Thursday, 09 June 2016 00:00

Females Close Income Gap With Males In SD

Over the past 25 years, female-headed households in South Dakota have seen inflation-adjusted median income double in a trend that is on track to close the gap with male-headed households, according to federal data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

In 1989, female-headed households had median income of $22,925 compared to $50,626 for male-headed households. By 2014, those incomes were $44,000 for female-headed households and $56,000 for male-headed households. All income figures have been inflation-adjusted to 2014 dollars. 

While incomes for both male- and female-headed households have bounced up and down year-to-year since 2006, the overall trend for female-headed households has been upward. The $44,000 median income of 2014 was the highest for female-headed households, while male-headed households found their highest income in 2010 at $59,682. The overall income trend for male-headed households has been flat.

Statewide, the trend for median income has been flat since 2006 despite gains by female-headed households. Statewide, median income went from $50,487 in 2006 to $51,000 in 2014. 

Median Income by gender grid Wilder 

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Median income for American Indian households in South Dakota is less than half that of white households and significantly less than other households of color, according to federal data

In addition, American Indian incomes, when adjusted for inflation, have slid since at least 1999 when they were $27,563. Between 2005-2009, American Indian incomes were $25,804. Between 2010-2014, they were $24,747. That compares to $39,183 for other South Dakotans of color from 2010-2014 and to $52,588 for white South Dakotans during that time. 

Median Income data by race


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Tuesday, 19 April 2016 00:00

SD Farm Income Falls 77% As Boom Halts

Drops in grain prices and cattle values drove the average South Dakota farm income down a dramatic 77 percent in 2015, more than $100,000, reports the Mitchell Daily Republic and the Pierre Capital Journal

The drop to an average farm income of $38,898, the lowest since 2008, comes after a six-year boom where incomes averaged $162,915 and after a robust 2014 when the state's average farm income was $168,361. In 2015, the bottom 20 percent of farm operations operated at losses averaging $172,000, the study found. 

An annual study done by Mitchell Technical Institute's South Dakota Center for Farm/Ranch Management released the findings based on a sample of 111 farming operations, averaging 905 acres of crops and 567 acres of pasture for livestock.

The study's authors said the current situation has echos of the 1980s farm crisis but added that farmers are much more solvent now, owning an average of 70 percent of their operations outright. In addition, the double-digit interest rates of 30 years ago are absent today. 

Read the full report attached to this post. 

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Monday, 18 April 2016 00:00

SD Ranks 50th For Childcare Costs

South Dakota ranks lowest among the 50 states for the percentage of median income families pay for childcare, according to an analysis published by the Rapid City Journal

In South Dakota, families pay an average of 11 percent of the state's median income ($53,053 in 2014) to have one child in care and an average of 20 percent for two children. In 2015, that was $5,661 and $10,465 respectively. Neighboring Wyoming ranks 49th, while North Dakota and Nebraska rank 39th and 38th, respectively.  Iowa ranks 29th, Montana is 20th and Minnesota is 5th. 

In No. 1 New York, the average cost for one child in care is $14,144, or 26 percent of the state's median income, $54,310. 

The analysis drew data from a report, "Parents and the High Cost of Childcare" by Childcare Aware of America, along with median income data from the U.S. Census Bureau


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While one South Dakota county (Hanson) smack in the middle of farm country posted among the state's highest median household incomes in 2014, overall, rural residents took in about $12,000 less income than did South Dakotans living in metropolitan areas. 

The good news for South Dakotans living in non-metropolitan areas is that their median household income has been growing faster than that of metropolitan and micropolitan areas. Still, the 2014 median household income for non-metro parts of the state was $44,208 compared to $56,591 for metro areas and $51,257 for micropolitan areas. 

In 2007, before the Great Recession hit, those incomes were $41,522 in non-metro areas, $56,568 in metro areas and $49,293 in micropolitan areas. (All figures are inflation-adjusted to 2014). 

