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Old 09-07-2009, 08:37 PM
 
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Why are the Dakotas so sparse?, does anybody know the answer?
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Old 09-07-2009, 09:57 PM
 
Location: Southern Minnesota
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They are Midwestern, primarily agricultural states. That doesn't appeal to the elitist coastal types, or young people looking to start in a new location.
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:31 PM
 
Location: On the Great South Bay
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adirondackguy123 View Post
Why are the Dakotas so sparse?, does anybody know the answer?
I think it has to do with history and transportation.

For shipping purposes, they are the states furthest from any major bodies of water like the Atlantic, Pacific, Gulf of Mexico and the Great Lakes. So in the old days, when we still used to make things in this country, it was probably not considered the best place to put a factory.

For instance, with iron coming from Minnesota and coal coming from Pennsylvania and West Virginia to make steel --- the Great Lake States were centrally located in the middle of the action. Because of these advantages of the Lake States, with their numerous ports and later mainline rail links to the big cities, it simply made no sense to put a factory in the Dakotas versus say Ohio or Michigan.

So the Dakotas (and eastern Montana and Nebraska) stayed mostly agricultural or ranchland.
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:40 PM
 
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
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The Dakotas do have more extreme temperature variants than many other states. (Although they're known for cold they can get hot as well. Both states have their "record high" be 120 or so. City-Data lists Grand Forks, North Dakota as having "the largest temperature differences during a year" for a city over 50,000. Sioux Falls, South Dakota appears to get at least moderately hot in the Summer) It seems like people tend to move to places where temperatures are mild.

Granted Minnesota and Nebraska have extremely variable temperatures too. I said something more, but LINative dealt well with the historic reasons.

Also it's right that "middle America" is not necessarily where young people want to move. Yet the Dakotan towns are not as old, and therefore quaint, as parts of Western Pennsylvania that get retirees or families. Elderly people might also be discouraged to go there by the climate. Still I'd think the Dakotas could have some appeal to young families. If they don't it might be that they are relatively "invisible." They are not on the "media landscape" for whatever reason. (Exempting the movie "Fargo", but even then most of the movie and story was set in Minnesota not North Dakota)
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Old 09-07-2009, 10:48 PM
 
Location: roaming gnome
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I dunno, that entire great plains stretch is where I haven't been to nd/sd/ne/kansas. I am not sure if there is much there I would want to go for... Am I really missing out???
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Old 09-08-2009, 04:30 AM
 
Location: 30-40°N 90-100°W
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Depends on what you like or want I guess. South Dakota has a good deal of American Indian stuff, Mt. Rushmore, and the Corn Palace. All the states named have a variety of Anabaptists. (Kansas has loads of Mennonites and South Dakota has some Hutterite colonies I think) Lawrence, Kansas is quite liberal for a "Red State" and the University has a good collection of Science Fiction. I believe KU is where they give out the Theodore Sturgeon Award.

So basically it's not a bad area for dorky or nerdy stuff. (SF, roadside attractions, traditionalist Christian communes, corn, etc)
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Old 09-08-2009, 07:52 AM
 
Location: Lower East Side, Milwaukee, WI
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Because the Dakotas are quite possibly the worst states we have. I would much rather grant statehood to Puerto Rico or DC or Samoa or Guam or the Virgin Islands, than be affiliated with the Dakotas. As others have mentioned they probably have the largest variance in temperatures in the entire country. 110 in summer, -30 in winter. They're also ugly as sin. The landscape isn't heavily forested and dotted with lakes like Minnesota, their mountains aren't nearly as majestic as those in neighboring Montana and Wyoming, and they're not really good for growing crops like Iowa or Nebraska. They're pretty much worthless.
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Old 09-08-2009, 09:58 AM
 
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I have much the same feelings about Milwaukee...
It's ugly as sin. The landscape isn't heavily forested, the mountains are non-existant and they're not really good for growing crops like Iowa or Nebraska. It's pretty much worthless.
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:04 AM
 
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maybe because it's very arid and not inhabitable.
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Old 09-08-2009, 10:22 AM
 
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I think LINative's first post hit it...
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