Inside The Boom: Women Only!

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Emily Guerin

You see signs like these all over the Bakken, usually at gas stations. Another one I saw, after making clear the women’s room was only for women, pointed to a security camera in the corner that was fixed on the door.

Western North Dakota is probably one of the only places in America where there is a line for the men’s room.

That’s because a lot of people are moving here (the state has the highest in-migration rate in the country) — mostly young men. In 2010, North Dakota was the third-most male dominated state after Alaska and Wyoming, although the state demographer told me “we’re going to blow them out of the water in 2014.” That’s probably going to mean more aggressive gas station bathroom signs.

Counties where men out-number women are blue. Counties where women out-number men are red.

US Census Bureau

Counties where men out-number women are blue. Counties where women out-number men are red. Energy producing-regions in states like Wyoming, Alaska and North Dakota are deep blue.