South Dakota Population 2020

903,027

The current population of South Dakota is estimated at 858,469, which shows an increase from the 2010 Census. The state currently enjoys a growth rate of 1.17%, which ranks 11th in the country.

The last national census in the United States took place in 2010, and it was confirmed at the time that the population of South Dakota was 814,180, which represented a rise of nearly 8% on the numbers declared in 2000. An estimate of the state's population from July 2015 places it at 858,469, which makes South Dakota the 46th most populous state in the US.

Situated in the northern midwest, the US state of South Dakota is the 17th largest in the Union but has a relatively sparse population by comparison. Like its near neighbor North Dakota, the state's geographical features do not lend themselves to mass urban settlements, and a lack of choice when it comes to employment has seen an exodus to other parts of the country.

South Dakota Area and Population Density

Not only is South Dakota the 46th largest state in the US in terms of numbers, it also shares that rank with regards to population density. The state is a vast area, covering 77,116 square miles, which makes it the 17th largest state in the country by area, but for each of those square miles, there is an average of just 10.7 people. It's the 46th most densely populated state in the US.

Like other Great Plains states, South Dakota has seen a dropping population in its rural areas for many decades in a phenomenon known as "rural flight." Between 1990 and 2000, 9 counties in the state saw a population drop greater than 10%, with one county losing 19% of its population in just a decade.

Despite this, many areas of South Dakota are seeing increases in population. The Sioux Falls city area, large counties along Interstate 29, the Black Hills area and many Indian reservations have enjoyed growing populations. Lincoln County in particular is notable as the 9th fastest growing county (in terms of percentage) in the country.

The two most populated counties in the state are Minnehaha and Pennington with respective populations of 188,616 and 110,141.

South Dakota Gender and Religion Statistics

The median age across the population of South Dakota is approximately 36.8 years of age. In terms of the ratio of females to males in the population of the state, the divide sits at 49.7% female while males make up the remaining 50.3%.

In terms of religious preferences among the residents of South Dakota, the numbers are currently at 79% Christian based faith affiliations, 3% non-Christian based faith affiliations, and 18% of residents unaffiliated with any religion.

South Dakota Boundary, Census, and Statehood History

Most of present-day North and South Dakota was acquired as part of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, and was included in Louisiana (soon renamed Missouri) Territory. The part generally west of the Missouri River remained in Missouri Territory until becoming part of Nebraska Territory, formed in 1854. The portion east of the Missouri River became part of Michigan Territory (1834), Wisconsin Territory (1836), Iowa Territory (1838), and Minnesota Territory (1849). After Minnesota became a State in 1858, this area remained unorganized until Dakota Territory was established in 1861, including all of the present-day Dakotas as well as most of Montana and the northern half of Wyoming. After 1868 Dakota Territory corresponded to the present two States, plus an area transferred to Nebraska in 1882. South Dakota (like North Dakota) was admitted as a State on November 2, 1889 with essentially its present boundaries.

Present-day South Dakota had no census coverage in 1850. The population given for 1860 is for the whole of Dakota Territory as organized in 1861, essentially comprising present-day South and North Dakota east of the Missouri River; no determination has been made to assign the 1860 total to what became the two separate States. In 1860, some forts and settlements in the present State also were enumerated in Nebraska Territory. The 1870 and 1880 populations consist of the totals of those counties of Dakota Territory located wholly or primarily in what is now South Dakota, plus (in 1870) an estimated portion of the Territory's unorganized part. The total population of Dakota Territory was 14,181 in 1870 and 135,177 in 1880. Considerable portions of the State were not covered by the census until 1900.

South Dakota Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of South Dakota was:

  • White: 84.47%
  • Native American: 8.72%
  • Two or more races: 2.67%
  • Black or African American: 1.88%
  • Asian: 1.46%
  • Other race: 0.77%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.03%

South Dakota Population History

The first recorded population figures date from 1860 when it was reported that 4,837 South Dakotans were already living in the area. Ten years later those numbers had jumped to 11,776, but the biggest spike in South Dakota population history was to follow as a leap of over 700% took those numbers to 98,268.

