Grand Forks, North Dakota Population 2019

Grand Forks is a city located in the state of North Dakota. It is the county seat for Grand Forks County. It is the oldest major city in both North Dakota and South Dakota. The city has a very diverse economy, and it is a cultural center of the region. The city’s estimated population is 57,339.

Grand Forks History

The region that is now Grand Forks was once a trading and meeting spot for Native Americans. Early French explorers came to the area, which they called Les Grandes Fourches (or The Grand Forks) to trade fur during the 18th century. When the 19th century arrived, the trader Alexander Henry created a temporary camp and a few years later, established a permanent post. Hudson’s Bay Company and the American Fur Company operated at this post. Later in the 19th century, the first post office was established, and the city’s name was changed to Grand Forks.

Other cities in the state relied on the railroad, but Grand Forks served as a steamboat port. In 1870, a steamboat froze in the Red River, and the captain claimed a piece of property that would later become the downtown area of Grand Forks.

The community grew quite quickly. The town’s first newspaper went to print in 1875 with another paper beginning just four years later. Grand Forks was incorporated as a city in 1881. Steamboat traffic, immigration and the arrival of the Great Northern Railway and the Northern Pacific Railway led to substantial growth. Most of the original settlers were farmers, but soon professionals and merchants came from Minneapolis and other cities to live in Grand Forks. Toward the end of the 19th century, brick buildings were constructed, including the Hotel Dacotah. The University of North Dakota was also founded around this time.

By the 20th century, the city was a center for transportation, education, health care, culture, and entertainment. New neighborhoods were constructed to keep up with the growing population. The city continued to expand with the addition of the North Dakota Mill and Elevator and Grand Forks Air Force Base, which brought new jobs and new residents to the area.

Toward the end of the 20th century, the suburban areas began to grow. Urban renewal projects were launched within the city limits to develop new schools, commercial centers, and a hospital. However, disaster struck in 1997 when the Red River flooded. The flood and fire were destructive to the city and led to the creation of a flood wall that was completed in 2006.

In recent years, the city has only continued to grow in terms of new developments and the population. This includes the construction of the Ralph Engelstad Arena, the Alerus City, homes, and additional commercial development.

Grand Forks Population Size and Density

Grand Forks has an estimated population of over 57,000 residents. The city stretches across just over 20 square miles, and it has a population density of 2,600 people per square mile.

Grand Forks Population and Economy Statistics

People between the ages of 25 and 44 make up the largest age group at 25.1% of the population. Over 18% of people in Grand Forks are under 18, while just over 10% are at least 65 years old. There are slightly more males than females in Grand Forks, with men making up 51.2% of the population. Approximately 14.6% of residents live under the federal poverty line.

The city’s economy is reliant on multiple industries, including agriculture, education, health care, manufacturing and food processing. The largest employer in Grand Forks is the Altru Health System, which employs over 4,000 people. Other major employers include the Grand Forks Air Force Base, the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks Public Schools, and Valley Memorial Home.

Grand Forks Population Growth

Grand Forks has seen its population rise through the years primarily because of the opportunities offered for education and jobs, as well as a low unemployment rate. The city’s population was over 10,000 by the time of the 1910 census. This number had more than doubled by the 1950 census. The city’s population exhibited growth in the double-digit percentages until the 2000 census, when a drop was recorded. However, the next 10-year census showed that the population had not just rebounded but had exceeded 50,000. The most recent estimates indicate that the population has grown by 8.5% since the 2010 census.

Grand Forks Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Grand Forks was:

  • White: 86.85%
  • Black or African American: 3.71%
  • Asian: 3.01%
  • Native American: 2.88%
  • Two or more races: 2.39%
  • Other race: 1.06%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.10%
Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
201856,9481520.27%
201756,796560.10%
201656,7402130.38%
201556,5277271.30%
201455,8009041.65%
201354,8961,3352.49%
201253,5618031.52%
201152,758-280-0.53%
201053,0383,7170.73%
200049,321-104-0.02%
199049,4255,6601.22%
198043,7654,7571.16%
197039,0084,5571.25%
196034,4517,6152.53%
195026,8366,6082.87%
194020,2283,1161.69%
193017,1123,1022.02%
192014,0101,5321.16%
191012,4784,8265.01%
19007,6522,6734.39%
18904,9790.00%
Year Total Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
2018102,299220.02%
2017102,277440.04%
2016102,2333520.34%
2015101,8816190.61%
2014101,2625250.52%
2013100,7371,6511.64%
201299,0869070.92%
201198,179-452-0.46%
201098,6310.00%

Population by Race

Race Population
White48,842
Black or African American2,089
Asian1,692
American Indian and Alaska Native1,621
Two or More Races1,343
Some Other Race595
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander54

Grand Forks Population Pyramid 2019

Grand Forks Median Age

28.6


Total

27.7


Male

29.7


Female

Grand Forks Adults

There are 45,426 adults, (6,333 of whom are seniors) in Grand Forks.

