North Dakota

From Academic Kids

State of North Dakota
State flag of North Dakota State seal of North Dakota
(Flag of North Dakota) (Seal of North Dakota)
State nickname: Peace Garden State, Roughrider State, Flickertail State
Missing image
Map of the U.S. with North Dakota highlighted

Other U.S. States
Capital Bismarck
Largest city Fargo
Governor John Hoeven
Official languages English
Area 183 272 km² (19th)
 - Land 178 839 km²
 - Water 4 432 km² (2.4%)
Population (2000)
 - Population 642 200 (47th)
 - Density 3.59 /km² (47th)
Admission into Union
 - Date November 2, 1889
 - Order 39th
Time zoneCentral: UTC-6/-5 (northwestern and eastern)
Mountain: UTC-7/-6 (southwestern)
Latitude45?55′N to 49?00′N
Longitude96?33′W to 104?03′W
Width 340 km
Length 545 km
 - Highest White Butte, 1 069 m
 - Mean 580 m
 - Lowest Red River, 229 m
 - ISO 3166-2 US-ND
Web site

North Dakota is a state of the United States, named after the Dakota segment of the Sioux Native American Indians. Its U.S. postal abbreviation is ND. The entire state is covered by area code 701.

The United States Navy vessels USS North Dakota and Flickertail State were named in honor of North Dakota.



full article: History of North Dakota

The Dakotas made up the last arable region in the United States to be explored and settled. The French-Canadian trader La V鲥ndrye was the first documented non-Native American explorer of the area, leading a party to the Mandan villages about 1738.

The trading arrangement between tribes was such that North Dakota tribes rarely dealt directly with Europeans. However, the native tribes were in sufficient contact that by the time of Lewis and Clark, they were at least somewhat aware of the French, then Spanish claims to their territory.

The state was settled sparsely until the late 1800s, when the railroads pushed through the state, and aggressively marketed the land. On 2 November 1889, North Dakota was admitted to the Union with South Dakota (see Trivia below).

The territorial and early state governments were largely corrupt. Early in the 20th century, a wave of populism led by the Non Partisan League brought social reforms. The Great Depression was rough on the state and came several years early with the 1920s farm crisis. The original state capitol burned to the ground in the 1930s and was replaced by a concrete art deco skyscraper that still stands today.

The 1950s brought a wave of federal construction projects, including Garrison Dam and the Minot and Grand Forks Air Force bases. The 1980s saw an oil boom in the Williston basin, as skyrocketing petroleum prices made development profitable, driving state population to a peak near 800,000. Since then the state has been experiencing a period of economic and demographic decline, and population is down to around 640,000, about as many as lived in the state in 1920s.

Law and government

The capital of North Dakota is Bismarck and its current governor is John Hoeven (Republican). Its two current U.S. senators are Kent Conrad (Dem-NPL) and Byron Dorgan (Dem-NPL). Its congressman is Earl Pomeroy (Dem-NPL).

North Dakota has a bicameral legislature. The state elects two House Representatives and one Senator from each of 47 districts apportioned by population. The legislature meets in an 80-day regular session in odd-numbered years, and in special session if summoned by the governor. See also: North Dakota Legislative Assembly, North Dakota Senate, North Dakota House of Representatives

The major political parties in North Dakota are the Republican Party and the Democratic-NPL Party. However, North Dakota does have some active third political parties.

The structure of North Dakota's judiciary is not terribly complex. Each of the 53 counties has a court, from which appeals are sent directly to the North Dakota Supreme Court. Because of the expense of having each county hire a judge, and the fairly low workload, the state is divided into seven judicial districts which collectively elect judges to travel to the various courthouses and hear cases.

District Judges are elected to six-year terms. Supreme Court Judges are elected to ten-year terms. The Supreme Court Justice is selected every 5 years by vote of the District and Supreme Court Judges.

