In the Red River Valley Region
, Moorhead is the seat of Clay County
. It lies on the banks of the Red River, on the North Dakota state line, on I-94. The population estimate for July 1, 1998 was 33,082, an increase of 787 since 1990.
Calling itself "an energetic 'gate city' to the woods and lakes of Minnesota to the east, and the Dakota prairies to the west," Moorhead is part of the Fargo-Moorhead, North Dakota-Minnesota metro area.