This is the time of year to reflect on all the good things in our lives. Those of us in North Dakota have a hidden secret from the rest of the nation - this is a great place to live.

So in honor of the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, here's a short list of our top reasons we're thankful to be living in this state. Take a look and please provide us with some feedback. We'd love to know the reasons you're thankful to be here as well. We'll compile some of the responses and feature them in a follow-up post!

  • You don't have to look for a job - a job will find you.

    It seems like you could stand on any given corner in any given ND town and you would see a number of "help wanted" in every direction. With the lowest unemployment rate in the nation, it's no wonder people are flocking to our state!

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  • The Bakken

    Quite simply, there is money to be spent in our state. The oil boom in the western part of ND has not only provided employment opportunities, but has also brought more business and entertainment options to us.

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  • Don't have to worry about unnecessary expenses, like sunscreen.

    Being that it's winter for 8 months out of the year, North Dakotans don't have to worry about silly things like tans. We can focus on other things, like purchasing ice scrapers and not forgetting to plug our cars in at night.

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  • Small Town Feel

    The state's largest city is just over 100,000 people (Fargo) and the tallest building is less than 20 stories tall. Even though our state is rapidly growing, the cities are still small enough to make everyone feel welcome.

    NDSU Facebook
  • Low crime rate

    Even though the crime rate rose from 2012 to 2013, ND is still considered one of the safest states in the country. Any time a rogue mountain lion is making headlines over murders and other heinous crimes, you're doing alright.

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  • Two Words: Knoephla Soup.

    Need we say more?

    Kroll's Diner
  • The Ultimate Outdoor Enthusiast's Paradise

    The state was recently named one of the top places in the country for pheasant hunting. Devils Lake is a top fishing destination for anglers all over the nation. Couple that with natural allure like the Missouri River and Lake Sakakawea and you have all the elements of an outdoor enthusiast's paradise!

    Pheasants Forever Facebook
  • The Badlands

    Not only are they beautiful, but the Badlands single-handedly destroy the perception that ND is nothing but flat land. A drive along the 36-mile loop through the Theodore Roosevelt National Park can yield glimpses at a number of wild animals in their natural habitat, including the majestic bison, an animal very special to the heart of ND.

    Travel North Dakota Facebook
  • Patriotism

    Look no further than Mandan and you'll find the 'Most Patriotic City' in America. Plus, you'll be hard-pressed to find a state that embraces the military quite like North Dakota. For every 10,000 citizens in North Dakota, 65 serve in the National Guard. That’s more than 4 times the national average. What a testament to the quality of people in our great state!

    Rand McNally Best of the Road
  • Perception is not reality.

    We all know the stereotype of North Dakota - flat, cold, desolate, but anyone that lives here can tell you otherwise. While the rest of the country struggles, our state is enjoying a period of tremendous growth, and we're all part of this exciting time in ND's history.

    North Dakota Tourism