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The City of West Fargo was recently named the 10th best small city to live in America by Wallet Hub, a website dedicated to helping people manage finances. Wallet Hub compared more than 1,200 U.S. cities with populations between 25,000 and 100,000 based on 40 key indicators of livability. West Fargo’s low cost of living, crime rate and unemployment rate, as well as a higher average median income and education levels helped to propel it to the top 1 percent of all cities examined, as well as the top small city in the state of North Dakota.
“The City of West Fargo has been growing and changing over the past 20 years,” said Commission President Bernie Dardis. “To me, this designation not only means that people are paying attention to West Fargo, but that our city has managed our phenomenal growth in a way that has improved quality of life for our community – which is no small feat.”
A major driver of the achievement is the affordability and economic health of the community. The median household income of West Fargo is $73,402, according to Environics. This is 43 percent higher than Fargo, 26 percent higher than the metro region and 40 percent higher than the median household income of both the United States and North Dakota. West Fargo’s cost of living and housing is ranked lower than the national average by AreaVibes, which also ranks West Fargo as the most livable city in the state of North Dakota.
Growth in terms of population, income and jobs helped place West Fargo in the top 5 percent of the economic health measurement scale. The population of West Fargo increased 106 percent since 2000–from 14,940 in 2000 to 34,858 in 2017–and is projected to grow to almost 40,000 by 2025 and 45,000 by 2040. Between 2012 and 2016, incomes in the city have grown 11.48 percent and jobs grew 17.40 percent with a 2 percent unemployment rate.
“Our business environment is evolving rapidly and we continue to add new expertise, facilities and capacity,” said Dardis. “Businesses here benefit from a great workforce and a community that really gets the advantage of partnering with businesses to develop our city’s full potential.”
West Fargo also received high marks for education, health, quality of life and safety. More than 52 percent of the population has a degree from an institution of higher learning and 95 percent of the population are high school graduates.
Ninety-four percent of residents are insured, and only 12.15 percent of adults are in poor or fair health. West Fargo residents enjoy an average commute time of less than 20 minutes and work an average of 40.2 hours per week.
Named the safest city in North Dakota by Alarms.org in 2018, West Fargo maintains a violent crime rate 45 percent lower than the statewide average and a property crime rate 70 percent lower than the state’s average.
Boasting opportunities for both families and businesses, West Fargo combines the benefits of small-town living with the resources and amenities of a large metropolitan city. For a full list of the best small cities to live in America visit https://wallethub.com/edu/best-worst-small-cities-to-live-in/16581/.