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Diabetes

South Dakota Posts Fourth Lowest Diabetes Rate in Nation

In 2016, just 7.9% of South Dakotan adults were diagnosed with either Type I or Type II diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This rate is lower than the national average of 10.5%.

The Rushmore State had the 4th lowest rate of diabetes across all 50 states, compared to 20th lowest in 2015. South Dakota ranked behind only No. 1 Colorado at 6.6%, No. 2. Utah at 7.2%, and No. 3 Alaska at 7.5%. West Virginia placed last in the nation with a diabetes rate of 15.0%.

States surrounding the Rushmore State also posted low diabetes rates in 2016.  Diabetes rates from the region can be viewed in the table below:

State Percentage Ranking
South Dakota 7.9 4
Montana 8.1 5
Wyoming 8.3 6
Minnesota 8.4 7
North Dakota 8.6 9
Nebraska 8.8 10
Iowa 9.3 14

Diabetes Rates Highest on Reservations

Data compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that South Dakota's American Indian reservations have the state's highest rates of diabetes. In 2013, several of South Dakota’s reservation counties—Bennett, Buffalo, Corson, Dewey, Oglala Lakota, Bennett, Dewey, Mellette, Todd, and Ziebach Counties—had diabetes rates over 13.0%.*

Different South Dakota Regions Show Differing Trends

At 9.9%, the Sioux City metropolitan area had the highest rate of diabetes among South Dakota’s metro areas in 2013—the most recent year for which data is available—compared to 8.5% for Rapid City and 7.7% for Sioux Falls.Brookings had the lowest rate of diabetes among South Dakota’s metropolitan and micropolitan areas at 6.1%. Spearfish and Vermillion—also college towns with younger populations like Brookings—had relatively low rates at 7.3% and 7.7%. Pierre had the highest diabetes rate for South Dakota’s micropolitan areas at 9.5%, while both Huron and Mitchell had rates over 9.0%.

Education and Incomes

Some correlations can be drawn between income and education levels and the risk of diabetes. Individuals making less than $15,000 had were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes (16.0%) than individuals making over $50,000 (6.3 %). Additionally, in 2016, 11.0% of individuals with less than a high school diploma were diagnosed with diabetes, compared to 5.6% of individuals with a college degree or higher.

*2013 is the most recent year for which sub-state data (counties, reservation area, and metropolitan and micropolitan areas) is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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