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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Friday, 25 March 2016 00:00

SD City Data Profiles Now Online

The South Dakota Dashboard now offers concise statistical profiles for South Dakota cities with populations of 1,000 or more at

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau provides easy-to-read, one-page statistical profiles that include population, racial breakdown, gender breakdown, poverty rates, disability rates, home ownership rates, housing cost burden data, median income, median age and more for 66 cities.

For example, the city of Platte has a median income of $48,661 -- a bit below the statewide median income, and a poverty rate of 5.2 percent -- well below the statewide rate.

This new data set has been added to the South Dakota Dashboard's wealth of state- and county-level data that covers the same topics. Now, from Sisseton to Sturgis, from Elk Point to Eagle Butte, details about individual communities are available for free online.

City Profiles Currently Available


  • Aberdeen
  • Baltic
  • Belle Fourche
  • Beresford
  • Box Elder
  • Brandon
  • Britton
  • Brookings
  • Canton
  • Chamberlain
  • Clark
  • Clear Lake
  • Crooks
  • Custer
  • De Smet
  • Deadwood
  • Dell Rapids
  • Eagle Butte
  • Elk Point
  • Flandreau
  • Fort Pierre
  • Freeman
  • Garretson
  • Gettysburg
  • Gregory
  • Groton
  • Harrisburg
  • Hartford
  • Hill City
  • Hot Springs
  • Howard
  • Huron
  • Ipswich
  • Lead
  • Lemmon
  • Lennox
  • Madison
  • Martin
  • Milbank
  • Miller
  • Mitchell
  • Mobridge
  • North Sioux City
  • Parker
  • Parkston
  • Pierre
  • Platte
  • Rapid City
  • Redfield
  • Salem
  • Sioux Falls
  • Sisseton
  • Spearfish
  • Springfield
  • Sturgis
  • Summerset
  • Tea
  • Tyndall
  • Vermillion
  • Volga
  • Wagner
  • Watertown
  • Webster
  • Winner
  • Yankton


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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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Tuesday, 08 March 2016 00:00

TRIVIA TUESDAY: Women in South Dakota

The fourth installment of Trivia Tuesday is ready to enjoy. Impress your friends and coworkers after learning smart-sounding data from our sleek infographics. Further your education by scrolling to the end of the page and clicking the text links to dive deeper into the data at hand. This week’s installment focuses on women in South Dakota by the numbers.

women in sodak

  1. There are 424,000 women and girls in South Dakota, making up 49.7 percent of state's population. Approximately 17% are women of color, though that number may be even higher due to census estimation limitations for race.
  2. 72.2% of women are registered to vote, but only account for 22.2% of elected officials
  3. There are approximately 135,000, or 65% of working-age women participating in the South Dakota workforce.
  4. In 2014, female full-time workers in South Dakota made only 79 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 21%.
  5. 15.4% of South Dakotan women live in poverty
  6. The median household income for a single women with children in South Dakota is $25,000. The state median household income is $51,000.
  7. Approximately 29.3 percent of women 25 years or older hold a bachelor’s degree or higher. Surpassing men by 3.9%.
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Monday, 07 March 2016 00:00

SD Ranked No. 2 Retirement State

South Dakota's low taxes and the happiness of state residents earned a No. 2 ranking as a retirement hotspot from

South Dakota has one of the nation's lowest tax burdens at 7.1 percent, or an average of $3,318 per resident. That level of taxation ties South Dakota with the No. 1 retirement state, neighboring Wyoming. Only Alaska, with a tax rate of  6.5 percent, is lower.

Bankrate used data from Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality and other sources to rank all 50 states based on factors important to seniors: cost of living, quality of health care, taxes, crime and overall well-being.

Four of South Dakota's neighboring states also were ranked in the top 10. Besides No. 1 Wyoming, Montana ranked No. 6, Iowa ranked No. 8 and Nebraska ranked No. 10. 


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South Dakota’s economy grew faster than any other state in the union in the third quarter of 2015, according to new figures released by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. With an enormous contribution from agriculture, the state’s economy expanded by 9.2 percent in the quarter.

Agriculture accounted for nearly two-thirds of South Dakota’s economic growth and led other grain belt states to the top of the state rankings. Kansas, Iowa and Nebraska all finished in the top five states as well.

South Dakota also saw healthy increases in construction, retail trade, durable-goods manufacturing, finance and insurance, health care and professional services. The only sector to suffer a significant decline was wholesale trade, which was down 0.42 percent.

South Dakota’s third quarter growth reflects a positive turn in the somewhat volatile pattern of the economy in late 2014 and 2015. After declining by 2.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 and by 14.8 percent in the first quarter of 2015, the state’s economy bounced back in the second quarter of 2015, growing by 5.8 percent, before surging in the third quarter.



