According to the most recent state and county population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, as shown in Chart 1, North Dakota had the fastest growing population in 2014. North Dakota’s population grew by 2.3 percent (16,887 people) between 2014 and 2015.
Their booming population growth is due to both a high net natural population rate (births minus deaths) and net migration rate (domestic and international). Of course, the economic boom surrounding the oil and gas drilling in the Bakken Formation is primarily responsible for these positive demographic trends.
#NorthDakota has the fastest growing population in 2015. (click to tweet)
As shown in Chart 2, North Dakota’s net natural population rate, as a percent of total population, was 0.7 percent in 2015—the 4th highest rate in the country. This high net natural population rate is due to both a high birth rate (1.48 percent, 3rd highest) and a low death rate (0.78 percent, 13th lowest).
More significantly, as shown in Chart 3, North Dakota’s net migration rate, as a percent of total population, was 1.55 percent—the 2nd highest rate in the country. The vast majority of this migration originates within the U.S. with the domestic migration rate at 1.32 percent—also the highest level in the country. In contrast, the international migration rate was 0.23 percent which ranks as the 27th highest.
Thanks to these favorable demographic trends, North Dakota is currently well positioned to face the coming Demographic Winter.
Of course, the population change within North Dakota is not distributed equally. The top 10 North Dakota counties with the highest rate of population change between 2014 and 2015 include:
The bottom 10 North Dakota counties with the slowest rate of population change between 2014 and 2015 include:
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J. Scott Moody has nearly 20 years experience as a public policy economist with a specialty in tax policy and has over 180 publications. He has worked for numerous national and state-based think tanks such as the American Conservative Union Foundation, Federalism In Action, Tax Foundation, Heritage Foundation, and The Maine Heritage Policy Center.