Among South Dakota's metropolitan and micropolitan areas, the Sioux Falls and Pierre areas lead for income while the Vermillion area ranks last. Here's a look at incomes in those areas averaged from 2010 to 2014: 

  • Pierre micro, $58,027 (Hughes, Stanley and Sully counties)
  • Sioux Falls metro, $57,356 (Lincoln, McCook, Minnehaha and Turner counties)
  • Aberdeen micro, $52,641 (Brown and Edmunds counties)
  • Mitchell micro, $51,192 (Davison and Hanson counties)
  • Rapid City metro, $51,041 (Custer, Meade and Pennington counties) 
  • Yankton micro, $50,044 (Yankton County) 
  • Sioux City metro, $49,843 (Union County [SD], Dakota and Dixon counties [NE], Plymouth and Woodbury counties [IA])
  • Brookings micro, $48,406 (Brookings County) 
  • Watertown micro, $47,891 (Codington County) 
  • Spearfish micro, $44,267 (Lawrence County)
  • Huron micro, $44,258 (Beadle County)
  • Vermillion micro, $36,627 (Clay County)

Consistently, counties surrounding the state's largest city of Sioux Falls rank high for income while those on the state's nine American Indian reservations rank low. Here's a look at the top and bottom five counties for median household income in 2014: 

Top 5 Income Counties 2014
  • Lincoln, $79,857
  • Union, $72,041
  • Stanley, $67,172
  • Hanson, $61,945
  • Sully, $59,879
Bottom 5 Income Counties 2014
  • Jackson, $31,922
  • Corson, $31,420
  • Todd, $27,481
  • Oglala Lakota, $27,244
  • Buffalo, $21,658

Among the state's nine Indian reservations, the Lake Traverse reservation in northeastern South Dakota posted the highest income for 2010-2014 while the Rosebud reservation in south-central South Dakota posted the lowest. 

  • Lake Traverse reservation, $46,717
  • Flandreau reservation, $40,833
  • Lower Brule reservation, $37,763
  • Yankton reservation, $36,278
  • Standing Rock reservation, $35,278
  • Cheyenne River reservation, $33,207
  • Crow Creek reservation, $30,344
  • Pine Ridge reservation, $30,060
  • Rosebud reservation, $28,514


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Nearly half of South Dakota's Native Americans live in poverty, a chronic situation that has remained stagnant since at least 1999, according to federal data. At the same time, other people of color have experienced a growing poverty rate over the past five years. 

Both Native Americans and whites appear to experience unchanging poverty rates, albeit widely different rates. For Native Americans, the rate from 2010 through 2014 was 48.4 percent, compared to a 48 percent rate in 1999 and 47 percent from 2005-2009. For whites, the rate was 9.7 percent in 1999 and 9.8 percent from 2005-2014. 

For other South Dakotans of color, poverty has been a growing issue. For blacks, the poverty rate has grown from 22.9 percent in 1999 to 26.9 percent from 2005-2009 and 31.9 percent from 2010-2014. For Asians, the rate has grown from 12 percent in 1999 to 14.1 percent from 2005-2009 and to 20 percent from 2010-2014. 

Hispanics experienced a slightly better poverty situation, with the rate growing from 22.7 percent in 1999 to to 26.3 percent from 2005-2009, then dropping to 25.6 percent between 2010 and 2014.

Statewide, the rate has ticked up, from 13.2 percent in 1999 to 13.5 percent between 2005 and 2009 to 14.2 percent between 2010 and 2014. 


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Thursday, 25 February 2016 00:00

SD Rural Poverty Rate Twice That Of Metro Areas

The poverty rate in rural South Dakota is about twice that of the state's metropolitan areas and is substantially higher than the poverty rate in the state's nine micropolitan areas, according to federal data

In 2014, the poverty rate across South Dakota's non-metropolitan areas was 20.9 percent, compared to the 10.9 percent average for the Sioux Falls, Rapid Ctiy and Sioux City metro areas. In the micropolitan areas, the poverty rate averaged 13.1 percent. Statewide, the rate was 14.1 percent.

