South Dakota (State)

State of South Dakota
Coordinates 44°30’NB, 100°0’WL
Surface 199.905 km²
(1,6% water)
Residents 858.469
(4,27 inhabitants/km²)
Capital city Pierre
Governor Kristi Noem (R)
Time zone Central Standard Time (UTC−6) / Mountain Standard Time (UTC−7)
Joined 2 november 1889
Nickname Mount Rushmore State
Mount Rushmore

South Dakota is one of the states of the United States. The capital is Pierre. The standard abbreviation for the ” Mount Rushmore State”, as its nickname goes, is SD.

Twentieth century

Aberdeen in 1910, after the city’s strong growth between 1890 and 1910

After World War I, the Black Hills became a popular tourist destination, which also fueled Rapid City ‘s growth. The town became the third largest in the state. In 1925, it was decided to carve four faces of former presidents into a mountainside in South Dakota’s Black Hills. Work on the monument at Mount Rushmore began in 1925 and was completed in 1941.

A farm in South Dakota in 1936, during the Dust Bowl

During the 1930s, various economic and meteorological conditions led to the so-called Dust Bowl in the Great Plains. Limited rain, high temperatures and over-exploitation of the cropland have blown away the fertile topsoil in powerful dust storms, completely destroying several crops. For example, on November 11, 1933, a severe dust storm stripped the topsoil of parched fields in South Dakota in the first of a series of dust storms that year. This, along with the economic crisis, led to many leaving South Dakota. Between 1930 and 1940, the population declined by seven percent. The population of Sioux Falls and Rapid City continued to grow strongly.

Prosperity returned when the United States went to war in 1941 and demand for agricultural products soared. In the 1940s and 50s, Rapid City’s population tripled, mainly thanks to the opening of Rapid City Army Air Base (later Ellsworth Air Force Base). This made Rapid City the second largest city in the state, ahead of Aberdeen.

In 1973, Wounded Knee was occupied by members of the American Indian Movement (AIM). They proclaimed a free state and demanded that the federal government honor its agreements in the treaties with the original inhabitants. After 71 days, the occupation was broken by the authorities. Fifteen Indians were convicted.

In 1981, Citibank moved one of its headquarters from New York to Sioux Falls. Since the end of the 1970s, the city has grown into an important regional center with more than 183 thousand inhabitants in 2018. The rural areas, however, have seen population declines, mainly due to the emigration of younger people to the larger cities such as Sioux Falls and Rapid City, or to cities outside of South Dakota.


According to JIBIN123.COM, the state of South Dakota belongs to the Great Plains region and covers 199,905 km², of which 196,735 km² is land. The west belongs to the Mountain time zone, the east to the Central time zone. South Dakota is bordered by North Dakota to the north , Montana and Wyoming to the west, Minnesota and Iowa to the east, and Nebraska to the south.

The main river is the Missouri. Most of the state is fairly flat, but to the west are the Black Hills and the Badlands. The highest point is Harney Peak (2207 m). In the Black Hills is the world famous Mount Rushmore monument. The Badlands are rich in fossils.

Köppen Climate Zones in South Dakota

Most of South Dakota has a warm continental climate with precipitation throughout the year. Despite the cold winters, this climate is relatively suitable for agriculture. However, precipitation varies widely from east (moderate precipitation) to west (semi-arid).

With the exception of the forested Black Hills, the natural vegetation in South Dakota is prairie, a type of grassland.

Demography and Economics

South Dakota had a population of 754,890 (3.8 per km²) of which approximately 50% of the population lives in urban areas. The largest city is Sioux Falls, in the southeast. About 40% of the population is of German descent.

There are extensive Indian reservations in the state.

The gross product of the state was about $32 billion in 2006 and about $41 billion in 2013.

Administrative division

According to COUNTRYAAH, South Dakota is divided into 66 counties.

County Inhabitants
1 July, 2007
County Seat Inhabitants
1 July, 2007
Aurora 2854 Plankinton 560
Beadle 15.669 Huron 10.902
Bennett 3441 Martin 1010
Bon Homme 7071 Tyndall 117
Brookings 29.241 Brookings 19.463
Brown 35.113 Aberdeen 24.410
Brule 5190 Chamberlain 2258
Buffalo 2111 Gann Valley
Butte 9475 Belle Fourche 4909
Campbell 1397 Mound City 66
Charles Mix 8953 Lake Andes 761
Clark 3472 Clark 1073
Clay 13.364 Vermillion 10.251
Codington 26.356 Watertown 20.530
Corson 4205 McIntosh 209
Custer 7818 Custer 1902
Davison 19.020 Mitchell 14.832
Day 5667 Webster 1718
Deuel 4259 Clear Lake 1222
Dewey 6005 Timber Lake 426
Douglas 3018 Armour 671
Edmunds 4008 Ipswich 862
Fall River 7210 Hot Springs 4052
Faulk 2276 Faulkton 672
Grant 7159 Milbank 3237
Gregory 4110 Burke 576
Haakon 1845 Philip 741
Hamlin 5621 Hayti 351
Hand 3273 Miller 1341
Hanson 3621 Alexandria 653
Harding 1180 Buffalo 330
Hughes 16.880 Pierre 14.032
Hutchinson 7340 Olivet 64
Hyde 1465 Highmore 736
Jackson 2792 Kadoka 653
Jerauld 1993 Wessington Springs 853
Jones 1055 Murdo 542
Kingsbury 5394 De Smet 1055
Lake 11.372 Madison 6319
Lawrence 23.347 Deadwood 1293
Lincoln 37.765 Canton 4127
Lyman 3909 Kennebec 284
Marshall 4318 Britton 1264
McCook 5755 Salem 1345
McPherson 2496 Leola 390
Meade 23.999 Sturgis 5990
Mellette 2019 White River 563
Miner 2475 Howard 909
Minnehaha 175.272 Sioux Falls 151.505
Moody 6506 Flandreau 2263
Oglala Lakota 13.589 Hot Springs 4052
Pennington 96.280 Rapid City 63.997
Perkins 2917 Bison 328
Potter 2184 Gettysburg 1088
Roberts 9865 Sisseton 2457
Sanborn 2444 Woonsocket 642
Spink 6739 Redfield 2290
Stanley 2787 Fort Pierre 2068
Sully 1411 Onida 647
Todd 10.157 Winner 2805
Tripp 5806 Winner 2805
Turner 8379 Parker 980
Union 13.952 Elk Point 1888
Walworth 5262 Selby 660
Yankton 21.645 Yankton 13.643
Ziebach 2643 Dupree 452


The executive branch of the state is headed by a governor, who is directly elected by the voters in the state. The 2018 gubernatorial election was won by Republican Party Kristi Noem. She took office as governor of South Dakota in January 2019.

The legislature is made up of the South Dakota House of Representatives (South Dakota House of Representatives) with 70 members and the South Dakota Senate (South Dakota Senate) with 35 members.

Flag of South Dakota