Leading the nation in economic growth for the decade, North Dakota saw its third historic boom

FARGO — North Dakota’s average annual economic growth rate of almost 5.8% led the nation during a decade that witnessed the beginning and end of the boom in the Oil Patch.

The growth of North Dakota’s economy and population from 2010 through 2019, in fact, was so significant that the decade can be thought of as the Third Dakota Boom, echoing periods of dramatic growth that occurred during the settlement era a century ago.

The decade coming to an end saw North Dakota’s economy soar 58.3%, from $35.4 billion to $56 billion in current dollars, and its population mushroom 13% from 672,591 to an estimated 760,077 from 2010 to 2018.

Such significant growth recalls what historians call the Great Dakota Boom, which lasted from 1878 to 1886, when Dakota Territory was drawing thousands of immigrants and other homesteaders, and railroads were laying hundreds of miles of track.