Burlington is a city in Ward County, North Dakota, United States. It was founded in 1883, the third in a series that included two earlier settlements. Despite this, Burlington is still the oldest city in Ward County, as well as north-western and north central North Dakota. In 1885, as it was the only city in the then-newly formed Imperial Ward County (now split into Ward, Renville, Mountrail, and Burke counties), it was made the county seat, a position it held until 1888. The population was 1,060 at the 2010 census. Burlington is part of the Minot Micropolitan Statistical Area.
Burlington and its former settlements were founded by James Johnson and James Colton (the men who also settled Larimore, North Dakota) in Dakota Territory in the late 1870s. Earlier settlements were The Forks, and later Colton (named after James Colton), which are considered forerunners of the city. Its current name was given to it by James Johnson during the creation of the post office, and was the name of his hometown of Burlington, Iowa. "The Forks" was used as a name for Burlington, alluding to its geographic location at the confluence of the Des Lacs and Mouse Rivers.