Poverty rates are highest in rural South Dakota.
Poverty rates are highest in rural South Dakota.
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Feb 25, 2016

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

 Read more about Incomes on the South Dakota Dashboard


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