In the Oscar-winning 1996 film “Fargo,” North Dakota is depicted as a barren, snowy wasteland that seems like the last place someone would want to sell insurance.

But the truth is far from fiction.

In fact, North Dakota has been spared much of the economic devastation that has affected many areas of the country within the last few years, and was ranked by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for highest income and job growth in the last decade. Unemployment in North Dakota in 2009 was the lowest in the nation at 4.4 percent, less than half of the national average, and in 2008, the economy grew 7.3 percent, twice as fast as any other state excluding Wyoming. Fargo was recently ranked ninth in the nation by Forbes as “best places for starting a business and career.” North Dakota benefits from natural resources with abundant jobs in energy and agriculture.

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