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Grand Forks ND Info


Grand Forks Event Calendar

  • Grand Forks is the third-largest city in the U.S. state of North Dakota (after Fargo and Bismarck) and the county seat of Grand Forks County. According to the 2010 census, the city's population was 52,838, while that of the city and surrounding metropolitan area was 98,461.


  • Grand Forks, along with its twin city of East Grand Forks, Minnesota , forms the center of the Grand Forks, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area, which is often called Greater Grand Forks or The Grand Cities. Located on the western banks of the Red River of the North in a flat region known as the Red River Valley,[6] the city is prone to flooding and was struck by the devastating Red River Flood of 1997. 


  • Originally called Les Grandes Fourches by French fur traders, Grand Forks was founded in 1870 by steamboat captain Alexander Griggs and incorporated on February 22, 1881. Its location at the fork of the Red River and the Red Lake River gives the city its name.


  • Historically dependent on local agriculture, the city's economy now encompasses higher education, defense, health care, manufacturing, food processing, and scientific research.


  • Grand Forks is served by Grand Forks International Airport and Grand Forks Air Force Base, while the city's University of North Dakota is the oldest institution of higher education in the state. The Alerus Center and Ralph Engelstad Arena host athletic and other events, while the North Dakota Museum of Art and Chester Fritz Auditorium are the city's largest cultural venues.

Grand Forks Visitors Center


More Facts Courtesy of the Grand Forks City Website

  • Grand Forks is the 7th least Economical Stressed County in the United States (AP Economic Stress Index, May 2011)
  • Grand Forks has the 4th lowest unemployment rate in the nation (US Labor Department, Jan. 2011)
  • Grand Forks is #45 on "America's Best Cities for Business and Careers" list (Forbes, Sept. 2010)
  • North Dakota is the 3rd most pro-business state (Polina Corporate, Aug. 2011)
  • Ranked 30th overall in nation for Best Small Metro in Business & Career (Forbes, 2010)
  • North Dakota ranks #13 in the Top States for Business (CNBC, June 2011)
  • GF Public Schools Ranked 14th out of 362 school systems studied in top metros of the U.S. overall for public schools (Expansion Management Magazine)
  • Grand Forks students have highest ACT scores in the state with and average score of 22.6 (ND Kids Count, Sept. 2010)
  • 65% of teachers in the Grand Forks School District have a Masters Degree and beyond (EDC)
  • GF Public School District was given a 4-star Public Schools ranking (Expansion Management Magazine)
  • University of North Dakota  has had a 13% enrollment increase the last 10 years
  • University of North Dakota has over $217 Million in economic output in reseach in 2010
Quality of Life
  • Grand Forks is listed as one of the top 100 communities to live (CNN)
  • Grand Forks is one of the top 20 Most Secure US places with a population under 150,000
  • Named one of the Top 100 Communities for Young People 5 times (America’s Promise Top 100 Communities for Young People competition, Oct. 2011)
  • Grand Forks has an average of a 14 minute commute
  • North Dakota ranks #9 in Quality of Life (CNBC, June 2011)
  • 4 star community in 5th annual Quality of Life Quotient rating (Expansion Management)
  • 6th Best Small City in the nation for relocating a family (Primary Relocation)
  • Ranked 10th on Sperling’s Best Places in 2004 (Sperling’s Best Places)
  • Ranked 108th out of 117 least stressful small metro areas-117 is the least stressful (Sperling’s Best Places, 2004)
  • Ranked 2nd least expensive city to own & maintain a car (Runzheimer Int.)
  • In top 10 list of cheapest cities for car insurance (Runzheimer Int.)
  • Altru Health Systems ranked top 3.5% in the nation (EDC, 2004)
  • Altru Health Systems recipient of J.D. Power and Associates “Distinguished Hospital for Service Excellence” (Altru)
  • The American Diabetes Association (ADA) Education Recognition Certificate for a quality diabetes self-management education program awarded to Altru’s Diabetes Center,2004
  • Holiday Inn recognized as one of ’85 innovations’ that change the way we live (Forbes, 2003)
  • Alerus Center is largest event center between Minneapolis and Seattle (CVB)
  • Grand Forks Corporate Center recipient of 2001 American Institute of Architects Design Award and 2000 Mayor’s Barrier Free Design (JLG architects)
  • Kings Walk recipient of Am. Institute of Architects Design Award (ND American Institute of Architects)
  • Historic renovation of GF Metropolitan Opera House featured project on HGTV’s “Restore America With Bob Vila” (JLG Architects)
  • Grand Forks Air Traffic Control Tower honored for safely handling one million operations without error (Federal Aviation Administration)
  • GFK one of top 50 busiest airports in U.S. (FAA)
  • Downtown Grand Forks Historic District nominated to the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)
  • UND and GFAFB new home to McDonnell Douglas DC-8 jet that serves as one of the 'airborne laboratories’ of NASA
  • 2005 recipient of Air Mobility Command Outstanding Community Support Award-Abilene Trophy
  • 1st place in Model Facility Demonstration (2001 White House Closing the Circle Award Winners)
  • 1999 Non-Industrial Recycling Award (Cross Talk)
  • Winner of 2002 General Thomas D. White Environmental Award in category of Pollution Prevention (AFCEE)
  • In the top 10 list for Best Commute (Airforce Times, 2004)
  • 1998 Pulitzer Gold Medal awarded to Grand Forks Herald for Meritorious Public Service
  • 1999 Top 10 Sports Section-GF Herald (AP Sports Editors)
  • Photo staff finalist in 1998 Pulitzer competition-GF Herald

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