Minot's growth comes as no surprise to city officials, who are pleased to see new census figures showing the population last April exceeded 40,000.
The official census released Wednesday gave Minot a population of 40,888.
The 11 percent increase from the 36,567 population in 2000 is the fastest growth rate the city has experienced in several decades, said David Waind, city manager. The growth has been continuing since last April, but it's uncertain just how large Minot is today, he said.
"Obviously, the energy impact has been significant," he said. "I don't think it's just energy. Minot Air Force Base has been a strong contributing factor. Minot is the center for retail in the region. We have been the center for medical in the region. Minot is a regional agricultural center."
Ward County grew by 4.9 percent from 58,795 to 61,675 people. Minot continues to be the state's fourth largest city and Ward County the fourth largest county.
Minot and Ward County also are becoming more diverse.
Minot's population includes 1,117 people claiming Hispanic or Latino roots. They make up 2.7 percent of the population, compared to 1.5 percent in 2000.
There were 1,328 Minot residents who listed themselves as American Indian last April, which increases their numbers from 2.8 to 3.2 percent. Another 933 people were listed as black or African American and 376 as Asian, raising their numbers in the population as well. There were 304 people of other ethnic groups and 1,084 listed as two or more races.
In Ward County, there were 1,869 people of Hispanic or Latino descent for 3 percent of the population. American Indians were the next largest group with 1,630 people for 2.6 percent of the population.
Waind said the official census points to the problem with population estimates that the Census Bureau releases each year. Minot's last update in 2009 was 36,256, which is down from the 2000 census.
Waind said that despite the growth expected to continue in the city, Minot isn't planning to do its own count in a few years to capture the new numbers. However, that could change if the city perceives its population has reached the 50,000 threshold. Waind said there are advantages in federal funding and more research data available to metropolitan areas of 50,000 or more that would justify a new count.