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South Dakota () (
Sioux The Sioux or Oceti Sakowin (; Dakota Dakota may refer to: * Dakota people, a sub-tribe of the Sioux ** Dakota language, their language From this origin, Dakota may also refer to: Places United States * Dakota, Georgia, an unincorporated ...
: Dakȟóta itókaga) is a
U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to this shared sovereignty, are both of t ...
in the North Central region of the United States. It is also part of the
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of flatland ''Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions'' is a satire, satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott, first publi ...
. South Dakota is named after the
LakotaLakota may refer to: * Lakota people, a confederation of seven related Native American tribes *Lakota language Lakota (), also referred to as Lakhota, Teton or Teton Sioux, is a Siouan language spoken by the Lakota people of the Sioux tribes. T ...
and
Dakota Dakota may refer to: * Dakota people, a sub-tribe of the Sioux ** Dakota language, their language From this origin, Dakota may also refer to: Places United States * Dakota, Georgia, an unincorporated community * Dakota, Illinois, a town * Dak ...
Sioux The Sioux or Oceti Sakowin (; Dakota Dakota may refer to: * Dakota people, a sub-tribe of the Sioux ** Dakota language, their language From this origin, Dakota may also refer to: Places United States * Dakota, Georgia, an unincorporated ...

Sioux
Native American Native Americans may refer to: Ethnic groups * Indigenous peoples of the Americas, the pre-Columbian peoples of North and South America and their descendants * Native Americans in the United States * Indigenous peoples in Canada, the indigenous p ...
tribes, who comprise a large portion of the population with nine
reservations
reservations
currently in the state and have historically dominated the territory. South Dakota is the seventeenth largest by area, but the 5th least populous, and the 5th least densely populated of the 50 United States. As the southern part of the former
Dakota Territory The Territory of Dakota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States and the founding of the United States: Kingdom of Great Britain, British claims are indicated in red and pink, while Spanish claims are in orange and yellow. ...
, South Dakota became a state on November 2, 1889, simultaneously with
North Dakota North Dakota () is a U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to th ...
. They are the 39th and 40th states admitted to the union; President
Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 March 13, 1901) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 23rd from 1889 to 1893. He was a grandson of the ninth president, , and a great-grandson of , a who signed the . Harrison was born o ...

Benjamin Harrison
shuffled the statehood papers before signing them so that no one could tell which became a state first.
Pierre Pierre is a masculine given name. It is a French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a ...
is the state capital, and
Sioux Falls Sioux Falls (; Lakota language, Lakota: ''Íŋyaŋ Okábleča Otȟúŋwahe''; "Stone Shatter City") is the List of cities in South Dakota, most populous city in the U.S. state of South Dakota and the List of United States cities by population, 13 ...
, with a population of about 187,200, is South Dakota's largest city. South Dakota is bordered by the states of
North Dakota North Dakota () is a U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to th ...
(to the north),
Minnesota Minnesota () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Minnesota
(to the east),
Iowa Iowa () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states: Wiscon ...

Iowa
(to the southeast),
Nebraska Nebraska () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Nebraska
(to the south),
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. The List of U.S. states and territories by area, 10th largest state by area, it is also the List of U.S. states and territories b ...
(to the west), and
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
(to the northwest). The state is bisected by the
Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its ...
, dividing South Dakota into two geographically and socially distinct halves, known to residents as "
East River The East River is a salt water in . The waterway, which is actually not a despite its name, connects on its south end to on its north end. It separates the borough of on from on the n mainland, and also divides from Queens and , also o ...
" and " West River".Hasselstrom, pp. 2–4. Eastern South Dakota is home to most of the state's population, and the area's fertile soil is used to grow a variety of crops. West of the Missouri River,
ranch A ranch (from es, rancho) is an area of landscape, land, including various structures, given primarily to ranching, the practice of raising grazing livestock such as cattle and sheep. It is a subtype of a farm. These terms are most often appl ...
ing is the predominant agricultural activity, and the economy is more dependent on tourism and defense spending. Most of the Native American reservations are in West River. The
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is a small and isolated mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or ...

Black Hills
, a group of low pine-covered mountains sacred to the Sioux, is in the southwest part of the state.
Mount Rushmore Mount Rushmore National Memorial is centered on a colossal sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore (Lakota ''Tȟuŋkášila Šákpe'', or Six Grandfathers) in the Black Hills in Keystone, South Dakota. Sculptor Gutzon Borgl ...

