According to new estimates released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), personal income increased in 2,787 U.S. counties, decreased in 318, and remained the same in 8 in 2017. Personal income increased 4.5% in metropolitan areas, and only 3.2% in non-metro areas, ranging from 41.4% decrease in Slope County, North Dakota, to a 23.7% increase in Crosby County, Texas. Per capita personal income, which is found by dividing total personal income by population in a given area, is useful in comparing personal income levels across counties.

As defined by BEA, “personal income” is the income received by, or on behalf of, all persons from all sources. This includes traditional wage and salary income, income from home or business ownership, as well as income derived from financial assets, and government or business transfer receipts. Personal income also includes international income alongside income from domestic sources. These estimates were calculated based on midyear population estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Dollar estimates are reported in 2017 dollars and are not adjusted for inflation.

Personal Income Map

Ziebach County had the lowest per capita personal income in 2017, with $20,764. Turner, Hand, and Grant Counties saw the largest decreases in personal income between 2016 and 2017, with a 13.2% drop in Turner County, a 10.4% decrease in Hand County, and an 8.4% loss in Grant County.

Personal Income Change Map

Neighboring North Dakota had a per capita personal income of 52,269 in 2017, which was down 0.7% from 2016. Other neighbors saw growth in per capita personal income, like Wyoming, which saw a 3.4% increase from 2016 to 2017 and a 2017 per capita personal income of $57,346, or Minnesota, which saw a 3.1% increase and a per capita personal income of $54,359 during the same time period.

Explore more data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis here, or read more about income in South Dakota on the South Dakota Dashboard.

Tuesday, 11 December 2018 12:28

City Profiles

We've been listening!

At the South Dakota Dashboard we continually brainstorm how our website can best serve the data users of South Dakota. Over the past year we have spoken with hundreds of data users to better understand the evolving data needs of our state. We became increasingly aware that users desired more sophisticated data visualizations, particularly with the ability to view multiple data points at once and an easier way to explore data trends over time.

Today we're launching our new and improved data visuals we've built using Tableau. We're giving our users more control than ever before to explore and utilize the data on our site.

But this is just the beginning.We are committed to continuous improvement and evolution. Let us know what you think of this update so we can refine our data visualizations to better meet your needs. Reach out to us on social media, by phone, or email our in-house Tableau designer Callie at [email protected].

Rural South Dakotans have greater access to wired broadband telecommunications services than many of their counterparts across the country, according to a new report released by the South Dakota Dashboard and the South Dakota Telecommunications Association. Better than 76 percent of customers who lived outside of the state’s major metropolitan areas were able to subscribe to broadband speeds of 25 MB download and 3 MB upload or higher as of December 31, 2017, compared to 61 percent nationwide.

The new report, entitled Connecting South Dakota’s Future, also shows that rural telecommunications providers in the state are installing fiber optic lines at an accelerating pace. Over 65 percent of South Dakota Telecommunications Association customers were served by fiber-to-the-premises. In contrast, a nationwide survey in 2016 found that just over 40 percent of rural telecommunications companies’ customers were being served by fiber-to-the-premises.

“This pace of broadband deployment bodes well for rural communities,” says South Dakota Dashboard Project Director and Regional Economist Dr. Jared McEntaffer, “because the internet is rapidly becoming a central marketplace for the exchange of goods and services.”

McEntaffer says capital investments by South Dakota rural telecommunications companies also play a significant role in economic development. Between 2013 and 2017, the state’s rural telecommunications companies invested nearly $392 million in fiber optic lines, switches, equipment, buildings, and other long-term assets and generated nearly $480 million in economic impact.

Just over half of all South Dakotans live in non-metropolitan areas served by the community-based companies that are members of the South Dakota Telecommunications Association. These companies include cooperative, small commercial, municipal, and tribal telecommunications entities who cover 60,159 square miles, or more than three quarters of the state’s geography. Serving remote communities can present serious challenges. While the report estimates that it costs an average of $25.54 per resident to install fiber optic lines in Sioux Falls, the average cost per resident rises to $3,571 in rural South Dakota.

