This study describes basic socioeconomic characteristics of new residents to North Dakota, the factors motivating their move, and their satisfaction with the North Dakota communities where they live. Data came from a 1997 survey of more than 700 new residents. New residents who responded to the survey were generally younger than the North Dakota population overall; about two-thirds were between 21 and 40 years old. The educational level of the migrants was also higher than that of the state's population overall; 47 percent of the new residents were college graduates and an additional 35 percent reported some college or post-secondary vocational/trade school attendance. About 48 percent of the new residents had previous ties to North Dakota. The new residents most often mentioned the following reasons for moving to North Dakota: looking for a safer place to live (59.5%), closer to relatives (50%), quality of the natural environment (49.5%), lower cost of living (48%), outdoor recreational opportunities (38%), and quality of local grade/high schools (35%). New job opportunities or transfers were central to many new residents' decisions to relocate. About 65 percent of the new resident households indicated that a new job or business opportunity, a transfer by a current employer, or a military transfer had been a key factor influencing their decision to move. Following their move to North Dakota, about 67 percent of respondents and 69 percent of their spouses or partners were employed full-time, while 12 percent of respondents and 11 percent of spouses were employed part-time. About 30 percent of the new residents moved to North Dakota alone, while 70 percent moved with others. About 66 percent moved with a spouse or partner and 40 percent moved with children. About 41 percent owned their current home, 45 percent rented, and 14 percent reported other housing arrangements. Household incomes covered a broad range, with about 30 percent reporting an income of $20,000 or less the first year after moving while 23 percent had incomes over $50,000. Most of the new residents had a number of telecommunications and computer-related capabilities available in their homes. Almost 99 percent had touch tone telephones, 96 percent had VCR players, 85 percent had telephone answering machines, 58 percent had personal computers, and 45 percent had computer modems. About 9 percent reported that the telephone service available to their home would limit the use of some telecommunications services or capabilities, and this percentage was more than twice as high in rural communities (15.5%) compared to urban centers (7%).


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