Alissa Walker, writing for Gizmodo:
Two North Dakota cities are in the top five thanks to a burgeoning oil industry that’s building instant cities in the Great Plains. The explosive increase in oil production has transformed Williston and other cities into boom towns with dramatic population spikes. In Williston, a city on the edge of the Bakken Oil Fields, the population has doubled in the last five years, from 14,700 in the 2010 census to over 30,000 people today. The growth is akin to the way the Gold Rush quickly urbanized parts of California in mid-1800s.
I wonder if North Dakota’s urbanization will persist. California has lots going for it, including fertile farmland, ocean access, and warm weather. Those and more helped it remain relevant long after the gold rush was over.