Economy of North Dakota

By | March 4, 2023

North Dakota is an agricultural state located in the Midwestern and Great Plains region of the United States. It is known for its vast open spaces, abundant natural resources, and strong economy. The economy of North Dakota is largely based on its natural resources, such as oil, coal, and other minerals.

Agriculture is a major economic driver in North Dakota. The state produces large amounts of wheat and other grains, beef cattle, dairy products, eggs, vegetables, and sugar beets. The state also has a significant livestock industry that includes hogs, sheep and horses. Additionally, North Dakota is home to many small farms that produce fruits and vegetables for local consumption or sale at markets or grocery stores across the country.

The oil industry has been an important part of North Dakota’s economy for decades. Oil production in the state began in 1951 when the first major discovery was made at Tioga in Williams County. Since then oil production has grown steadily to become a major source of revenue for the state’s economy. Currently there are over 11 thousand active wells producing more than 1 million barrels per day across North Dakota’s Bakken Formation area alone.

Manufacturing is another important sector of North Dakota’s economy with companies such as Caterpillar Inc., John Deere Co., 3M Co., Ford Motor Co., General Motors Corp., John Deere Co., and Nucor Steel all having operations within the state borders. These companies employ thousands of workers throughout the state providing jobs in areas such as manufacturing goods such as tires and engines; construction equipment; machine tools; agricultural equipment; plastics; chemicals; food products; pharmaceuticals; paper products; metal fabrication; furniture making; automotive parts manufacturing; electronics assembly services; printing services and more.

Tourism is also a big part of North Dakota’s economy with many visitors coming to see attractions like Theodore Roosevelt National Park (TRNP), Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site (FUTP), Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site (KRIV), Lewis & Clark Interpretive Center (LCIC), International Peace Garden (IPG), Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park (FALSP) among others each year. In addition to these attractions there are also numerous festivals held throughout the year attracting tourists from around the world eager to experience the culture and heritage that make up this great state.

Finally, technology has become increasingly important to North Dakota’s economic growth over recent years with several technology-based businesses located throughout the state including Microsoft Corporation which opened an office in Fargo in 2014 creating hundreds of new jobs for local residents while also bringing new investment into the region from outside sources eager to tap into this growing market sector within North Dakota’s borders.

Overall, North Dakota has a diverse economy with strong growth potential fueled by its abundant natural resources, thriving agriculture sector, robust manufacturing base, vibrant tourism industry, and growing technology sector. As long as these factors continue to be nurtured by both public policy makers and private investors alike,North Dakotans can expect their economic fortunes to remain strong well into future generations.

Top 3 Counties in North Dakota

According to, main counties in North Dakota include:

1. Cass County: Located in the center of North Dakota, Cass County is the most populous county in the state. It covers an area of 1,039 square miles and has a population of 191,765 people. The county seat is Fargo, which is also the largest city in North Dakota. Cass County is home to several major attractions such as Red River Zoo, Children’s Museum at Yunker Farm, Plains Art Museum and Lindenwood Park. It also hosts a variety of annual events such as the Fargo Marathon and Red River Valley Fair. In addition to this, it has numerous parks and trails for outdoor activities like hiking and biking.

2. Burleigh County: Located in south-central North Dakota, Burleigh County covers an area of 1,717 square miles with a population of 92,912 people. Its county seat is Bismarck which is also the state capital of North Dakota. Burleigh County offers a number of attractions such as Fort Abraham Lincoln State Park, Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center and North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum. It also has several parks and trails for outdoor activities like camping and fishing.

3. Grand Forks County: Located in northeast North Dakota along the Red River Valley near Minnesota border, Grand Forks County covers an area of 1,068 square miles with a population of 68,862 people. Its county seat is Grand Forks which is also home to University of North Dakota (UND). This county has many attractions such as Ralph Engelstad Arena (home arena for UND men’s hockey team), International Peace Garden (a botanical garden on U.S.-Canadian border) and Turtle River State Park (a popular recreation spot). Additionally there are numerous parks and trails for outdoor activities like hiking and biking throughout Grand Forks.

Economy of North Dakota