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How North Dakota Made Its Incredible Economic Comeback

June 3, 2014
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How North Dakota Made Its Incredible Economic Comeback
An oil well site outside Williston, North Dakota. Andrew Burton/Getty Images
The state is rebounding faster than all its peers.

States scrambling to lower unemployment and boost their economies can count on a new role model: North Dakota, which is recovering from the recent financial collapse better than the rest of its peers, according to the Washington Post.

According to writer Reid Wilson, who’s been chronicling the country’s best states in an ongoing series, North Dakota has a lot to be proud of: A rise in oil production has helped the state’s unemployment rate drop from 4.1 percent to 2.6 percent since 2009, while the median income increased 4 percent and median home price increased a whopping 16 percent. Elsewhere, booming oil production has also provided a fiscal boost to states like Wyoming, Texas and West Virginia.

In naming North Dakota the winner in economic recovery, Wilson used three factors: The drop in a state’s unemployment rate between 2009 and this April; the difference in median income in 2009 and in 2012; and the difference in median home prices before and after the recession, which Wilson says he estimated using data from the U.S. Census Bureau and Trulia.com (a real estate website).

As Wilson writes: “Other states deserve credit for making a comeback: The unemployment rates in South Carolina, Vermont and Utah have fallen by more than half since the worst of the recession…But no state has pumped up more in all three categories than North Dakota.”

MORE: North Dakota on Fire—One Man’s Quest to Turn Wasted Gas Into Power

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