The Texas Oil Boom and California Gold Rush were the first examples of 'boomtowns', but, in 2014, two of the top three boomtowns are located right here in North Dakota. collected data from 2013 and 2014 on over 550 cities to put together their list of the Top Ten Boomtowns of 2014. More specifically, they looked at four criteria: GDP growth rate, unemployment rate, net migration, and housing growth.

The top spot on the list went to Midland, Texas, but spots two and three were inhabited by Bismarck and Fargo, respectively.

Here's what landed Bismarck in the #2 spot, according to

Until recently, most of the oil in North Dakota’s subterranean Bakken formation was thought to be inaccessible. Developments in hydraulic fracturing (fracking) and horizontal drilling have changed the equation. Since the mid-2000s, oil production in North Dakota has skyrocketed from around 2.5 million barrels per month to over 35 million barrels per month.

No major city has benefited more from that surge than Bismarck, the North Dakotan capital. It has the lowest unemployment rate of any city in the country—2%, far below the level at which most experts consider the economy to have reached full employment. That has proven an irresistible draw to many: in 2013 Bismarck’s net migration rate was 2.3%, highest in the country. While growth in the region’s oil production may slow in light of the recent plunge in oil prices, Bismarck appears to be in a strong economic position for 2015 and beyond.

And, as for Fargo:

As North Dakota’s largest city and one of the region’s economic hubs, Fargo has benefited from the nearby oil rush as well as a highly diversified economy. Recent years have seen massive population growth, as people from across the country have been attracted to region’s strong job market, good schools and affordable housing. Fargo had the eighth highest migration rate of any city we examined, with net migration accounting for nearly 2% of its total population in 2013.

The rest of the top five was rounded out by Springdale, Arkansas and Meridian, Idaho. To see the top ten, visit