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Oil boom in Williams County, N.D., leads to high crime, housing costs

Feb. 16, 2014 at 3:11 PM

WILLISTON, N.D., Feb. 16 (UPI) -- The boom in oil production in Williams County, N.D., has resulted in a population increase and an overbooking of the county jail, officials said.

In the 2010 U.S. census, about 14,700 residents lived in Williston, N.D., the seat of Williams County. Today, officials estimate more than 30,000 live in the city and another 50,000 are being served by its infrastructure, the Williston Herald reported Saturday.

The population boom and high-paying oil jobs have led to the highest housing costs in the country.

Apartment Guide said a 700-square-foot, one-bedroom apartment in Williston costs on average $2,394, the highest in the entire country. That's even higher than New York City, which is No. 7 on the list, and Los Angeles, which is No. 8.

And it's those high salaries and lack of housing that some officials think are to blame for the rise in crime, the newspaper reported.

"Anytime lots of money flowing into the region, everyone is going to flock here," Police Chief James Lokken said.

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