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North Dakota
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North Dakota

North Dakota
(In Detail) (Full size)
State nicknames:
Peace Garden State
Roughrider State
Flickertail State

Other U.S. States
Capital Bismarck
Largest CityFargo
GovernorJohn Hoeven
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water
 - % water
Ranked 19th
183,272 kmē
178,839 kmē
4,432 kmē
 - Total (2000)
 - Density
Ranked 47th
Admittance into Union
 - Order
 - Date

November 2, 1889
Time zone Central: UTC-6/-5
Mountain: UTC-7/-6
Northwestern and Eastern ND is Central, Southwestern is Mountain
45°55' N to 49° N;
97° W to 104° W
340 km
545 km
1,069 meters
580 meters
229 meters
ISO 3166-2:US-ND

North Dakota is a state of the United States, named after the Dakota segment of the Sioux Native American Indians. Its U.S. postal abbreviation is ND.

The United States Navy vessels USS North Dakota and Flickertail State were named in honor of North Dakota.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Law and government
3 Geography
4 Economy
5 Demographics
6 Important cities and towns
7 Education
8 Miscellaneous information
9 Trivia
10 External links


full article: History of North Dakota

North Dakota was one of the last places in the continental United States to be explored and settled. The first European explorers to visit the area were French. However, the native tribes were in sufficient contact with European traders that by the time of Lewis and Clark, they were at least somewhat aware of the French, then Spanish claims to their territory.

The state was settled sparsely until the late 1800s, when the railroads pushed through the state, and aggressively marketed the land. On 2 November 1889, North Dakota was admitted to the Union with South Dakota (see Trivia below). By 1920 the state had about as many people as it has today.

Law and government

The capital of North Dakota is Bismarck and its governor is John Hoeven (Republican). Its two U.S. senators are Kent Conrad (Democrat) and Byron Dorgan (Democrat). Its congressman is Earl Pomeroy (Democrat).

North Dakota has a bicameral legislature. The state elects two House Representatives and one Senator from each of 47 districts apportioned by population. The legislature only meets for 80 days in even-numbered years and when summoned by the governor. See also: North Dakota Legislative Assembly, North Dakota Senate, North Dakota House of Representatives

The major political parties in North Dakota are the Republican Party and the Democratic-NPL Party.

North Dakota's judiciary is rather simple. Each of the 53 counties has a court, from which appeals are sent straight to the Supreme Court. Because of the expense of having each county hire a judge, and the fairly low workload, the state is divided into seven judicial districts which collectively elect judges to travel to the various courthouses and hear cases.

District Judges are elected to six-year terms. Supreme Court Judges are elected to ten-year terms. The Supreme Court Justice is selected every 5 years by vote of the District and Supreme Court Judges.

See: List of North Dakota Governors, List of United States Senators from North Dakota


See: List of North Dakota counties

North Dakota is bordered on the north by the Canadian Provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, on the west by Montana, on the south by South Dakota, and on the east, across the Red River of the North, by Minnesota. The Missouri River flows through the western part of the state, forming Lake Sakakawea behind the Garrison Dam. It is mainly a farm state and most of its industries (food processing and farm equipment) are connected to farming. Farms and ranches stretch across the rolling plains from the Red River Valley in the east to the rugged Badlands in the west. The geographic centre of the North American continent is located near Rugby.


North Dakota's 1999 total gross state product was $17 billion, the smallest in the nation. Its 2000 Per Capita Personal Income was $25,068, placing it 38th in the nation. The state's agricultural outputs include wheat, cattle, barley, flax, milk, soybeans, sunflowers, and sugar beets. Its small industrial output includes electric power, food processing, machinery, coal mining, and tourism.


As of the 2000 census, the population of North Dakota is 642,200. Its population grew 0.5% (3,400) from its 1990 levels. According to the 2000 census, 92.4% (593,181) identified themselves as White, 1.2% (7,786) as Hispanic or Latino, 0.6% (3,916) as black, 0.6% (3,606) as Asian, 4.9% (31,329) as American Indian or Alaska Native, 0.04% (230) as Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0.4% (2,540) as other, and 1.2% (7,398) identified themselves as belonging to two or more races.