SDTA Executive Director Rich Coit noted that federal loans and grants provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Utilities Service (RUS) and the federal “Universal Service Fund” (USF) have played a significant part in addressing these cost differentials and in speeding rural broadband deployment in South Dakota. In 2016, telecommunications companies in South Dakota, including non-rural and rural local exchange carriers, received nearly $100 million in USF funds. In 2017, the RUS approved loans to rural telecommunications carriers in South Dakota that totaled $116.7 million, accounting for 17 percent of all dollars allocated nationally under the related RUS programs. “These dollars ensure that rural telecommunications companies are able to serve customers who live in remote or sparsely populated parts of our state,” says Rod Bowar, president of the South Dakota Telecommunications Association and manager and majority owner of the Kennebec Telephone Company.

Connecting South Dakota’s Future: A Report on the Deployment & Impact of Rural Broadband provides data on the state of rural broadband in South Dakota and compares the state to the nation as a whole. It focuses particularly on the services provided by the 18 companies who are members of the South Dakota Telecommunications Association and the broadband backbone provider the SDN Communications. For the full report, see attachment at the bottom of this webpage. 

ABOUT THE SOUTH DAKOTA TELECOMMUNICATIONS ASSOCIATION:The South Dakota Telecommunications Association supports the efforts of its member companies to effectively deliver state-of-the-art communications services to the communities they serve. SDTA also provides educational and training opportunities on the newest and best technologies available to the industry. (

The US Bureau of Economic Analysis released its Q1 Personal Income report on June 21, 2018. The report showed signs that the South Dakota economy may be turning around. Personal Income, which includes wage, business, and investment income, grew by 4.9% between Q4 2017 and Q1 2018. South Dakota ranked 20th in the nation as a result.

Net earnings (i.e. the portion of personal income derived from wage and salary earnings) also rose by 5.7% from Q4 2017 to Q1 2018 versus only 4.7% for the nation overall. Growth in net earnings is typically a sign of a healthy labor market where either more people are working, wages are rising, or some combination of both.

The report also hints that the Ag sector may be turning around after significant declines in 2017. Personal income in the Farm sector grew by 0.28% percentage points, or $29 million during Q1 2018. Farm sector personal income growth in the South Dakota was 4th in the nation, trailing behind only Vermont, Wyoming, and North Dakota, where farm incomes grew by 0.96%, 0.63%, and 0.42%respectively.

Other signs of an improving economy were seen in strong personal income growth in the Construction, Durable goods manufacturing, and Health care industries whose rates of personal income growth were 0.44%, 0.40% and 0.57% respectively.

The performance of the construction and durable goods manufacturing industries are often considered leading indicators of economic performance, but their performance can also be volatile and highly sensitive to macroeconomic conditions and market confidence. Trade frictions between the United States and its trading partners could slow these sectors in the near to medium turn. The Ag sector could face similar headwinds in the future as well. In light of these considerations, it may be necessary to temper expectations of such strong performance in Q2 2018.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017 14:40

Registered Voter Turnout

Three-Quarters of Registered Voters Cast Ballots in Presidential Election Years

As is typical across the nation, more South Dakotans tend to vote in years with a presidential election than in midterm election years. In 2016, 72.6% of registered voters in South Dakota cast ballots, according to data from the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office. In 2014, the most recent non-presidential election year, just 54.2 % of registered voters cast ballots.

Voter turnout was lowest in rural counties. The South Dakota Secretary of State’s office reports that turnout of registered voters was  73.6%  in metropolitan counties, 73.8%  in micropolitan counties, and only 68.3%  in rural counties.  The secretary found similar voting patterns in 2008 as turnouts of registered voters in that election year were 75.7%  metropolitan counties, 72.7% for micropolitan counties, and just 63.9% for rural counties.

Of South Dakota’s 66 counties, Jones County had the highest registered voter turnout in 2016 at 83.6%, followed by Harding County with 82.3%. Oglala Lakota County had the lowest registered voter turnout at 37.4%. While Harding and Jones County boasted the highest turnout rates in the state in 2016, they were also the state’s least populated counties at 1,278 and 927 people, respectively.  The counties with the highest and lowest turnout can be viewed below:


County Percent Registered Voter Turnout Rank
Jones 83.6 1
Harding 82.3 2
Bon Homme 80.0 3
Ziebach 50.5 64
Todd 36.6 65
Oglala Lakota 37.4 66

The Black Hills region has consistently had a slightly lower registered voter turnout rate than the state as a whole since 2000. In 2016, The 70.7% of registered voters in the Black Hills voted, just below the state turnout rate of 72.3%.