That continues a trend that goes back to at least 2006, when the poverty rates were close to 2014 rates in each category. 

Among the metropolitan and micropolitan areas, the poverty rate in the Vermillion micropolitan area far exceeds the others with one in four residents in poverty. Here's a look at the 2014 rates for each area. 

  • Vermillion micro -- 24.9 percent
  • Huron micro -- 15.1 percent
  • Brookings micro -- 14.1 percent
  • Yankton micro -- 13.8 percent
  • Spearfish micro -- 13.6 percent
  • Rapid City metro -- 13.2 percent
  • Sioux City metro -- 13.1 percent
  • Mitchell micro -- 11.7 percent
  • Aberdeen micro -- 11.7 percent
  • Pierre micro -- 10.4 percent
  • Watertown micro -- 10.3 percent
  • Sioux Falls metro -- 9.9 percent

The poverty rate varies greatly among South Dakota's 66 counties, with a low of 4.3 percent in Lincoln County in southeast South Dakota to a high of 52.2 percent in Oglala Lakota County on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. 

The poverty rate on South Dakota's Indian reservations far exceeds the statewide rate on eight of nine reservations. Here's a look at the poverty rate on the reservations, averaged during the years 2010-2014. 

  • Pine Ridge reservation -- 49.2 percent
  • Rosebud reservation -- 48.5 percent
  • Standing Rock reservation -- 40.2 percent
  • Lower Brule reservation -- 37.3 percent
  • Cheyenne River reservation -- 34.7 percent
  • Crow Creek reservation -- 33 percent
  • Yankton reservation -- 31.8 percent
  • Lake Traverse (Sisseton) reservation -- 22.9 percent
  • Flandreau reservation -- 14.1 percent

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Median household income grew 3.55 percent in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area from 2013 to 2014, outpacing statewide growth of 2.5 percent and further outpacing the Rapid City metropolitan area growth of 0.8 percent, according to federal data

In the past decade, the four-county Sioux Falls metro area has experienced much bigger swings, both up and down, in median household income than the rest of South Dakota. (All calculations have been done using figures inflation-adjusted to 2014 dollars.) Even with a drop exceeding 10 percent in one year, the Sioux Falls metro area continues to post household incomes thousands of dollars above the rest of the state.

The one exception was 2012, when the median income in the Rapid City metro area was at $51,941 and the median income in the Sioux Falls metro area dipped to $53,345.

Median income by metro area in 2014

One of the Sioux Falls metro area's four counties -- Lincoln County -- maintained its No. 1 rank for median household income in 2013, at $78,567, nearly $12,000 ahead of No. 2 Union County, at $66,831. Furthermore, when much of the rest of the state suffered economic setbacks as the Great Recession took hit 2008, Lincoln County's median household income grew 7 percent, going from $71,992 in 2007 to $77,066 in 2008 (in inflation-adjusted dollars). The county's household income has hovered just below $80,000 ever since, coming in at $78,567 in 2014. 

For the other three counties in the Sioux Falls metro area -- McCook, Minnehaha and Turner -- median household incomes have hovered closer to $50,000 (in inflation-adjusted dollars) since the recession. 

Here's a look at changes in median household incomes since 2006: 



(inflation-adjusted to 2014)
2006  $60,264  N/A
2007   $57,419 -4.7% 
2008  $62,545


2009  $55,725 -10.9% 
2010  $56,488 +1.4% 
2011  $58,527 +3.6% 
2012  $53,345 -8.85% 
2013  $56,841 +6.55% 
2014   $58,849 +3.5% 



(inflation-adjusted to 2014)
2006  $51,912  N/A
2007  $50,753 -2.2% 
2008  $49,220 -3% 
2009  $51,029 +3.7% 
2010  $51,088 +0.1% 
2011  $53,007 +3.8% 
2012  $51,941 -2% 
2013  $49,413 -4.9% 
2014  $49,808 +0.8% 



