Grand Forks, North Dakota Population 2021

54,243
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Grand Forks is a city located in Grand Forks County North Dakota. With a 2020 population of 54,243, it is the 3rd largest city in North Dakota (after Fargo and Bismarck) and the 725th largest city in the United States . Grand Forks is currently declining at a rate of -1.45% annually but its population has increased by 2.66% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 52,838 in 2010. Grand Forks reached it's highest population of 56,754 in 2017. Spanning over 28 miles, Grand Forks has a population density of 1,973 people per square mile.

The average household income in Grand Forks is $70,735 with a poverty rate of 18.53%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $811 per month, and the median house value is $210,300. The median age in Grand Forks is 29 years, 28.2 years for males, and 29.9 years for females.

Grand Forks 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.

Grand Forks Economy

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.

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 Demographics

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

  • White: 84.96%
  • Black or African American: 4.07%
  • Asian: 3.29%
  • Native American: 2.90%
  • Two or more races: 2.32%
  • Other race: 1.85%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.61%
The current population of Grand Forks, North Dakota is 54,243 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 56,637.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 52,838.

Grand Forks, North Dakota Population 2021

2019 and 2020 population is estimated by projecting the raw 2018 numbers.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
202198,913-951-0.96%
202099,864-951-0.95%
2019100,815-951-0.94%
2018101,766-360-0.35%
2017102,126-45-0.04%
2016102,1713220.32%
2015101,8495890.58%
2014101,2605190.51%
2013100,7411,6481.64%
201299,0938990.91%
201198,194-439-0.45%
201098,6330.00%

Grand Forks Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White48,00384.96%
Black or African American2,2994.07%
Asian1,8593.29%
American Indian and Alaska Native1,6372.90%
Two or More Races1,3092.32%
Some Other Race1,0481.85%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander3450.61%
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Grand Forks Population by Race

Grand Forks Population Pyramid $2021

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Grand Forks Median Age

29


Total

28.2


Male

29.9


Female

Grand Forks Adults

There are 45,494 adults, (6,754 of whom are seniors) in Grand Forks.

Grand Forks Age Dependency

45.8

Age Dependency Ratio

17.4

Old Age Dependency Ratio

28.4

Child Dependency Ratio

Grand Forks Sex Ratio

Female

27,143

48.04%

Male

29,357

51.96%

Grand Forks Population by Age

Grand Forks Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Grand Forks Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married76.8%23.2%
Male44.7%55.3%
All43.6%56.4%
Female27.2%72.8%
Non Family23%77%

43.6%

Rate of Home Ownership

Grand Forks Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All25,3282.0843.6
Non Family13,0091.3223
Married9,1502.9376.8
Female2,1662.827.2
Male1,0032.6944.7

2.81

Average Family Size

2.08

Average Household Size

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Grand Forks Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade6632.02%
9th to 12th Grade9422.88%
High School Graduate7,17021.90%
Some College7,66523.41%
Associates Degree4,16912.73%
Bachelors Degree7,65323.37%
Graduate Degree4,48313.69%
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Grand Forks Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Grand Forks Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
White27,90627,07110,971
Black1,3331,154120
Asian1,112806484
Hispanic1,06985070
Native American771703149
2+ Races544540222
Other Race46437762
Islander585858

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 islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

Grand Forks Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$42,084$48,048$36,204
Less Than 9th Grade$31,549$36,820$23,346
High School Graduate$35,410$41,759$25,782
Some College$37,262$42,809$31,667
Bachelors Degree$50,154$59,861$42,643
Graduate Degree$61,225$68,173$58,432

$42,084

Average Earnings

$48,048

Average Male

$36,204

Average Female

Grand Forks Earnings by Educational Attainment

Grand Forks Language by Age

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Grand Forks Language

92.33% of Grand Forks residents speak only English, while 7.67% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Other Indo-European, which is spoken by 2.88% of the population.

Grand Forks Language

Grand Forks Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White43,5837,36216.89%
Native1,55971545.86%
Black2,22647521.34%
Hispanic2,26439417.40%
Asian1,74335220.20%
Islander345345100.00%
Multiple1,19121518.05%
Other1,02212111.84%

18.53%

Overall Poverty Rate

18.62%

Male Poverty Rate

18.44%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Grand Forks

The race most likely to be in poverty in Grand Forks is Islander, with 100.00% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Grand Forks is Other, with 11.84% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.36%. Among those working part-time, it was 34.36%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 31.49%.

Grand Forks Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade26.85%
High School17.50%
Some College10.48%
Bachelors or Greater6.21%

Grand Forks Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Male Unemployed71.61%
Female Unemployed38.40%
Female Employed13.43%
Male Employed10.97%

Grand Forks Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Grand Forks Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$50,076$70,735
Families$81,175$96,251
Married Families$96,813-
Non Families$31,392$44,830
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Income by Household Type

Grand Forks Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

41.6%

Overall Marriage Rate

41.0%

Male Marriage Rate

42.3%

Female Marriage Rate

Grand Forks Married by Age and Sex

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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

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Grand Forks Marital Status

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3,071

Number of Veterans

2,876

Male Veterans

195

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam1,059
Second Gulf War864
First Gulf War689
Korea296
World War II111

Grand Forks Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
35 to 54746
65 to 74679
75+650
55 to 64529
18 to 34467

Grand Forks Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White2,7887.05%
Black835.28%
2+ Races657.00%
Islander5830.05%
Hispanic392.57%
Asian362.55%
Native American313.22%
Other Race101.75%

Grand Forks Veterans by Race

Grand Forks Veterans by Education

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13.18%

Veteran Poverty Rate

23.02%

Veteran Disability Rate

Grand Forks Veterans by Education

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71.9%

Labor Force Participation

68.3%

Employment Rate

4.2%

Unemployment Rate

Grand Forks Employment by Age

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Grand Forks Employment by Race

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Grand Forks Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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53.10%

Born in Grand Forks

93.64%

Native Born

6.36%

Foreign Born

4.09%

Non Citizen

2.27%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

93.64% of Grand Forks residents were born in the United States, with 53.10% having been born in North Dakota. 4.09% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Grand Forks Place of Birth

Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
202154,243-798-1.45%
202055,041-798-1.43%
201955,839-798-1.41%
201856,637-117-0.21%
201756,754250.04%
201656,7291940.34%
201556,5357241.30%
201455,8118971.63%
201354,9141,3382.50%
201253,5768061.53%
201152,770-270-0.51%
201053,0403,7190.73%
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%

Grand Forks Population by Year