As the oil boom continues in northwest North Dakota, so does the exponential growth in Williston.
A new study sponsored by the city estimates Williston's population has doubled since the 2010 census. The study done by North Dakota State University estimates that between 25,000 and 33,000 people are living in Williston, either permanently or temporarily. The 2010 U.S. Census listed Williston's population at 14,700 residents, although an updated estimate put the city's population at roughly 26,700 earlier this year. Researchers estimate the city's population could reach 44,000 people by 2017.
The numbers are staggering, and are hard to fathom. The Census Bureau lists Williston as the fastest-growing micropolitan area in the nation, and there appears to no end in sight.
The city has struggled to keep pace with providing the basic necessities for such a fast-growing population, and city officials have changed a number of ordinances and regulations, such as banning people from living in campers and RVs. The city has made strides in adding housing and other expanded services, but city officials know there is more work to be done especially if projections for a population of 44,000 people come true.