Data Items from BHKN

Data Items from BHKN (59)

A study of the Rapid City Police Department and the city's Native American community reports that 62.6 percent of the cases in which police used force, that force was carried out against Native Americans. That is a bit higher than the proportion of arrests for which Native Americans account -- 59.1 percent. It also is more than double the proportion of Native Americans the study concludes comprise Rapid City's total population -- roughly 25 percentDashboard.raceseries.logo3

Use of force ranges from the lowest level, a wrist hold, to intermediate levels such as use of a baton, to deadly force involving shooting a gun.

The report found that nearly 20 percent of all use of force cases took place without a primary crime or offense by a suspect/perpetrator. For Native Americans, that figure was 16 percent; for whites, 23.1 percent. 

Both whites and Native Americans experienced high rates of use of force for process-related offenses, such as failure to appear in court, and high rates for drug and alcohol offenses, as shown in the chart below. (The category "individual" includes simple assault, mental health holds and disorderly conduct.) 

RCPD Native policing study use of force by race offense type chart

Researchers found that Native American women experienced the highest rate of use of force, as a percentage of all interactions with police. They also found that the severity of a suspect's action did not directly correlate with severe reactions by police officers. In fact, the data shows a moderate negative correlation, meaning that less severe actions by suspects could yield more severe uses of force by police. 

"An interesting illustration of this observed trend is that for Native American suspects exhibiting active aggression, physical readiness or deadly force, only 13.9 percent were met with a deadly force display by an RCPD officer. Conversely, 49.1 percent of Native suspects engaged in nonverbal or passive resistance were met with a deadly force display by an RCPD officer. A similar trend was observed for White suspects, though the relationship was more pronounced," reads the report.

Across all race and gender categories, the most frequent suspect action was "Defensive Resistance," meaning suspects actively, physically resisted arrest or other police instructions. That was followed by circumstances qualifying the interaction as "high risk" with the display of a weapon or other complication. 

Across all race and gender categories, the most common use of force by police was "Deadly Force Display," the display of a weapon. This was highest for Native American women, for whom more than 54 percent of use-of-force incidents included a display of deadly force. It was lowest for Native American men, at 44.2 percent. 

RCPD Native policing study suspect use of force actions chart


RCPD Native Policing study officer use of force by race gender chart

 Read the report's complete analysis of use of force by the Rapid City Police Department on pages 14-21. 


While Native Americans account for nearly 60 percent of the arrests made in Rapid City, members of that race do not account for 60 percent of the crime, according to a researcher who wrote a detailed report on Native policing for the Rapid City Police Department.  Dashboard.raceseries.logo3

That's because more than 30 percent of arrests of Native Americans are for what report author Richard Braunstein calls "process offenses," meaning things such as failure to appear in court, failure to pay a fine or probation violations. (For whites, the rate is 23 percent.)

Braunstein writes on page 11: 

"In processrelated arrests, an offender has typically been identified for arrest and the job of RCPD officers is to apprehend the individual. This differs in many ways from other crime types that require greater investigations and more subjective determinations of the crime and suspects. Consistent with the goal of reducing conflict (and arrests) for Native Community members, greater compliance with criminal justice policy and requirements by Native offenders/suspects would bring down Native arrests, making population percentages closer to RCPD arrest percentages."

In any case, Native Americans are over-represented in arrests made by Rapid City police, as the U.S. Census estimates their population at 12.4 percent, and Braunstein recalculates that to roughly 25 percent. 

The charts below provide breakdowns of the types of arrests made by racial groups. Read the full analysis on pages 11-14 of the report attached at the bottom of this post. 

RCPD Native policing study frequent arrests by race


RCPD Native policing study broad offense categories by race


Read more from the Native Data series on the Black Hills Knowledge Network


Rapid City police appear to make traffic stops by racial groups roughly proportional to the city's breakdown for population by race, concludes a report on Native policing by the Rapid City Police Department. 

Although the U.S. Census Bureau pegs Rapid City's Native American population at about 12 percent, Rich Braunstein of the University of South Dakota's Government Research Bureau has recalculated that figure based on the Census' own estimation of undercounting. He believes the city's Native American population is between 23 percent and 26 percent. Dashboard.raceseries.logo3

That recalculation puts the 24.1 percent rate of traffic stops for Native Americans in line with the city's overall population demographics. Braunstein said the data shows that Blacks account for 2.6 percent of traffic stops, a rate more than double their 1.1 percent proportion of the city's population.