(inflation-adjusted to 2014)
2006  $50,241  N/A
2007  $49,582 -1.3% 
2008  $50,607 +2.1% 
2009  $49,705 -1.8% 
2010  $49,818 +0.2% 
2011  $50,856 +2.1% 
2012  $49,858 -2% 
2013  $49,724 -0.3% 
2014  $50,979 +2.5% 
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Monday, 01 February 2016 00:00

37,000 South Dakota Children In Poverty

More than 37,000 South Dakota children lived in poverty in 2014, with more than 14,000 of those living below half the poverty line, according to recently updated federal data

The U.S. Census Bureau uses a set of dollar value thresholds that vary by family size and composition to determine who is in poverty. For example, for a family of two adults and two children interviewed in July 2014, the federal poverty threshold was about $23,818. The poverty threshold for a family of this size and composition will vary slightly depending on the month. 

Both the number and percentage of South Dakota children living below poverty rose after the Great Recession in 2009, while at the same time the number and percentage living at below half the poverty threshold has dipped. The overall percentage of children living in poverty in the years leading up to the recession was about 16 percent, split about evenly between those living below 50 percent of poverty and those living between 50 and 99 percent of poverty. 

Nearly every year since 2009, about 18 percent of South Dakota's children have lived in poverty. Of those, between 10 and 11 percent have lived between 50 and 99 percent of poverty and less than 8 percent have lived at below half of poverty. The 2014 rate of 7 percent (14,546 children) at below half of poverty marks a low in both percentage and total number since at least 2006. 

At the same time, the 10.9 percent (22,581 children) living between 50 and 99 percent of poverty in 2014 marked the highest number since at least 2006 (though the increase is well within the margin of error) and tied with 2009 for the highest percentage in that time period. 

Meanwhile, more children moved into higher income categories in 2014. Here's a look at other income strata for that year: 

  • 100-199 percent of poverty -- 22.4 percent/46,212 children, tied with 2011 for the lowest percentage in this category.
  • 200-299 percent of poverty -- 19.8 percent/40,944 children, the lowest percentage and 3rd lowest number since 2006.
  • 300-399 percent of poverty -- 18 percent/37,062 children, the highest percentage and number since 2006.
  • Above 400 percent of poverty -- 21.8 percent/44,989 children, the highest percentage and number since 2006. 


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From 2013-2014, median income for South Dakotans 65 and older dropped more than $1,600, which does not appear to be a trend in other states. The drop puts the state in last place among its neighbors and 43rd nationally for median income for older residents, according to federal data

However, an even more significant drop in median income for this subset of the population in the Rapid City metropolitan area appears to be a factor in the statewide decline. Statewide, median income for that age group went from $36,931 in 2013 to $35,240 (in inflation-adjusted dollars). At the same time, income dropped more than $7,500 in the Rapid City metro area -- from $43,877 to $36,319 -- while it dropped only about $500 in the Sioux Falls metro area to $39,423.

For South Dakota's metro areas, median incomes for those 65 and older are either below 1999 levels or nearly even, in inflation adjusted dollars. Statewide, income for this group is up since 1999. 


  1999 2014
 Rapid City metro area  $41,400  $36,319
 Sioux Falls metro area  $39,238  $39,423
 Sioux City metro area  $36,205  $32,647
 South Dakota  $33,791  $35,240


Here's how South Dakota's income for senior citizen stack up regionally and nationally. The list is in the order of the largest drop in income to the largest gain, between 2013 and 2014.

  • South Dakota -- $36,931 to $35,240 (-$1,691)
  • Wyoming -- $41,584 to $40,773 (-$811) 
  • Nebraska -- $37,936 to $37,174 (-$762) 
  • Montana -- $36,020 to $35,710 (-$310)
  • Iowa - $37,273 to $37,099 (-$174)
  • United States -- $38,448 to $39,186 (+$738)
  • Minnesota -- $39,143 to $40,041 (+$898)
  • North Dakota -- $35,853 to $37,196 (+$1,343)


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