Many will argue that there are no bad places to live in North Dakota. However, some data gathered by RoadSnacks suggests otherwise.

RoadSnacks used FBI crime data, the government census, Bureau of Labor Statistics and Sperling's Best Places to gather the following data on:

  • Population Density - RoadSnacks measured low population density as a bad thing because that means there is less indoor entertainment.
  • Highest Unemployment Rates
  • Adjusted Median Income - This is adjusted for the cost of living.
  • High Housing Vacancy Rate
  • Education - RoadSnacks was looking for low expenditures per student and high student-teacher ratio.
  • High Crime

After looking at 51 cities with a population over 1,000 people, RoadSnacks came up with the following list of worst places to live in North Dakota.

  • 1

    Shell Valley

    Population: 1,227

    The unemployment rate is 11.6% with an average family income of $32,000. There is not a lot to do in Shell Valley which is probably why it is home to the highest crime rate in the state.

  • 2

    New Rockford

    Population: 1,304

    New Rockford is located near Spirit Lake Reservation. The red flags in New Rockford include the economy and education. Of all the schools in North Dakota, New Rockford receives the least amount of funding per student. The unemployment rate is 7%.

  • 3


    Population: 1,242

    Rolla is not very far from poverty with an unemployment rate of 11.6% and an average household income of $30,000 per year. Crime is also the 4th highest in the state.

  • 4


    Population: 1,862

    Economic factors are responsible for Harvey's number four spot on the list. There is an average household income of only $30,000 per year. More than 6% of the population is unemployed which could be in part to the lack of places to work.

  • 5

    Devil's Lake

    Population: 7,129

    Devil's Lake may be the largest city on this list, but it is also the 2nd most dangerous place in North Dakota. The crime is so high you actually have a 1 in 22 chance of being the victim of property crime each year.

  • 6

    Park River

    Population: 1,491

    Park River makes it on the list for having income levels below the state average and an unemployment rate of 4.9%.

    However, Park River is low in crime and is close to Grand Forks which provides stores and other activities.

  • 7


    Population: 4,307

    Grafton is very close to Park River. Education is the number one issue here. Its school spending per student is the 3rd lowest in the state. Crime is also above the state average.

  • 8


    Population: 2,199

    This is another city with a high crime rate and little spending on students. In fact, Lisbon is the worst in North Dakota for school spending per student.

  • 9


    Population: 1,678

    Mayville is a short drive to both Fargo and Grand Forks. This provides its residents with more activities and things to do. However, it is home to some low income levels and high crime rate.

  • 10


    Population: 1,678

    Linton is just 40 minutes away from Bismarck. At an average of $26,000 a year, Linton has the lowest income rate per household in the state. With an unemployment rate of 6.3%, 16% of the population lives below the poverty line.