Williston is a city in and the county seat of Williams County, North Dakota, United States. The 2010 census gave its population as 14,716, and the Census Bureau gave the 2019 estimated population as 29,033, making Williston the sixth-largest city in North Dakota. The North Dakota oil boom is largely responsible for the sharp increase in population.
Williston's newspapers, both in print and online, are the daily Williston Herald and the weekly The Williston Trader. Williston is the home of Williston State College and the Miss North Dakota Scholarship Pageant.
Founded in 1887, Williston was named for Daniel Willis James, a merchant and capitalist, by his friend, railroad magnate James J. Hill.
Williston is located at the crossroads of U.S. Highways 2 and 85.
It is near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers, at the upper end of the Lake Sakakawea reservoir.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.56 square miles (19.58 km2), of which 7.50 square miles (19.42 km2) is land and 0.06 square miles (0.16 km2) is water.
The municipality is 18 miles (29 km) from the Montana-North Dakota border and 60 miles (97 km) from the Canada–United States border.
Williston has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification 'BSk'); it is part of USDA Hardiness zone 4a. The normal monthly mean temperature ranges from 11 °F (−11.7 °C) in January to 70 °F (21.1 °C) in July. On average, there are 3 days of 100 °F (38 °C)+ highs, 25 days of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs, 42 days with a low of 0 °F (−18 °C) or below, 10 days with lows plummeting to at least −20 °F (−29 °C), and 8 days that do not rise above 0 °F annually.