Mount Rushmore
, a major tourist destination, is there. South Dakota has a temperate
continental climate Continental climates often have a significant annual variation in temperature (hot summers and cold winters). They tend to occur in the middle latitudes (40 to 55 north), within large landmasses where prevailing winds In meteorology Mete ...
, with four distinct seasons and precipitation ranging from moderate in the east to semi-arid in the west. The state's ecology features species typical of a North American
grassland Grasslands are areas where the vegetation Vegetation is an assemblage of species and the they provide. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular , life forms, structure, extent, or any other specific or geographic ...

grassland
biome. Humans have inhabited the area for several millennia, with the Sioux becoming dominant by the early 19th century. In the late 19th century, European-American settlement intensified after a
gold rush cut the travel time from New York to San Francisco in seven months to four months in the 1849 California Gold Rush, Gold Rush. A gold rush or gold fever is a discovery of gold—sometimes accompanied by other precious metals and rare-earth miner ...
in the Black Hills and the construction of railroads from the east. Encroaching miners and settlers triggered a number of
Indian wars The American Indian Wars, also known as the American Frontier Wars, the First Nations Wars in Canada (french: Guerres des Premières Nations) and the Indian Wars were fought by European governments and colonists, and later by the United States an ...
, ending with the
Wounded Knee Massacre The Wounded Knee Massacre, also known as the Battle of Wounded Knee, was a massacre of nearly three hundred Lakota people by soldiers of the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land military branch, service branch of ...
in 1890. Key events in the 20th century included the
Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storm A dust storm, also called a sandstorm, is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent o ...
and
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
, increased federal spending during the 1940s and 1950s for agriculture and defense, and an industrialization of agriculture that has reduced family farming. While several Democrats have represented South Dakota for multiple terms in both chambers of
Congress Congresses are formal meetings of the representatives of different countries A country is a distinct territorial body or political entity A polity is an identifiable political entity—any group of people who have a collective identity, ...
, the state government is largely controlled by the
Republican Party Republican Party is a name used by many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about polit ...
, whose nominees have carried South Dakota in each of the last 13
presidential elections President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) *President (education), a leader of a college or university *President (government title) President may also refer to: Automobiles * Nissan President, a 1966–2010 Japanese full- ...
. Historically dominated by an agricultural economy and a rural lifestyle, South Dakota has recently sought to diversify its economy in areas to attract and retain residents. South Dakota's history and rural character still influence strongly the state's culture.


History

Humans have lived in what is today South Dakota for several thousand years. The first inhabitants were
Paleoindian Paleo-Indians, Paleoindians or Paleo-Americans, were the first peoples who entered, and subsequently inhabited, the Americas The Americas (also collectively called America) is a landmass comprising the totality of North and South Americ ...
hunter-gatherer A hunter-gatherer is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, language and tools. T ...
s, and disappeared from the area around 5000 BC. Between 500 AD and 800 AD, a semi-nomadic people known as the Mound Builders lived in central and eastern South Dakota. In the 14th century, the Crow Creek Massacre occurred, in which several hundred men, women, and children were killed near the
Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its ...
.Deloria and Neal (eds.), p. 161. By 1500, the
Arikara Arikara (), also known as Sahnish,
''Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation.'' (Retrieved Sep 29, 2011)
(or Ree) had settled in much of the Missouri River valley. European contact with the area began in 1743, when the LaVérendrye brothers explored the region. The LaVérendrye group buried a plate near the site of modern-day
Pierre Pierre is a masculine given name. It is a French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a ...
, claiming the region for France as part of greater Louisiana. In 1762 the entire region became part of the
Spanish Louisiana Spanish Louisiana ( es, link=no, la Luisiana) was a governorate and administrative district of the Viceroyalty of New Spain from 1762 to 1801 that consisted of a vast territory in the center of North America North America is a cont ...
until 1802. By the early 19th century, the
Sioux The Sioux or Oceti Sakowin (; Dakota Dakota may refer to: * Dakota people, a sub-tribe of the Sioux ** Dakota language, their language From this origin, Dakota may also refer to: Places United States * Dakota, Georgia, an unincorporated ...

Sioux
had largely replaced the Arikara as the dominant group in the area. In 1803, the United States purchased the Louisiana Territory, an area that included most of South Dakota, from
Napoleon Bonaparte Napoleon Bonaparte ; co, Napulione Buonaparte. (born Napoleone di Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French military and political leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution The French Revolution ( ) r ...

Napoleon Bonaparte
, and President
Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson (April 13, 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American statesman, diplomat, lawyer, architect, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were cr ...

