Bismarck (zip 58504), North Dakota
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+10.4% since 2010
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The name Bismarck comes from an attempt to attract German capital during late 19th century for railroad building and other enterprises. Located along the Missouri River near where Lewis and Clark made their famous winter camp, this capital is an agriculture and transportation center for the state. There is some energy industry and a strong health care presence, along with some manufacturing led by construction equipment maker Bobcat. The downtown and the area along the Missouri River are clean and pleasant but plain and quiet with lots of parks and attractive waterfront areas. The suburbs spread east from the Missouri River. Bismarck has among the lowest cost of living and crime rates for a capital city.
Bismarck is on the east bank of the Missouri River in a shallow basin, 7 miles wide and 11 miles long, surrounded by low-lying hills. The primary vegetation is grassland with areas of trees. The climate is semiarid and strongly continental. Seasonal temperature ranges are extreme and typical of the northern Great Plains. Summers are warm with few hot, humid days. Most annual precipitation falls in the summer as thunderstorms. Winters tend to be long and very cold but with plenty of mild days. Snow has been reported in all months except July and August. Because of low moisture, snowfalls are usually modest; however, the combination of strong winds and low temperatures can produce severe blizzards. Blowing and drifting snow is a frequent hazard. Sunshine is abundant, both summer and winter. First freeze is late September, last is mid-May.
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