See: List of North Dakota Governors, List of United States Senators from North Dakota


Missing image
Map of North Dakota

See: List of North Dakota counties

North Dakota is bordered on the north by the Canadian Provinces of Saskatchewan and Manitoba, on the west by Montana, on the south by South Dakota, and on the east, across the Red River of the North, by Minnesota. The Missouri River flows through the western part of the state, forming Lake Sakakawea behind the Garrison Dam.

Farms and ranches stretch across the rolling plains from the Red River Valley in the east to the rugged Badlands in the west. The geographic center of the North American continent is located near Rugby.


The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that North Dakota's total state product in 2003 was $21 billion. Per capital personal income in 2003 was $28,922, 32nd in the nation. The state's agricultural outputs include wheat, cattle, barley, flax, milk, soybeans, sunflowers, and sugar beets. Its small industrial output includes electric power, food processing, machinery, coal mining, and tourism.

North Dakota has the only state-owned bank in the United States, the Bank of North Dakota. The bank, by law, holds all funds of all state and local government agencies in North Dakota. Its deposits are not guaranteed by the FDIC, but by the State of North Dakota itself.


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2003, North Dakota's population was estimated at 633,837 people.

The racial makeup of the state is:

The 5 largest ancestry groups in North Dakota are: German (43.9%), Norwegian (30.1%), Irish (7.7%), American Indian (5%), Swedish (5%).

6.1% of North Dakota's population were reported as under 5, 25% under 18, and 14.7% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.1% of the population.

Of the 50 US states, North Dakota currently ranks 47th in population, ahead of only Vermont, Alaska, and Wyoming.


North Dakota has experienced a decline in population over the last 20 years, primarily among skilled college graduates for whom there are few jobs in the state. State leaders have been at a loss to address the issue. Student loan forgiveness programs for health and education professionals have been initiated with some degree of success, but a larger program to forgive the loans of all college graduates residing in the state for a given period of time failed to pass a referendum. Some federal politicians, including Byron Dorgan, have proposed a new "Homestead Act" to incentivize living in areas losing population through tax breaks and other considerations, but these have also made little headway.

Many North Dakota politicians believe that better economic development programs will eventually resolve the issue, but opinions are mixed as to what exactly that would entail.


The religious affiliations of the people of North Dakota are:

Important cities and towns

See also: List of cities in North Dakota

By population, the ten largest urban centres in the state are:

1. Fargo/West Fargo
2. Bismarck/Mandan
3. Grand Forks
4. Minot
5. Dickinson
6. Jamestown
7. Williston
8. Wahpeton
9. Devils Lake
10. Valley City

The population trends in the state are noting a distinct shift from the rural areas to the larger cities. Most of North Dakota's largest communities grew between 1990 and 2000.

Between 1990 and 2000, the USA as a whole grew by 13.1%, yet North Dakota grew a mere 0.5%. It is the only state (along with Washington DC) whose population declined (by 1.3%) between April 1, 2000 and July 1, 2003; this decline has become a major political issue.


North Dakota's leaders frequently boast that the educational scene in the state is excellent. However, because the economic situation is no match for it, many skilled graduates leave the state.

Colleges and universities

North Dakota boasts one of the healthiest higher education scenes in the nation. There are 11 public colleges and universities, 5 tribal community colleges, and 4 private schools in the state. The largest and oldest institution is the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks.

The higher education system consists of the following institutions:

North Dakota University System (Public schools)
Bismarck State College in Bismarck
Dickinson State University in Dickinson
Lake Region State College in Devils Lake
Mayville State University in Mayville
Minot State University in Minot
Minot State University-Bottineau in Bottineau
North Dakota State University in Fargo
North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton
University of North Dakota in Grand Forks
Valley City State University in Valley City
Williston State College in Williston
Tribal colleges
Cankdeska Cikana Community College in Fort Totten
Fort Berthold Community College in New Town
Sitting Bull College in Fort Yates
Turtle Mountain Community College in Belcourt
United Tribes Technical College in Bismarck
Private schools
Aakers College in Fargo and Bismarck
Jamestown College in Jamestown
University of Mary in Bismarck
Trinity Bible College in Ellendale

