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Median Income

Cautious Optimism Seen In 2015 South Dakota Median Household Income Figures

Following the national trend, South Dakotans’ median household income in 2015 rose for the second year in a row to $53,017. However, the state remains second to last in the region according to recently updated federal data. 

Though South Dakota’s 2015 median household income was the highest it’s been in the past two decades, it still reflects stagnation. Adjusted for inflation, median household income has hovered around $50,000 since 2006, with a low of $49,645 in 2007 and a second-highest number of $51,044 in 2014.

As median household income fell across the country after the Great Recession in 2008-2009, South Dakotans' incomes moved closer to, but still lagged, the national median of $55,775 in 2015. That national income figure compares to $58,010 in 2007 and $59,739 in 1999 (in inflation-adjusted to 2015 dollars). 

While almost all of the bordering states fell in national rankings, the Rushmore State gained one spot to become the state with the 28th highest median household income in the country.

South Dakota ranks ahead of Montana, which posted a median income of $49,509, but is more than $10,000 behind Minnesota, at $63,488. Minnesota ranks 12th nationally, behind No. 1 Maryland at $75,847. Here's a look at South Dakota and its neighboring states: 

State Median Income in 2015 National Rank
Minnesota $63,488 12
North Dakota $60,577 16
Wyoming  $60,214 17 
Iowa  $54,736 21 
Nebraska  $54,736 25
South Dakota $53,017 28
Montana  $49,509 37

Metropolitan totals for median household incomes give more detail to the state trend. The Sioux Falls metropolitan area posted higher median incomes than Rapid City, Sioux City and the state as a whole, but 2015 numbers show a recent plateau. From 2014 to 2015, Rapid City and Sioux City have had median household income growth rates that exceed the Sioux Falls area. Previously, incomes grew faster in the Sioux Falls metro area than elsewhere.

All age groups posted higher median household incomes in 2015 than in 1999. Heads of households under 24 years of age posted the greatest increases from $28,538 in 2014 to $31,705 in 2015 (in inflation-adjusted dollars).

In 2015, after a two-year slump, median household incomes rose in the Rapid City metro area (Custer, Meade and Pennington counties) to $52,809, surpassing the recent high of $52,007 in 2012. In the Sioux Falls metro area (Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha and Turner counties) the median household income of $59,844 was up $6,000 from 2012, but still below the recent high in 2008 of $62,624. 

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