South Dakota's poverty rate has remained below the national average except in 2009 when both rates were 14.3 percent.
South Dakota's poverty rate has remained below the national average except in 2009 when both rates were 14.3 percent.
Sep 22, 2016

Rapid City Posts Lower Poverty Rate than Sioux Falls for First Time in Recent History

Poverty rates in the Sioux Falls metropolitan area have been on a steady rise over the past three years, according to an analysis by the South Dakota Dashboard. Recently released data from the U.S. Census shows that the poverty rate rose from 9.0 percent in 2013 to 11.5 percent in 2015, leaving an estimated 28,285 people living below the poverty line.

A weak economy might be partly to blame. The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis reported this week that growth in the Sioux Falls metro area economy was tepid at best in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, the economy bounced back and grew by 2.2 percent, but that growth came at the expense of a decline in the manufacturing sector.

Comparatively, the Rapid City metropolitan area—comprised of Pennington, Meade, and Custer counties—has witnessed a decline in the poverty rate in recent years from 14.5 percent in 2013 to 11.9 percent in 2014 and just 10.5 percent in 2015.

Overall, post-recession poverty rates have hit a three year low of 13.7 percent in the Rushmore State. While the national average has decreased from 15.5 percent in 2014 to 14.7 percent in 2015, South Dakota's poverty rate has remained below the national average except in 2009 when both rates were 14.3 percent.

South Dakota ranks 24th nationally for poverty rates and has ranked 6th in the region for the past two years. Regionally, Minnesota posted the lowest rate, 10.2 percent, while Montana had the highest, 14.6 percent. Only two states (Nebraska and Mississippi) did not show a decrease in poverty rates from 2014. Nationally, New Hampshire posted the lowest rate, 8.2 percent, compared to No. 50 Mississippi with 22.0 percent.


State Poverty Rate in 2015 Rank
Minnesota 10.2% 3
North Dakota 11.0% 9
Wyoming 11.1% 10
Iowa 12.2% 16
Nebraska 12.6% 19
South Dakota 13.7% 24
Montana 14.6% 26

Gender also impacts poverty rates. Women have consistently been more at risk to live in poverty than men in South Dakota and the gap seems to be increasing. The female poverty rate remained unchanges at 15.4 percent in 2015, which is higher than pre-recession levels. The male poverty rate, however, decreased almost 1 percent from 2014 to 12.1 percent in 2015. The current rate is on par with male pre-recession poverty rates, excluding an abnormally low spike of 11.0 percent in 2008.


Related items

  • South Dakota Economy Shows Strong Earnings Growth

    The US Bureau of Economic Analysis released its Q1 Personal Income report on June 21, 2018. The report showed signs that the South Dakota economy…
  • Seniors in Micropolitan Areas See Increase in Median Household Income

    Seniors living South Dakota‚Äôs micropolitan areas experienced an increase in median household income from 2012-2016, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau. From 2007-2011,…
  • Median Household Incomes Vary by Race, Gender, and Household Type

    Among South Dakota households, married couples with children earned the highest wages, with median household incomes of $90,000 in 2016, according to recently released data…
  • Decrease in Farm Earnings Slows Personal Income Growth in South Dakota in 2017

    From 2016 to 2017, personal income in South Dakota grew by just 1.4%, according to a recent release by the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Only…
  • South Dakota Lags All Other States in Personal Income Growth in Third Quarter of 2017

    Personal income in South Dakota rose 0.1% between the second and third quarters of 2017, compared to a 0.7% increase for the nation, according to…

525 University Loop, Suite 202
Rapid City, SD 57701
(605) 716-0058   [email protected]