McKenzie County leads the state in percent population growth

According to 2018 US Census estimates, McKenzie County has a population of 13,632. That represents a 7.1% population increase from 2017 estimates and a 113% increase from the 2010 census statistics. The next largest increase came from Williams County with 5.9%, and then they were followed by Stark County with a 2.2% increase.

Community and civic leaders throughout McKenzie County are already preparing for the 2020 US Census because even with the Census estimates showing robust growth, they still feel that the actual numbers in our community aren't being fully captured and are formulating plans to get as complete of a count as possible.
Lowest property taxes among state's largest cities

Watford City has the lowest total property tax among the state's 12 most populous cities, according to 2018 data released by the North Dakota League of Cities.

Levies for city government and school district in Watford City are lower than average and park district is higher than average, bringing the total levies for Watford City residents to 164.12.
April Economy at a Glance released

April's Economy at a Glance is now available. Some data of note:

  • McKenzie County's labor force has increased nearly 1,200 compared to one year ago.

  • Unemployment remains remarkably low at 1.6%
Labor force nearing record levels

McKenzie County labor force has been trending upwards, with February 2019 data showing 9,518. Its highest peak was in January 2015 at 10,148.

Even while labor force numbers contracted after January 2015, school enrollment numbers have only increased, a fact many attribute to the number of families moving in to the community.
Upcoming film to be set in badlands

Daniel Bielinski--a writer, actor, producer, and theater professor--will be coming to Watford City to discuss his plans for his next work--a feature length western film set in our badlands called Sanctified.

Sponsored by the Long X Arts Foundation, Bielinski will be showing his recent short film The Badlands Girl at Watford City's Six Shooter Showhall Theater and tell attendees about his plans for Sanctified. The reception will begin at 5:15pm on Thursday, May 9. For questions or to RSVP for the reception and showing, contact Daniel Stenberg
Sports and Rec Show + indoor 3D archery shoot

The Rough Rider Center will host its first ever Sport and Rec Show on April 26-28. The show will be featuring Dakota Silencer, boats, RVs, UTVs, trailers, grills, tackle, Harley's and more-- including an indoor 3-D archery shoot on April 27-28.
Cost of living indicators released

Cost of living in North Dakota is higher in the west. According to data from Job Service North Dakota a single individual in McKenzie County with no children needs $26,439 to live a "basic needs" life. To see more calculations click on the "North Dakota Cost of Living" icon located at 
America's Got Talent finalist to perform

Sons of Serendip--a quartet of tenor, harp, cello, and piano--are coming to Watford City Tuesday, May 14, 7pm at the Watford City Performing Arts Center at the Watford City High School. The group was named as finalists on season 9 of America's Got Talent.

For more information visit the Long X Arts Foundation concert series webpage.
New mural for Watford City High School

The halls in Watford City High School are getting a bit more colorful thanks to a new mural project! Spearheaded by the Long X Arts Foundation and sponsored by entities like ONEOK and North Dakota Council on the Arts, the project took student and community input and elbow grease in addition to the professional muralist Markus Tracy.
Pick up the Patch

The snow and ice of winter have melted, green grass is beginning to appear, and just like every other springtime, people from throughout the community will come together to help clean up area ditches.

This year the event focuses on May 6-11 with the big clean up focused on May 11.For further information visit the Facebook event or contact Teresa Morkowski at
Ribfest 2019 headliner announced

Over 7,000 people filled Main Street Watford City last year for the Best of the West Ribfest 2019. This year seems to be on pace for a similar turnout as four-time Grammy-nominee musician Joe Nichols has been announced as the headliner for this annual, summertime, can't-miss event held this year on Friday, August 9, 2019.
Switchfoot to headline LifeLight festival

Alternative rock band Switchfoot has been announced as the headliner for the one day Christian LifeLight Festival coming to the McKenzie County Fairgrounds on Saturday June 8.

Switchfoot has been touring for over two decades and will be touring with Bon Jovi later this summer in stadiums in Europe.
ConocoPhillips donates to local organizations

 McKenzie County Healthcare Systems and McKenzie County Public School District were among the recipients of recent charitable grants from ConocoPhillips.

For more information see full news release .
Rural Leadership North Dakota visits county

Since its inception over 15 years ago, Rural Leadership North Dakota has developed into a premier leadership development program for professionals around the state. And each and every year since its inception, there has always been at least one representative from McKenzie County in the program. Last month the twenty-five members of the current class made their way to our community to learn about our community and economy. Applications for the next class of Rural Leadership North Dakota are being accepted now until June 30. To learn more visit:
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