Real personal income in Sioux Falls grew faster than in all but three other metropolitan areas in the country in 2015, according to data released this week by the US Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA). Adjusted for inflation, income received from all sources—including wages, rents and property incomes, and personal transfer receipts like Social Security or Veterans’ payments—rose by 6.9 percent in Sioux Falls, compared to 4.1 percent for the state as a whole.

South Dakota’s growth in real personal income matched the nation as a whole and exceeded all neighboring states. With a 2.3 percent drop, North Dakota was the only state in the union to experience a decline in real personal income.

Growth in real per capita personal income in Sioux City was 5.4 percent, compared to 3.3 percent in the Rapid City metropolitan region.

On a non-adjusted or nominal basis, per capita income in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area in 2015 was $53,769, compared to $50,221 in 2014. It rose from $44,134 to $46,514 in the Sioux City metropolitan region and from $43,481 to $44,775 in the Rapid City metropolitan area.

According to BEA data on the South Dakota Dashboard, economic growth (GDP) in each of the state’s three metropolitan area in 2015 lagged these increases in real personal income. In 2015, GDP increased 2.8 percent in Sioux City, 2.2 percent in Sioux Falls, and 1.0 percent in Rapid City. 

Below you will find graphs highlighting the amount of total assets of the community foundations in South Dakota as well as the amounts given by the foundations in 2014. For more information on philanthropic giving in South Dakota, please visit the Foundation Center's website


Wednesday, 17 August 2016 00:00

Data Resources - Workforce

Average Hours in a Work Week: The average work week varies from year to year and from city to city. The Labor Department compiles data on the average work week and makes estimates. To view these estimates, click here

Average Annual Pay per State:: The Board of Regents used data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to make a graphic on average annual page per state. The graphic can show overall average wage as well as average wages in specific occupational categories. To view this graphic, click here.  To view the data directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, click here.

Bureau of Labor Statistics: Though this resource encompasses the entire United States, specific labor statistics on South Dakota, including industry level breakdowns and wage estimates can be found here..

Career/Technical Education (CTE) Statistics: Provided only on the national level, find data relating to CTE careers here.

Census Bureau Employment Statistics: To view the U.S. Census Bureau’s statistics on employment, click here.

Employment Projections by Industry: Some industries are projected to grow faster than others into the year 2022. To view the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation’s predictions, click here. To view just the fastest growing industries, click here.

Government Employment and Spend Statistics: The U.S. Census Bureau has a page dedicated to statistics about government employment and spending. To see these statistics, click here.

Labor Databases, Tables, and Calculators: The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides a wealth of information on the workforce here.

Average Annual Pay per State: The South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation created an interactive chart for Labor force statistics in South Dakota. Data can be broken down by year, month, county and field (unemployment, employment, etc.). To view the cart, click here.

Unemployment: To view the most up to date unemployment rates from the South Dakota Department of Labor and Regulation, click here. 

Wednesday, 17 August 2016 00:00

Data Resources - Public Safety

Child Advocacy Center Statistics: Find the number of child abuse victims served by CACs in South Dakota here.

Criminal Justice: The South Dakota Department of Corrections provides the latest statistics on adult and juvenile corrections.  

Drunk Driving Rate: Find statistics on drunk driving rates and underage drinking in the state from MADD here.

Human Trafficking in South Dakota: Data provided by the National Human Trafficking Resource Center shows numbers regarding sex and labor trafficking in South Dakota

Crime Data via RAIDS Online: RAIDS Online compiles crime data and other information from law enforcement agencies to make it easier for the public to stay informed about crime. Data in RAIDS Online is provided directly from each law enforcement agency. 

South Dakota Sex Offender Registry- This database provides public access to the location of all registered sex offenders in the state of South Dakota.

Vehicle Accident Records: Annual crash reports, GIS data, and more from the South Dakota Department of Public Safety.

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