By the beginning of the 20th century, the population of South Dakota had reached 401,570, and while the overall picture throughout the 1900s was one of growth, there have been censuses where numbers fell on a decade by decade basis.

The blame for this was put firmly on a phenomenon called rural flight which saw a ‘brain drain’ of sorts, particularly among University graduates who sought a future away from the unpredictable life of subsistence farming.

South Dakota Population Growth

South Dakota is enjoying steady growth that is expected to continue, and it is actually growing faster than the country for the first time in more than 50 years. It's believed this growth is due to more working-age adults, as well as the high birth rate that exceeds the national average, a low death rate and migration to the area as manufacturing jobs have increased 458% from 1970 to 2000, while retail grew 79% and finance jobs 137%.

In recent years, the population of South Dakota has returned to healthy growth, and from 1980 onwards, there has been an increase in numbers. Could the most recent increases be due to the growth of the internet, the rise in remote working and therefore a reduction in the need to leave the state to seek work elsewhere?

South Dakota Population Projections

Whatever the reasons may be, with growth levels around 8% between Censuses at present, the population of South Dakota should be on its way to the next milestone in 2020.

South Dakota Growth Rate

South Dakota Population Rank

South Dakota Population 2020

South Dakota Facts

  • Arikara, Sioux and Cheyenne Indian tribes lived in the area until the 1700s, when the Sioux forced all other tribes off of the land.
  • Today, the Sioux Nation's Dakota, Lakota and Nakota tribes still reside in South Dakota.
  • The state has one of the largest populations of Native Americans. Approximately 60,000 people from nine official tribes reside within South Dakota.
  • Fort Pierre was the first permanent settlement in the state. It was established in 1817.
  • However, real population growth did not begin until gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1874.
  • Wall Drug Store in the town of Wall is world famous for how it pulled in business using ice water.

Minnehaha County

  • Population192,876
  • Density238.96 per sq km
  • Growth Since 201013.49%
  • State Population Rank1
  • % of State21.86%

The counties located within the state of South Dakota have seen both increases and decreases in population since the last US Census was taken in 2010 compared to estimates taken by the Census Bureau in 2015. There were five counties that had population growths exceeding 5%, while two of these counties had population growth of over 10%. The highest growth was posted in Lincoln at 16.98%, followed by Lake County at 11.88%. The remaining counties that had increases of more than 5% are Minnehaha, Jackson, and Buffalo. Other counties such as Dewey, Meade, and Pennington reflected smaller increases during the 5-year period.

Some counties in South Dakota had decreasing populations between 2010 and 2015. The highest loss occurred in Jones County, with an 8.06% loss. Campbell County and Miner County each saw decreases in population that exceeded 5%, while counties such as Day, Grant, Tripp, and Fall River posted smaller losses in population.

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White730,06284.47%
American Indian and Alaska Native75,3318.72%
Two or More Races23,0892.67%
Black or African American16,2411.88%
Asian12,6601.46%
Some Other Race6,6130.77%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander2930.03%

South Dakota Population Pyramid 2020

South Dakota Median Age

36.8


Total

35.8


Male

38


Female

South Dakota Adults

There are 651,223 adults, (136,808 of whom are seniors) in South Dakota.

South Dakota Age Dependency

68

Age Dependency Ratio

26.6

Old Age Dependency Ratio

41.4

Child Dependency Ratio

South Dakota Sex Ratio

Female

428,528

49.58%

Male

435,761

50.42%

South Dakota Households and Families

South Dakota Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

South Dakota Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married86.2%13.8%
All68.1%31.9%
Male59%41%
Non Family49.9%50.1%
Female47.2%52.8%

68.1%

Rate of Home Ownership

Type Count Average Size Owned
All341,5652.4368.1
Married170,3523.0486.2
Non Family124,5801.2449.9
Female31,7843.4347.2
Male14,8493.2759

3.03

Average Family Size

2.43

Average Household Size

5.9%

Unmarried (Opposite Sex)

