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Population trends up statewide, locally

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The United States Census Bureau just released the agency's 2007 National and State population estimates, showing growth in North Dakota of 0.35 percent or 2,255 people to a new estimated population of 639,715. The North Dakota Census Committee, which is made up of representatives from the State Data Center at NDSU, the North Dakota Office of Management and Budget, the Commerce Department, Job Service North Dakota, and the Office of the Tax Commissioner, analyzed the population estimate for the state.

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        "Analysis of the underlying numbers reflect an even larger gain," said Rod Backman of the N.D. Census Committee. "Because of revisions in past estimates, the 2007 number is actually 3848 higher than the 2006 estimate released last year at this time." 

        Three of the last four years North Dakota has shown population growth, up more than 7000 from a decade low of 632,620 reported for 2003.

Different areas in the state are playing a role in this upward trend, with our thriving community one of them.

In West Fargo, estimated population figures continue to surge higher with numbers at the beginning of last year already estimated at 24,000, earning us the distinction of continuing to be the fastest growing community in the state. Helping in this area was the variety of housing options available; the annexation of all the land south of the Interstate that doubled the city's land size; and the fact that the City boasts the ideal progressive atmosphere for both families and businesses to flourish.

Updates on the actual figures for West Fargo will be forthcoming as soon as statistics are assembled for 2007 growth. These numbers are sure to be even higher and well over the 24,000 mark, due to the ongoing growth that has prevailed both from a residential and business construction standpoint.

An optimistic outlook which also naturally plays into employment trends.

"This year-to-year trend matches closely with what we are seeing in the increase in number of jobs in North Dakota" said Kevin Iverson of Job Service North Dakota, also on the N.D. Census Committee.  Iverson said that since 2003, the total workforce has increased by an average of  6500 per year and the number of workers under age 35 has increased by an average of 2700 per year.

        Backman also noted, in the estimate methodology used by the US Census, much of the administrative data, like IRS data, can lag the current estimate year by as much as 2 years.  Thus, the upward trend line should continue to show positive growth for North Dakota's estimates in the next couple of years.

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