Younger age groups in South Dakota are more diverse.
Younger age groups in South Dakota are more diverse.
South Dakota Dashboard chart
Jul 6, 2015

South Dakota Growing More Racially Diverse

South Dakota's population is gaining in racial diversity across all age groups, with the most racial diversity existing in the youngest age cohorts, newly updated federal data from the U.S. Census shows.

For South Dakotans ages 0-4, 28.6 percent were of color in 2014, according to South Dakota Dashboard analyses of U.S. Census data. That is up from 27.2 percent in 2010 and 21.6 percent in 2000.

By comparison, 3.5 percent of South Dakotans 85 and older were of color in 2014 – up from 2.4 percent in 2010 and 2.2 percent in 2000. For each five-year cohort that is older, the proportion of the population that is of color decreases.

For example, 18 percent of South Dakotans ages 35-39 were of color in 2014, compared to 16.3 percent for those ages 40-44 and 14.6 percent for those ages 45-49.

At the same time, each age group has become more racially diverse with each successive year. Those South Dakotans of color ages 35-19 grew from 11 percent in 2000 to 16.2 percent in 2010 to 18 percent in 2014. Those ages 40-44 grew from 9.1 percent in 2000 to 14.5 percent in 2010 to 16.3 percent in 2014.

At the same time, South Dakota's population of color shrinks as it ages. In 2014, 17,337 South Dakotans of color were ages 0-4; 13,769 were ages 15-19; 10,388 were ages 30-34; 7,070 were ages 44-49; 4,041 were ages 60-64 and 727 were 85 or older.

South Dakota's white non-Hispanic population does not follow the same trend. In 2014, white South Dakotans between age 50 and 64 outnumber any other age group, with those ages 54-59 being the most populous five-year cohort at 53,472. For whites under 65, the 40-44 age group was the smallest, at 39,117.


Aging Population

As South Dakota grows more racially diverse, it also grows older, although at a slower pace. The state's population 65 or older grew from 14.3 percent of the population in both 2000 and 2010 to 15.3 percent in 2014. This compares to 14.7 percent in 1990.

The population age 85 and older has held steady at 2.4 percent of the overall population since 2010, up from 2.1 percent in 2000 and 1.9 percent in 1990.

The state's ratio of retirement-age adults to working-age adults is also going up, from 23.6 percent of the population in 2010 to 25.4 percent in 2014. This compares to higher rates in 1990 (25.9 percent) and 2000 (24.4 percent). 

South Dakota's median age is 36.8, where it has remained since 2011. In 2010, it was 36.9.

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