Skip to main content

Why Bismarck, North Dakota is a Great Place to Live

"Bismarck is about living in a community, not amongst strangers. It is an area with a family focus, a great park system and numerous opportunities for fun." Katie Moore Aitchison, Bismarck Mandan Chamber has ranked Bismarck, North Dakota number 51 in the top 100 best places to live in the United States. Besides having such a great ranking, Bismarck has also been dubbed, "The least stressful town in America."

Livability ranks American cities by looking at several factors, such as:

  • Access to good schools and hospitals and amenities such as farmers markets and arts and culture.
  • Affordability of housing, healthcare and transportation.
  • Utilization and who is using available resources and how livable the city is for everyone

Livability also factors in the climate, infrastructure and crime statistics. The cities and towns they rank have a population between 20,000 to 350,00. In the past another poll conducted by CNN stated, "Bismarck is a safe, thriving community with so much to offer."

One other North Dakota city also made the top 100. Fargo, the largest city in North Dakota, ranks an impressive 22nd.

North Dakota's capital city at minus 11 degrees.

North Dakota's capital city at minus 11 degrees.

Bismarck to be a great place to raise kids of all abilities.

Bismarck to be a great place to raise kids of all abilities.

Living in Bismarck

I have lived in Bismarck twice in my lifetime. The first time, I moved here from the Northwest corner of the state after finding my dream job of working at an agricultural publication. I was in my mid-twenties, single and lived with two other girls in a townhouse. At the time, Bismarck was an okay place to live.

Fast forward about five years when I found myself living in Bismarck once again. This time, the circumstances were much different as I was married and had a baby. We moved here from Watford City, which at the time had a population of 1,500. Our small community lacked resources needed for our daughter who had been born prematurely and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

We knew Bismarck was a great place for our daughter because she had been in the NICU there for about two months. We were really impressed with the care she received. We were equally impressed by the community's support, especially at the Ronald McDonald House where we practically lived for those two months.

Since living here for the past ten years, we have seen a wonderful and supportive community where the people truly care about each other. There are always community-wide benefits to help those who have acquired a large number of medical bills due to cancer treatments or extended hospital stays.

University of Mary soccer players team up with Dreams in Motion to help kids with mobility challenges play wheelchair soccer.

University of Mary soccer players team up with Dreams in Motion to help kids with mobility challenges play wheelchair soccer.

A Caring Community

Bismarck is a supportive, caring community, that is also very family friendly. There are many parks, family attractions and events that allow for families to do things together.

Bismarck is considered to be conservative in its values. It's a city where people cause a ruckus about getting a local Hooters. People here have morals and are not afraid to stand up for them. For the most part, Bismarck is a community who is faithful to its religious traditions. Besides the hundreds of churches to choose from when it comes to finding a place of worship, there are also several ministry and non-profit organizations with which to be involved.

Community support is obvious during its annual fundraisers. It seems each year, the amount of money raised during fundraisers surpasses that of the year before.

Some local fundraisers include:

  • Relay for Life - raises money for the American Cancer Society
  • Great American Bike Race - raises money for kids with cerebral palsy and related disabilities
  • Sam McQuade Sr./Budweiser Charity Softball Tournament - raises money for local charities
  • Kroll's Diner Bismarck Marathon - raises money for area charities
  • Apple Dash Run/Walk 4 Education - raises money for Bismarck Public Schools
Papa's Pumpkin Patch is one of several family-oriented events held each year in Bismarck

Papa's Pumpkin Patch is one of several family-oriented events held each year in Bismarck

Pink Glove Dance w/ Amy Grant at the Bismarck Civic Center

Scroll to Continue


Another reason Bismarck is such a great place to live is because there is no shortage of entertainment. There is always something happening. There are several restaurants, bars, parks, shopping opportunities, historical attractions and recreational areas including the Missouri River.

There is also the Bismarck Civic Center which hosts sporting events, concerts, car and truck shows, Broadway plays, art and craft fairs, church events and nationally-known speakers.

