South Dakota’s population grew by 0.9 percent between July 2015 and July 2016, ranking the state 14th among the fastest growing states in the nation, according to recently released U.S. Census data. Lincoln County, part of the Sioux Falls metropolitan region, was the fastest growing county in the state, with a 3.1 percent increase, while Meade County, part of the Rapid City metropolitan region grew by 2.4 percent.
The populations of South Dakota’s metropolitan areas grew at over twice the rate of the state’s micropolitan areas—1.3 percent to 0.6 percent growth. The Sioux Falls and Rapid City metropolitan areas saw increased populations from 2015-2016. The Sioux Falls metro area grew by 1.5 percent while the Rapid City metro area grew by 1.1 percent. The Sioux City metropolitan area edged up slightly by 0.3 percent during the same time frame.
While the Rushmore State’s metropolitan areas saw an increase in population from 2015-2016, so did several outlying counties. Mellette County grew by 2.5 percent from 2015-2016, although its population decreased by 2.4 percent from 2014-2015. Lake County in eastern South Dakota also grew by 2.5 percent.
The Black Hills region grew by 1.0 percent during the same time period. While Meade County led the region at 2.4 percent, Custer and Lawrence County grew by 1.7 and 1.6 percent, respectively. Pennington County experienced the slowest growth in the region at 0.7 percent.
The population of the Spearfish micropolitan area expanded by 1.7 percent, faster than any other micropolitan area in the state.