• Disability rates in South Dakota held largely the same in 2015, at 12.0% from 12.1% in 2014. South Dakota's disability rate has gone from more than a full percentage point below the national rate in 2008 to a half-percentage point below the national rate in 2015.

  • The percentage of adult South Dakotans with diabetes was just 7.9% in 2016, the most recent year for which data is available. South Dakota remains below the nation as a whole, which recorded a 10.5% in 2016.

  • The increase in the obesity rate has become a national public health issue. More than 1in 4 adults in our state were obese in between 2012 and 2016. Adults in South Dakota are slightly more likely to be obese compared to rest of the nation, at 29.6% compared to the national rate of 29.8%t in 2016. 

  • South Dakota ranked 33rd among all states in the percentage of residents under 65 who had health care coverage in 2016. Just 10.3% of adults in South Dakota lacked health insurance compared to 10.0% nationally.  More than 73,990 residents – including more than 9,545 children – remained without health insurance.

  • Lincoln County had the lowest rate of uninsured in 2015, at 5.8%, while Bennett County had the highest rate, at 22.3% in 2015. 

Communities surrounding Sioux Falls boast South Dakota's lowest rates of residents lacking health insurance, while communities in the Black Hills dominate the list of those with the highest rates of uninsured residents, according to newly updated federal data. 

The five communities among South Dakota's most populous 27 municipalities with the lowest rates of uninured are all in southeast South Dakota. (The figures are averages for the years 2009-2013.) 

 Tea  3.4%
 Dell Rapids  4.3%
 Harrisburg  6.9%
 Brandon  7.1%
Canton 7.6%

Three of the five communities with the highest rates are in the Black Hills. See the complete list plus interactive charts and graphs on the South Dakota Dashboard's Health Insurance Coverage page

 Belle Fourche  21.3%
 Lead  21.1%
 Winner  20.7%
 Milbank  18.2%
 Hot Springs  17%

When looking at the state's three metropolitan areas and nine micropolitan areas, the Aberdeen micropolitan area (Brown and Edmunds counties) stands out as having the lowest rate of uninsured residents, at 8.1% for 2009-2013. The Spearfish micropolitan area (Lawrence County) has the highest rate, 17%. (To see the complete list, choose the "By metropolitan and micropolitan areas" option from the Breakdown drop-down menu on the graph linked to above.)

Among South Dakota's nine Indian reservations, the Yankton reservation has the lowest rate of uninsured, at 25.9%, while the Crow Creek reservation has the highest rate, 54.7%. (Access to federal Indian Health Service care is not considered to be health insurance.)

When looking at racial/ethnic groups, American Indians have the highest rate of being uninsured - 36.9% - while non-Hispanic whites claim the lowest - 10.1 %. These rates compare to the rates for Hispanics (29%) and blacks (16.6%) and Asians (17.6%). 

The rate of uninsured, under age 65, for the entire state of South Dakota is 13.7%, below the national rate of 16.7%. 


Published in Dashboard newsfeed

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
Tuesday, 11 November 2014 17:00

SD Sees Improvement in Preterm Birth Rate

By Northern Plains News
The seven-year improving trend in South Dakota’s preterm birth rate helped give more babies a healthy start in life and contributed to the improvement in the national rate, according to a recent report card by the March of Dimes.
South Dakota’s preterm birth rate was 10.7 percent in 2013, down from 12.7 in 2006, the year the national rate peaked. South Dakota again earned a B on the report card.
The national preterm birth rate fell to 11.4 percent in 2013 – the lowest in 17 years -- meeting the federal Healthy People 2020 goal seven years early. Despite this progress, the nation still received a “C” on the annual report card and still has the highest rates of preterm birth of any high resource country.
In South Dakota, the rate of late preterm births is 10.8 percent, the rate of women smoking is 26.4 percent and the rate of uninsured women is 16.9 percent.
These factors contribute to improved infant health in South Dakota, according to the March of Dimes:  
  • Reducing the percent of uninsured women of child-bearing age
  • Lowering the late preterm birth rate.
  • Reducing the percentage of women of childbearing age who smoke. 
These improvements mean not just healthier babies, but also a potential savings in health care and economic costs to society, according to the group.
Grades are based on comparing each state’s and the nation’s 2013 preliminary preterm birth rates with the March of Dimes 2020 goal of 9.6 percent of all live births. The U.S. preterm birth rate is 11.5 percent, a decline of 10 percent from the peak of 12.8 percent in 2006.
Published in Dashboard newsfeed
Saturday, 12 October 2013 00:00

Health Insurance Coverage

More South Dakotans Gained Health Insurance Coverage in 2016

More South Dakotans gained health insurance coverage in 2016, according to federal data. The state's overall uninsured rate dropped from 12.0% in 2015 to 10.3% in 2016. This places the Rushmore State near the national uninsured rate of 10.0%, down from 10.9% in 2015.

