Location matters. A lot. The more I read and study about the North Dakota economy the clearer that becomes. As I go through this I am looking more and more at the various locations for economic activity in the state, as the following map demonstrates.
The map is set up to put an equal number of counties in each category, so there is some serious spread here in some categories. The hot spots are the usual suspects though, Cass, Burleigh, Grand Forks, Ward, and Williams counties. I think the next step is to look at these over time and see how they change with the growth of other activity.
I think a per capita measure would make sense too. This begs the question of what to do for the population though. Especially in the Bakken area the population changed too frequently, and by a significant amount, to just use an annual number. It may need to be a scaling by employment or labor force.