Nearly 350,000 North Dakota residents (of voting-age) voted in the 2016 presidential election. In 2016, the voting-age turnout* was 61 percent in North Dakota, a rate similar to 2012, but lower than the 65 percent rate in 2008. In the 2016 election, the voting-age turnout was higher in North Dakota (61%) than the U.S. (55%).
Similar to the U.S., the trends of voter turnout in a presidential election by race reversed in 2016 as the voter turnout for the White (non-Hispanic) population slightly increased, while the turnout for the non-White population decreased. Specifically, the voter turnout for the American Indian population dropped from 71 percent in 2008 to 46 percent in 2012 and to 24 percent in 2016. The other population of color voter turnout also saw a decline of 15 percentage points in 2016 compared to the previous presidential election.
* Voting-age turnout is calculated by dividing the total number of voters (ballots cast) by the estimated voting-age population of age 18 and older
A shortage of jobs increases unemployment, reduces tax revenues, and curtails economic growth. In North Dakota, employment in almost all industry sectors, relating to nonfarm positions, gained jobs in the past 15 years. From 2000 to 2015, jobs in the Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction industry increased substantially by nearly 600 percent. The industry increased its share of total jobs from 1.1 percent in 2000 to 5.3 percent in 2015. The next largest increase in jobs was in the Transportation and warehousing industry (157% increase) followed by Construction industry (116% increase). Although the number of jobs in the Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction sector grew dramatically in the past, recent data indicate that the sector declined 22.2 percent from 2014 to 2015.
When looking at the share of jobs by industry (relating to nonfarm positions), in 2015, the Government sector represented the largest share of jobs in North Dakota (16.0%). Jobs in Education/Health (i.e., Educational services and Health care and social assistance) represented 13.5 percent and jobs in the Retail sector, 11.6 percent. Jobs in Natural resources/mining (i.e., Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting and Mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction) represented 6.3 percent of all jobs.
In 2015 the Census Bureau estimated that there were nearly 23,000 residents in North Dakota who were foreign born, accounting for 3.2 percent. This includes U.S. naturalized citizens and those individuals who are not U.S. citizens, but does not include those born in Puerto Rico or the U.S. Island areas or those born to American parents abroad. Out of the foreign born, over 14,000 or 61.5 percent were not U.S. citizens (2015 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates). Out of the foreign born population, 36.7 percent were born in Asia, 19.3 percent in Africa, 16.5 percent in Europe, 14.9 percent in Latin America, and 12.0 percent in Northern America.
The Air Quality Index (AQI), measures five of the main pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act for each day of the year. Days are rated as "Good," "Moderate," "Unhealthy for Sensitive Groups," or "Unhealthy" based upon the amount of pollutants in the air.
In 2016, the AQI was “Good” in 90 percent of days or more, in eight of the ten North Dakota counties that have sites that monitor air pollutants.
Ground-level ozone was the peak air pollutant (i.e., the pollutant responsible for the highest daily index value) for most days in 2016 for all metropolitan and micropolitan areas with air quality monitors. For Dickinson micropolitan area (Stark county), ground-level ozone was the main pollutant in 349/365 days in 2016. Fine particulates was the main pollutant in Bismarck metropolitan area (Burleigh, Morton, Oliver and Sioux counties) in 166/365 days in 2016. Ground-level ozone, commonly known as smog, and particle pollution pose the greatest known health risks to humans.
Volunteering is a form of civic engagement that brings significant benefits to individuals and communities. Volunteers are important community assets, helping to enrich the lives of those they serve and often providing care and services that neither government nor the private sector can afford to provide on their own. The percent of North Dakota’s residents (age 16 and older) who volunteer has consistently been higher than the U.S. average; 32 percent in North Dakota as compared to 25 percent in the U.S. in 2015.
