Independent Living in North Dakota

North Dakota is known as “The Peace Garden State,” named after the International Peace Garden which straddles the border between the U.S. and Canada. North Dakota was once the edge of the American frontier, and wild bison still roam its plains to this day. Today, North Dakota is a hub of agricultural production and oil extraction. From its quaint, rural towns to its cities like Fargo and Bismarck, North Dakota’s landscape is varied, and the state is an ideal place for those who would like to save a bit on living costs and retire in a quiet, serene setting.

Currently, A Place for Mom partners with more than 5 independent living communities in North Dakota. The median monthly cost of independent living in North Dakota is about $3,100.

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Independent Living in North Dakota

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North Dakota Independent Living Regulations

Each state regulates senior living communities differently. Because independent living is often provided by assisted living communities, states may regulate independent living within their guidelines for assisted living. You can use APFM’s guide to assisted living regulations to learn more about access to community records in North Dakota.

In North Dakota, independent living communities — also known simply as retirement communities — are geared towards seniors who are able to live on their own, without daily assistance, and prefer to live among people their age. This usually means residents are self-sufficient and do not require hands-on care. Think of independent living communities as age-restricted (typically 55+) complexes, which provide organized activities, meal services, and transportation.

Cost of Living

Overall, the cost of living in North Dakota is considered to be more affordable than the national average. North Dakota is one of the least populous states in the country, however it has some of the most millionaires per capita. This is in part due to the North Dakota oil boom that occured after the discovery of the Parshall Oil Field in 2006. Agriculture still remains the number one industry in the state, with 24% of the state's population employed by the agricultural industry. The following cost index scores are based on a scale with the national average set at 100.

Price Indexes

  • Cost of Living: 99
  • Groceries: 108
  • Housing: 90
  • Utilities: 94
  • Transportation: 104


In North Dakota, 16.5% of the population are over the age of 65. In the 2016 presidential election, North Dakota leaned strongly conservative. Over 24% of the population are employed by the agricultural industry, and many people in the region espouse blue-collar ideals. Many state residents are alumni of the 4-H Club, which seeks to build leadership skills and personal responsibility among youths.

2016 Presidential Election

  • 27% voted Democratic
  • 63% voted Republican
  • 10% voted third party


  • Median age: 35
  • Over the age of 55: 28%
  • 2018 population: 760,077
  • 2020 population: 769,975
  • Estimated 2025 population: 795,286


  • 33% regularly attend a religious service
  • 36% consider themselves atheist, agnostic, or a non-believer
  • The state has a total of 1,498 congregations
  • There are 45 Masonic lodges in the state

Climate and Weather

Most of North Dakota has a warm-summer humid continental type of climate. This region experiences four distinct seasons, with widely varying temperatures and consistent year round precipitation. The western part of the state has a cold semi-arid climate, consisting of below average rainfall and cold winter temperatures.

Humidity and Precipitation

  • Average humidity level: 71%
  • Average monthly precipitation: 2”
  • Average maximum monthly precipitation: 5” (July)

Air Quality

  • Average air quality index rating: 38 (Good)
  • Average maximum air quality rating: 57 in August (Moderate)

Moderate air quality means that those who are sensitive to particulates in the air should limit the amount of time they spend on outdoor exertion.

Seasonal Temperatures

  • Average temperature: 41°F
  • Average summer temperature: 67°F
  • Typical summer high: 87°F (July)
  • Typical summer low: 48°F (June)
  • Average winter temperature: 13°F
  • Typical winter high: 34°F (February)
  • Typical winter low: -10°F (January)

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Cities in North Dakota
and surrounding area