Thursday, June 09, 2011

North Dakota Had America's Strongest Economy

That North Dakota's economy is stronger than that of other American ststes isn't exactly news to regular readers of this blog, but it was now officially confirmed that it had faster growth than all other 49 states (and the District of Columbia).


Blogger Allen said...

Sorry, I missed the April 11th post. It's been wonderful watching the turn around in the state. It's not just oil. For example, they have the 3rd largest Microsoft campus in Fargo. But you're spot on in that they're not a particularly low tax + regulation nor particularly high.

They still have population problems / shifts though. The one that stands out in my head was that from 1994 - 2001 they had estimated that the population of the state between ages 18-35 had dropped by 40%. And that doesn't account for people moving within the state.

The improvements the economy in the state have seen are not changing the population patterns in some ways. The rural counties are still shrinking (some would say rapidly). This map illustrates it, The difference now is that a few of the western counties are booming when they were previously shrinking ( 1990 to 200 census map for the country here ).

Keep in mind that North Dakota has the 3rd lowest population in the country. Only Vermont (pop. 625,741) and Wyoming (pop. 563,626) have fewer residents (population density is less than 10 per square mile; @3.75 / sq. km). It's not just that the state isn't encumbering the oil and gas industry with excessive regulations and taxes, they're also a small state. They grew from @640,000 people to 670,000 during the last 10 years.

IMHO the real strongest economy in the country is Texas (IIRC they've added @750,000 private sector jobs during the last decade). But it's been interesting the last decade to see places in flyover country doing very well economically. It's not just North Dakota. South Dakota's been doing well for decades with low taxes and regulations. Dallas is booming. The media's finally picked up on Omaha being a pretty cool city. Oklahoma City is hot place for companies to move to and open offices in, too.

Sorry for all the typing. I've got a soft spot for North Dakota.

2:52 PM  

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