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Oil counties lead in percent of population increase

Minot’s population grew by 18.3% in the decade ending in 2020, according to official census figures released Thursday.

Minot’s 2020 population is listed at 48,377, up 7,489 from 2010. That exceeded the Census Bureau’s estimated, or expected, 2020 count of 47,428.

“They are good numbers. They do show growth, which is extremely positive. That’s what we like to see,” Minot City Manager Harold Stewart said. “We probably didn’t hit the desired goal for 50,000, but the positive news is there’s definitely been some growth in the region.”

Ward County saw population growth of 13.4% in the 2020 Census numbers, which highlighted the impact of the oil boom on western North Dakota counties. McKenzie County led overall growth in the state with a 131.2% increase, followed by Williams County with 82.8%.

Ward County’s 2020 Census population of 69,919 reflected an increase of 8,244 residents.

Only 22 of North Dakota’s 53 counties recorded growth over the decade. North Dakota’s experience tracks the national trend. Fewer than half of the nation’s 3,143 counties or equivalents gained population from 2010 to 2020, while the populations of around four-fifths of metro areas grew during the time period.

Most of North Dakota’s growth was in urban areas or oil-boom counties, but those increases were enough to raise the state’s population by 15.8% to 779,094 residents, of whom about 83% reported they are White alone by race. The census found 88% of North Dakotans reported they are full or part White. North Dakotans also reported they are full or in part American Indian or Alaska Native, 7.2%; Black, 4.4%; Asian, 2.4%; Pacific Islander, 0.3%; and other, 3.4%. Another 4.3% reported being Hispanic or Latino.

North Dakota had the fastest-growing population younger than 18 at 22.1%, the U.S. Census Bureau reported. Utah had the largest population under age 18 as a percentage of population at 29%. Utah also had the fastest-growing adult population at 22.8%.

Among North Dakota counties with population increases were:

McKenzie, 14,704, up 131.2%

Williams, 40,950, up 82.8%

Stark, 33,646, up 39%

Mountrail, 9,809, up 27.8%

Cass, 184,525, up 23.2%

Morton, 33,291, up 21.2%

Burleigh, 98,458, up 21.1%

Billings, 945, up 20.7%

Dunn, 4,095, up 15.8%

Burke, 2,201, up 11.8%

Grand Forks, 73,170, up 9.4%

McLean, 9,771, up 9%

Divide, 2,196, up 6%

Rolette County showed the steepest population decline with 12,187 residents, down 12.6%. Among other counties declining during the decade were: Pierce, 3,990, down 8.4%; Renville, 2,282, down 7.6%; Wells, 3,982, down 5.3%; Sheridan, 1,265, down 4.2%; McHenry, 5,345, down 0.9%; and Bottineau, 6,379, down 0.8%.

Among cities, Watford City was the fastest growing, up 255.9% to 6,207 residents. This was somewhat behind the 2020 estimated count of 7,944 residents.

Other growing cities include Fargo, 125,990 or 19.4%; West Fargo, 38,626 or 49.5%; Grand Forks, 59,166 or 12%; Bismarck, 73,622 or 20%; Mandan, 24,206 or 32%; and Williston, 29,160 or 98%.

Area city populations include: Berthold, 490, up 7.9%; Burlington, 1,291, up 21.8%; Surrey, 1,357, up 45%; Glenburn, 404, up 6.3%; and Kenmare, 961, down 12.3%.

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