Oct 4, 2016

Cautious Optimism Seen In 2015 South Dakota Median Income

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

Since 2006, South Dakota's median household income—in inflation-adjusted 2015 dollars—has hovered around $50,000, with a low of $49,645 in 2007 and a high of $53,017 in 2015. That compares to $50,191 in 1999 (in inflation-adjusted dollars). As the national median household income has fallen since the Great Recession in 2008-2009, South Dakotans' have moved closer to the national median of $55,775 for 2015. However, the national median household income is still below the pre-recession levels of $58,010 in 2007 and $59,739 in 1999 (in inflation-adjusted dollars). 

Some national media outlets have noted that last year’s 5.2 percent increase in national median household income was the biggest one-year increase since the Great Recession.

While almost all of the states in the northern Great Plains 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 household income of $49,509, but is more than $10,000 less than Minnesota, at $63,488. Minnesota ranks 12th in the nation, 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


$63,488 12
North Dakota $60,577 16
Wyoming $60,214 17
Nebraska $54,736 24
Iowa $54,736 25
South Dakota $53,017 28
Montana $49,509 37

Locally, the Sioux Falls metropolitan area posted higher median household incomes than Rapid City, Sioux City and the state as a whole, but the growth rate in 2015 slowed. From 2014 to 2015, the growth of median household income in Rapid City and Sioux City exceeded that of the Sioux Falls area.

In 2015, the median household income in the Rapid City metro area—Custer, Meade and Pennington counties—was $52,809. The Sioux Falls metro area—Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha and Turner counties—had a median income of $59,844, up about $6,000 from 2012, but still below the recent high in 2008 of $62,624. 


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