The North Dakota oil boom is over. At least that was one of the recurring talking points at the North Dakota Petroleum Council’s (NDPC) annual meeting in Dickinson, North Dakota about a month ago. As the oil field has matured, life in the Bakken has started to become “more normal.” This shift has caused policymakers and local residents to change the way they talk about economic growth; as the boom has turned to bustle, the term “boom” has been replaced by “sustained growth.”
There have been frequent press reports that baby boomers, those born between 1945 and 1964, are abandoning the suburbs and moving “back” to the urban cores (actually most suburban residents did not move from urban cores). Virtually without exception such stories are based on anecdotes, often gathered by reporters stationed in Manhattan, downtown San Francisco or Washington or elsewhere in urban cores around the nation. Clearly, the anecdotes about boomers who move to suburbs, exurbs, or to outside major metropolitan areas are not readily accessible (and perhaps not as interesting) to the downtown media.