Miscellaneous information

Language: English
Counties: 53
State bird: Western Meadowlark, Sturnella neglecta
State fish: Northern pike, Esox lucius
State horse: Nokota Horse
State flower: Wild Prairie Rose, Rosa arkansana
State tree: American Elm, Ulmus americana
State fossil: Teredo Petrified wood
State grass: Western Wheatgrass
State nicknames: Roughrider State, Flickertail State, Peace Garden State
State mottos:
(Great Seal of North Dakota) Liberty and Union, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable
(Coat of Arms of North Dakota) Strength from the Soil
State song: North Dakota Hymn
State dance: Square Dance
State march: Flickertail March
State beverage: Milk


A bill for statehood for North and South Dakota (and Montana, and Washington) was passed on February 22 1889 during the Administration of Grover Cleveland. It was left to his successor Benjamin Harrison to sign proclamations formally admitting North and South Dakota to the Union on November 2 1889. However, the rivalry between the northern and southern territories presented a dilemma: only one, upon the President's signature on the proclamation, could gain the distinction of being admitted before the other. So Harrison directed his Secretary of State James Blaine to shuffle the papers and obscure from him which he was signing first, and the priority went unrecorded.

Clip Art and Pictures

State Maps

State Flags

  • US State Flags (

Lesson Plans, Resources and Activites

External links

Regions of North Dakota Flag of North Dakota
Red River Valley | Missouri Escarpment | Badlands
Largest cities
Beulah-Hazen | Bismarck-Mandan | Devils Lake | Dickinson | Fargo-West Fargo | Grafton | Grand Forks | Jamestown | Minot | Rugby | Valley City | Wahpeton | Williston

Adams - Barnes - Benson - Billings - Bottineau - Bowman - Burke - Burleigh - Cass - Cavalier - Dickey - Divide - Dunn - Eddy - Emmons - Foster - Golden Valley - Grand Forks - Grant - Griggs - Hettinger - Kidder - La Moure - Logan - McHenry - McIntosh - McKenzie - McLean - Mercer - Morton - Mountrail - Nelson - Oliver - Pembina - Pierce - Ramsey - Ransom - Renville - Richland - Rolette - Sargent - Sheridan - Sioux - Slope - Stark - Steele - Stutsman - Towner - Traill - Walsh - Ward - Wells - Williams

Political divisions of the United States Missing image
Flag of the United States

States Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming
Federal district District of Columbia
Insular areas American Samoa | Baker Island | Guam | Howland Island | Jarvis Island | Johnston Atoll | Kingman Reef | Midway Atoll | Navassa Island | Northern Mariana Islands | Palmyra Atoll | Puerto Rico | Virgin Islands | Wake Island

Academic Kids Menu

  • Art and Cultures
    • Art (
    • Architecture (
    • Cultures (
    • Music (
    • Musical Instruments (
  • Biographies (
  • Clipart (
  • Geography (
    • Countries of the World (
    • Maps (
    • Flags (
    • Continents (
  • History (
    • Ancient Civilizations (
    • Industrial Revolution (
    • Middle Ages (
    • Prehistory (
    • Renaissance (
    • Timelines (
    • United States (
    • Wars (
    • World History (
  • Human Body (
  • Mathematics (
  • Reference (
  • Science (
    • Animals (
    • Aviation (
    • Dinosaurs (
    • Earth (
    • Inventions (
    • Physical Science (
    • Plants (
    • Scientists (
  • Social Studies (
    • Anthropology (
    • Economics (
    • Government (
    • Religion (
    • Holidays (
  • Space and Astronomy
    • Solar System (
    • Planets (
  • Sports (
  • Timelines (
  • Weather (
  • US States (


  • Home Page (
  • Contact Us (

  • Clip Art (
Personal tools