Native Americans do have a higher rate of receiving citations (78 percent), or tickets, than does the white majority (57 percent), although Braunstein said a detailed look at the data tells a more nuanced story. Whether a motorist receives a citation or a warning appears linked to what type of offense has taken place. Driving without a license or without insurance, for example, almost always yields a citation, while speeding is a toss-up. 

According to data reviewed by Braunstein and a team of seven Native American research assistants, Native Americans pulled over in Rapid City have a higher rate of driving without a license or without insurance than do their white and Asian counterparts. So the report concludes it is the nature of the offense moreso than race that leads to the higher rate of citations for Native Americans.  

The three tables, below, from the report break down the data. The full analysis can be read in the report, attached at the bottom of this post, on pages 5-11. 

RCPD Native policing table citations by race


RCPD Native policing table citations by offense


RCPD Native policing table citations by offense race

Read more from the Black Hills Knowledge Network's Native Data series, including more details from the RCPD Native policing study. 


Sunday, 15 November 2015 00:00

Rapid City Metro Area Leads State For Uninsured

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The rate of people without health insurance in the Rapid City metro area was close to double that of the Sioux Falls metro area in 2014, according to recently updated federal data

The Rapid City metro area -- Pennington, Meade and Custer counties -- posted a rate of 13.2 percent in 2014 for those under 65, compared to 7.3 percent in the Sioux Falls metro area -- Minnehaha, Lincoln, McCook and Turner counties -- and 11.4 percent for South Dakota as a whole. 

It's important to note that healthcare provided by the federal Indian Health Service is not counted as health insurance by the U.S. Census Bureau, the agency that collected the data. Residents of the city of Rapid City are 12.4 percent Native American, according to the U.S. Census, although a University of South Dakota researcher believes the true population is likely double that percentage. At the same time, Minnehaha County -- home to Sioux Falls -- records a Native American population at less than 3 percent. Other counties in the Sioux Falls metro area record Native American populations at less than 1 percent, while Meade and Custer counties record populations below 4 percent. 

The rates of uninsured have dropped in both metro areas and across the state as a whole as the Affordable Care Act has required more people to purchase health insurance. The Rapid City metro rate has dropped from a recent high of of 18.2 percent in 2009; the Sioux Falls metro area dropped from a recent high of 11.6 percent in 2009; and the state rate is down from a recent high of 15.1 percent, also in 2009. 

South Dakota ranked 22nd among the 50 states for uninsured, behind first-place Massechusetts at 3.8 percent and ahead of last-place Texas at 21.3 percent. The national rate for those under 65 was 13.5 percent percent in 2014, down from 17.7 percent in 2010. 

For those under 18, South Dakota ranked 33rd at 5.7 percent, down from 8.4 percent in 2008. The national rate was 6 percent in 2014, down from 9.9 percent in 2008. Massachusetts ranked first in this category at 1.5 percent in 2014. Alaska was last, at 11.4 percent. 


Both the Rapid City metropolitan area and the state of South Dakota as a whole experienced a recent low level of housing cost burden in 2014, according to recently released federal data, although the Rapid City metro area has consistently remained above the statewide level. 

In 2014, 24 percent of South Dakotans and 27.5 percent of residents of the Rapid City metro area -- Pennington, Meade and Custer counties -- were burdened by housing costs. That means they paid at least 30 percent of their income on housing costs. The rate was 23 percent in the Sioux Falls metro area -- Minnehaha, Lincoln, McCook, and Turner counties.

Both the state and the Rapid City metro area hit a recent peak for housing cost burden in 2008, when the state rate was 26.5 percent and the Rapid City metro area rate was 34.9 percent. The Sioux Falls metro area's recent high came in 2009 at 28.3 percent. 

The Rapid City metro area has been several percentage points above the state and Sioux Falls metro area for housing cost burden with the exception of 2012, when Rapid City's rate dipped down to 27.1 percent while Sioux Falls' rate jolted up to 27.3 percent. The state rate that year was 24.7 percent.

