Updated:
Original:

Oil boom delivers baby boom in North Dakota

Author:

After more than two decades of worries about a shrinking population and plummeting birth rate, North Dakota is bouncing back with an increase in population in new natives of the state.

Forum Communications reports that the number of births in North Dakota topped 10,000 in 2012, hitting a baby benchmark last reached almost 25 years ago. Although 2013's official tally has not yet been calculated, North Dakota recorded more than 11,000 births last year according to Carmell Barth, vital records research analyst for the state Health Department.

The recent jump in births has occurred throughout most of the state, but is most pronounced in the west. Births essentially doubled in many Oil Patch counties in the decade between 2002 to 2012.

“Economic boom begets baby boom,” said Verlin Hinsz, interim director of the Center for Social Research at North Dakota State University.

North Dakota's economic growth and subsequent baby boom goes against national trends. CNN called the Great Recession "quite the romantic buzzkill." Last June, MSN noted that nationally, the birth rate fell during the recession and has not yet recovered. The U.S. birth rate remained at a record low in 2012 when there were 63.2 births per 1,000 women of childbearing age, down from a high of 69.3 per 1,000 women in 2007.

In the 80's and 90's, North Dakota weathered a farm crisis and an oil bust and saw a resulting exodus of young people. In 2002, 7,635 births in North Dakota were recorded. A gradual increase in new babies arrived in 2003, with a sharp rise between 2011 and 2012, when births jumped from 9,234 to 10,072.

Medical facilities located in the oil field are taking steps to prepare for more new citizens. St. Joseph’s Hospital and Health Center in Dickinson is building a new medical center and will add another labor-delivery room. Trinity Health in Minot and Mercy Medical Center in Williston also are increasing their birth center capacities to handle the hike in births.

Next Up

skylar hunter and jamie hunter

Victims in double killing ID'd as father and son; suspect was son's roommate

A man killed his roommate and his roommate's father early Saturday in St. Louis County, authorities said.

Mike Zimmer

‘Fire Zimmer’ trending after Vikings beat Panthers

The Vikings won the game but their coach is still on the hot seat.

Screen Shot 2021-10-17 at 8.24.33 PM

NCHC condemns Huskies fans for throwing projectiles after controversial no-call

The National Collegiate Hockey Conference says that it will be reviewing both the no-call and the aftermath.

Kirk Cousins

Kirk Cousins saves the day again to get Vikings to .500

Cousins' overtime toss to K.J. Osborn earned a 34-28 victory.

Nurses on strike

Nurses start 3-day strike at Allina WestHealth in Plymouth

A "last attempt" at negotiations failed to produce an agreement last Wednesday.

boating minnesota lake

Minnesota has experienced its deadliest boating season since 2005

Minnesota has seen 17 boating-related deaths so far this year.

Drew Doughty

Kirill Kaprizov makes Kings’ Doughty eat his words

The Kings defenseman isn't a fan of the Wild star's new deal.

Quinn Olson / UMD Hockey

Watch: UMD's Olson goes between-the-legs to set up highlight goal

Another Saturday. Another highlight for a Minnesota college hockey team.

Gopher Hockey

Watch: No-call lifts Gophers to OT victory over St. Cloud State

A blatant hook marred a top-four battle in St. Cloud.

Related