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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South Dakotans with disabilities are more likely to be older and in poverty than their counterparts without disabilities, according to federal data

Those over age 65 had a disability rate of 34.5 percent percent in 2014 compared to a rate of 10.3 percent for those ages 18-64. Those over age 85, 62.3 percent reported a disability in 2013, the most current year for which data is available. Children ages 5 to 17 had a disability rate of 4.1 percent in 2014, compared to a rate of 1.2 percent for those age 4 and younger. 

A disability is defined as serious difficulty in these areas of functioning: vision, hearing, ambulation, cognition and ability to care for oneself independently. In some subsets, this data was compiled and averaged for the years 2010-2014. 

21.9 percent of South Dakotans with disabilities lived in poverty in 2014, compared to the state's overall poverty rate of 14.2 percent. South Dakota's overall disability rate in 2014 was 12.1 percent, and its poverty rate for those with no disabilities is 13.1 percent.

Race also correlates to disability, with Native Americans and whites posting the highest disability rates while Asians and Blacks posted the lowest. The disability rates for American Indians, averaged for 2010-2014, was 13.5 percent and for whites, 12.2 percent. For Asians, it was 4.7 percent and for Blacks, 5.6 percent. Hispanics held the middle ground with a rate of 8.1 percent. 

Geographical Comparisons

South Dakota's overall disability rate in 2008 was measurably below the national rate, 10.7 percent vs. 12.1 percent. The state's rate rose steadily in subsequent years and is now nearly the same as the national rate, 12.1 percent vs. 12.6 percent.

At 12.1 percent in 2014, South Dakota ranks 20th among the 50 states for overall disability rate, compared to No. 1 Utah, at 9.6 percent, and No. 50 West Virginia, at 19.9 percent. Regarding the disability rate for those age 65 and older, South Dakota ranks 17th at 34.5 percent, compared to No. 1 Delaware at 30.4 percent and No. 50 Mississippi at 44.5 percent. 

Among South Dakota's 66 counties, Lincoln County posted the lowest disability rate at 6.2 percent for 2010-2014 compared to Fall River County with the highest rate of 21.1 percent. Among the 27 cities with populations of more than 2,500, Tea posted the lowest rate of 2.6 percent for the five-year period compared to Hot Springs with the highest rate of 21.4 percent. 

In general, cities in southeastern corner of South Dakota near Sioux Falls posted the state's lowest disability rates. With a rate of 14.1 percent for 2010-2014, the Black Hills region had a higher disability rate than did the state as a whole, at 12 percent. 

Disabilty rates varied widely among the state's nine Indian reservations, with the Rosebud reservation recording the highest rate of 17.4 percent. Here's a look rates on at all of the reservations:

  • Lower Brule -- 7.1%
  • Cheyenne River -- 11.4%
  • Standing Rock -- 11.6%
  • Pine Ridge -- 11.9%
  • Lake Traverse (Sisseton) -- 12.4%
  • Flandreau -- 12.9%
  • Yankton -- 13.8%
  • Crow Creek -- 17.2%
  • Rosebud -- 17.4%

South Dakotans living in a metropolitan or micropolitan area from 2010-2014 were less likely to have a disability than were those living in non-metropolitan areas. Disability rates were 11 percent for metropolitan areas, 12 percent for micropolitan areas and 14 percent for non-metropolitan areas, although rates among the micropolitan areas varied. Here's a look at the metropolitan and micropolitan areas:  

  • Sioux Falls metro -- 9.5%
  • Vermillion micro -- 9.5%
  • Aberdeen micro -- 9.8%
  • Brookings micro -- 9.9%
  • Pierre micro -- 10.2%
  • Yankton micro -- 13.2%
  • Rapid City metro -- 13.7%
  • Huron micro -- 13.7%
  • Watertown micro -- 13.7%
  • Mitchell micro -- 14.5%
  • Spearfish micro -- 14.8%
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Strong growth in the finance and insurance industries led South Dakota to the No. 2 spot nationally for growth in gross domestic product during the second quarter of 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. The state's GDP growth was 5.8 percent during that quarter. Washington state ranked first nationally with GDP growth of 8 percent, Oklahoma ranked 50th with -2.4 percent.

The finance and insurance sector grew 12.4 percent nationally and was the growth leader in 28 states. In South Dakota, the industry grew 2.42 percent during Q2 2015, putting the Rushmore State behind No. 1 Delware, with 2.42 percent growth, and ahead of No. 3 New York, with 2.16 percent growth. 

In South Dakota, growth in all other sectors was less than 1 percent, with three industries reporting negative growth -- mining, educational services and agriculture/forestry/fishing/hunting. (See tables attached to this post.) After finance and insurance, the real estate industry grew the most in South Dakota, at 0.74 percent. 

Drops in energy prices continued slumps in neighboring states of North Dakota and Wyoming, which ranked 47th and 49th nationally after recording negative GDP growth rates of 1.2 percent and 2.3 percent respectivally. Other neighboring states fared better, with Minnesota 14th, 4.5 percent growth; Iowa 16th, 4.5 percent growth; Nebraska, 19th, 4.3 percent growth and Montana 38th, 3.2 percent growth.

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Transportation-related injuries resulted in the highest number of work-related deaths in South Dakota in 2014, reports the Sioux Falls Argus Leader

That year, 12 of the state's 28 work-related deaths resulted from transportation incidents, according to data released by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Falls, slips and trips led to eight deaths, while contact with equipment or objects led to five. 

With nine deaths, the agiculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industry had the highest number. Construction came in second with six deaths. 

Read more about Workforce on South Dakota Dashboard

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Monday, 28 September 2015 00:00

SD Outpacing US for Job Growth

South Dakota has added jobs faster than the nation as a whole since 2000, with South Dakota's job growth at 12.9 percent over 14 years, according to recently updated federal data. 

Over the same time period, national job growth was 5.2 percent, an addition of 6.7 million jobs to a total of 136.6 million in 2014. During the Great Recession, the total number of jobs nationwide dipped below the 129.9 million that were present in 2000. In 2010, jobs dropped to a low of 127.8 million before growth resumed in 2011.

South Dakota lost jobs during the Great Recession years but did not come close to falling below the 364,119 jobs the state had in 2000. The recession took the state's total jobs number from 397,108 in 2008 to about 389,000 in 2009 and 2010 before job growth resumed. By 2012, the state's total jobs topped 400,000. In 2014, it hit 410,931. 

Between June 2014 and June 2015, South Dakota ranked 15th nationally with 2.3 percent job growth. That compares to No. 1 Utah, with 4.5 percent job growth, and No. 50 West Virginia, which experienced 0.6 percent job loss. During that year, South Dakota led all of its neighbors for job growth, with No. 29 Iowa the next highest, at 1.5 percent growth. At the same time, Wyoming ranking 49th with a loss of 0.1 percent. Low oil prices have slowed down North Dakota, which ranked 47th with job growth of 0.4 percent.


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Sunday, 20 September 2015 00:00

Men Outpacing Women In SD

Since 2009, males have been the majority in South Dakota and they have been growing faster than females in recent years, according to recently updated federal data

In 2000, women and girls outnumbered men and boys by 5,728 -- 380,286 females compared to 374,558 males. By 2014 that dynamic had reversed, with males outnumbering females by 5,451 -- 429,313 males compared to 423,862 females. 

In 2009, males overtook females in the state, with 403,869 males compared to 403,198 females. Since then, males have made larger gains than females, growing 5.4 percent between 2010 and 2014 compared to 4.2 percent growth for the female population. Overall, South Dakota's population grew 4.8 percent during that time. 


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