- Bismarck; 56,234
- 70,700 square miles (183,112 square kilometers)
- Per Capita Income:
- U.S. $26,567
- Date Statehood Achieved:
- November 2, 1889
Vast Dakota Territory, at the geographic center of the continent, was divided into North and South Dakota in 1889. Rich loess soils favor agriculture, and farms cover 90 percent of the state's land area. But the practice of draining glacier-formed prairie potholes to increase cropland destroys critical habitat for migrating birds. Extremes in weather and in world markets subject wheat farmers to cycles of boom and bust, but petroleum and lignite production assists the economy. Garrison Dam, on the Missouri River, produces 400,000 kilowatts of electricity, providing extensive irrigation for the surrounding area.
- Industry: Services, government, finance, construction, transportation, oil and gas
- Agriculture: Wheat, cattle, sunflowers, barley, soybeans
—Text From National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition
In the early 20th century, railroads lured settlers into North Dakota. People believed rain would follow the plow. But they were wrong.
Let the stunning landscapes and abundant wildlife of South Dakota surprise your senses.
Get up close and personal with these powerful forces of nature.
Subscribe to Nat Geo Traveler
Available in print and for iPad®! See destinations come alive with 360-degree photos, videos, and more!