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Located in Glacial Lakes & Prairies Region, and in Brown County (of which it is the county seat), Abderdeen lies northwest of Watertown near the North Dakota state line on US 281 and US 12 near Richmond Lake.

The city grew with the coming of the railroads, which led it to become a strong agricultural economy, and has diversified into a manufacturing and service center. The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 24,865, a decrease of 130 since 1990.

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