On Monday, Sept. 18 Time’s Money Magazine released a report of the 100 ‘Best Places to Live 2017 in America’ and Dickinson ranked sixth on the list. Dickinson ranked higher on the list than Bismarck and Williston, which were ranked 25th and 81st respectively.
The ranking was done in partnership with realtor.com and looked only at cities with populations between 10,000 and 100,000. Evaluators first cut out areas with high crime rates, low income levels and a “lack of ethnic diversity” and then evaluated each city on a variety of quality of life factors. The report said they “put the greatest weight on economic health, cost of living factors, and public school performance.”
The article pointed to the economic benefits of the oil boom, with Dickinson’s low unemployment rate and the region’s agricultural base as reasons why the city has a strong economy.
“Dickinson’s real draw,” the article states, “is the amazing breadth of available outdoor activities” offered by the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the Maah Daah Hey Trail, and ample hunting and fishing opportunities.
City Administrator Shawn Kessel said he was in contact with Time’s Money Magazine for the last month or so and helped direct them to information and contacts, but he was not aware that Dickinson would be ranked sixth until the list came out Monday morning.
“It’s confirmation of the path that we are on in terms of quality of life,” Kessel said. “We’ve been making (quality of life investments) for the past 15-20 years, the community center, the ice center, the Crooked Crane trail, there’s just so many things.”
Kessel was also excited to see what the list could do for the city of Dickinson.
“There’s a lot of people who look at these types of things and you never know when it catches people’s attention,” Kessel said. “Putting Dickinson and North Dakota on the map is always beneficial for people to have a conversation about the place.”
Mayor Scott Decker said he felt that being on the list was an “amazing” honor.
“I’m very proud of this city,” he said. “I hope this pushes a bit more pride back into people because (Dickinson) is a great city.”