The last time anyone thought North Dakota would be a great place to move was during the Pleistocene Era and woolly mammoths were making a killing running ski lodges. Seriously, how often does someone say, with visions of desolate prairies dancing in their head, “I can’t wait ’til I can afford to move to North Dakota.” Snarkiness aside, from an economic standpoint, North Dakota looks like one of the last best hopes for wealth building in America these days.
We’ll wait while you recover from the laughing fit. Don’t believe us? Try these five chunks of economic data on for side.
1. Lowest unemployment – While the Boaster-in-Chief brays about the amazing March unemployment numbers that show we’ve finally made a move below 9 percent nationwide, North Dakota is cruising along at 3.8 percent, the best of all 50 states. It’s much easier to undertake the task of wealth building if you can actually find a job.
2. GDP Growth – 2010 numbers aren’t available yet but the 2009 figure of 3.9 percent trailed only Oklahoma and Wyoming. We’ll go out on a limb and predict it’s still looking better in North Dakota than most other states.
3. Best growth – In the aftermath (sort of) of the Great Recession, a measure of economic recovery is the hiring to firing ratio, a statistic that North Dakota ranks best in for 2010.
4. Stable housing market – With most states looking at 1 out of every 4 homeowners stuck in an underwater mortgage, the North Dakota rate is 1 out of 14, and the home foreclosure rate is third best in the nation. Part of the stability is due to the low cost of housing. Zillow reports the median house price at around $150k, which is less than three times the state’s annual household income. By comparison, foreclosure fallout zone California is mired with house prices more than five times the household income. Not a pretty sight for those looking to get ahead.
5. Low crime – In North Dakota, you don’t have to worry too much about violent crime, which is 60 percent below the national average. In other words, you have few worries about getting knocked in the head and all your valuables stolen.
Ready to head for North Dakota and the wealth building phase of your life? The line forms to the right and, yes, as a matter of fact it does still get a bit nippy there on occasion. What’s that question from the back? No, there are no beaches. What do you want, utopia?
The Bonus Commissions Team
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