Introduction to Bismarck North Dakota

Bismarck is the capital of North Dakota and is situated on the Missouri Plateau in Burleigh County. The city features the historic neighborhood known as the Cathedral District. Primarily due to manufacturing, health care and retail businesses, Bismarck is recognized as the economic nucleus of south-central North Dakota.


The area was established in 1872 and named Edwinton as a tribute to Edwin M. Johnson, who was a prominent engineer for the Northern Pacific Railway company. Before a year went by the town was renamed Bismarck after the German chancellor Otto Von Bismarck in order to entice German immigrants to move to the town. The city experienced significant growth beginning in 1874 due to gold being discovered in the Black Hills. Bismarck was established as the capital of North Dakota in 1889.

The vast majority of the city was destroyed by a fire in 1898. Two noteworthy luxurious hotels, the Grand Pacific Hotel and the Hotel McKenzie were built during the rebuilding process. In 1930 the capital building was ruined by a fire. The new capital building was finished in 1934 and dominated the landscape. Bismarck prospered and had significant growth throughout the 1950's.


The city is served by the Bismarck Municipal Airport. The Capital Area Transit System provides bus transportation.


The Missouri River is a popular fishing location. There are numerous parks in the city. The Lewis and Clark Riverboat is a paddle wheel riverboat which provides cruises on the Missouri River.


  • Sertoma Park
  • Bismarck Art and Galleries Association
  • Buckstop Junction Missouri Valley Fairgrounds
  • Camp Hancock
  • Chief Looking's Village
  • The Dakota Zoo
  • Ft. Abraham Lincoln Sate Park
  • The Double Ditch Indian Village showcases the remains of a Mandan Indian earth lodge village
  • The Old Governor's Mansion is a Victorian style home and carriage house and has been designated a state historic site
  • North Dakota Heritage Center is the largest museum in North Dakota. It features Indian artifacts, agricultural and military history. The Sakakawea Statue is situated close to the entrance of the center. Sakakawea was a guide for the Lewis and Clark expedition.
  • North Dakota State Capital was constructed with unique types of wood and materials brought from numerous states and countries.
  • Theodore Roosevelt Rough Rider Hall of Fame is located in the State Capital.

Higher Education

Bismarck is home to the University of Mary, a satellite campus of Aakers College, Bismarck State College and the United Tribes Technical College.


Total Population 66,980
Male Share of the Population 48.7%
Female Share of the Population 51.3%
Senior Citizens 15.5%
Employed Population 16+ 36,978
Age of the Population 37


% of people married 49.4%
Average household size 2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher 34.2%
Median Earnings25+ $39,303
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification $19,400
Median Earnings With High School Degree $30,837


Median Family Income $79,743
% Above Poverty Level 90.4%
% Below Poverty Level 9.6%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time 17 minutes
% Working from Home 3.5%
% Walking and Biking to Work 2.8%
% Using Public Transportation 0.2%


People Living Alone 33.5%
Median Gross Rent $752
Median House Value $183,100


Other(often includes Hispanic and African American) 11.6%
US/American 0.1%
English 4.3%
Irish 7.1%

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Bismarck Almanac

Category Value
Nearest Large City 383 miles W of Minneapolis, Minnesota
County Burleigh
Metro Area Bismarck
Standard Zip Codes 58501, 58503, 58504, 58505
P.O. Box Zip Codes 58502, 58506, 58507
Phone Area Codes 701
Time Zone Central (-6 hours from GMT)
Daylight Savings The city observes Daylight Saving Time.
Latitude 46.808
Longitude -100.794

Bismarck Climate

Nearest Weather Stations


  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

Distance 2.7 miles
Jan Temp -1 to 21 F
Apr Temp 31 to 56 F
Jul Temp 56 to 85 F
Oct Temp 32 to 58 F
Annual Precip 16.8 inches
Station WILTON
Distance 23.6 miles
Jan Temp -1 to 17 F
Apr Temp 31 to 52 F
Jul Temp 56 to 80 F
Oct Temp 33 to 55 F
Annual Precip 18.2 inches
Station MOFFIT 3 SE
Distance 27.6 miles
Jan Temp -1 to 21 F
Apr Temp 31 to 57 F
Jul Temp 57 to 85 F
Oct Temp 33 to 60 F
Annual Precip 16.5 inches

Neighborhood and Nearby Area Names

According to the US Postal Service, Bismarck, its neighborhoods, and/or surrounding areas are also referred to as:

Livona (58504)

Note that not all alternate names are acceptable for use in US Post Office addresses.

Nearby Cities and Towns

Location Population Median Family Income
Lincoln 3,093 $64,773
Mandan 19,962 $76,135
Wilton 921 $73,750

Source: American Community Survey, U.S. Census Bureau, 2015, www.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/.

Bismarck Public Libraries

Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library
Bismarck, North Dakota
(701) 222-6410
Library Web Site

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Bismarck Hospitals

(Voluntary non-profit - Church)
(701) 530-7000
Emergency Service: Yes

(Voluntary non-profit - Private)
300 N 7TH ST
(701) 323-6000
Emergency Service: Yes

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Bismarck High Schools

(Sorted by Number of Students)

800 N 8TH ST
Serves 1,412 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 18

Serves 1,103 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 16.7

Serves 97 students.
Student/teacher ratio: 12.9

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