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South Dakota Diabetes Rate Highest in Region 

In 2015, 9.3 percent of South Dakota adults were diagnosed with either Type I or Type II diabetes, according to recent federal data. This rate is slightly lower than the national average of 9.9 percent. 

The Rushmore State ranked No. 20 among the 50 states for diabetes. South Dakota fell behind all of its regional counterparts. Minnesota had the lowest rate in the region at 7.6 percent: 

State Percentage Ranking
Minnesota 7.6 4
Montana 7.9 5
Wyoming 8.4 11
North Dakota 8.7 13
Iowa 8.8 14
Nebraska 8.8 15
South Dakota 9.3 20

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 2015, several of South Dakota’s reservation counties—Oglala Lakota, Bennett, Dewey, Ziebach, Corson, Roberts and Buffalo Counties—had diabetes rates over 12.0 percent.

Different South Dakota Regions Show Differing Trends

At 9.9 percent, 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 percent for Rapid City and 7.7 percent for Sioux Falls.

Brookings had the lowest rate of diabetes among South Dakota’s metropolitan and micropolitan areas at 6.1 percent. Spearfish and Vermillion—also college towns with younger populations like Brookings—had relatively low rates at 7.3 and 7.7 percent. Pierre had the highest diabetes rate for South Dakota’s micropolitan areas at 9.5 percent, while both Huron and Mitchell had rates over 9.0 percent.

Education and Incomes

Some correlations can be drawn between income and education levels and the risk of diabetes, although the lines are not clearly drawn in all cases. Individuals making between $15,000 and $24,999 had significantly higher rates of diabetes (14.6 percent) than individuals making over $50,000 (6.9 percent). However, the rate of diabetes among college graduates has increased by 1.8 percent since 2011.

Similar correlations can be seen in educational attainment and the rate of diabetes. In 2015, 13.2 percent of individuals with less than a high school diploma were diagnosed with diabetes, compared to 7.2 percent of individuals with a college degree or higher. 

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