For health insurance coverage, South Dakota ranked 33rd among the 50 states, behind first-place Massachusetts at 2.9% and ahead of last-place Texas at 18.6%. Regionally, South Dakota outranked No. 44 Wyoming with a 13.4% uninsured rate. No. 4 Minnesota led the region with just 4.8% of its population under 65 without insurance. The table below provides additional information on health insurance coverage in the region:

 State Percent Uninsured National Rank
 Minnesota 4.8% 4th
 Iowa 5.0% 5th
 North Dakota 8.1% 8th
Montana 9.8%  28th
Nebraska 9.9% 30th
South Dakota 10.3% 33rd
Wyoming 13.4% 44th

For those under 18, South Dakota ranked 33rd, up seven places from 44th in 2015. Just 4.5% of individuals under 18 were without health insurance in 2016—the same rate as the national rate. Massachusetts ranked first in this category at 0.9% in 2016. Alaska was last, at 10.0%.

South Dakotans between the ages of 25 and 34 experienced an uninsured rate of 17.9%. Overall, however, the highest uninsured rate of 23.4% was found in the group of South Dakotans living in poverty, compared to 8.3% rate for those not living in poverty.

Of the Rushmore State’s metropolitan areas, the Rapid City metro area’s uninsured rate dropped to an eight-year low of 10.3% from 15.1% in 2015. By comparison, the Sioux Falls metro area dipped to 8.1% from 8.7%, and the Sioux City metro area fell to 6.8% from 8.1%.

Published in Health
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 00:00


South Dakota Posts Fourth Lowest Diabetes Rate in Nation

In 2016, just 7.9% of South Dakotan adults were diagnosed with either Type I or Type II diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This rate is lower than the national average of 10.5%.

The Rushmore State had the 4th lowest rate of diabetes across all 50 states, compared to 20th lowest in 2015. South Dakota ranked behind only No. 1 Colorado at 6.6%, No. 2. Utah at 7.2%, and No. 3 Alaska at 7.5%. West Virginia placed last in the nation with a diabetes rate of 15.0%.

States surrounding the Rushmore State also posted low diabetes rates in 2016.  Diabetes rates from the region can be viewed in the table below:

State Percentage Ranking
South Dakota 7.9 4
Montana 8.1 5
Wyoming 8.3 6
Minnesota 8.4 7
North Dakota 8.6 9
Nebraska 8.8 10
Iowa 9.3 14

Diabetes Rates Highest on Reservations

Data compiled from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that South Dakota's American Indian reservations have the state's highest rates of diabetes. In 2013, several of South Dakota’s reservation counties—Bennett, Buffalo, Corson, Dewey, Oglala Lakota, Bennett, Dewey, Mellette, Todd, and Ziebach Counties—had diabetes rates over 13.0%.*

Different South Dakota Regions Show Differing Trends

At 9.9%, the Sioux City metropolitan area had the highest rate of diabetes among South Dakota’s metro areas in 2013—the most recent year for which data is available—compared to 8.5% for Rapid City and 7.7% for Sioux Falls.Brookings had the lowest rate of diabetes among South Dakota’s metropolitan and micropolitan areas at 6.1%. Spearfish and Vermillion—also college towns with younger populations like Brookings—had relatively low rates at 7.3% and 7.7%. Pierre had the highest diabetes rate for South Dakota’s micropolitan areas at 9.5%, while both Huron and Mitchell had rates over 9.0%.

Education and Incomes

Some correlations can be drawn between income and education levels and the risk of diabetes. Individuals making less than $15,000 had were more than twice as likely to be diagnosed with diabetes (16.0%) than individuals making over $50,000 (6.3 %). Additionally, in 2016, 11.0% of individuals with less than a high school diploma were diagnosed with diabetes, compared to 5.6% of individuals with a college degree or higher.

*2013 is the most recent year for which sub-state data (counties, reservation area, and metropolitan and micropolitan areas) is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Published in Health
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 00:00


South Dakota Obesity Rate on the Rise

In 2016, 29.6% of South Dakotans were considered obese, according to federal data. The state’s rate is down slightly from the rate of 30.4% in 2015, and is also just below national rate of 30.1%. Several factors including race, gender, and income affect South Dakotans' risk, although the lines are not clearly drawn in all cases.

The Rushmore State ranked 30th among the 50 states for obesity. Montana had the third lowest rate of obesity in the nation, and also the lowest rate of obesity in the region at 23.4%. Iowa had the highest rate of obesity in the region at 32.1%.

