Local Census data show big gains for Williams and McKenzie Counties

Local Census
Local Census(KFYR-TV)
Published: Aug. 13, 2021 at 6:50 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Counties in northwestern North Dakota gained national attention when the U.S. Census Bureau released its local redistricting data on Thursday. They were identified as the fastest growing counties in the nation.

Initial numbers show Williams County nearly doubling its population, growing to 40,950. The city of Williston doubled its size to about 29,160. Lindsey Harriman, communications and research analyst with the county, says this number is probably lower than during the peak of the oil boom, but the growth over the decade is impressive.

“I think with getting over that 40-thousand people is really a testament to the education and outreach that the state and local entities did about where people live, and so I think for the most part this is a pretty good reflection of what we were hoping to get,” said Harriman.

Harriman adds the growth will be beneficial for people who apply for grants and it makes the area more attractive on a planning level for schools, businesses, and events.

“All of those types of things look at population numbers and so if they are able to look at that 40-thousand number instead of a 22-thousand number it helps them plan better and hopefully incentivizes more folks to come to the area,” said Harriman.

Harriman says they will use this data for redrawing district lines within the county. She doesn’t expect any new districts, but expects boundary changes in and around the Williston area.

McKenzie County figures show it more than doubled in size - going from 6,300 to more than 14,000 residents.

North Dakota as a whole grew by 15.8% to 779,094 in the 2020 census.

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