Life in 'America's New Gold Rush City'

A dispatch from Williston, North Dakota, the epicenter of boom conditions compared to the Klondike Gold Rush of the late 19th century. Whether the city has benefitted or suffered from the current oil boom, is a matter of perspective.
spirit of america / Shutterstock

Bartley Kives tells the story of Williston, North Dakota, including these details of Williston's boomtown status:

"Today's Williston is unrecognisable to its former self. Thanks to the shale-oil boom, what was once an isolated city in the emptiest corner of the continent is now the fastest-growing small centre in North America. It has the highest average wages in the US and the worst housing shortage. It is the most expensive place in the US in which to rent new housing. And it is wracked with cultural conflict between about 12,000 long-time Williston residents and at least 21,000 newcomers who’ve arrived over the past five-odd years."

The story is a thorough long read, including data and anecdotes to describe life in Williston and the industries that are driving the boom.

Full Story: Welcome to Williston, North Dakota: America's new gold rush city

Comments

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.
$25
Red necktie with map of Boston

For dads and grads: tie one on to celebrate your city!

Choose from over 20 styles imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95

City Coasters

Hand-drawn engraved maps of your favorite neighborhoods are divided up across 4 coasters making each one unique.
$36.00
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95