Grand Forks Age Dependency

43.9

Age Dependency Ratio

16.2

Old Age Dependency Ratio

27.7

Child Dependency Ratio

Grand Forks Sex Ratio

Female

27,125

48.23%

Male

29,111

51.77%

Grand Forks Households and Families

Grand Forks Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

Grand Forks Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married77.1%22.9%
All44.3%55.7%
Male38.8%61.2%
Female31.5%68.5%
Non Family22.8%77.2%

44.3%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All24,5432.1344.3
Non Family12,4081.3522.8
Married9,0512.8877.1
Female1,8833.0131.5
Male1,2013.138.8

2.82

Average Family Size

2.13

Average Household Size

7.1%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.2%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

Grand Forks Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade6081.90%
9th to 12th Grade1,1863.71%
High School Graduate7,27622.73%
Some College7,38823.08%
Associates Degree4,03512.61%
Bachelors Degree7,37923.06%
Graduate Degree4,13412.92%

Grand Forks Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White27,81626,73410,545
Black1,1381,061152
Asian1,027810499
Hispanic83165588
Native American70757582
Multiple Races545385124
Other Race21219144
Islander1414

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 48.59%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$38,452$43,654$32,152
Less Than High School$19,896$27,008$4,448
High School Grad$35,831$39,403$25,346
Some College$33,320$40,827$27,540
Bachelors Degree$46,257$54,913$39,989
Graduate Degree$60,982$67,953$56,817

$38,452

Average Earnings

$43,654

Average Male

$32,152

Average Female

Grand Forks Language

Grand Forks Language by Age

Grand Forks Language

93.40% of Grand Forks residents speak only English, while 6.60% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Other Indo-European, which is spoken by 2.25% of the population.

Grand Forks Poverty

Grand Forks Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White44,1308,13218.43%
Black1,99676338.23%
Native1,54657136.93%
Asian1,61836622.62%
Hispanic1,80427915.47%
Multiple1,26624619.43%
Other553509.04%
Islander544074.07%

19.74%

Overall Poverty Rate

19.29%

Male Poverty Rate

20.21%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Grand Forks

The race most likely to be in poverty in Grand Forks is Islander, with 74.07% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Grand Forks is Other, with 9.04% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 3.14%. Among those working part-time, it was 35.43%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 31.10%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School21.85%
High School16.81%
Some College10.58%
Bachelors or Greater6.68%
Name Poverty
Male Unemployed73.01%
Female Unemployed45.89%
Female Employed16.78%
Male Employed12.04%

Grand Forks Income

Grand Forks Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$48,241$67,652
Families$74,092$90,482
Married Families$87,159-
Non Families$29,187$42,914

Grand Forks Marital Status

Grand Forks Marital Status

Marriage Rates

41.0%

Overall Marriage Rate

40.3%

Male Marriage Rate

41.7%

Female Marriage Rate

Grand Forks Married by Age and Sex

Grand Forks Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is 55-64, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

Grand Forks Marital Status by Race

Grand Forks Veterans

3,303

Number of Veterans

3,152

Male Veterans

151

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam1,115
Second Gulf War956
First Gulf War638
Korea321
World War II97

Grand Forks Veterans by Race

Name Veterans % of Total
White3,0667.65%
Black845.63%
2 or More758.57%
Indian656.50%
Hispanic463.55%
Asian90.65%
Other41.50%

Grand Forks Veterans by Education

9.92%

Veteran Poverty Rate

25.04%

Veteran Disability Rate

Grand Forks Employment Status

71.8%

Labor Force Participation

68.2%

Employment Rate

4.1%

Unemployment Rate

Grand Forks Place of Birth

Origin of Non Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

54.82%

Born in North Dakota

94.79%

Native Born

5.21%

Foreign Born

3.53%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

94.79% of Grand Forks residents were born in the United States, with 54.82% having been born in North Dakota. 3.53% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.