North Dakota ( /ˌnɔrθ dəˈkoʊtə/ (help·info)) is a state located in the Midwestern region of the United States of America; on the Canadian border halfway between the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. North Dakota is the 19th largest state by area in the U.S.; it is the 3rd least populous, with just over 641,481 residents as of 2008. North Dakota was carved out of the northern half of the Dakota Territory and admitted to the Union on November 2, 1889.
The Missouri River flows through the western part of the state and forms Lake Sakakawea behind the Garrison Dam. The western half of the state is hilly and contains lignite coal and oil. In the east, the Red River forms the Red River Valley, holding fertile farmland. Agriculture has long dominated the economy and culture of North Dakota.
The state capital is Bismarck and the largest city is Fargo. The primary public universities are located in Grand Forks and Fargo. The United States Air Force operates bases at both Minot and Grand Forks.
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