|North Dakota's 19 story art deco Capitol tower completed in 1934, photo January 24, 2014.|
And growing population, low unemployment and blistering economic growth.
In today's Bismarck Tribune we learn that North Dakota is leading the nation in population growth.
BISMARCK, N.D. — North Dakota had the largest percentage growth of population in the latest U.S. Census Bureau release of such numbers.
The agency says the state grew by 3.1 percent from July 2012 to July 2013.
Just a decade ago, North Dakota held the dubious distinction of being the only state to lose population. But its strong economy, led by the booming oil patch in the western part of the state, has attracted thousands of new residents in the past few years, reversing a decades-long trend of outmigration, where more people were going than coming, said Kevin Iverson, manager of the Census Office at the state Commerce Department.
"Obviously, the reason people are migrating here is for economic opportunity," he said. "The economy in the rest of the country isn't very good, and if the rest of the country wasn't helping us out, we wouldn't be where we are at."
North Dakota has gone from the nation's ninth-biggest oil producer in 2006 to the second, behind only Texas. The state has thousands more jobs than takers and the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, at less than 3 percent, Job Service North Dakota data show.
"After years of out-migration and population decline, it's great to see that our economic growth continues to keep North Dakotans home and that we are attracting new residents throughout the state," Gov. Jack Dalrymple said in a statement.
|North Dakota Black Gold|
theme hat, January 2014.
North Dakota's loss of young people between the ages of 25 and 39 was the highest outmigration rate of that age group in the United States from 1995 to 2000. The state's population is now getting younger. Census data show that the median age of North Dakota residents increased between 2000 and 2008, to 37.3 years of age. Since 2008, the median age of North Dakota residents has declined to 36.1 years of age, data show.
Iverson said people have moved from all states to North Dakota.
"Oil is the engine," he said. "It's just opportunity. People are realizing this is where the future is at."