While North Dakota boasts a wealth of natural beauty and a rich history, it also faces significant difficulties related to environmental issues, economic stagnation, and demographic decrease. People are leaving several municipalities in the state at an alarming rate in search of better employment and living circumstances elsewhere. These three villages in North Dakota are experiencing a mass exodus.
In the northwest corner of the state is the town of Tioga, which is part of Williams County. In 2014, the town had a population of more than 3,000 and was a thriving oil town. But the oil boom proved to be a fiasco, and Tioga was left holding the bag when drilling activity slowed, oil prices dropped, and jobs were lost. In 2020, the population fell to 2,553, a 15% decline in just six years. The community struggled to maintain infrastructure and basic services, and many companies closed. Now, Tioga is a deserted town with abandoned cars, empty lots, and empty houses.
2. New England
Hettinger County, in the southwest of the state, contains the town of New England. It was formerly a bustling railroad and agricultural hub, having been built in 1887 by New England residents. There were 1,005 people living in the town in 1980, but that number has been progressively dropping ever since. In 2020, there were 589 people living there, a 41% decline in 40 years. The primary causes of the population decrease include the region’s isolation and severe weather, the younger generation’s migration and aging, and a lack of facilities and economic possibilities. These days, New England is a declining town with scant amenities, services, and companies.
Situated in the north central region of the state, Cando is a town in Towner County. In addition to being the county seat and biggest town, it is also one of the least populous. In 1990, there were 1,342 people living in the town, but every year after then, the number of residents has decreased. In 2020, there were 1,024 people living there, a 24% decline in thirty years. The loss of jobs in manufacturing and agriculture, the concentration of services and educational institutions, and competition from larger cities and adjacent states are the primary causes of the population drop. With an old infrastructure, a diminishing tax base, and few opportunities, Cando is becoming a smaller town.
The state of North Dakota has a difficult time drawing and keeping people, particularly in its rural and tiny communities. People are leaving some cities due to a variety of reasons, including poor quality of life, lack of opportunities, economic difficulties, and environmental concerns, causing a significant fall in population. Three communities that people are escaping as quickly as possible are Tioga, New England, and Cando; these towns symbolize the challenges and realities of life in North Dakota. These towns might go extinct very soon if nothing changes.