Positioned in the upper Midwestern region of the country, North Dakota is one of the most expansive areas in the U.S., but also one of the least populous. The state is made up of substantial Great Plains in the west and the badlands to the north. While much of the state is made up of smaller oil and agricultural towns, the Fargo and Bismarck areas have experienced substantial growth and offer a number of new housing communities.
The largest city in the state, Fargo, was ranked by Forbes as on of the fastest-growing small cities in the nation, and it is an economic center for the state. Fargo is home to three universities, which contribute to a surprisingly rich cultural atmosphere, and the schools host a number of theater and art events in the region. The universities also have a variety of sports organizations, which provide substantial entertainment. Additionally, there are a number of parks in the area with recreational opportunities. Bismarck is the state's capital and follows Fargo as one of Forbes' fastest growing small cities, and the historical Bell Mehus Auditorium serves as the artistic center of the region with dance and musical performances. More prominently, the city has an extensive park system with beautiful hiking trails and the Dakota Zoo.
North Dakota's economy is largely based on the agricultural industry and they are a major produce of barley wheat and other cereal grains, and the state produces a substantial portion of the country's oilseeds. Additionally, the food processing industry is a recognized force in the state. The energy industry is another important aspect of the North Dakota economy, and the state has significant coal and oil preserves. More recently the state has experienced growth in the technology industry, and Fargo has increased as a corporate hub. Overall, the state has seen significant economic growth, and the state possesses the lowest unemployment rate in the country.