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White South Dakotans have substantially higher rates of employment than do their counterparts of color, with the gap being nearly double between Native American adults and whites, according to federal data

Between 2010 and 2014, an average of 79.8 percent of whites ages 16 to 64 had jobs, compared to 44.9 percent for Native Americans and 67.6 percent for other people of color. Overall during those years, an average of 76.1 percent of South Dakota adults were in the workforce. 

The federal government considers people to be “working” if they:

  1. did any work at all during the reference week as paid employees, worked in their own business or profession, worked on their own farm, or worked 15 hours or more as unpaid workers on a family farm or in a family business; or
  2. were “with a job but not at work,” that is, those who did not work during the reference week but had jobs or businesses from which they were temporarily absent due to illness, bad weather, industrial dispute, vacation or other personal reasons. 

Members of the military on active are not considered to be working, and those who volunteer only are not counted. 

Among South Dakota's nine American Indian reservations, the Lake Raverse reservation in northeast South Dakota recorded the most working adults while the Pine Ridge reservation in southern South Dakota recorded the least.

American Indian Reservations
  1. Lake Traverse -- 67.4 percent
  2. Yankton -- 63.1 percent
  3. Flandreau -- 59.2 percent
  4. Cheyenne River -- 53.6 percent
  5. Lower Brule -- 51.5 percent
  6. Crow Creek -- 50 percent
  7. Standing Rock -- 46.9 percent
  8. Rosebud -- 46.3 percent
  9. Pine Ridge -- 39.6 percent

On a county-by-county basis, rural areas where agriculture is a leading industry dominated the 10 counties with the most adults working, while counties home to American Indian reservations dominated the bottom 10. 

Top 10 South Dakota Counties
  1. Jones County -- 87 percent
  2. Stanley County -- 85.8 percent
  3. Lincoln County -- 84.2 percent
  4. Hyde County -- 82.8 percent
  5. McCook County -- 82.5 percent
  6. Codington County -- 82.4 percent
  7. Douglas County -- 81.8 percent
  8. Davison County -- 81.5 percent
  9. Miner County -- 81.5 percent
  10. Kingsbury County -- 81.4 percent
Bottom 10 South Dakota Counties 
  1. Oglala Lakota County -- 35.4 percent
  2. Corson County -- 46.6 percent
  3. Todd County -- 47.3 percent
  4. Ziebach County -- 52.9 percent
  5. Dewey County -- 53.8 percent
  6. Bennett County -- 54.3 percent
  7. Buffallo County -- 54.7 percent
  8. Bon Homme County -- 59.3 percent
  9. Mellette County -- 60.7 percent
  10. Jackson County -- 61 percent

Among the 11 metropolitan and micropolitan areas inside South Dakota's borders, the Watertown micropolitan area leads the pack while the Vermillion micropolitan area ranks the lowest. 

South Dakota Metropolitan and Micropolitan areas 
  1. Watertown micro area -- 82.4 percent
  2. Mitchell micro area -- 81.5 percent
  3. Pierre micro area -- 81.3 percent
  4. Sioux Falls metro area -- 80.9 percent
  5. Aberdeen micro area -- 80.9 percent
  6. Huron micro area -- 78.3 percent
  7. Rapid City metro area -- 75.1 percent
  8. Brookings micro area -- 75 percent
  9. Spearfish micro area -- 74.1 percent
  10. Yankton micro area -- 72.9 percent
  11. Vermillion micro area -- 65.2 percent

 Read more about South Dakota's workforce on the South Dakota Dashboard


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South Dakota's homeownership rate has held steady at about 68 percent in recent years, even through the Great Recession in 2008-2009, according to federal data. At the same time, the national homeownership rate has been steadily slipping, a trend that predates the recession. 

Nationally, 67.3 percent of United States residents lived in homes they owned in 2006 compared to 63.1 percent in 2014, the most recent year for which federal data is available. For South Dakota, the homeownership rate was 69.2 percent in 2006 and 68.2 percent in 2014. That places the state 12th nationally, behind No. 1 West Virginia (72.2 percent) and No. 50 New York (53 percent).

With an average homeownership rate above 71 percent from 2010-2014, white South Dakotans are nearly twice as likely to own their homes as are Native Americans and Asians, with homeownership rates under 38 percent. During that same time period, blacks had the state's lowest homeownership rate, at 22.4 percent, while Hispanics had a 41.5 percent homeownership rate. 

Low income and young South Dakotans were less likley to own their homes than their higher income and older counterparts. At the same time, homeownership among all income groups is down since 2000 while the statewide homeownership rate has remained exactly the same in 2000 and 2014 -- 68.2 percent.

One possible explanation is that homeownership among those with incomes above $75,000 was down just a tick while the number of South Dakota households in that income range went from 37,424 in 2000 to 94,083 in 2014. At the same time, the number in the below $20,000 category has dropped from 75,652 to 57,875. Here's a look at South Dakota homeownership by income level. 


