By Northern Plains News

South Dakota’s Indian reservation counties remain among the highest poverty rates for school-age children, according to new U.S. Census Bureau estimates released this month.

Nine South Dakota counties were in the top tier of counties nationally with poverty rates between 34.2 and 63.2 percent of the school-aged population. These counties are:
  • Corson
  • Ziebach
  • Dewey
  • Shannon
  • Jackson
  • Mellette
  • Bennett
  • Todd
  • Buffalo

These counties encompass the Cheyenne River, Rosebud, Pine Ridge and Crow Creek reservations.

On the other extreme, a number of South Dakota counties were among those with the lowest rates of poverty for school-aged children at 2.9 to 11.6 percent. These counties are:

  • Lincoln
  • Brown
  • Codington
  • Brookings
  • McCook
  • Hand
  • Hughes
  • Union
  • Campbell

Nationally, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates, the poverty rate for school-age children had no statistical change in 2,199 counties between 2007 and 2013 while 928 counties experienced an increase and 15 showed a decline.

The statistics are from the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates program, which, according to the Census Bureau, provides the only up-to-date, single-year income and poverty statistics for all counties and school districts — roughly 3,140 counties and nearly 14,000 school districts nationally.

"County school-age child poverty rates are still above their prerecession levels in metropolitan areas of California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, as well as the coastal areas of the Northeast and Great Lakes states," said Wesley Basel of the Census Bureau's Small Area Estimates Branch. "State and local programs use these statistics for distributing funds and managing school programs."

The Census Bureau says the findings show there were large concentrations in the South and West of the 972 counties with poverty rates statistically above the national average of 20.8 percent for school-age children

Conversely, 902 counties had poverty rates for school-age children that were statistically lower than the national rate. In five states, 80 percent of counties had rates lower than the national rate: Connecticut, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island and Wyoming.

The official poverty statistics for the nation were released in the fall showing a decline in the poverty rate for children under age 18 from the previous year for the first time since 2000.


Published in Dashboard newsfeed

Residents of rural areas in the United States tend to enjoy better mental health than do their urban counterparts, reports the Daily Yonder

Researchers who studied mental health data gathered by the County Health Rankings found that peak mental health is typically found in rural areas that are near an urban center, while the urban centers tended to have the poorest mental health. 

At the same time, much of South Dakota and the Upper Great Plains reported some of the nation's best mental health. In South Dakota, only Lake County residents reported mental health in the poorest category. They reported 4.4 poor mental health days per month, on average per capita. That is just enough to push Lake County in the worst cateogry, which ranges from 4.4 to more than 10 poor mental health days per month. 

Read more about Health & Wellness on the South Dakota Dashboard



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While national birth rates are dropping, South Dakota averages continue to rise, according to a study recently released by the Center for Disease Control.

South Dakota is one of six states to have an increasing birthrate. The national rate hovers at 12.5 live births per 1,000 people. South Dakota, however, averaged 14.6 in 2013. 

Other regional rates include:

  • Iowa-12.6
  • Minnesota-12.8
  • Montana- 12.1
  • Nebraska- 14.0
  • Wyoming -3.1

Utah had the highest birthrate at 17.6 and New Hampshire had the lowest at 9.4 births per 1,000 births.

To learn more about regional birth trends in Black Hills Counties, please explore the graph below. Included are the latest numbers from South Dakota Department of Health’s Office of Vital Records Birth Records Database.

Published in Data Items from BHKN
Monday, 27 October 2014 18:00

Shannon County Shrinking Rapidly

Shannon County’s population shrunk by 666 according to the most recent statistics. With a total of 1,202 people exiting the county and an influx of only 388 people, the county experienced a net loss of population due to migration. The majority of outbound migrants remained in South Dakota, specifically in Pennington (353) and Bennett Counties (105). Many moving out of state headed for Alaska (192), with a significant percentage ending up in Anchorage.

Those who do chose to relocate to Shannon County are most likely to be from Pennington County (81). The next largest county contributor isn’t even located within South Dakota borders. Denver County, Colorado held the second spot, contributing 36 migrants to Shannon County.

