I am a big believer that population drives much of the economy in North Dakota. While it may not drive everything the population represents a significant constraint on the potential growth of the state. The migration information has, for the most part, been positive these last several years. There should be similar interest in the rate of natural increase.
The rate of natural increase is birth rate less death rate. At the county level it is not always positive which should not be too surprising given the age structure in North Dakota.
The Bakken region and surrounding areas are among the highest level of natural increase. The Red River Valley region also has a positive rate of natural increase as does the Bismarck area. After that it is a bit more spread out without a consistent pattern.
Interestingly the pattern is similar for 2017 though there are some smaller increases in the counties bordering the Red River Valley. One of the things I need to do is unpack this a bit into births and death rates. There are various ways the rate of natural increase could be high and we need to evaluate whether it is due to death rates or birth rates.