#19. North Dakota



– Share of state experiencing drought conditions (20-year average): 30,897 sq. mi. (43.7% of land area); 271,556 people (40.4% of population)

— Moderate drought: 13,823 sq. mi. (19.5% of land area); 108,753 people (16.2% of population)

— Severe drought: 4,970 sq. mi. (7.0% of land area); 35,710 people (5.3% of population)

— Extreme drought: 784 sq. mi. (1.1% of land area); 5,272 people (0.8% of population)

— Exceptional drought: 28 sq. mi.; 219 people

In the 21st century, drought—or at least abnormally dry conditions—has been the rule, not the exception in North Dakota. By the summer of 2019, the northern part of the state was in its third year of a drought that ruined wide sections of grasslands that ranchers rely on to graze cattle. Today, it’s no longer relegated to the North, as 100% of North Dakota is suffering from abnormally dry conditions and moderate drought, 80% is experiencing severe drought, and 16.9% is dealing with extreme drought.