Fargo is a city in Cass County, North Dakota in the United States. It is the county seat of Cass County, located in the Red River Valley region. The population was 90,599 at the 2000 census (2004 city estimate: 98,084) (2005 Census Bureau estimate: 90,934), which makes it the largest city in North Dakota. Along with West Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota, it forms the center of the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area. The metropolitan area has a population of 174,367  and encompasses a large physical area of Cass County in southeastern North Dakota and Clay County in northwestern Minnesota.
The city of Fargo is the crossroads and economic center of a large portion of eastern North Dakota and a portion of northwestern Minnesota. Fargo is a retail, manufacturing, healthcare, and educational hub for the region. Fargo is home to North Dakota State University. The local newspaper is The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead. The city motto is "Gateway to the West". Fargo was founded in 1871.
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there were 90,599 people (2004 city estimate: 98,084) (2005 Census Bureau estimate: 90,934), 39,268 households, and 20,733 families residing in the city. The population density was 922.0/km² (2,388.2/mi²). There were 41,200 housing units at an average density of 419.3/km² (1,086.0/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.17% White, 1.02% African American, 1.24% Native American, 1.64% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.44% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.29% of the population.
There were 39,268 households out of which 26.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.8% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 47.2% were non-families. 34.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.20 and the average family size was 2.91.
In the city the population was spread out with 21.1% under the age of 18, 19.2% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 18.5% from 45 to 64, and 10.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 100.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 99.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $35,510, and the median income for a family was $50,486. Males had a median income of $31,968 versus $22,264 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,101. About 6.6% of families and 11.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.8% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.
The economy of the Fargo area has historically been dependent on agriculture. That dominance has decreased substantially in recent decades. Now, the city of Fargo has a growing economy based on food processing, manufacturing, technology, retail trade, higher education, and healthcare. The largest non-governmental employers in the city include MeritCare Health System, Alien Technology, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, US Bank, and Microsoft. North Dakota State University is the largest public sector employer in the city.
Fargo is home to North Dakota State University (NDSU). NDSU has over 12,000 students and is the second largest school in the North Dakota University System. NDSU was founded in 1890 primarily as an agricultural school, but has since branched out to cover many other fields of study. NDSU is also a major research institute. Together, NDSU and the University of North Dakota make up the Red River Valley Research Corridor.
Fargo offers a relatively wide variety of cultural opportunities for a city of its size. This is likely due, in part, to the presence of three universities in the metropolitan area. Most theatre and events are either promoted or produced by the universities, although there are a few private theatre companies in the city including Fargo-Moorhead Community Theatre (FMCT), Theatre 'B' in downtown Fargo, Ursa Major Theatre Company, and The Entertainment Company. Music organizations in the metropolitan area include the Fargo-Moorhead Opera, the Jazz Arts Group, the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra, and the Fargo-Moorhead Youth Symphony.
The Fargo Theatre is a restored 1926 Art Deco movie house that features first-run movies, film festivals, and other community events. The Fargodome routinely host concerts, Broadway musicals, dance performances, sporting events, as well as fairs and other gatherings
The Plains Art Museum is the largest museum of art in the state. It is located in downtown Fargo and features regional and national exhibits. It also houses a large permanent collection of art. There are several other museums in Fargo including The Children's Museum at Yunker Farm , The Fargo Air Museum, The Courthouse Museum, The Roger Maris Museum in West Acres Shopping Center, and the North Dakota State University Wall of Fame in the Scheels All Sports store.
The Fargo Public Library  was established in 1900 and for many years was housed in a Carnegie-funded building. In 1968, the library moved into a new facility as part of urban renewal efforts in the downtown area. In 2002, the Fargo Public Library established the first branch library in North Dakota with the opening of the Southpointe Branch. In 2004, voters passed a 18-month sales tax measure for new library facilities with 62% of voters in favor. As a result of this vote, the new Northport Branch opened in 2006, the expanded Dr. James Carlson Library will replace the current Southpointe Branch in late 2007, and a new main library downtown is scheduled to open in 2008.
The Fargo Park District operates many neighborhood parks throughout the city. The metropolitan area contains the following golf courses: Edgewood Golf Course (18-hole), Fargo Country Club (18-hole) Rose Creek Golf Course (18-hole), El Zagal (9-hole), Prairiewood Golf Course (9-hole), and the new Osgood Golf Course (9-hole). In the winter Edgewood serves as a warming house and rents skis out. Rose Creek has a restaurant called Seasons and also gives golfing lessons in the summer.