Outdoor activities are popular in Bismarck, North Dakota’s capital city. Surrounding natural landmarks include the Black Hills and the Missouri River. Bismarck thrives in part because of government, which is its largest employer. State budget cuts and employee layoffs have started to slow economic growth in state capitals around the US. That may explain why Bismarck's 1.3 percent foreclosure rate, though still quite low, is actually up from 1 percent a year ago, which was then the lowest in the nation.