0.2%

Unmarried (Same Sex)

South Dakota Education

Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade17,8923.16%
9th to 12th Grade29,0525.12%
High School Graduate173,26230.55%
Some College120,32521.22%
Associates Degree65,07511.48%
Bachelors Degree112,42619.83%
Graduate Degree49,0518.65%

South Dakota Educational Attainment by Race

Name Total High School Bachelors
White492,571462,173149,327
Native American37,06429,1053,576
Hispanic14,63910,6852,592
Multiple Races8,5187,5721,838
Black8,4516,4921,370
Asian7,4475,4403,046
Other Race3,5152,041432
Islander1671517

The highest rate of high school graduation is among white people with a rate of 93.83%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 40.90%.

Name Average Male Female
Overall$36,459$42,417$30,494
Less Than High School$25,331$29,427$18,108
High School Grad$30,652$36,561$23,889
Some College$35,303$42,870$28,707
Bachelors Degree$43,997$53,748$38,121
Graduate Degree$55,802$64,379$51,131

$36,459

Average Earnings

$42,417

Average Male

$30,494

Average Female

South Dakota Language

South Dakota Language by Age

South Dakota Language

93.54% of South Dakota residents speak only English, while 6.46% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Spanish, which is spoken by 2.00% of the population.

South Dakota Poverty

South Dakota Poverty by Race

Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
White689,51461,0688.86%
Native70,99535,39849.86%
Hispanic30,3057,06823.32%
Multiple22,1535,16123.30%
Black15,0164,07127.11%
Asian12,2852,43019.78%
Other6,3241,35921.49%
Islander2637327.76%

13.55%

Overall Poverty Rate

12.25%

Male Poverty Rate

14.87%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in South Dakota

The race most likely to be in poverty in South Dakota is Native, with 49.86% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in South Dakota is White, with 8.86% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.75%. Among those working part-time, it was 18.82%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 24.14%.

Name Poverty
Less Than High School28.14%
High School12.67%
Some College8.93%
Bachelors or Greater3.81%
Name Poverty
Female Unemployed45.04%
Male Unemployed41.04%
Female Employed7.98%
Male Employed5.86%

South Dakota Income

South Dakota Income by Household Type

Name Median Mean
Households$56,499$73,768
Families$72,706$89,092
Married Families$83,059$101,280
Non Families$33,085$44,375

South Dakota Marital Status

South Dakota Marital Status

Marriage Rates

51.9%

Overall Marriage Rate

52.1%

Male Marriage Rate

51.8%

Female Marriage Rate

South Dakota Married by Age and Sex

South Dakota Marriage

The age group where males are most likely to be married is Over 65, while the female age group most likely to be married is 35-44.

South Dakota Marital Status by Race

South Dakota Veterans

59,243

Number of Veterans

54,342

Male Veterans

4,901

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Vietnam22,130
First Gulf War11,986
Second Gulf War11,551
Korea5,783
World War II2,107
Age Group Veterans
65 to 7415,860
35 to 5414,046
75+13,461
55 to 6410,573
18 to 345,303
Name Veterans % of Total
White54,5429.62%
Indian2,7956.14%
2 or More1,0088.59%
Hispanic9234.96%
Black5945.77%
Asian1862.02%
Other1092.45%
Hawaiian94.64%

$South Dakota Veterans by Education

7.03%

Veteran Poverty Rate

29.29%

Veteran Disability Rate

South Dakota Employment Status

68.5%

Labor Force Participation

65.7%

Employment Rate

3.5%

Unemployment Rate

South Dakota Place of Birth

Origin of Non-Citizens

Non citizens include legal permanent residents (green card holders), international students, temporary workers, humanitarian migrants, and illegal immigrants.

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

64.26%

Born in South Dakota

96.52%

Native Born

3.48%

Foreign Born

2.19%

Non Citizen

Place of Birth

96.52% of South Dakota residents were born in the United States, with 64.26% having been born in South Dakota. 2.19% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.