International Visitors

Greetings from the North Dakota Trade Office

The North Dakota Trade Office is dedicated to expanding trade opportunities for the mutual benefit of our global companies and their worldwide customers and business partners. We have developed this page so that you can learn more about the people of North Dakota and the state’s rich heritage in agriculture production, manufacturing, technology and other industry innovations that make our state a go-to destination for worldwide business advancement.

About North Dakota:

Located in the Upper Midwest region of the United States and along the Canadian border, North Dakota is the 19th largest state by area and the fourth least populous with about 760,000 residents. Theodore Roosevelt’s experiences in raising cattle in North Dakota’s majestic Badlands shaped his adult life and served him well in becoming the 26th President of the United States. North Dakota is home to more wildlife refuges than any other state, and is a natural playground for hunting, hiking, biking, canoeing, camping, sailing, skiing, golfing, horseback riding and other outdoor activities. North Dakota enjoys a robust economy with its vast natural resources, agricultural production and growing manufacturing sector. Since 2001, North Dakotans’ personal income has grown nearly 25 percent and the gross state product has grown to more than $24 billion annually, a 37 percent increase. The major industries of North Dakota are agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, coal mining and conversion, oil and gas exploration, extraction and refining and global exports. North Dakota’s oil production accounts for about two percent of the total U.S. crude oil production, making the state the fourth largest oil producer in the United States.


From the fertile fields of the Red River Valley, west to the gently rolling prairie and finally to the rugged Badlands, agriculture dominates North Dakota’s landscape, just as it dominates the state’s economy and society. Agriculture is responsible for nearly one fourth of North Dakota’s economic base and accounts for almost 25 percent of all jobs. The hard work of about 32,000 family farmers and ranchers makes North Dakota agriculture a $6 billion giant. These producers supply the nation and the world with vast amounts of food, feed and fiber. More than 90 percent of North Dakota’s land is in farms and ranches. North Dakota farmers lead the United States in the production of 14 crops including spring wheat, durum wheat, dry edible beans, sunflowers, canola and flax. North Dakota’s agricultural might also has created the nation’s most innovative farm equipment and crop seed industry. John Deere, Case New Holland and Bobcat have manufacturing plants in North Dakota, but the state also is a major hub for some of the nation’s most successful short-line manufacturers of tillage equipment, grain handling systems, chemical applicators and other machinery that supports large-scale farm operations. Rooted in North Dakota’s rich agricultural heritage, these innovative companies help farmers around the world improve efficiencies and increase yields. North Dakota endures extreme temperature variations with cold winters and hot summers. Depending on location, average annual precipitation ranges from 14 inches (35.6 cm) to 22 inches (55.9 cm).


North Dakota ranks #1 in the United States for high school completion rates. The state has 11 public colleges and universities and four private schools. The largest higher education institutions are North Dakota State University and the University of North Dakota

Global Trade

North Dakota’s exports expanded from $1.2 billion in 2005 to $2.2 billion in 2009, an 83 percent increase and the biggest five-year gain in the United States. North Dakota’s exported goods include agricultural commodities, value-added foods, agricultural machinery, environmental technologies and aviation equipment. The state’s largest global trading partners include Canada, Mexico, Australia, Kazakhstan and India.

North Dakota Profile

Population: 760,077 Urban population: 56.3 percent Rural population: 43.7 percent Land area: 17.85 million hectares (44.1 million acres) Land in farms: 16.03 million hectares (39.6 million acres) Number of farms: 32,000</br/> Average farm size: 607 hectares (1,500 acres) Number of counties: 53 Founded: November 2, 1889 (39th State) Sources: U.S. Dept. of Agriculture; U.S. Census Bureau; North Dakota State University; Energy Information Agency

About the North Dakota Trade Office

The North Dakota Trade Office is dedicated to expanding trade partnerships between North Dakota and the world. The Trade Office facilitates business between North Dakota’s global companies and their clients through programs and services including the annual Big Iron Farm Show’s International Visitors Program. The Trade Office is a non-profit organization and has no financial stake in the business opportunities it serves to develop.