North Dakota Facts

North Dakota is a midwestern state that is mostly covered by the Great Plains, a large area of flat land. Closer to the border with Montana, the state’s land transforms into the rocky Badlands.

It’s the nineteenth largest state in the nation by area, but it has the 47th largest population.

North Dakota is best known for its scenic landscapes and Native American culture.


Quick Facts

  • Capital: Bismarck
  • Population: 755,000
  • Nickname: The Peace Garden State
  • Key Cities: Fargo, Bismarck, Grand Forks, Minot
  • Postal Abbreviation: ND
  • Major Industries: Agriculture, manufacturing, oil, tourism, coal gasification, renewable energy


  • How did North Dakota get its name: Until 1889, North and South Dakota were one territory. The territory was named for the Dakota Indian tribe that lived in the region. Dakota is the Sioux word for “allies” or “friends.”
  • Date admitted to the Union: Saturday, November 2, 1889


  • Size: 71,432 sq. miles
  • Lowest point: Red River at 750 feet
  • Highest point: White Butte at 3,506 feet
  • Counties: 53
  • Famous locations: Theodore Roosevelt National Park, International Peace Garden, Maah Daah Hey Trail, Fort Abraham Lincoln, Lake Sakakawea

Famous North Dakotans

  • Kellan Lutz- actor
  • Wiz Khalifa- rap artist
  • Josh Duhamel- actor
  • Lawrence Welk- television host
  • Leslie Bibb- model/actress
  • Louis L’amour- author

Fun Facts

  • The geographical center of North America is located in Rugby, North Dakota. The location is marked by a 15-foot tall obelisk (stone pillar) and poles flying the United States and Canadian flags.
  • In Dickinson, North Dakota you can visit the Dakota Dinosaur Museum, which houses twelve full scale dinosaurs, including a complete real Triceratops and Edmontosaurus. It also holds thousands of rock, fossil, and mineral specimens.
  • North Dakota is the #1 producer of honey and sunflowers in the United States. The state is also a major producer of milk, with 91 dairy farms and 2 plants that process dairy products. It produces 38 million gallons of milk annually, earning more than $68 million in sales. No wonder milk is the state beverage!
  • During Potato Bowl USA (a college football game between North Dakota and Idaho State), the world’s largest French fry feed takes place in Grand Forks. On September 10, 2015, a record-breaking 5,220 pounds of French fries were served.
  • Fries aren’t the only “big” food in North Dakota—in 1982, the town of Rutland entered the Guinness Book of Records for cooking and eating the world’s largest hamburger. Between 8 and 10 thousand people chowed down on a 3,591-pound burger.


  • On the boundary between North Dakota and Manitoba, Canada sits the International Peace Garden. It’s a 3.65 sq. mile park with picnic areas, campgrounds, hiking and biking trails, and a wildlife refuge. More than 150,000 flowers are planted in the garden each year, and the park receives over 100,000 visitors annually.

More US state facts.