Published December 28 2010
Snapshot of our cities: Interesting tidbits about our metro areaSurveys can tell a lot about a community: who lives there, what they do, how they live and where the population comes from.
Sometimes the results are telling; other times, there aren’t any surprises.
The U.S. Census Bureau uses its annual American Community Survey to take the pulse on everything from basic demographics – like age and race – to details on people’s income and housing arrangements.
The survey provides estimates about the population in between the official census every 10 years.
The most recent survey, released this month, includes results collected from 2005 through 2009.
The Forum analyzed the data for Fargo, West Fargo, Moorhead and Dilworth.
Here’s a snapshot of what we found:
- 2009 population estimate: 93,236
- Fargo has 51 homes worth $1 million or more.
- Fargo has the greatest racial diversity of the four cities – although the area remains predominately white. Nearly 7 percent of Fargo residents identified themselves with a race other than white.
- Fargo has the highest percentage of residents living alone, with more than 37 percent living in single-person households.
- 26.6 percent of homeowners with a mortgage in Fargo spend more than 30 percent of their household income on housing costs, the highest among the four metro cities.
- More than 7 percent – or about 3,300 – of households in Fargo don’t have telephone service.
- More than 17 percent of Fargo’s adult population lives below the poverty line.
- 2009 population estimate: 35,258
- Moorhead tenants pay the most for rent at a median monthly cost of $620.
- Moorhead residents have the shortest workday commute at 14.6 minutes.
- Moorhead has the greatest percentage of the youngest and oldest residents of any of the cities in the metro area. More than 47 percent of the city’s population is 24 years old or younger, and more than 12 percent of the population is 65 or older.
- 6 percent of Moorhead residents have lived in their homes since 1969 or earlier, compared to less than 3.7 percent for each of the three other cities.
- 2009 population estimate: 22,726
- 33.6 percent of housing units in West Fargo were built since 2000 – compared to 24.5 percent for Dilworth, which had the second-highest amount among the four cities.
- 55 percent of West Fargo residents live in households with married-couple families – the most among the four cities.
- West Fargo has the largest proportion of male divorcees, comprising 8.6 percent of that city’s population.
- West Fargo residents have the longest workday commute at 16.4 minutes.
- West Fargo residents have the highest household income, with a median annual intake of about $59,600.
- More than 75 percent of homeowners in West Fargo have a mortgage, the highest percentage among the four cities.
- 2009 population estimate: 3,588
- 11.6 percent of Dilworth residents are veterans, the largest percentage of any of the four city populations.
- Dilworth has the most mobile homes – with 9 percent – as a proportion of the city’s housing units.
- Dilworth also has the highest percentage of owner-occupied units, comprising about 71 percent of the city’s housing.
- Dilworth has the largest proportion of female divorcees, comprising 11.2 percent of the city’s population.
- The city has a higher percentage of households with three or more vehicles: 24.4 percent.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, 2005-2009.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541