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Why N Dakota May Be the Best State in the Country to Live In Sort by:
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sculptnudes1
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Posted on Sat, Apr 02, 2011 07:07

After living in NY & Chicago I have pretty much sworn off cold winters...until I read this. I love the scenic beauty of ND, from what I have seen in pictures. It seems peaceful and tranquil. With the world news pressing in from all angles, the fact that there is a haven there is beginning to sound appealing. I have always thought of myself as a city girl, but the world is making so much noise, I am thinking smaller cities, or country living might be a place to explore with the right partner. A big sky, lots of stars, panoramic vistas...hmmm. I am wondering if any of you could tell me what you love about the state, and where the centers of art and culture are. Sometimes the things I have adamantly resisted have turned out to be the best things for me.


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sculptnudes1
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Posted on Wed, Apr 20, 2011 11:21

@ Curious- I'd be happy there in summer if there were a tropical winter place to go...In Florida we called people who did that Snow Birds. I noticed all of the comments are from people NOT from ND...anyone have anything to add that is living there?


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Curious2078
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Posted on Mon, Apr 18, 2011 19:27

TO SCLUPTNUDES: Okay, it's starting to sound good. Very good indeed. But what the h**ll do you do with those darn cold winters that last a good 7 months out of the year? Find me a solution for that [and don't you dare say a good man] and I might actually consider your state. Totally aside, and, more or less, apropos of nothing: Why is it that the most free states in the USA have the worst winters of all the states in the union? Darn!!!!!!!!!!


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Curious2078
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Posted on Mon, Apr 18, 2011 18:49

Damn. This sounds good in spite of the wretched winters. God, how I hate the cold. But, weigh that against the freedom of ND.....the lack of freedom in the eastern states... It's sounding good. Sorry, I can't add anything else you're looking for information wise.


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sculptnudes1
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Posted on Mon, Apr 04, 2011 05:43

MM blocked the link to the article...no URLs rules (nonsense). So here is the content of the article so you will have a frame of reference of where I am coming from... North Dakota: We're No. 1 ... or Darn Close to It! North Dakotans are way too polite to make that boast, but I'll do the honors. Here's how North Dakota outranks most states: • Lowest unemployment rate among the 50 states. North Dakota's 3.8 percent unemployment rate is less than half the national rate. • Statewide GDP growth of 3.9 percent ranked third in the nation in 2009 behind Oklahoma and Wyoming (2010's figures are not yet available.) • Best job growth last year. A Gallup survey reported that North Dakota businesses had the best ratio of hiring to firing among the 50 states. • Stable housing market. Across the nation, nearly 1 in 4 homeowners with a mortgage are underwater. In North Dakota, just 1 in 14 have negative equity, the fourth lowest negative-equity ratio among all the states. The state also has the third-lowest home foreclosure rate. Affordable homes are a big part of the story here; let's just say you don't need to overstretch to own. According to Zillow, the median home price in North Dakota is below $150,000. That's less than three times the state's median household income. By comparison, even after sharp post-bubble price declines, the median priced home in California is still about five times median household income. • Low violent crime rate. The incidence of violent crime per 100,000 residents in North Dakota in 2008 (latest available data) was the fourth lowest in the country and nearly 60 percent lower than the national average. • Lowest credit card default rate. According to TransUnion, North Dakotans seem to have a handle on spending within their means. Add that all up and you have the makings for a pretty contended bunch. In fact, Gallup recently concluded that North Dakota is the third happiest state in the U.S., trailing only Hawaii and Wyoming. (The saddest state? West Virginia.) [Happiest U.S. Cities to Work] Riding the Global Commodity Wave North Dakota's economic good fortune is pretty much a function of being a major producer of two very in-demand commodities: wheat and oil, both of which have seen huge global price increases. The state is the country's #1 producer of durum wheat -- that's what pasta is made from -- and is also a major grower of other crops including barley, pinto beans, and flaxseed. The state also currently accounts for 2 percent of domestic oil production. Sound puny? Keep in mind that North Dakota has just 650,000 residents, accounting for about 0.20 percent of the overall U.S. population. And it's aggressively ramping up its oil production. During the past 12 months, North Dakota's crude oil production is up 43 percent, and is triple the rate from five years ago. Planning for a Rainy Day While residents are indeed seeing some of the revenue over-flow returned to them via income tax and property tax cuts, they are also supportive of tucking away some of today's winnings for less robust times. This past November, nearly 64 percent of North Dakotans voted in favor of establishing a Legacy Fund that will siphon off 30 percent of total revenue collected from oil and gas production into a special savings account to help the state if/when the boom busts. The earliest the Legacy Fund can be tapped is 2017 and even then any disbursements from this de facto state emergency savings fund must be approved by at least two-thirds of the state legislature. During North Dakota's 2011-2013 budget cycle (it operates on a 2-year budget), the fund is expected to reach $619 million, or about one-fifth the state's proposed spending for that entire period. Of course, not every state has a commodity-driven windfall at its disposal, but I also don't think every state's residents would be so behind saving current revenue for a rainy day. There's also another uniquely North Dakota economic engine worth noting. North Dakota has the only state-owned bank in the country. Established way back in 1919 amid a rash of farm foreclosures, the bank provides capital to smaller local banks, reducing their reliance on big national banks that, um, sometimes like to turn off the lending spigot. Moreover, when the state bank turns a profit, residents benefit. Over the past 10 years, the state bank has deposited about $300 million back into the state's general fund. Sure it's easy to take a good-natured swipe at North Dakota's lousy winters. But a strong economy and a fiscal ethos that appreciates the value of saving deserves some respect, if not outright envy, as well.


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rmac22
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Posted on Sun, Apr 03, 2011 12:58

If you can, sans partner, try living there for six months. Then decide. You may love it. I expect I would. You may hate it. The hate part is reason to do sans partner -- he might same time love it. Friend of mine tried Montana -- made lots of friends, but discovered he liked it better for long vacations -- not permanently. Even then don't burn all your bridges. Sometimes coping with all the seasons is a deal breaker. rmac


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