State Percentage Ranking
Montana 25.5 6
Wyoming 27.7 16
Minnesota 27.8 17
South Dakota 29.6 23
North Dakota 31.9 36
Iowa 32.0 37
Nebraska 32.0 38

Obesity Rates Highest on Reservations

Data compiled from U.S. Census information shows that South Dakota's Indian reservations have the state's highest rates of obesity. In 2013, several of South Dakota’s reservation counties—Oglala Lakota, Dewey, Ziebach, Corson, and Buffalo Counties—had obesity rates around 40%.* Statewide, American Indians were the racial group with the highest obesity rates at 37.0%.

Different South Dakota Regions Show Differing Trends

Among South Dakota’s metro areas, Sioux City had the highest rate of obesity in 2013—the most recent year for which data is available—at 33.7%. The Rapid City and Sioux Falls metro areas had lower rates of obesity, at 28.2 and 27.4% respectively. The Black Hills region has same rate of obesity as the state as a whole.

Spearfish had the lowest rate of obesity among South Dakota’s metropolitan and micropolitan areas at 25.7%. Mitchell had the highest rate of obesity for South Dakota’s micropolitan areas at 33.6%, while Aberdeen, Watertown and Vermillion all hovered around 31%.

Education and Incomes

In 2016, obesity rates impacted individuals regardless of their income level. Individuals making making less than $15,000 had the lowest rate at 25.4% while those earning $25,000-$34,999 had the highest rates of obesity at 34.8% Nearly one-third of individuals with household incomes between $35,000-$49,999 and over $50,000 were obese during the same time period.

Less of a correlation can be seen in levels of education. In 2016, individuals with a high school diploma or GED had the highest rates of obesity, at 31.3%. This rate has decreased by nearly 4% since 2011. Meanwhile, obesity rates for individuals with a bachelor’s degree have increased over the same time period. In 2016, 28.7% of college graduates were obese, compared 26.1% in 2011. The%age of individuals who did not graduate high school and are obese has hovered between 30 and 31% since 2011.

According to 2016 data, more South Dakota men than women were obese. Statewide, 32.3% of men were obese in 2015 compared to 26.7% of women. The diabetes rate among South Dakotan men decreased by just short of one% from 2015-2016, while the diabetes rate among women fell by nearly two% over the same time period.

*2013 is the most recent year for which sub-state data (counties, reservation area, and metropolitan and micropolitan areas) is available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


Published in Health
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 00:00


SD's Disability Rate Just Below National Rate

South Dakota's disability rate has remained slightly below the national rate since 2013, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. In 2016, the disability rate in South Dakota was 12.2%, or 0.6% less than the national disability rate of 12.8%.

From 2015-2016, the Rushmore State's disability rate increased slightly from 12.0% to 12.2%, ranking the state 19th in the nation. The total number of disabled residents in South Dakota increased from 100,775 to 103,296.

Disability rates across South Dakota’s metropolitan areas varied slightly 2015 to 2016. The only metro area to experience a decline in in its disability rate was Sioux Falls, which fell from 10.2% to 9.3%. The Sioux City metro area’s disability rate increased over the same period of time, from 11.6% to 12.6%. Rapid City’s rate also increased from 13.3% to 13.7%.

Fall River County and its principal city, Hot Springs, had the highest percentage of residents with disabilities at 22.9% and 24.0%, respectively. Sturgis ranked third-highest among South Dakota cities with a disability rate of 16.3%.

Both Hot Springs and Sturgis are home to Veterans Affairs hospitals. The South Dakota State Veterans Home is located in Hot Springs as well. These facilities attract many military veterans seeking healthcare and other services, which increases the number of disabled persons in the region relative to the rest of the state. As a result the Black Hills region's average disability rate of 14.6% was higher than the overall state rate of 12.2% from 2011-2015.

Using models of disability from the Institute of Medicine and the International Classification of Functioning, the American Community Survey identifies disability as serious difficulty in one or more of four basic areas of functioning: vision, hearing, ambulation, and cognition.

Here's how South Dakota cities and counties compared with each other from 2012-2016, the most recent period for which data is available. (Data from 27 of South Dakota's largest municipalities were measured.)

South Dakota Disability Rates (2012-2016)
       Cities Counties
  Top Three Bottom Three Top Three Bottom Three
  Tea 3.5   Hot Springs 24.0   Lincoln 7.0   Fall River 21.5
  Harrisburg 3.9   Redfield 21.0   Stanley 8.5   McPherson 17.8
  Hartford 8.3   Chamberlain 19.9   Harding 9.0   Perkins 17.4

Read more about Health on the South Dakota Dashboard.

Published in Health
Page 3 of 3

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