Best Places to Live

Fargo, ND

Population: 113,464
iStock/DenisTangneyJr

As the rest of the country panicked from 2007 to 2009, North Dakota experienced almost none of the recession’s shockwaves. In fact, the state’s unemployment rate during this tumultuous time rested at an easy 3.4 percent while the rest of the nation’s rates soared into double digits. How did this happen? The state prides itself on remaining steady during both upturns and falls in the country’s economy, and it can rely on oil and agriculture to keep jobs flowing. The best North Dakota city to live in during a recession is Fargo, the home of Microsoft and Case New Holland. In 2015, Fargo raked in $15.35 billion for the state’s economy. A strong and educated workforce help Fargo's economy stay strong, but the city is always seeking more workers.

In addition to lauding its vibrant and supportive startup scene, Livability awarded Fargo a spot on our 2018 Top 100 Best Places to Live list. Lovers of the great outdoors will feel at home here immediately with its parks, 90 miles of trails and more than a dozen hockey and skating rinks. Meanwhile, North Dakota State University infuses the city with a youthful vibe, including lots of restaurants and entertainment options. The bottom line? Not only is Fargo a great bet to withstand a recession, it's also a great place to live with an under-the-radar cool factor the rest of the country is just now starting to discover.