1. Our small towns
The quality of life ranking focused primarily on two aspects: social environment and natural environment. The social environment is a huge part of it. North Dakota isn't a huge urban hub with dense, heavily populated cities. Instead, the state primarily consists of a speckling of small towns across the prairie. These towns are quiet and the residents are closer, giving a better quality of life.
2. Our strong communities
In that same vein, because our towns are generally more tight-knit, the communities are stronger. These strong communities bring residents together and give them a sense of purpose. They also result in residents being more likely to help each other out in a time of need. Whether that be letting the neighbor borrow their snow blower or jumping their car, it certainly makes people happier about where they live.
3. Our state pride
Us North Dakotans do try to be humble about our state, but we generally are very proud of our state and are happy to live here. With as many beautiful places and great people as we have, this comes as little surprise!
4. Our culture
North Dakota's culture primarily stems from the population's ancestry. With many fairs and festivals that celebrate it, plus monuments and museums, the culture is a huge focus here and a reason people love it. Whether it's Scandinavian, Germans-from-Russia, Ukrainian, or other roots we share, we certainly appreciate it here.
5. Our great outdoors
Along with social environment, the ranking is based on our natural environment, too. And with that, North Dakota is definitely deserving of a best title. The vast open prairies and unique landscapes, whether it be prairie potholes, river valleys, or badlands, make it both beautiful and great to live in.
6. Our clean air
North Dakota continually ranks among the top states when it comes to air quality, a huge factor in quality of life. We have some of the littlest amounts of air pollution in the country. Add on to the fact that the wind here provides great conditions for a ton of wind farms producing clean energy and you've got crisp and clean air you can feel good breathing in.
7. Our outdoor recreation
With so many state parks and recreation areas full of lakes and rivers to experience, buttes and hills to climb, and grasslands and trees to explore, people enjoy living here. It certainly is an outdoorsy person's paradise, especially if they are into hunting and fishing.
8. Our beautiful sights
Being able to see these kinds of sweeping vistas and gorgeous natural settings keeps people happy and gives them something to be proud about. Even in the winter, it can be breathtaking. It doesn't get much prettier than a North Dakota sunset, too, and we know it!
9. Our starry skies
Thanks to a lack of light pollution that more heavily populated states have, North Dakota has some of the darkest and starriest skies in the country. If you love stargazing, then the Peace Garden State is for you.
10. Our people
North Dakotans are usually hard workers (and we have one of the lowest unemployment rates in the country to prove it) and true folk. Helping each other out is common, not unusual. Stopping and having a friendly chat with a complete stranger isn't out of the ordinary, either. A true sense of "North Dakota nice" can be felt, thanks to the people that prove it.