Apparently North Dakota is the place to be.

At least according to this article.

ND offers:

[li]A $400 Mil budget surplus[/li][li]Lowest unemployment in the country[/li][li]Best job growth in the country[/li][li]Low violent crime[/li][li]Voted to put 30% of gas and oil revenues into a savings account.[/li][/ul]

On the other hand, it’s North Dakota. It may be worth a look though…

I worked in Fargo for a couple summers. Not a bad place, really; the people are super friendly and the downtown area has some nice bars and restaurants. You’d never guess it has 150,000 people in it. I’d say it’s a great place to raise kids with only one caveat: bored ND farm kids have a game called “Country Cruising”, which basically means getting profoundly drunk and driving around country roads. Still, better than gangs, right?

EDIT: Oh, well, there’s weather, too. Frigid in the winter, boiling in the summer, and flooding in the spring. Still, can’t have everything.

My sisters live in North Dakota.

If you can stand North Dakota, its great. But standing North Dakota means putting up with Winter on a scale unlike even us Minnesotans know. It means floods. It means windblown plains and miles and miles between small towns. Its like Nebraska, without the charming scenery or decent college football.

But the people are great. The state is doing well (oil shale), unemployment is low.

Not really northy enough, though.

The women are generally VERY attractive:D

I lived in North Dakota for many years. went to college there. My wife grew up there. North Dakota sucks. We left for a reason.

In addition to weather that makes Minnesota seem balmy, there is also an extreme, right wing culture there that is frightening to behold.

It does have low crime (it’s too fucking cold), although meth labs are becoming more common in the rural areas, but the jobs are low paying and outside of Fargo and Grand Forks, it’s boring as shit.

Actually the west part of North Dakota is getting most of the economic growth due to the oil revenue. Minot has had a lot of growth due to the oil

The growth from 2000 to 2010 (City Limits Population)

Fargo........90,683 -- 105,549
Bismarck.....55,798 --- 61,272
Grand Forks..49,366 --- 52,838
Minot........36,653 --- 40,888
West Fargo...15,451 --- 25,830
Mandan.......16,764 --- 18,331
Dickinson....16,025 --- 17,787
Jamestown....15,556 --- 15,427

Metro Area Population 2000 to 2010

Fargo.........174,682 --- 209,233
Bismark........94,719 --- 108,779
Grand Forks....97,478 ---- 98,461

North Dakota’s population (so far) peaked at 680,845 in 1930. Currently it has

It also lost population in: 1940, 1950, 1970, 1990

If eastern Montana is any indication, and I’m pretty well certain it is, I must join others in emphasizing that winters in North Dakota are not only severe compared to just about anywhere else in the Lower 48 and potentially fatal, they’re the most monotonous and isolating kind of potentially fatal weather there is.

Consider the snow: Massive snow drifts are common, which doesn’t mean the region gets a ton of snow at once (though it can and does). It means the region gets a good amount of snow spread out over weeks and months and that snow just gets blown around and blown around until it finds somewhere to accumulate. This means that, for months on end, your view out the window is white. If it’s a snowstorm, it will be pure blank white; if it’s not, it will be white ground and white trees and white fences against a white or blue-white sky.

The temperature during this time will not break 0°F for weeks on end. It may not rise above -10°F for days on end, and it can easily get down to -20°F and lower for extended periods. This means you either spend your time putting on and taking off articles of clothing or you stay inside for most of most days. If you do not wear enough clothing, or the right clothing, you will feel rather exquisite pain as your skin gets damaged. (The cessation of pain means something has died.) Sometimes, in the right wind, reasonably thick clothing isn’t quite enough to stop the pain. (You’ll get used to the wind.)

Summers are just as boring but not quite as deadly, assuming you have water and shade and a good breeze blowing through. (You will.) Flooding during the spring is also possible, as the posters above have said.

Don’t most of the states up north (MT, IA etc) have meth issues?

I’m glad for all 45 people living in ND.

I will keep my sunny Colorado, thanks.

You say that like it’s a bad thing…

Ssshhh Don’t tell people about our weather. Let 'em think it sucks. When you think Colorado, you think snow. Just keep thinking that.

I really think they should rename the state to “Lower Saskatchewan” myself.

I’ve driven across ND more times than I care to remember, both on the interstate and further up on Highway 2, and in both good weather and bad. I always felt like I was in some post-apocalyptic landscape. You rarely see traffic, and you never see a cop. It’s agricultural, flat and boring. Crime is low because prison is probably preferable to living there. I remember one bitter winter drive across the northern tier, when it was -40F and ice fog nearly down to the ground. The defroster was barely able to keep a space clear on the windshield and my headlights iced up to the point where they illuminated nothing. Ice rime would build up on the radio antenna, which would start whupping back and forth. I had to keep stopping and knocking the ice off of both. It was nightmarish.

Is it true ND is actually colder and generally nastier in winter than nearby Canadian provinces? Why?

I doubt that’s actually true.

I think that reputation is because it’s in the northern tier of the US, so it seems more extremely cold to most USians, and they talk about it a lot.

By contrast, the southern part of Saskatchewan is in the south of Canada, and we know that if you want real cold, you have to go up north. What Chefguy described is just another day at the office for us, so to speak. (although I must say that the ice rime he describes is a bit on the extreme side of ordinary winter driving conditions.)

Wouldn’t shock me if a big chunk of southern Alberta and possibly the SW corner of Saskatchewan were slightly milder than ND, on account of chinooks. If there’s anything a person can count on in Saskatchewan, it’s that a CBC weather report will include a mention that Maple Creek is the warmest spot in the province, 5-10 degrees higher than anywhere else.

I’ll go do some research, but I’m betting Fargo is slightly warmer than Winnipeg, and Minot is slightly warmer than Saskatoon.

My fave alternate is “Baja Manitoba”.

I suppose the weather has culled out all but the hardiest, most enterprising folk, thus the relative prosperity?