Statewide, nearly 10 percent, or 31,961 households, paid more than 50 percent of their income for housing in 2014, but breakdowns by metro area are not available for that metric. That figure marks a reversal of a three-year decline in those paying more than 50 percent for housing. The rate had been dropping from 10.3 percent in 2010 and reached 9.2 percent in 2013.

Those most likely to be burdened by housing costs are the low-income, the young and renters. (See interactive charts with breakdowns for these categories and several others.) 

South Dakotans with incomes below $20,000 hit a recent high rate of 74.8 percent for housing cost burden in 2014. That rate dropped to 37.7 percent for those with incomes between $20,000 and $35,000; to 19.6 percent for those with incomes between $35,000 and $50,000; to 9.3 percent for those with incomes between $50,000 and $75,000 and to 2.3 percent for those with incomes above $75,000. 

More than half of all South Dakota householders age 24 or younger were burdened by housing costs in 2014, while rates for older age groups were about half that or less. 

Twice as many renters were housing cost burdened than were homeowners in 2014, 39.3 percent versus 17.4 percent. 

Nationally, South Dakota was the third least burdened state for housing costs in 2014, behind West Virginia (22.6 percent) and North Dakota (22 percent). Neighboring states Iowa, Wyoming and Nebraska ranked fourth, fifth and sixth. 

The most housing-cost burdened state was California, at 44 percent. The national rate was 34.4 percent.


While the U.S. Census Bureau pegs Rapid City's Native American population at 12.4 percent, or about 9,000 of the more than 72,000 Rapid City residents, a researcher at the Unversity of South Dakota's Government Research Bureau believes 26 percent is a better estimate based on multiple factors. Dashboard.raceseries.logo3

Professor Rich Braunstein told attendees of the South Dakota Demography Conference that he evaluated factors including the Census' own estimate of its undercount of the Native American population to people who report being of "multiple races" rather than only Native American to a transient population that travels to Rapid City from multiple reservations on any given day.

The image included in this post is the slide from Braunstein's presentation that breaks down his calculations. He estimates Rapid City's population at closer to 79,000 when undercounted populations are accounted for.

While the visitors from surrounding reservations might not be residents of Rapid City, Braunstein said he has information to indicate that many of those people maintain residences both on a reservation and in Rapid City. In addition, that population likely interacts with agencies and services within the city, including the Rapid City Police Department. Recently released data has shown that Native Americans are arrested and are victims of crime at rates much higher than the 12.4 percent Census population figure. 

Braunstein's research into this issue will be made publicly available in November in a report commissioned by the Rapid City Police Department

His keynote luncheon speech on Oct. 9 closed out the two-day demography conference, held at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology campus. The conference included a "Focus on the Economy" mini-conference the morning of Oct. 8 and featured presentations by experts on a variety of topics, including those listed below: 

 Find links to many of the presentation slides from the conference on the South Dakota Dashboard.

Sunday, 04 October 2015 18:00

Black Hills, SD Job Growth Both Up 13% Since 2000

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When it comes to the total number of jobs, the Black Hills region has bested the entire state of South Dakota for the rate of growth since 2000, according to federal data. But in recent years, the state has almost caught up when measuring the percentage of jobs created since 2000. The Black Hills region has grown jobs by 13.1 percent since 2000, while the state has grown jobs by 12.9 percent.

In 2014, the Black Hills had 84,725 jobs compared to 410,931 statewide. In 2000, those numbers were 74,884 and 364,119 respectively.

In any case, the Black Hills region weathered the Great Recession a bit better than did the state as a whole, but the state appears to be growing faster since then. Depending on how you break it down, the Black Hills lost its mojo either after 2005 -- when looking at year-over-year job growth -- or the region still maintains a slight edge, when measuring total job growth since 2000.

When the Great Recession hit in 2008, the Black Hills had added 11.4 percent more jobs since 2000, compared to the state's 9.1 percent. In 2009, the Black Hills region slid to 10 percent while the state slid to 6.9 percent.

In one sense, the state rebounded more quickly as it returned to its pre-recession job growth by 2012, when it logged a 10 percent growth rate since 2000. That did not happen for the Black Hills region until 2013, when it returned to 11.8 percent job growth since 2000. 

When looking at year-over-year job growth, the state as a whole began outpacing the Black Hills region in 2006 and has continued that trend, with the exception of 2008 and 2009. In 2005, the region and the state were nearly in-step with the region's jobs growing by 1.7 percent and the state's growing by 1.6 percent. In 2006, the state surged ahead, growing by 2.2 percent compared to the Black Hills' 1.2 percent. 

