North Dakota Oil Boom Transforms State
Itâs been called the coldest place in America and, more recently, the luckiest place on Earth. But whatever you call it, North Dakota is the premier economic safe haven â thanks largely to the stateâs largest oil boom in history.
Seven years ago, North Dakota ranked as the nationâs ninth most oil-producing territory; today, the state ranks second, behind only oil-producing giant Texas.
North Dakota has experienced oil booms before, but none quite like this most recent explosion in the Bakken Formation, an approximately 200,000 square mile patch of land near the western border of the state.
Due to local businessesâ bottomless need for employees â in sectors including retail, food service, and law enforcement, along with on the thousands of oil rigs in the area â CNN reports that one can find work earning over $15 an hour serving burgers, $25 an hour waiting tables, or even $2,000 a night dancing at one of the two strip clubs in Williston, ND.
Of course, the influx of residents and laborers has brought almost as many negative consequences as well. Since the oil boom, violent crime has more than doubled in North Dakota. However, the number of violent crimes is still considerably less than a state like California, which experienced 527.8 violent crimes per 100,000 citizens in 2004 compared to North Dakotaâs 80.2 crimes per 100,000 citizens.
Nevertheless, with a $3.8 billion budget surplus and the lowest unemployment in the country, North Dakota is simply a great place to live right now.
Â Will Beaton is a Freshman majoring in English and Linguistics.