• $350   =  non-traditional average 1
  • $547   =  average 2BR ÷ 2, or traditional roommate rent 2
  • $928   =  average 1BR, rented solo 3
  • (traditional vs. non-traditional roommates)
  • (the rest of the  midwest US)

83% live within a 10-minute walk of a park. 4
Most errands require a car. 5
freezing to death in a blizzard, tornadoes, driving in an ice storm
few traffic jams, snow sports, cheapest rent 6
big box commercial sprawl, downtown, stank, really rich, oh you betcha yeah, dealerships, and foreigners are the largest hoodmap tags 7

SO, roomiematch.com's Fargo roommate rundown:

If you can cheerfully cope with life in a freezer, Fargo could be your unexpectedly cool (heh) choice.

But if you're not ready to spend months on end in a parka, snow boots, gloves, plus a serious hat, don't move here! It will be way too cool for you. And then you'll freeze your face off?

Fargo is in the Northern Great Plains region of the US. Due to its distance from mountains and oceans and its very flat terrain, winters are long and brutally cold. Blizzards tend to be legendary.

Summers are frequently hot and humid, while still stormy. Fargo has a whole lot of sky over a whole lot of wind sweeping down the plain. Tornadoes and floods happen too, as North Dakota is the northern end of "Tornado Alley."

January averages 10. 10 whole degrees. That's average. Sometimes it just hangs around zero for a spell. Single digit or even minus degrees Fahrenheit keep those approximately 50 inches of snow per season well-chilled.

Driving is terrible in icy conditions, even more terrible if you lack terrible icy condition driving experience. North Dakotan ice storms have harmed many and inconvenienced more. To limit your exposure, both figuratively and literally, you'll need to pay attention and be prepared.

So for whoever's still reading, why could Fargo be an unexpectedly cool rather than just freezing cold choice?

Fargo features a lot that is low, but it seems it might be working for them. If you too can tolerate Fargo's famously low temperatures and low population density (about 125,000 in Fargo, not many more till Minneapolis) . . you'll be rewarded with a low cost of living and very low crime. Low population density plus low crime often leads to neighborliness, a "small town" feeling.

And Fargo has that, but for that low population density, it's highly blessed with urban amenities? There are relatively more universities, theaters, carnivals, museums, popular live music venues, and golf courses in and around Fargo's rehabbed red brick revitalization.

More of all of that in Fargo than you'd expect for a city this size.

Also more chocolate covered potato chips.

The rest of the Fargo roommate lowdown:

  • Fargo is the most populous metro in North Dakota, but that's only about 125,000
  • warm to hot and humid summers and extremely cold winters, heavy thunderstorms, legendary blizzards
  • you need to know the forecast, always
  • In the worst conditions, if you cannot shelter in one place, make sure you're absolutely dressed warmly enough and observe local weather warnings.
  • Similar to many cities on this list but more than all, you can't live anywhere without functioning heat. Functioning heat during a winter as severe as Fargo's can cost more than elsewhere, you might have to budget.
  • Clothing washer and dryer on site so you can avoid schlepping laundry in a snowstorm is possibly not required but we'd strongly recommend.
  • Unlike many cities on this list and depending on your tolerance of Fargo's fairly short summer, A/C might be optional.
  • home of Concordia College, Minnesota State University Moorhead, North Dakota State University, North Dakota State College of Science, and Rasmussen College
  • Everything is at least a little cheaper in Fargo than most cities, not just rent but also groceries, plus possibly healthcare and education and some retail
  • Fargo is more multicultural than most cities its size, in part due to its three universities.
  • Downtown Fargo has been recently revitalized and rehabilitated to reenergize the downtown core. It's a charming mini-town made of historic red bricks.
  • Fargo's streets form a grid pattern, with streets running from north to south, avenues running from east to west.
  • one of the lowest metro crime rates, particularly very low violent crime, along with a very low unemployment rate
  • many cultural features for a city its size, including the Fargo Theatre, the Winter Carnival, Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Opera, Plains Art Museum, and the Fargodome
  • at least half a dozen golf courses, unusual for a city its size
  • local culinary delicacies: hotdish (pasta casserole), walleye (fresh caught local fish), kuchen (custard pie), and chocolate covered potato chips

After you're settled down, you and your roommates should experience Fargo's:

  • Bonanzaville, USA: It's a village named after the historic larger farms in the area and other buildings that served them, including a church and school.
  • Red River Zoo: Home to over 300 animals, including Red Pandas, Bactrian Camels, Sichuan Takins, Grey Wolves, Pallas Cats and North American River Otters
  • Plains Art Museum: Largest art museum in North Dakota. You and your roommates can view collections ranging from traditional Native art to modern sculpture.

Here's the city of Fargo's official .gov for disaster preparedness, to maximize you and your roommates' disaster preparedness.


1.   The non-traditional roommate rent average for this city we've experienced over the last 3 years. We can't predict future rental availability, because we're neither in control of any rental market nor psychic, sorry!

But in most cities most of the time, the recent and relatively recent past are the best predictors.

2.   This idea came from smartasset.com's ranking of what a roommate saves you in 50 cities. They ranked where roommates will save you the most money, based on the average cost of a 1BR as opposed to a 2BR ÷ 2. Unsurprisingly, the more expensive the city, the more you can save, but the savings are significant in all larger metros. So we got the data for the rest of our cities from Zumper too.

This is really the minimum you could save, as you could live with more than one roommate, split more services, share food or other supplies, etc. More sharing tends to lead to more savings too, as per our roommate roadmap.

As per the rest of the description at the top of this page, we're calling this "traditional" roommate rent.

3.   From zumper.com.

4.   Directly quoted from the Trust for Public Land's parkland rating system.

"The ParkScore index awards each city up to 100 points for acreage based on the average of two equally weighted measures: median park size and parkland as a percentage of city area. Factoring park acreage into each city’s ParkScore rating helps account for the importance of larger “destination parks” that serve many users who live farther than ten minutes’ walking distance."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual ParkScore, nature lovers might like to see all roommate cities ranked for parkland.

5.   Directly quoted from Walk Score's Cities and Neighborhoods Ranking. They've ranked "more than 2,800 cities and over 10,000 neighborhoods so you can find a walkable home or apartment."

While each city's rundown already includes their individual Walk Score, dedicated pedestrians might like to see all roommate cities ranked for walkability.

6.   From various lists here on our own best roommate cities.

7.   From hoodmaps.com: a collaborative map where residents use tags describing social situations you're likely to find. Other users can thumb up or down, so the largest tags have been thumbed up the most.