Rapid City, South Dakota Population 2022

81,502
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Rapid City is a city located in Pennington County South Dakota. Rapid City has a 2020 population of 81,502. Rapid City is currently growing at a rate of 1.66% annually and its population has increased by 17.86% since the most recent census, which recorded a population of 69,154 in 2010.

The average household income in Rapid City is $73,679 with a poverty rate of 16.23%. The median rental costs in recent years comes to $855 per month, and the median house value is $194,100. The median age in Rapid City is 38 years, 36.3 years for males, and 39.6 years for females.

Rapid City is a city located in the state of South Dakota. Its location at Rapid Creek is what led to its name.

Rapid City Population Growth

Rapid City has experienced steady growth throughout its history, although it did see a drop in its population at the time of the 1900 census. By 1920, the city’s population had accumulated over 5,000 people, and this number nearly doubled at the time of the 1930 census. By 1950, the city had over 25,000 residents. By 1990, the population exceeded 54,000. Recent estimates indicate that this growth will only continue, as the current count is up 9% from the last census taken in 2010.

Settlers originally came to what is now Rapid City in the 1870s after gold was discovered. In 1876, Rapid City was founded under the name “Hay Camp” and was promoted by miners as the “Gateway to the Black Hills.” Later that year, the site of the city was laid out around Rapid Creek. Six blocks were designated for a business center, which was used for selling supplies to miners and pioneers. By the 20th century, the city was becoming known as a regional trade center.

The city began to grow following World War I with the construction of highways and local efforts that lured in tourists. Mount Rushmore, a popular tourist destination to this day, was started in 1927 and was later completed in 1941. Throughout this period, the city was keeping the economy afloat through tourism through the Great Depression. However, the tourism industry declined following World War II, although the city still managed to get by due to war-related growth.

The Rapid City Army Air Base (later changed to the Ellsworth Air Force Base) resulted in significant population growth during the 1940s. By the end of the decade, city officials made a plan to expand the city with new schools, a civic center, and paved roads, leading to a construction boom during the 1950s. During the 1960s, growth slowed, but development picked up again in the 1970s after the Black Hills Flood killed hundreds and caused $100 million in damage. This led to significant development including the construction of a park, new homes and businesses, a civic center and Central High School.

In the 1980s, the Sioux people filed a lawsuit against the federal government stating that the Black Hills were stolen. The Supreme Court found in favor of the tribe and offered a monetary settlement, but the Sioux continued to push for the return of land including Rapid City. The dispute is still ongoing.

The city also continued to grow in the 1980s as tourism increased, primarily due to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, one of the most famous rallies in the world. Today, tourism remains a driver of the economy, although the city has also ventured into other economic sectors including technology, scientific research, and medicine.

Rapid City Demographics

According to the most recent ACS, the racial composition of Rapid Citywas:

  • White: 78.94%
  • Native American: 9.87%
  • Two or more races: 7.06%
  • Asian: 1.60%
  • Black or African American: 1.49%
  • Other race: 0.93%
  • Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander: 0.12%
The current population of Rapid City, South Dakota is 81,502 based on our projections of the latest US Census estimates. The US Census estimates the 2018 population at 81,502.The last official US Census in 2010 recorded the population at 69,154.

Rapid City, South Dakota Population 2022

2021 and 2022 population is estimated by projecting the 2019 numbers.

Year Population Growth Growth Rate
2010126,7270.00%
2011127,9031,1760.92%
2012130,0752,1721.67%
2013132,3202,2451.70%
2014134,2311,9111.42%
2015134,8586270.46%
2016136,4501,5921.17%
2017138,4441,9941.44%
2018140,1541,7101.22%
2019142,1071,9531.37%
2020144,0601,9531.36%
2021146,0131,9531.34%

Rapid City Metro Area Population by Year

Population by Race

Race Population Percentage
White60,41878.94%
Black or African American1,1421.49%
American Indian and Alaska Native7,5549.87%
Asian1,2231.60%
Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific Islander900.12%
Some Other Race7100.93%
Two or More Races5,4047.06%
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Rapid City Population by Race

Rapid City Population Pyramid 2022

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Rapid City Median Age

37.2


Total

35.8


Male

38.6


Female

Rapid City Adults

There are 58,687 adults, (14,031 of whom are seniors) in Rapid City.

Rapid City Age Dependency

Age Dependency Ratio

31.4

Old Age Dependency Ratio

40

Child Dependency Ratio

Rapid City Sex Ratio

Female

38,270

50.00%

Male

38,271

50.00%

Rapid City Population by Age

Rapid City Renter vs Owner Occupied by Household Type

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Rapid City Household Types

Type Owner Renter
Married83.7%16.3%
All61%39%
Male58%42%
Non Family45.1%54.9%
Female42.1%57.9%

61.0%

Rate of Home Ownership

Rapid City Households and Families

Type Count Average Size Owned
All30,3162.461
Married12,4643.0583.7
Male1,0403.6358
Female3,5823.8142.1
Non Family13,2301.3245.1

3.13

Average Family Size

2.4

Average Household Size

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Rapid City Households by Type

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Education Attained Count Percentage
Less Than 9th Grade8131.57%
9th to 12th Grade2,5434.90%
High School Graduate13,90326.80%
Some College11,98123.10%
Associates Degree5,25410.13%
Bachelors Degree11,18221.55%
Graduate Degree6,20111.95%
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Rapid City Educational Attainment by Sex (over 25)

Rapid City Educational Attainment by Race

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Race Total High School Bachelors
Asian805734427
White43,13141,28215,642
2+ Races2,1101,975583
Other Race27318570
Hispanic2,0161,652453
Islander636310
Native American3,7992,847444
Black77474662

The highest rate of high school graduation is among islander people with a rate of 100.00%.

