Williston Named Fastest Growing City in the Country | VideoEvan Kruegel | 3/19/2013
"About a day," he laughed.
He`s one of over 2,000 new residents that have turned Williston into the fastest growing micropolitan city in the country, growing at a rate of over nine percent between July of 2011 and July of 2012.
"Nine percent is a tremendous amount of growth for a community to handle inside of one year. And that`s really a reflection of some of the challenges that we`re facing when we talk about infrastructure improvements, housing, and rent inflation,” said Economic Development Assistant Director Shawn Wenko.
Micropolitan cities are defined as cities with under 50,000 residents. About 3,000 are identified nationwide. Ranking number one in growth is a significant statistic for a number of reasons.
"It`s very helpful. It helps us on a state level. It helps us on a national level when we look toward restaurant and retail development. It`s very important to us, and being number one is a very significant number for us," said Wenko.
As for a future drop in the rankings, Wenko doesn`t see it happening. He expects the city to be at the top of the list until it passes the 50,000 population mark.
"We`re going to see several years of rapid growth before we get caught up and things level out, it would not surprise me at all if we were the number one micropolitan again next year."
Williston isn`t the only city in western North Dakota to make the list. Dickinson was third, with a six and a half percent population growth. Williams County was the second fastest growing county in the country, behind only Chattahoochee County in Georgia, home of the Fort Benning army post.
Another noteworthy inclusion in the study is the city of Bismarck, which placed in the top 20 for fastest growing metropolitan areas.