By Amy Dalrymple

WILLISTON, N.D. -- Several North Dakota cities are among the fastest-growing communities in the nation, with Williston leading the way as the fastest-growing micropolitan area, the U.S. Census Bureau said Thursday.

Census population estimates show that the Williston area grew 10.7 percent between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, faster than any other small city in the nation.

The other hub cities in the Oil Patch also ranked high on the list of fastest-growing micropolitan areas, which are communities with a population between 10,000 and 50,000. Dickinson ranked No. 2 with 5 percent growth and Minot ranked No. 5 with 3.7 percent.

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The recent uptick in American energy production is one of those economic miracles not thought possible a decade ago. Oil and gas production will reduce the United States' dependence on imports, and we may be become an energy exporter, something that will strengthen our international status, which is at a low point under the present Administration's policy.

Read more: The Oil and Natural Gas Boom Continues

By: WDAY TV, AP, Associated Press

WILLISTON, ND -- Building continues to boom in the western North Dakota oil patch hub of Williston.

The city Building Department reports that permit values in January increased 85 percent over the year. Office manager Kelly Aberle tells the Williston Herald that the department issued 43 permits with a total value of $27.6 million.

Aberle says permit numbers and values have been rising since 2007. That year there were 339 permits with a value of $42 million. Last year there were 696 permits with a value of $353 million.

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