Minot ( (listen) MY-not) is a city in and the county seat of Ward County, North Dakota, United States, in the state's north-central region. It is most widely known for the Air Force base located approximately 15 miles (24 km) north of the city. With a population of 40,888 at the 2010 census, Minot is the fourth largest city in the state and a trading center for a large portion of northern North Dakota, southwestern Manitoba, and southeastern Saskatchewan. Founded in 1886 during the construction of James J. Hill's Great Northern Railway, Minot is also known as "Magic City", commemorating its remarkable growth in size over a short time.
Minot is the principal city of the Minot micropolitan area, a micropolitan area that covers McHenry, Renville, and Ward counties and had a combined population of 69,540 at the 2010 census. In 2017, it was estimated that the population of the Minot Micropolitan Area was 77,309.
Minot came into existence in 1886, after the railroad laid track through the area. A tent town sprang up overnight, as if by "magic", thus the city came to be known as the Magic City, and in the next five months, the population increased to over 5,000 residents, further adding to the nickname's validity. The town site was chosen by the railroad to be placed on the land of then-homesteader Erik Ramstad. Ramstad was convinced to relinquish his claim, and became one of the city leaders. The town was named after Henry D. Minot, a railroad investor, ornithologist and friend of Hill.