6.1% of its population were reported as under 5, 25% under 18, and 14.7% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.1% of the population.

Important cities and towns

See also: List of cities in North Dakota

By population, the ten largest urban centres in the state are:

1. Fargo/West Fargo
2. Bismarck/Mandan
3. Grand Forks
4. Minot
5. Dickinson
6. Jamestown
7. Williston
8. Wahpeton
9. Devils Lake
10. Valley City

Interestingly, Devils Lake tends to be considered more important than Wahpeton because of Devils Lake's geographic isolation. The population trends in the state are noting a distinct shift from the rural areas to the larger cities. Most of North Dakota's biggest cities grew between 1990 and 2000, with the notable exception of Grand Forks, which was decimated in the Red River Flood, 1997.

However, the population of the state as a whole is declining, and has become a major political issue.


North Dakota's leaders frequently boast that the educational scene in the state is excellent. However, because the economic situation is no match for it, most skilled graduates leave the state.

Colleges and universities

North Dakota boasts one of the healthiest higher education scenes in the nation. There are 11 public colleges and universities, 5 tribal community colleges, and 3 private schools in the state. They are:

Aakers Business College in Fargo
Bismarck State College in Bismarck
Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten
Dickinson State University in Dickinson
Fort Berthold Community College in New Town
Jamestown College in Jamestown
Lake Region State College in Devils Lake
Mayville State University in Mayville
Minot State University in Minot
Minot State University-Bottineau in Bottineau
North Dakota State University in Fargo
North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton
Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates
Trinity Bible College in Ellendale
Turtle Mountain Community College in Belcourt
University of Mary in Bismarck
University of North Dakota in Grand Forks
United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck
Valley City State University in Valley City
Williston State College in Williston

Miscellaneous information

Language: English
Counties: 53
Bird: Western Meadowlark
Fish: Northern pike
Horse: Nokota Horse
Flower: Prairie Rose
Tree: American Elm
Fossil: Teredo Petrified wood
Grass: Western Wheatgrass
Nicknames: Roughrider State, Flickertail State, Peace Garden State
Motto: Liberty and Union, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable
Song: North Dakota Hymn
Dance: Square Dance
March: Flickertail March
Beverage: Milk


bill for statehood for North and South Dakota (and Montana, and Washington) was passed on February 22 1889 during the Administration of Grover Cleveland. It was left to his successor Benjamin Harrison to sign proclamations formally admitting North and South Dakota to the Union on November 2 1889. However, the rivalry between the northern and southern territories presented a dilemma: only one, upon the President's signature on the proclamation, could gain the distinction of being admitted before the other. So Harrison directed his Secretary of State James Blaine to shuffle the papers and obscure from him which he was signing first, and the priority went unrecorded.

External links

Regions of North Dakota
Red River Valley | Missouri Escarpment | Badlands
Largest Cities
Beulah | Bismarck | Devils Lake | Dickinson | Fargo | Grafton | Grand Forks | Jamestown | Mandan | Minot | Rugby | Valley City | Wahpeton | West Fargo | Williston
Adams - Barnes - Benson - Billings - Bottineau - Bowman - Burke - Burleigh - Cass - Cavalier - Dickey - Divide - Dunn - Eddy - Emmons - Foster - Golden Valley - Grand Forks - Grant - Griggs - Hettinger - Kidder - La Moure - Logan - McHenry - McIntosh - McKenzie - McLean - Mercer - Morton - Mountrail - Nelson - Oliver - Pembina - Pierce - Ramsey - Ransom - Renville - Richland - Rolette - Sargent - Sheridan - Sioux - Slope - Stark - Steele - Stutsman - Towner - Traill - Walsh - Ward - Wells - Williams

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