In 2008, Black Hills jobs expanded by 1.5 percent compared to the state's 1.3 percent, then in 2009 the region lost 1.3 percent of jobs compared to the state's 2 percent. Since 2010, the state's year-over-year job growth has outpaced the Black Hills region. In 2014, the region grew by 1.2 percent compared to the state's 1.6 percent. 

If both the Black Hills region and the state were to add jobs at a 1 percent rate in 2015, the Black Hills would maintain its edge in job growth since 2000, at 14.3 percent compared to the state's 13.1 percent. 

Read more about how the state of South Dakota is outpacing the nation as a whole for job growth. 


For the past seven years, about 11 percent of Rapid City's K-12 students have enrolled in private schools or home school, leaving about 89 percent of that population enrolled in the public school system, according to a Black Hills Knowledge Network analysis.  Education.Series.logo3

At the same time, the trend appears to be moving slightly towards more enrollment out of the public system, with recent highs of 11.6 percent of K-12 students enrolling in private schools or home school in 2013 and 2014.

Here's a look at enrollments, as reported by the South Dakota Department of Education, since 2007:

YearTotal K-12 PopulationRCAS EnrollmentNon-public Enrollment

% Enrolled in Non-Public

Home SchoolPrivate Schools
 2007 15,032 13,379  1,653  11%  543  1,110
 2008 14,751  13,077  1,674  11.3%  536 1,138 
 2009 14,470  13,126  1,614  10.9%  528 1,086 
 2010 14,926  13,280  1,646  11%  557  1,089 
 2011 15,143 13,506  1,637  10.8%  552  1,085 
 2012 15,599 13,898 1,701  10.9%  606  1,095 
 2013 15,498 13,702  1,796  11.6% 649 1,147 
 2014 15,662  13,846 1,816 11.6%   670 1,146 

Any growth trend appears to be in the home school sector, with home-school students comprising 3.6 percent of the total K-12 population consistently until jumping to 3.9 percent in 2012, 4.2 percent in 2013 and 4.3 percent in 2014.

Private school enrolment has comprised between 7 percent (in 2012) and 7.7 percent (in 2008) during the seven years analyzed. In 2014, private school enrollment 7.3 percent of Rapid City's total K-12 population.



The increasing enrollment in home school comes as the public Rapid City Area Schools have seen enrollment stagnate. A previous analysis showed that, as a proportion of the growthing population of Rapid City, public school students have gone from 24 percent in the late 1990s to 19 percent in 2014.

Between 2007 and 2014, Rapid City's total K-12 population grew 4.2 percent, starting at 15,032 in 2007 then dipping below 15,000 for three years during the Great Recession, then growing to 15,662 in 2014.

During the same time period, Rapid City's population grew 12 percent, from 64,889 in 2007 to 72,638 in 2014.



Native Americans far outpace Rapid City's white majority when it comes to arrests for felony and misdemeanor crimes, according to data provided by the Rapid City Police Department to the Black Hills Knowledge Network. Native Americans are also overrepresented as victims of crime.

Native Americans made up nearly 59 percent of the 8,228 people arrested by Rapid City police in 2014, compared to 35.5 percent for whites, 3 percent for blacks, 2.5 percent for “unknown,” 0.4 percent for Asians and 0.1 percent for “not specified.” (Races are self-identified by those arrested.)

The picture was similar for the 11,909 “offenders” (those arrested and/or suspected of crimes) identified by the police department. In 2014, Native Americans accounted for 55 percent of that group, compared to 37 percent for whites, 3.8 percent for “unknown” race, 3.4 percent for blacks, 0.5 percent for “not specified” and 0.3 percent for Asians.

Native Americans are also far more likely than whites to be the victims of a crime. In 2014, the Rapid City Police Department reports that Native Americans comprised nearly 33 percent of Rapid City's 5,780 crime victims, despite representing a much smaller share of the city’s total population. Meanwhile, 52 percent of crime victims were white, 10.5 percent “unknown” race, 2.2 percent black, 1.4 percent “not specified” and 0.6 percent Asian.

