North Dakota

Back To Map

Below is a set of key data indicators related to poverty. For the original sources, click on the data point.

Poverty by demographic

  • Child poverty rate: 13%
  • Senior poverty rate: N/A
  • Women in poverty: 12.3%
  • Percent of single-parent families with related children that are below poverty: N/A
  • Number of Black and Hispanic children below 200% poverty: N/A

Economic well-being

  • Poverty rate: 11.5%
  • Extreme poverty rate: 5.7%
  • Unemployment rate: 2.8%
  • Food insecurity: 8.7%
  • Low -income families that work: 27.2%
  • Minimum Wage: $7.25
  • Percent of jobs that are low-wage: 21.7%
  • Percent of individuals who are uninsured: 11%
  • Number of Black and Hispanic children living in families where no parent has full-time, year-round employment: N/A


  • Teen birth rate per 1,000: 28.8
  • Children living in single parent families: 25%
  • Children in foster care: 1,077
  • Percent of children in immigrant families: 6%
  • Number of grandparents raising grandchildren: 7,303


  • Asset poverty rate: N/A
  • Unbanked households: 2.8%
  • Average college graduate debt: N/A


  • Individuals with a high school degree: 90.3%
  • Individuals with a four year college degree: 27.1%
  • Teens ages 16 to 19 not attending school and not working: 5%
  • Percent of college students with debt: N/A
  • High school graduation rate: 88.4%


  • Total households: 287,270
  • Renters: 34%
  • Households paying more than 30% of income on housing: 19,887
  • Homeless people: 1,258
  • Home foreclosure rate: 0.68%

Justice System

  • Number of youth residing in juvenile justice and correctional facilities: 156
  • Total incarcerated (prison and jail): 1,513

Participation in federal programs

  • Adults and children receiving welfare (TANF): 3,776
  • Children receiving food stamps (SNAP): 27,000
  • EITC recipients: 43,000
  • Households receiving federal rental assistance: 13,961
  • Families receiving child care subsidies: 1,500
  • Participants in all Head Start programs: 4,041
  • Number of children enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP: 54,324
  • Number of women and children receiving WIC (Women, Infants and Children supplemental nutrition program): 13,273
  • Households receiving LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program): 14,000

State governments play a significant role in developing policies that help support low-income families. Below is a list of some key North Dakota policies and a link to an organization that tracks the issue.

Tax & Asset-Building Policy

Family and Work Supports

Below is a list of reports about poverty and opportunity in the state. If you have a state report you’d like featured on this page, please email

Tax & Budget Policy

North Dakota Tax Filers Receiving the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC): 2000 to 2007

North Dakota State Data Center, July 2010


State Profile: North Dakota

CFED, 2012

Asset Poverty Profile: North Dakota

CFED, 2012

Families & Children

The State of Poverty and Opportunity in North Dakota

Half in Ten, October 2011

Healthy Kids and Strong Working Families: Improving Economic Security for North Dakota Families with Children

Jennifer Shaffer, The National Center for Children in Poverty, April 2011

Poverty Estimates for North Dakota: 2009

North Dakota State Data Center, February 2011

Increasing Citizens’ Access to Economic Success

Kids Count North Dakota, January 2011

North Dakota KIDS COUNT 2010 Fact Book

Kids Count North Dakota, 2010

North Dakota Participants in the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (Formerly the Federal Food Stamp Program): Fiscal Year 2010

North Dakota State Data Center, October 2010

Dependency Ratios in North Dakota

North Dakota State Data Center, August 2010


A Stronger Nation through Higher Education: North Dakota

Lumina Foundation, March 2012

Investing in Our Future: North Dakota Head Start

North Dakota Kids Count, February 2011

Reading Matters: The Importance of Learning to Read by the End of Third Grade

Kids Count North Dakota, October 2010


Health Insurance Coverage Status of Children Ages 0 to 17: 2007 to 2009

North Dakota State Data Center, October 2010

The San Francisco Chronicle, June 03, 2014: State's homeless count dips dramatically from 2013

“A North Dakota coalition that advocates for the homeless has good news for his supporters: The number of people without somewhere to live in the state has dropped dramatically.”

The San Francisco Chronicle, March 12, 2014: Number of homeless students rising in Williston

“The number of students in the oil patch hub of Williston who are considered homeless has grown amid the city's population boom.”

CNN, December 17, 2013: North Dakota sees surge in homeless population

“The oil boom in North Dakota has created tens of thousands of jobs, but its homeless population is skyrocketing.”

The Bismarck Tribune, June 19, 2013: (Op-Ed) N.D. homelessness driven by jobs

“On Jan. 23, with temperatures below zero, volunteers counted 2,069 homeless people in North Dakota. On the same day in neighboring South Dakota, which has a slightly larger population, only 537 homeless were counted. The difference: Jobs in western North Dakota had brought people here, in some cases woefully unprepared for the weather and unable to find or afford housing. Nearly half of those homeless people counted in North Dakota had jobs here.”

The Bismarck Tribune, June 16, 2013: Homelessness increases in oil-rich North Dakota

“The number of homeless people is soaring as desperate job seekers flock to North Dakota to take advantage of the oil-wealthy state's abundant employment opportunities, the director of an advocacy group says. Volunteers counted a record 2,069 homeless people during a ‘point in time’ survey Jan. 23, a day in which temperatures were well below zero across much of the state, said Michael Carbone, executive director of the North Dakota Coalition for Homeless People.”

The Bismarck Tribune, December 04, 2012: Program helps N.D. youth find employment

“About 11 percent - or 10,000 teens and young adults in North Dakota - are not in school and don't have a job. The rate of unemployment among low-income and minority families is higher. One program that combats unemployment among young people in the state is the Youth Employment and Training Program, run by Job Service North Dakota. The program is federally funded by the Workforce Investment Act.”

The New York Times, July 9,2012: Officials See Child Welfare Dangers on a North Dakota Indian Reservation

"Federal and state officials say they have documented glaring flaws in the child welfare system at the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation in North Dakota, contending that while child abuse there is at epidemic levels, the tribe has sought to conceal it. "

The Bismarck Tribune, June 3, 2012: In search of housing

"With a 1 percent rental vacancy rate in Bismarck-Mandan, affordable housing is hard for everyone to find, but that's especially true for those on low and fixed incomes. 'It (demand) is driving the cost of housing up such that there's less and less affordable housing today,' said Mike Anderson, executive director of the North Dakota Housing Finance Agency."

The Washington Post, April 12, 2012: Guess which states don’t fund pre-K programs

"Yet a new report shows that funding across the country by states has declined over the past two years — to the tune of about $90 million — even though enrollment has increased. What’s more, a number of states don’t even fund early pre-K programs."

The Associated Press, March 14, 2012: ND oil prosperity boosts state Medicaid spending

"North Dakota's oil prosperity will require the state to spend $113 million more on Medicaid and other human services programs to keep the state's present level of aid to the poor, the state budget director said Tuesday. Medicaid's cost is split between the federal government and state governments. The program provides health care for low-income North Dakotans and pays nursing home bills for indigent seniors."

The Associated Press, November 4, 2011: Rural housing grants awarded in North Dakota

"State Director Jasper Schneider says the Red River Regional Council is getting $44,000 to repair 14 low-income homes in Grafton, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa is getting $91,000 to fix up 18 homes on the Turtle Mountain Reservation and Rolette County."