3 North Dakota Towns People Are Fleeing As Soon As Possible

North Dakota is a state with a lot of natural beauty and rich history, but it is also facing some serious challenges in terms of population decline, economic stagnation, and environmental issues. Some towns in the state are losing residents at an alarming rate, as people seek better opportunities and living conditions elsewhere. Here are three North Dakota towns that people are fleeing as soon as possible.

1. Tioga

Tioga is a town in Williams County, located in the northwest corner of the state. It was once a booming oil town, with a population of over 3,000 in 2014. However, the oil boom turned into a bust, and Tioga suffered from the effects of low oil prices, reduced drilling activity, and job losses. The population dropped to 2,553 in 2020, a 15% decrease in six years. Many businesses closed down, and the town struggled to provide basic services and infrastructure. Tioga is now a ghost town, with empty houses, vacant lots, and abandoned vehicles.

2. New England

New England is a town in Hettinger County, located in the southwest part of the state. It was founded in 1887 by settlers from New England, and it was once a thriving agricultural and railroad center. The town had a population of 1,005 in 1980, but it has been steadily declining ever since. The population was 589 in 2020, a 41% decrease in four decades. The main reasons for the population decline are the aging and outmigration of the younger generation, the lack of economic opportunities and amenities, and the isolation and harsh weather of the region. New England is now a dying town, with few businesses, services, and attractions.

3. Cando

Cando is a town in Towner County, located in the north-central part of the state. It is the county seat and the largest town in the county, but it is also one of the most depopulated. The town had a population of 1,342 in 1990, but it has been losing residents every year since then. The population was 1,024 in 2020, a 24% decrease in three decades. The main factors for the population decline are the loss of agricultural and manufacturing jobs, the consolidation of schools and services, and the competition from larger cities and neighboring states. Cando is now a shrinking town, with a declining tax base, aging infrastructure, and limited prospects.


North Dakota is a state that faces many challenges in retaining and attracting residents, especially in its rural and small towns. Some towns are experiencing severe population decline, as people leave for various reasons, such as economic hardship, lack of opportunity, poor quality of life, and environmental concerns. Tioga, New England, and Cando are three examples of towns that people are fleeing as soon as possible, and they represent the difficulties and realities of living in North Dakota. Unless something changes, these towns may soon become extinct.

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