 Below $20,000  44.9%  37.6%
$20,000 to $34,999   62.0%  53.3%
 $35,000 to $49,999  75.4%  66.2%
$50,000 to $74,999  85.5%  74.6%
$75,000 or more  90.8%  90%


The downward trend is not as consistent when homeownership rates are evaluated by age groups. The rate for some age groups ticked up while it ticked down for others. 


 AGE 2000 RATE  2014 RATE 
 24 & younger  17.8%  14%
 25-34  53.1%  54.0%
 35-44  72.5%  70%
45-54 78.7% 77%
55-64 81.3% 81%
65-74 80.6% 76%
75-84 70.7% 73%
85 & older 53.7% 50%

When evaluating by household type, married couples with no children were the most likely to own their homes in 2014 while single mothers were the least likely. Here are South Dakota's homeownership rates by household type in 2014: 

  • Married couple/no children -- 87%
  • Married couple with children -- 82%
  • Individual living alone -- 53%
  • Single man with children -- 52%
  • Single woman with children -- 40 percent 



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Monday, 08 February 2016 00:00

South Dakotans Getting More Educated

More South Dakotans have been going on to more education after high school as rates have risen steadily for those with bachelor's degrees and associate's degrees, according to federal data. Rates for those with advanced degrees and for those with some college but no degree have held roughly steady year to year.

At the same time, the proportion of South Dakotans without a high school diploma has been dropping, as has the rate of those who did not get further education beyond a high school diploma or GED. 

   Less than high school diploma  11.7%  8.3%
   High school diploma or GED   33.9%  30.6%
   Associate's degree   9.2%  11.3%
   Some college, no degree  20.3%  22%
   Bachelor's degree  17.6%  20%
   Professional/graduate degree  7.2%  7.8%

As the Rushmore State has improved its educational attainment, it continues to lag a few percentage points behind the nation as a whole. Rates have continued to increase across the United States. In 2014, 27.8 percent of South Dakotans had obtained a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 30.1 percent nationally. In 2006, those rates were 24.8 percent and 27 percent respectively.

In 2014, South Dakota ranked 29th nationally for the percentage of residents who have completed a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to No. 1 Massechusetts (41.2 percent) and No. 50 West Virginia (19.2 percent). The 29th rank is up from 34th for a rate of 26.6 percent in 2013.

When it comes to college degrees held by young adults, South Dakota has slipped behind the nation. In the years leading up to the Great Recession in 2008-2009, South Dakota exceeded the national rate for bachelor's degrees or higher among those age 25-34. Since the recession, that has reversed. In 2006, 30.3 percent of South Dakota's young adults held a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 28.8 percent nationally. In 2014, South Dakota's rate was 30.6 percent compared to 33.5 percent for the nation as a whole. 

Nationally, South Dakota again ranks 29th for the percentage of young adults holding college degrees, compared to No. 1 Massechusetts (50.1 percent) and No. 50 New Mexico (21.9). 

Metropolitan vs. Micropolitan vs. Non-metropolitan 

South Dakotans who live in a metropolitan area continue to rank 10 percentage points higher than those living in non-metropolitan areas for having earned a bachelor's degree or higher degree. Those living in micropolitan areas continue to hold these degrees at nearly but not quite the rate of those in metropolitan areas. 

For the years 2010-2014, 29.6 percent of South Dakotans in metropolitan areas held these degrees compared to 28.6 percent for micropolitan areas and 19.5 percent for non-metro areas. For the years 2005-2009, those rates were 27.5 percent, 26.9 percent and 17.5 percent respectively. In 2000, they were 24.5 percent, 24 percent and 15.1 percent respectively.

For bachelor's and advanced degrees, the Sioux Falls metro area continues to exceed the rate of the state as a whole and that of the Rapid City metro area. In 2014, the Sioux Falls metro area rate for bachelor's degree or higher was 32.6 percent compared to 27.8 percent for the state and 26.8 percent for the Rapid City metro area. 

Even higher rates are found in the Brookings and Vermillion micropolitan areas (homes to the state's two largest universities). For the years 2010-2014, the Brookings micropolitan area averaged a 41.4 percent rate for residents holding a bachelor's degree or higher, while the Vermillion micropolitan area averaged 43.1 percent. These rates are more than double the rates in the Huron and Watertown micropolitan areas. 

Educational Attainment and Demographics

In South Dakota, Asians are far more likely than any other racial or ethnic group to have earned a bachelor's degree or higher. For the years 2010-204, Asians averaged a rate of 43.5 percent on this score, compared to 28.1 percent for whites, 21.6 percent for blacks, 15.9 percent for Hispanics and 10.7 percent for Native Americans. 

Women have overtaken men for educational attainment in South Dakota, and they continued to widen the gap in 2014. In 2000, 20.8 percent of women had earned a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 22.3 percent for men. By 2006, 25.5 percent of women held college degrees compared to 24.2 percent of men. In 2014, the rate was 29.3 percent for women and 26.2 percent for men. 




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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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