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Greater Grand Forks
Map of the Greater Grand ForksThe Grand CitiesThe Forks

Common name: Greater Grand Forks
The Grand Cities
The Forks
Largest city Grand Forks, ND
Other cities East Grand Forks, MN
Crookston, MN
Population  Ranked 339th in the U.S.
 - Total 97,279[1]
 - Density 28/sq. mi. 
Area 3408 sq. mi.
N/A km²
State(s)  North Dakota, Minnesota
 - Highest point feet ( m)
 - Lowest point feet ( m)
The Sorlie bridge carries DeMers Avenue between Grand Forks and East Grand Forks.

"Greater Grand Forks" (officially the Grand Forks, ND-MN Metropolitan Statistical Area) is the name used by some people to designate the twin cities of Grand Forks, North Dakota and East Grand Forks, Minnesota as well as the surrounding area. The two cities lie directly across from each other on both sides of the Red River of the North. Two counties make up the metropolitan area – Grand Forks County in North Dakota and Polk County in Minnesota. As of the 2000 census, the MSA had a population of 97,478 (though a July 1, 2008 estimate placed the population at 97,279).[2]

The metropolitan area is also sometimes called "The Forks." An effort was made several years ago to "brand" the metropolitan area as "The Grand Cities." This name has not found widespread use in the area, although several buildings and organizations in town now bear the "Grand Cities" title. Occasionally, the city of Grand Forks uses the nickname "The Sunflake City".




Core cities

Surrounding communities

Many nearby towns have become "bedroom communities" for the metropolitan area, although many of these communities do have their own distinct economies.

In North Dakota:

In Minnesota:


Historical populations
Year Pop.  %±
1880 17,681
1890 48,549 174.6%
1900 59,888 23.4%
1910 63,889 6.7%
1920 65,885 3.1%
1930 67,975 3.2%
1940 72,252 6.3%
1950 75,348 4.3%
1960 84,859 12.6%
1970 95,537 12.6%
1980 100,944 5.7%
1990 103,181 2.2%
1995 105,650 2.4%
2000 97,478 −7.7%
2008* 97,279 −0.2%

As of the census[3] of 2000, there were 97,478 people, 37,505 households, and 23,667 families residing within the MSA. The racial makeup of the MSA was 93.38% White, 1.03% African American, 1.98% Native American, 0.76% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 1.31% from other races, and 1.48% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.94% of the population.

The median income for a household in the MSA was $35,445, and the median income for a family was $45,465. Males had a median income of $30,776 versus $21,481 for females. The per capita income for the MSA was $17,574.



Public schools

The Grand Forks Public Schools system serves Grand Forks, Manvel's high school students, and Grand Forks Air Force Base. The district consists of 12 elementary schools, four middle schools, two high schools, an alternative high school, an adult learning center, and a Head Start program.

The East Grand Forks School District serves East Grand Forks and the surrounding rural areas. The district consists of two elementary schools, a middle school, and a high school.

Private schools

In Grand Forks, St. Michael's Catholic Church and Holy Family Catholic Church both have Catholic elementary schools. There are no Catholic middle or high schools in Grand Forks, but East Grand Forks is home to Sacred Heart Catholic Church's school, which educates from kindergarten through the 12th grade. East Grand Forks is also home to Riverside Christian School, a nondenominational elementary school.

Higher education

*also has a campus in Thief River Falls, Minnesota


See Media in Grand Forks, North Dakota for a list of newspapers, television stations, and radio stations


The major daily newspaper is the Grand Forks Herald. The only other daily newspaper in the area is the Crookston Daily Times of Crookston. The Exponent of East Grand Forks is a weekly newspaper. The Dakota Student is a campus newspaper published twice a week (during the school year) by students of the University of North Dakota. There are also several other weekly newspapers in the area including the Hillsboro Banner.


The metropolitan area receives all major broadcast networks over the air, along with cable, and satellite television. The major cable television company is Midcontinent Communications.

The only broadcast stations based in the metro area are WDAZ-TV 8 (ABC) and KCPM 27 (MNTV). KVLY-TV and KXJB-TV both have news bureaus in Grand Forks, though the stations are based in Fargo.

Local TV stations include:


See Media in Grand Forks, North Dakota for a list of all radio stations

There are several radio stations available in the area. All of the commercial radio stations in Grand Forks are owned by either Clear Channel Communications or Leighton Broadcasting. The area is also served by stations of North Dakota Public Radio (KUND 89.3 FM and KFJM 90.7 FM) and Minnesota Public Radio (KQMN 91.5 FM classical music and KNTN 102.7 FM news/talk). Several religious organizations have Christian radio stations throughout the area.



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