The highest rate of bachelors degrees is among asian people with a rate of 53.04%.

Rapid City Educational Attainment by Race

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Name Average Male Female
Overall$33,696$38,176$31,059
Less Than 9th Grade$17,108$22,388$8,708
High School Graduate$27,520$28,699$26,680
Some College$31,610$37,943$26,620
Bachelors Degree$45,193$52,850$38,523
Graduate Degree$64,579$87,308$54,972

$33,696

Average Earnings

$38,176

Average Male

$31,059

Average Female

Rapid City Earnings by Educational Attainment

Rapid City Language by Age

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Rapid City Language

95.34% of Rapid City residents speak only English, while 4.66% speak other languages. The non-English language spoken by the largest group is Other languages, which is spoken by 1.42% of the population.

Rapid City Language

Rapid City Poverty by Race

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Name Total In Poverty Poverty Rate
Native6,7764,37164.51%
Black1,05440037.95%
Islander903033.33%
Multiple5,2851,61830.61%
Hispanic4,4181,29129.22%
Asian1,19122518.89%
White57,1605,2489.18%
OtherNaN%

16.23%

Overall Poverty Rate

15.07%

Male Poverty Rate

17.37%

Female Poverty Rate

Poverty in Rapid City

The race most likely to be in poverty in Rapid City is Native, with 64.51% below the poverty level.

The race least likely to be in poverty in Rapid City is Other, with NaN% below the poverty level.

The poverty rate among those that worked full-time for the past 12 months was 2.01%. Among those working part-time, it was 23.71%, and for those that did not work, the poverty rate was 23.89%.

Rapid City Poverty

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Name Poverty
Less Than 9th Grade37.09%
High School16.54%
Some College13.26%
Bachelors or Greater3.92%

Rapid City Poverty Rate by Education

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Rate Poverty
Male Employed6.52%
Male Unemployed36.23%
Female Employed9.78%
Female Unemployed60.18%

Rapid City Poverty Rate by Employment Status and Sex

Rapid City Income by Household Type

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Name Median Mean
Households$53,760$75,732
Families$72,263$96,915
Married Families$88,081$115,240
Non Families$33,536$46,267
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Income by Household Type

Rapid City Marital Status

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Marriage Rates

42.7%

Overall Marriage Rate

43.2%

Male Marriage Rate

42.2%

Female Marriage Rate

Rapid City Married by Age and Sex

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Rapid City 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.

Rapid City Marital Status by Race

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Rapid City Marital Status

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6,894

Number of Veterans

Male Veterans

Female Veterans

War Veterans
Second Gulf War1,721
First Gulf War1,833
Vietnam2,361
Korea455
World War II206

Rapid City Veterans by War

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Age Group Veterans
18 to 34589
35 to 541,568
55 to 641,157
65 to 742,005
75+1,575

Rapid City Veterans by Age

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Name Veterans % of Total
White5,99912.37%
Black14416.82%
Native American3006.70%
Asian414.32%
Other Race4213.59%
2+ Races36812.11%
Hispanic27711.39%

Rapid City Veterans by Race

Rapid City Veterans by Education

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9.30%

Veteran Poverty Rate

30.37%

Veteran Disability Rate

Rapid City Veterans by Education

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65%

Labor Force Participation

61.3%

Employment Rate

4.5%

Unemployment Rate

Rapid City Employment by Age

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Rapid City Employment by Race

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Rapid City Employment by Education

Origin of Non-Citizens

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

Origin of Naturalized Citizens

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57.48%

Born in Rapid City

97.44%

Native Born

2.56%

Foreign Born

1.28%

Non Citizen

1.28%

Naturalized

Place of Birth

97.44% of Rapid City residents were born in the United States, with 57.48% having been born in South Dakota. 1.28% of residents are not US citizens. Of those not born in the United States, the largest percentage are from Asia.

Rapid City Place of Birth

Note: 2021 and 2022 data is projected
Year Population Growth Annual Growth Rate
19001,3000.00%
19103,8542,55411.48%
19205,7771,9234.13%
193010,4044,6276.06%
194013,8443,4402.90%
195025,31011,4666.22%
196042,39917,0895.29%
197043,8361,4370.33%
198046,4922,6560.59%
199054,5238,0311.61%
200059,6075,0840.90%
201069,1549,5471.50%
201169,5874330.63%
201270,7391,1521.66%
201371,7309911.40%
201472,9951,2651.76%
201573,3703750.51%
201674,1167461.02%
201775,2371,1211.51%
201876,1709331.24%
201977,5031,3331.75%
202078,8361,3331.72%
202180,1691,3331.69%
202281,5021,3331.66%

Rapid City Population by Year