It was founded in the late 1800's at a point where two railroads intersected, and was innitially called Rugby Junction for the famous railroad junction in Rugby, England in the hope of attracting English settlers. When it became a city the 'Junction' was dropped from the name.
Since 1931 Rugby has officially been recognised as being at the geographic center of North America, which is marked by a 15 foot (4.5 metre) tall rock obelisk.
Rugby is located at 48°22'2" North, 99°59'46" West (48.367129, -99.995979)1.
As of the census of 2000, there are 2,939 people, 1,291 households, and 765 families residing in the city. The population density is 588.0/km² (1,520.1/mi²). There are 1,434 housing units at an average density of 286.9/km² (741.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 98.09% White, 0.00% African American, 1.02% Native American, 0.37% Asian, 0.00% Pacific Islander, 0.03% from other races, and 0.48% from two or more races. 0.44% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 1,291 households out of which 26.6% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.0% are married couples living together, 8.0% have a female householder with no husband present, and 40.7% are non-families. 37.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 21.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.17 and the average family size is 2.89.
In the city the population is spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 23.1% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 28.1% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 44 years. For every 100 females there are 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 81.3 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $25,482, and the median income for a family is $35,745. Males have a median income of $25,885 versus $18,510 for females. The per capita income for the city is $14,380. 13.7% of the population and 9.6% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 11.6% are under the age of 18 and 19.1% are 65 or older.