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Last Updated: September 29, 2021

North Dakota - Peace Garden State

North Dakota is situated in the midwestern part of the United States and is the 19th largest state. The population of North Dakota is approximately 781,000. Bismarck is the capital city of the state whereas Fargo is the largest or the most populated city in North Dakota. It was declared as a state in the year 1889. The state is surrounded by the borders of Canada, Minnesota, South Dakota, and Montana. The state experiences a mix of both temperate and continental climates depending on the region. The overall temperature may be anywhere between 37° F (mostly northern regions) to 43° F (mostly southern regions). English is the widely spoken language in this state, followed by German, Spanish, Norwegian, and French.

The region was originally inhabited by the Lakota and Dakota Sioux tribes which is how the state got its name. The moniker "Peace Garden State" was given by the North Dakota Motor Vehicle Department in 1956 referring to the International Peace Garden. The name was used for the state's license plates and later on became popular enough to be the state's official nickname. There are many other nicknames for this state such as the 'Flickertail State', 'Roughrider State', 'The Sioux State', 'Norse Dakota', and so on.

Major Cities in North Dakota


With a population of around 122,000, Fargo is the largest city in North Dakota. It was established in 1871 and was initially known as 'Centralia'. The city was later renamed Fargo to honor William Fargo, the director of the Northern Pacific Railway and the Wells Fargo Express Company. It was also nicknamed 'Gateway to the West' due to the presence of the Northern Pacific Railway. Apart from being a major industrial center, Fargo is also known for being an educational hub. The North Dakota State University-Main Campus is situated in this city.


Bismarck is the capital city of North Dakota and also the second-largest city in the state. The estimated population of this city is roughly 73,000 and is situated in Burleigh County. The city is a major center for healthcare and business. Bismarck was originally named after Edwin M. Johnson, an engineer for the Northern Pacific Railway company, and was called Edwinton. To honor the German chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, the city was later renamed, Bismarck. The University of Mary and Bismarck State College are situated in this city.

Grand Forks

Established as a city on February 22, 1881, Grand Forks is the third-largest city in North Dakota. The estimated population is around 57,000. The city was once nicknamed 'the Maroons' and the 'Redskins' but this was later dropped due to its controversial racist connotations. Healthcare services, food processing, manufacturing, and agriculture, are some of the major industries in this city. Popular sites in this city include the North Dakota Museum of Art, Sherlock Park, Splashers of the South Seas, and more. The most reputed institute in the state, the University of North Dakota, is situated in this city.


With an estimated population of around 49,000, Minot is the fourth-largest city in North Dakota. It is one of the most livable cities in the state because of its excellent transportation system, and low crime rates and is also known as "The Magic City". It was founded in the year 1886 and was established as a city in 1887. The city was named to honor H.D. Minot. Agriculture, transport, energy, and healthcare services are the major industries in the city. The Scandinavian Heritage Association, Roosevelt Park Zoo, Dakota Territory Air Museum, Oak Park, Minot Park District, are popular tourist attractions in Minot.

Economy/Job Market

Tuition Fee and Living Cost in North Dakota

The cost of living in the 'Peace Garden State' is lower than the national average with housing and transportation costs being the lowest. Major cities like Surrey, Grand Forks, Watford City, Fargo, and Bismarck are the most expensive cities in the state. The most affordable cities to live in are Harvey, Gwinner, Cooperstown, and Langdon. The median household income in North Dakota is around $65,000 and the per capita income is around $59,500.

Educational costs in this state are also reasonable or rather extremely lower than the national average. Both in-state and out-of-state tuition costs are less in North Dakota's public institutions. Private institutions that are generally expensive, with an average tuition of approximately $39,000, are affordable in North Dakota. For instance, the University of Mary (Bismarck) charges a fee of around $21,000. Moreover, the state also offers several scholarships and grants to make the dream of quality education an achievable reality for students.

List of Few Major Universities/Colleges

The top universities/colleges in the state of North Dakota are:

Scholarships/Financial Aid for Students


The state of North Dakota is usually not extremely popular as a place full of exciting tourist attractions. However, the state has its share of scenery and sites for tourists to explore. The North Dakota Heritage Center and State Museum is the most popular historic site that beautifully showcases the roots and origins of the Peace Garden State. Other popular destinations in North Dakota include the Maah Daah Hey Trail, Theodore Roosevelt National Park, National Buffalo Museum, Lake Sakakawea and Garrison Dam, Turtle Mountain Chippewa Heritage Center, North Dakota Heritage Center, Scandinavian Heritage Park, The Enchanted Highway, Dakota Zoo, and more. Due to the Norwegian, German, and Native American influences, North Dakota has a vast variety of cuisines to offer. Popular cuisines available here are Kuchen - German cake, Lefse - traditional Norwegian flatbread, Goulash - Hungarian soup, Fleischkuekle - Russian-German meat-filled pastry, Krumkake - Norwegian waffle, and a lot more.

Universities & Colleges in North Dakota

University (city) Total StudentsUG (in) / UG (out)G (in) / G (out)
University of North Dakota (Grand Forks) 17050$10454 / $16727$13590 / $20908
North Dakota State University-Main Campus (Fargo) 14503$10454 / $14636$8363 / $12545
University of Mary (Bismarck) 4696$20908 / $20908$18818 / $18818
Trinity Bible College (Ellendale) 276$18818 / $18818$12545 / $12545
University of Jamestown (Jamestown) 1192$24045 / $24045$12545 / $12545
Valley City State University (Valley City) 1953$8363 / $13590$8363 / $8363
Minot State University (Minot) 3839$8363 / $8363$10454 / $10454
Mayville State University (Mayville) 1628$8363 / $10454$7318 / $7318
Sitting Bull College (Fort Yates) 405$5227 / $5227$7318 / $7318
Rasmussen College-North Dakota (Fargo) 1006$11499 / $11499$10454 / $10454
Turtle Mountain Community College (Belcourt) 555$3136 / $3136$N/A / $N/A
Bismarck State College (Bismarck) 4078$4181 / $9409$N/A / $N/A

*UG - Undergraduate
*G - Graduate
*in - In-state Fees
*out - Out-of-State Fees
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