $156,300
21 Oakes 2,018 2.4% $109,400
22 Bottineau 2,300 5.5% $132,800
23 Langdon 1,946 2.2% $97,300
24 Hillsboro 1,576 5.3% $144,200
25 Carrington 1,923 0.2% $132,700
26 Bowman 1,611 0.4% $166,200
27 Stanley 2,487 8.0% $189,100
28 Lisbon 2,082 0.9% $111,300
29 Beulah 3,312 1.6% $172,900
30 Velva 1,288 3.4% $160,600
31 Hettinger 1,124 0.9% $135,900
32 Hazen 2,643 0.8% $160,200
33 Washburn 1,432 1.7% $168,100
34 Burlington 1,332 5.4% $186,600
35 Surrey 1,165 0.3% $201,200
36 Gwinner 1,012 0.0% $118,800
37 Casselton 2,773 1.9% $171,400
38 Horace 2,603 0.7% $254,200
39 Lincoln 3,467 2.5% $207,500
40 Thompson 1,161 0.4% $180,700

 Worst 

3 thoughts on “These Are The 10 Worst Small Towns In North Dakota For 2019

  1. I’m not trying to be mean or anything, or am saying that you’re 100% wrong, but I can personally say that Tappen should NOT be on that list. I’ve lived near Tappen my entire life, and while some things might not be perfect, it certainly is far from being a bad town. The people that live there are friendly. If anything happens to someone we know, the whole community comes together to support them. From the school to the gas station, things in Tappen are good!

  2. My Family is from Tappen and I don’t think it should be on this list. Just because it is small does not mean it is bad. We do lots of fun things like harvest fest and lots of others. So take Tappen of this list. And Medina

  3. It’s worth noting that the appearance of a town on this list only means that it is within the population parameters. There are 179 such towns. Of those 179, these are the worst 100 by the standards they used to rank these towns.

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