The great state of North Dakota is known for many things. Beautiful terrain, natural recourses, industry, agriculture and hard working people. North Dakota boasts the worlds biggest buffalo, great refuges for wildlife, and we extremely proud of Native American culture too.

People always ask about the normal things when they find out I am from North Dakota. Do you plug your car in? Is there horse parking at the store? Does everyone up there talk like that? When we get these formalities out of the way, I find myself talking about other things that make our state pretty special.

  • Missouri-Yellowstone Confluence Interpretive Center (MYCIC)
  • Fort Union Trading Post National Historic Site
  • Maah Daah Hey Trail
  • Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
  • ND Badlands
Linda Howard
Linda Howard
North Dakota Badlands

These are just a few that roll off the top of my head. Throw in the state's biggest city, Fargo, and things really start rolling. I really go off the rails talking about our badlands...they are my favorite. That said, these are the easy things to talk about. I didn't know what the smallest town in the state was. I had a few guesses, but I would have missed this on a ND History quiz.

So, what is the smallest town in North Dakota? Located in McLean County, Ruso is! According to, Ruso is the least populated recognized place in North Dakota according to the latest census, which counted just one person there.
Ruso, ND

Basic History of Ruso

On July 17, 1906, a Russian immigrant agency named the town Ruso, which may have been derived from a Russian term meaning "south of us" or from the first two letters of both "South Russia" and "South Russia." The city became a legal entity on July 7, 1909. Sadly, in 1956, the final business in the city closed.

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