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North Dakota is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America, along the Canadian border. The state is bordered by Canada to the north, Minnesota to the east, South Dakota to the south and Montana to the west. North Dakota is the 19th-largest state by area in the U.S. It is also the third least populous, with 672,591 residents according to the 2010 census. North Dakota was carved out of the Dakota Territory and admitted to the Union on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with South Dakota.
For more than a decade, the state has had a strong economy, with unemployment lower than the national average, job and population growth, and low housing vacancies. Much of the growth has been based on development of the Bakken oil shale fields in the western part of the state, but it has also had growth in the technology and service sectors. Flooding in June 2011 has caused extensive damage to Minot and threatened Fargo, the largest city.
North Dakota is considered the least visited state, owing, in part, to its not having a major tourist attraction. Areas popular with visitors include Theodore Roosevelt National Park in the western part of the state. The park often exceeds 475,000 visitors each year.
The economy of North Dakota had a gross domestic product of $24 billion in 2005. The per capita income in 2006 was $33,034, ranked 29th in the nation. The three-year median household income from 2002–2004 was $39,594, ranking 37th in the U.S.
Meteorological events can include rain, snow, hail, blizzards, polar fronts, tornadoes, thunderstorms, and high-velocity straight-line winds. Depending on location, average annual precipitation ranges from 14 to 22 in.
Springtime flooding is a relatively common event in the Red River Valley, because of the river flowing north into Canada, creating ice jams.
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