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Highway 2 closing between Grand Forks airport, Lakota

Census: 18,000 moved to North Dakota last year

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About 18,000 people moved to North Dakota between July 2012 and July 2013, according to a new estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau.

That compares to 12,200 in the same period in 2011-2012 and 6,900 in 2010-2011.

The estimate also showed a natural increase of 4,300 in 2012-2013. That means births outnumbered deaths by that amount.

The state gained a total of 22,000 for an estimated population of 723,400.

"These figures reaffirm that a majority of the growth in 2013 came from in-migration," Kevin Iverson, manager of the Census Office at the state Department of Commerce said in a news release. "The change is most dramatic when compared to data ten years ago. Between 2000 and 2003 North Dakota had lost approximately 8,400 residences. We were last of the 50 states in terms of growth a decade ago. After those years of out-migration, it's great to see that our economic growth is drawing individuals to the state."

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