Associated Press, Published March 16 2011
Most oil counties lost population in 2000sBISMARCK — Oil production in western North Dakota in the last decade didn't translate into a big population increase in oil-producing counties.
Federal census data show 12 of North Dakota's 17 oil-producing counties lost population in the last decade.
The biggest gainer was Mountrail County in northwestern North Dakota. It saw its population rise almost 16 percent.
McKenzie County grew almost 11 percent and neighboring Williams County grew more than 13 percent. Williston is in Williams County, and the city's number of residents grew almost 18 percent.
But most oil counties saw population drops. Billings, Bottineau, Burke and Golden Valley counties all lost more than 10 percent of their residents.