In the past decade, the volunteering patterns changed for different generations of volunteers. The percentage of residents who volunteered belonging to the Greatest and Silent Generations (those born before 1946) and to the Baby Boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) decreased from 2005 to 2015. In contrast, the percentage of volunteers belonging to the Generation X (born between 1965 and 1981) increased from 31 percent in 2005 to 39 percent in 2015, taking the lead of all generations in 2015. Millennials (born 1982 or after) also saw an increase in volunteering between 2010 and 2015.
North Dakota reached an all-time high of 757,952 residents in 2016, but after years of unprecedented growth in response to an expanding economy, North Dakota’s population remained relatively unchanged from 2015 to 2016. Similar to the state overall, counties have seen a slowing or more of a decline in population. Formerly booming with growth, the majority of core oil producing counties have reversed their population change and the rate declined when comparing 2015 and 2016. The number of counties that had a decline in population from 2015 to 2016 doubled from the previous year (27 counties compared to 13 counties, respectively). Eight counties grew from 2015 to 2016; five of these counties were metropolitan counties.
Early learning experiences are essential for a child's healthy intellectual, social, and emotional development. These experiences help create a foundation for children to be successful students and eventually productive adults. In 2015, nationally, 47.6 percent of children ages 3 and 4 were enrolled in preschool (i.e., organized child care programs offering educational experiences for children during the years preceding kindergarten – including Head Start). In North Dakota, 36 percent of children ages 3 and 4 were enrolled in preschool programs in 2015, placing North Dakota seventh lowest among the 50 states. However, the percent of North Dakota children enrolled in preschool slightly increased from the previous year when it was 32.5 percent, which gave the state the second lowest national place ranking.
While North Dakota is getting younger, some counties continue to age.
In 2015, North Dakota continued to get younger as the median age decreased from 34.9 years in 2014 to 34.6 in 2015. In 2015, North Dakota was the fourth youngest state in the nation and the only state with a decrease in median age when compared to the previous year.
Despite this state-wide trend, the median age in 38 counties was at least 40 years and in 9 counties the median age was at least 50 years. Increased opportunities for employment in the oil producing counties and metro areas attracted younger workers to the state and contributed to the decrease in the median age in those areas. In contrast, mostly rural counties continued the historic aging trend.
However, all counties are going to be influenced by the increase in the older adult population (age 65 and older) as the baby boomers (those born from 1946 through 1964) continue to age. As a result of this, the older adult population is projected to increase by 49.1 percent over the next 14 years, from 107,281 in 2015 to 159,969 in 2029 – a projected growth two to five times greater than that of the other age groups.
The higher the income, the lower the percentage of adults diagnosed with diabetes.
The diabetes rate for adults in North Dakota remained fairly constant since 2014 and increased slightly from 8.2 percent in 2011 to 8.7 percent in 2015. Nationally, North Dakota ranked 13th lowest among states for adults diagnosed with diabetes. Diabetes rates increased slightly from 2014 to 2015 in North Dakota for women, low income adults, and adults with less than a high school diploma.
The higher the income, the lower the percentage of adults diagnosed with diabetes. The percentage of adults with incomes of $50,000 or more who have diabetes decreased slightly from 6.6 percent in 2014 to 5.6 percent in 2015, while the percentage of adults with incomes below $15,000 who have diabetes increased from 12.2 percent in 2014 to 18.3 percent in 2015.
Older adults in North Dakota have modest income levels as compared to the other age groups.
In the last five years, the median household income in North Dakota has been increasing and has been trending above the national median income. However, some population groups are more vulnerable than others. The median income of older households (householders age 65 and older), at $36,971 in North Dakota in 2015, was well below the overall median household income ($60,557) and less than half of the households headed by a person age 45 to 64 ($75,780). Attention should be given to this age group as the older adult population (65 years and older) is increasing and will continue to increase, according to the latest population projections. With 97,477 older adults in 2010 and 107,281 in 2015, the older adult population is projected to increase to 159,969 by 2029. This growth would represent a 64 percent increase from 2010 and will constitute an important shift in the age distribution of North Dakota’s population.