The state of North Dakota has claimed the top spot on another list and, this time, it has very little to do with the economy.

The folks over at recently released their list of the top hockey cities in the United States and Grand Forks led the way.

To determine the list, first put together their Quality of Life score, based on five factors:

  • Violent crimes per 100,000 people
  • Property crimes per 100,000 people
  • Disposable income
  • Dining and entertainment establishments per 10,000 residents
  • Unemployment rate

They then figured out each city's Fan-Intensity Score, which was based on two factors:

  • Per-game attendance among local hockey teams as a percentage of total population.
  • Google search traffic for the term “hockey,” as a percentage of traffic for the term “food.” This factor reflects the baseline regional interest in the sport of hockey.

They then took those two scores, combined them, and gave equal weight to both, thus giving them their Hockey Town Index.

With a Hockey Town Index of 94.36, Grand Forks was far and away the top hockey city. Here's what attributed to Grand Forks being a great hockey city:

The University of North Dakota is one of college hockey’s true powerhouse programs. It has won 15 conference championships, made 20 Frozen Four appearances and won seven national championships, the second highest championship total behind Michigan. Add to that list of accolades some of the most faithful fans in the country and a lovely (if cold) college town setting, and you have America’s Best Hockey Town.

So just how much do folks in Grand Forks love hockey? Well, judging by their Google search traffic, they care more about hockey than they do about food. Grand Forks was one of just four cities in which residents clocked more internet searches for hockey than for food. Hockey-crazed fans should also have no trouble finding a job in Grand Forks: the city’s unemployment rate of 2.5% ranked lowest of any city in our study.

Grand Forks was the only North Dakota city to land in the top 25. Minnesota, however, placed five: Duluth (10), Bemidji (18), St. Paul (20), Mankato (21), and St. Cloud (23).

To see the rest of the top 25 hockey towns in the United States, visit