North Dakota sits on top of the Williston Basin, a large North American geologic formation that is known for its rich deposits of oil and coal. In 2010 the oil and gas industry began to substantially ramp up drilling activities in western North Dakota. As industry activity grew, so did the need to better understand the trajectory and magnitude of future population change. Economic expansion from 2010 through 2014 resulted in the doubling of some local populations where oil and gas development was most concentrated.
Although drilling activities have slowed in recent years, local governments in western North Dakota have continued to experience substantial changes in population. Therefore, Vision West ND, a consortium of the energy producing counties in western North Dakota, contracted with Dr. Nancy Hodur, Center for Social Research, and Dean Bangsund, Department of Agribusiness and Applied Economics, from North Dakota State University to update a study they had completed in 2012 to provide planning data on future employment, population, and housing needs for western North Dakota counties and cities. This article provides a broad overview of the larger report's findings.
In mid-January the Center for Social Research at North Dakota State University, home to North Dakota Compass, will begin moving it's office to Prairie Hall (formally known as the Criminal Justice and Public Policy Building), which is located on the southwest side of NDSU's campus - 1616 12th Ave. N. in Fargo, ND.
During the move please allow us some time to respond to requests and phone calls. We truly appreciate your patience while we are in transition.