Citations for traffic offenses more closely resemble the racial make-up of Rapid City's general population, although Native Americans are overrepresented in this category also. Whites lead in this category, accounting for more than 71 percent of the 5,695 traffic citations issued by Rapid City police in 2014. Native Americans are next, accounting for 23.5 percent, followed by blacks at 2.5 percent, “not specified” at 1 percent, “unknown” race at 0.9 percent and Asians at 0.7 percent.

The U.S. Census reports that Native Americans accounted for 12.4 percent of the city's general population at the time of the 2010 census, compared to 80.4 percent for whites, 4.1 percent for “two or more” races, 1.1 percent for blacks and 1.3 percent for Asian/Pacific Islander. An ongoing study for the police department, however, suggests that with visitors from reservations in western South Dakota the Native American share of the resident and non-resident population on any given day might be significantly higher. That study is due to be released by the police department later in 2015.

To find other statistics on crime and policing in Rapid City, see the Rapid City Police Department’s 2014 Annual Statistical Report and our BHKN resource page on policing and race in Rapid City.

Media Coverage of This Issue

KOTA-TV: Rapid City police crunch race and arrest data. In early 2014, the Rapid City Police Department commissioned USD professor Rich Braunstein to examine why Native Americans are arrested at a rate so much higher than their percentage of the general population. The report is complete but has not yet been released. It contains recommendations for changes at the RCPD.

Analysis shows Native Americans in RC more likely to be arrested. Rapid City police say they are not surprised by the over-representation of Native Americans in crime statistics. They hope a study they commissioned, which will be released later this year, will help the community understand why it happens.

KEVN-TV: Native Americans represent largest crime victims and offenders according to new data. Police believe the creation of a new cultural adivsory committee could help address any problems.

This Black Hills Knowledge Network resource page provides links to additional information on this issue. 

About the Series

This is the final installment in the Black Hills Knowledge Network's 2015 Native Data Series, which examines what the available data shows about Native Americans living in the Black Hills region of South Dakota. As the state's and region's largest racial minority, the data often shows distinct differences from the white majority in some categories, while in other categories the data shows close similarities. This series seeks to examine both situations so community leaders and engaged citizens can better understand, respond to and plan for decisions that would affect Natives and non-Natives alike.

While Rapid City’s population has grown 25 percent over 20 years, public K-12 school enrollments are roughly equal to where they were nearly two decades ago, according to a Black Hills Knowledge Network analysis of data provided by Rapid City Area Schools.   Education.Series.logo3

In the 1997-98 school year, the city's population was 57,911 and K-12 enrollment was 14,166. By 2014, the city's population had grown to 72,638 while K-12 enrollment had slipped to 13,970, a drop of 1.4 percent.

The lack of growth in enrollments reflects the aging of the population in Rapid City. Between 2000 and 2010, the percentage of the population aged 0-17 declined from 25.3 percent to 23.9 percent. Meanwhile, the percentage of students enrolled in public schools has declined from 24.5 percent of the city’s total population in 1997-98 to 19.2 percent in 2014-15.

While enrollment has fluctuated over the last seventeen years — dipping as low as 12,914 in 2004-05 — the number of certified teachers and administrators working within the district has increased 27 percent from 560 in 1999-2000 to 771 in 2014-15. (1999-2000 is the most recent year for which the number of certified teachers was available.)

The number of certified staff made a leap between 2000-01 (596) and 2001-02 (678) then hovered around 700 before growing again between 2011-12 (701) and 2012-13 (769).

Meanwhile, the number of non-certified school employees was roughly the same in 2014 as it was in 1999-2000, 1,141 in 1999-2000 and 1,158 in 2014. The lowest number was 1,079 in 2002-03, while 2014 marked the highest number of non-certified staff.

Spending levels in 2014 are up 16.3 percent over 1997-98, when adjusted for inflation. Total spending in 1997-98 by the Rapid City Area Schools (in 2014 dollars) was $103 million compared to $123 million in 2013-2014. In the next Education Data Series installment, the budget trends of Rapid City Area Schools will be examined. 

Education Data Series

This look at enrollment trends in Rapid City's public schools is the seventh in a series of reports highlighting data specific to education prepared by the South Dakota Dashboard and the Black Hills Knowledge Network. The series examines what the available data shows about education funding, practices and achievements both statewide and in individual school districts. To view other segments, see our Education Data Series archive.

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