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Beulah, Watford City ranked in top 10 Cities for young families



December 11, 2013 4:57 pm  •  By Lauren Donovan

A finance rating company called Nerdwallet looked for good schools, low cost of living and community growth and picked the top 10 cities in North Dakota for young families looking for a place to live.

None of the state's major cities are on the list. Instead, Nerdwallet picked 10 of the state's second-tier communities in terms of population.

Included on the list are oil patch communities of Watford City, ranked second, and Stanley, ranked third. Beulah is 10th on the list. Horace, near Fargo, is ranked first.

To come up with the list, Nerdwallet used academic ratings of schools from GreatSchools, a non-profit that compares schools' standardized test scores to the state average.

It also looked at median home values and monthly costs for mortgages, taxes, insurance, utilities, and other bills. And it looked at a city's economy by evaluating average household income and income growth in the past decade.

Nerdwallet spokesman Mike Anderson said the goal was to find the best financial mix for young families.

"North Dakota's relationship with oil has been turbulent, but the state's recent boom has inspired optimism and re-shaped the state. There are fewer delinquent loans, new businesses are starting up and the city of Stanley, for example, has seen its median income grow by 140 percent in just 12 years," Anderson said.

Here's the ranking from 1 to 10: Horace, Watford City, Stanley, Jamestown, Rugby, Harvey, Oakes, Valley City, Bottineau and Beulah.

Nerdwallet also picked the next five best cities for young families, starting with Dickinson at 11th, followed by Jamestown, Bowman, Grafton and Hazen at 15th.

To find out about the rankings, go to http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/2013/best-cities-north-dakota-young-families/