WILLISTON, N.D. (AP) — A new study in Williston estimates that the population of the city in the heart of North Dakota's booming oil patch could be as high as 33,000.

The Williston Herald reports the city-sponsored study was done by North Dakota State University researchers Nancy Hodur and Dean Bangsund. It estimates that between 25,000 and 33,000 people live in Williston permanently or temporarily — a big jump from the 2010 U.S. Census figure of 14,700 residents.

New Census Bureau population estimates that came out earlier this year put Williston's population at just under 26,700. The bureau said Williston is the fastest-growing micropolitan area in the country. A micropolitan area is one that has a population between 10,000 and 49,999.

Hodur and Bangsund estimate that Williston's 2017 population could reach 44,000 people.

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