North Dakota had a number of opportunities to partner with the U.S. Census Bureau to ensure that our state was properly counted for the 2020 Census and other activities that directly impact our state. The opportunities will continue to exist.

What are we trying to accomplish by working with the U.S. Census Bureau?

Check out this map which shows the differences between incorporated city boundaries from the Census Bureau and the incorporated city boundaries from the ND DOT (via the GIS Hub).  Either zoom/pan to the city of interest or use the search bar in the upper left to enter the name of a city. For example, type in:  Mott, ND.  In the near future these differences need to be eliminated and the city boundary data needs to be correct and kept current to ensure that the U.S. Census Bureau has accurate population counts. Additional benefits of having accurate and maintained city boundaries include:

  • First responders are properly deployed in Next Generation 9-1-1
  • Legislative re-districting is correct
  • Cities collect accurate sales tax revenue
  • Population-based distribution formulas use decennial census data.


In the 64th Legislative Session, NDCC 57-39.2-26.1 was changed by HB 1067 so that State Aid (state sales tax) distributions use the most recent or the estimated census data from the U.S. Census Bureau:

3. The state treasurer, for the purpose of making revenue allocations to counties and cities for each quarterly period of the fiscal year under this section, shall determine the population of counties and cities before the first day of the fiscal year using the most recent actual or estimated census data published by the United States census bureau.


To assist North Dakota political subdivisions, in the 65th Legislative Session, NDCC 54-60-30 was changed by SB 2188 so that the State can submit city boundaries to the U.S. Census Bureau on behalf of those political subdivisions that request it:

At the discretion of each political subdivision, the department shall act on behalf of political subdivisions to deliver a consolidated response to the boundary and annexation survey and provide legal boundary geography data to the United States census bureau. The department shall coordinate with political subdivisions to ensure consistent, accurate, and integrated geography is provided to the United States census bureau.