There truly is a never-ending list of things to do in Bismarck.

Fun Facts About Bismarck

  • Bismarck was founded in 1872 and has been the capitol of North Dakota since it became a state in 1886
  • The record high temperature is 114 degrees while the record cold temperature is negative 45 degrees
  • Bismarck gets an average of 49.3 inches of snowfall a year
  • The top ancestry in Bismarck is of German descent
  • The population density is 2,408 per square mile
  • There is a total of 2,300 acres of public park land in the city
  • There are five golf courses in Bismarck
  • The Bismarck Bobcats of the North American Hockey League won its first championship in 2010
  • Bismarck, North Dakota holds the world record for the most snow angels made in one place with 8,962 snow angels in February 2007
The day after the Christmas Blizzard of 2016

The day after the Christmas Blizzard of 2016

Top 10 Things to Do In Bismarck

More Hubs about Bismarck


Liz on October 05, 2015:

I grew up in Bismarck and moved to Minneapolis when I was 22. Every time I come home, I get a bit of a city hangover. It's so quiet here.

Bismarck is great for those who love it, but for me it's just too darn quiet. I do love the recent downtown renaissance, however-- Laughing Sun and Fireflour Pizza, along with Side B/Rhythm Records, has really added a lot to the night life here. In the future I hope to see even more artistic outlets in Bismarck-- and perhaps even some alternate schools so that we can have some additional options for those who are not raising Christian children. Haha. Love the Unitarian Universal Church too.

tanveerbadyari on January 13, 2014:

thanks for sharing seems a better place to live. nice pictures.

Kelly Lipp from North Dakota on January 12, 2013:

Great hub! Somehow they overlooked Mandan when they were ranking the top cities! ( Haha!) Loved the pictures and the facts, and have participated in GABR for 5 years now. Bismarck is a great place to live and raise a family.

Il_Padrino on March 01, 2011:

Where are we sitting decide what we are seeing :)

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on February 28, 2011:

II_Padrino - Personally, I don't think of Bismarck as a small town - I grew up in a town of 1,500 people - that is small! Bismark is big to me but small to my husband who grew up in Toronto!

Il_Padrino on February 27, 2011:

I have bad memoirs from raising in small town. But i live in Poland :). Now I live in big city and my life is more interesting.

James A Watkins from Chicago on October 13, 2010:

I was there in May. I'll be back.

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 13, 2010:

Hi James! Good to see you! YOU WERE IN ND?? Next time you'll have to hit I-94 and stop in for a visit!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 13, 2010:

sheila b. - thanks for your comment! I'm just afraid that someday my husband's going to want to move back to Canada where he's from!!

James A Watkins from Chicago on October 11, 2010:

I loved reading about Bismarck—a town with morals! I have not been there yet. Earlier this year I did visit North Dakota for the first time, but I came across US 2 from Montana. I got to see Grand Forks, and then went south to spend the night in Fargo. I could see myself living up there. Thank you for the journey.

sheila b. on October 09, 2010:

Love your family photo with pumpkins! Isn't it wonderful to love where you live?

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 01, 2010:

Hello, helllo - thanks for your comment. Truly is a great place to live!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 01, 2010:

breakfastpop - thanks for your comment. It's so beautiful here right now with all the fall colors. Thanks for the compliment about my family!

Cari Jean (author) from Bismarck, ND on October 01, 2010:

Deborah - I agree small towns are the best! Thanks for your comment.

Hello, hello, from London, UK on September 30, 2010:

Judging by the pictures and your writing it seems a lovely town. Thank you.

breakfastpop on September 30, 2010:

I love all the seasons, too. Sounds and looks like a great place to live. By the way you have a lovely family.

Deborah Demander from First Wyoming, then THE WORLD on September 29, 2010:

Small towns are the best places to raise a family. And it's a bonus if you get to experience all the seasons.


Related Articles