Other interesting Shannon County estimations include:

  • Movers from a different state: 130
  • Movers to a different state: 530
  • Movers from a different county in South Dakota: 208
  • Movers to a different county in South Dakota: 672
  • Movers from abroad: 10

 The above migration statistics were taken from the Census Flows Mapper and its most current data from the American Community Survey (2008-2012). 

Published in South Dakota Dashboard
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 00:00


South Dakota Adult Population Grows, Youth Population Stagnates

According to the US Census Bureau, the South Dakota population continues to age and the trend shows no sign of reversing. The fraction of adults aged 65 and older has grown from 14.3% of the state's population in 2010 to 16.3% in 2017. In 2010, the adult population between the ages of 18 and 64 numbered 494,802 – 60.8% of the total population of 814,180. According to 2017 estimates, the total population is now approximately 869,666, with 59.0% of those counted between the ages of 18-64 –a 1.8% percent decline.

Over the same time period, the US Census Bureau reports that the relative number of younger South Dakotans has declined slightly. Children between the ages of 0 and 4 years old have gone from 7.3% of the population in 2010 to 7.1% in 2017. Similarly, the fraction of children between the ages of 5 and 17 years old has plateaued around 17.6% since 2010.

The 65 and older group grew more than any other age group in terms of absolute population change, increasing by 25,043 between 2010 and 2017, while the 18- to 64-year-olds grew by 18,384, the 0-4-year-olds increased by 2,138, and the 5- to 17-year-olds grew by 9,921.

The overall aging trend in the state is due to the aging of the “baby-boomer” generation, as seen in the growing number of senior citizens in the state. The oldest South Dakotans, those 85 and older, have been growing as a subset of the 65 and older cohort. The number of these most senior citizens increased from 19,226 in 2010 (2.4% of the state population) to 20,781 in 2017 (also 2.4% of the state population).

The statewide retirement-to-working-age ratio (the number of retirees divided by the number of working-age adults) indicates that retirees account for a growing percentage of the population. The retirement-to-working-age ratio in South Dakota rose from 23.6% in 2010 to 27.6% in 2017.

While the state as a whole appears to be aging, Census data indicates that some counties are much greyer than others. With a median age of 54.7, Custer County had the Rushmore State’s greatest number of older residents in 2017. In contrast, Todd County had the state’s youngest population with a median age of 23.9.

Published in Demographics
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 00:00


South Dakota Population Grows Steadily, Remains 5th Least Populous State

South Dakota ‘s population growth has continued its steady pace according to the most recent population estimates from the US Census Bureau. As of 2018, the Census estimates that the population of South Dakota was 882,235, up approximately 1.4% from 869,666 in 2017. South Dakota was the 5th least populous state in the United States. Florida and Utah both saw their populations increase by 2.0% between 2017 and 2018, the highest positive rate of change nationally. West Virginia saw the largest decrease in population between 2017 and 2018 at -0.6%.

Metro and micropolitan areas were once again home for the plurality of South Dakota’s population. The states’ ten largest cities (according to 2018 estimates) had a combined population of 401,407, or 45.5% of the state’s total 2018 population. South Dakota’s three most populated counties were Minnehaha (192,876), Pennington (111,729), and Lincoln (58,807) – Minnehaha and Lincoln both contain parts of the Sioux Falls metro area, while Pennington County is the most populous county in the Rapid City metro area. In 2018, the Sioux Falls metro area had a population of 265,653, compared to the Rapid City metro area, which had a population of 148,749.

The total metropolitan population of South Dakota in 2018 was 430,021, compared to the micropolitan population of 233,202, and the non-metro population of 219,012. A metropolitan area contains a core urban area of 50,000 or more population. A micropolitan area contains an urban core of at least 10,000, but less than 50,000, population.

The Native America population also plays a large role in the demographics and culture of South Dakota. Of the nine Native American reservations in South Dakota, Pine Ridge was the largest, with a population of 19,779 in 2017, followed by the Lake Traverse (10,967) and Standing Rock (8,616) reservations. The smallest reservation in the state was the Flandreau reservation, which had a population of 442 in 2017.

Published in Demographics
Page 3 of 3

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