Thomas Jefferson
organized the
Lewis and Clark Expedition The Lewis and Clark Expedition from August 31, 1803, to September 25, 1806, also known as the Corps of Discovery Expedition, was the United States expedition to cross the newly acquired western portion of the country after the Louisiana Pur ...
to explore the region. In 1817, an American fur trading post was set up at present-day Fort Pierre, beginning continuous American settlement of the area. In 1855, the U.S. Army bought Fort Pierre but abandoned it in 1857 in favor of
Fort Randall The Fort Randall Military Post was established in 1856 to help keep peace on the frontier. It was located on the south side of the Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Rising in the Rocky Mountains of west ...
to the south. Settlement by Americans and Europeans was by this time increasing rapidly, and in 1858 the
Yankton Sioux The Dakota (pronounced , Dakota language: ''Dakȟóta/Dakhóta'') are a Native American tribe The term tribe is used in many different contexts to refer to a category of human social group. The predominant usage of the term is in the discip ...
signed the 1858 Treaty, ceding most of present-day eastern South Dakota to the United States. Land speculators founded two of eastern South Dakota's largest present-day cities:
Sioux Falls Sioux Falls (; Lakota language, Lakota: ''Íŋyaŋ Okábleča Otȟúŋwahe''; "Stone Shatter City") is the List of cities in South Dakota, most populous city in the U.S. state of South Dakota and the List of United States cities by population, 13 ...
in 1856 and Yankton in 1859. In 1861, the
Dakota Territory The Territory of Dakota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States and the founding of the United States: Kingdom of Great Britain, British claims are indicated in red and pink, while Spanish claims are in orange and yellow. ...
was established by the United States government (this initially included
North Dakota North Dakota () is a U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to th ...
, South Dakota, and parts of
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
and
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. The List of U.S. states and territories by area, 10th largest state by area, it is also the List of U.S. states and territories b ...
). Settlement of the area, mostly by people from the eastern United States as well as western and northern
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmass A landmass, or land mass, is a large region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of scienc ...

Europe
, increased rapidly, especially after the completion of an eastern railway link to Yankton in 1873. In 1874, gold was discovered in the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is a small and isolated mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or ...

Black Hills
during a military expedition led by George A. Custer and miners and explorers began illegally entering land promised to the Lakota. Custer's expedition took place despite the fact that the
Sioux The Sioux or Oceti Sakowin (; Dakota Dakota may refer to: * Dakota people, a sub-tribe of the Sioux ** Dakota language, their language From this origin, Dakota may also refer to: Places United States * Dakota, Georgia, an unincorporated ...

Sioux
had been granted the entire western half of present-day South Dakota ( West River) in 1868 by the Treaty of Laramie as part of the
Great Sioux Reservation 350px, Map showing the Great Sioux Reservation and current reservations The Great Sioux Reservation was the original area encompassing what are today the various Sioux Indian reservations in South Dakota and Nebraska. The reservation was establ ...
. The Sioux declined to grant mining rights or land in the Black Hills, and war broke out after the U.S. failed to stop white miners and settlers from entering the region. Eventually the U.S. won and broke up the Great Sioux Reservation into five reservations, settling the
LakotaLakota may refer to: * Lakota people, a confederation of seven related Native American tribes *Lakota language Lakota (), also referred to as Lakhota, Teton or Teton Sioux, is a Siouan language spoken by the Lakota people of the Sioux tribes. T ...
there. In 1980 the
Supreme Court A supreme court is the highest court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between Party (law), parties and carry out the administration of just ...

Supreme Court
and Congress ordered
compensation Compensation may refer to: *Financial compensation *Compensation (chess), various advantages a player has in exchange for a disadvantage *Compensation (engineering) *Compensation (essay), ''Compensation'' (essay), by Ralph Waldo Emerson *Compensati ...
but the Lakota still refuse to accept it, insisting on return of their land. A growing population and political concerns caused Dakota Territory to be divided in half and President
Benjamin Harrison Benjamin Harrison (August 20, 1833 March 13, 1901) was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 23rd from 1889 to 1893. He was a grandson of the ninth president, , and a great-grandson of , a who signed the . Harrison was born o ...

Benjamin Harrison
signed proclamations formally admitting South Dakota and North Dakota to the union on November 2, 1889.Thompson (ed.), pp. 115–116. Harrison had the papers shuffled to obscure which one was signed first and the order went unrecorded. On December 29, 1890, the
Wounded Knee Massacre The Wounded Knee Massacre, also known as the Battle of Wounded Knee, was a massacre of nearly three hundred Lakota people by soldiers of the United States Army The United States Army (USA) is the land military branch, service branch of ...
occurred on the
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation ( lkt, Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke), also called Pine Ridge Agency, is an Oglala Lakota The Oglala (pronounced , meaning "to scatter one's own" in Lakota language) are one of the seven subtribes of the Lakota peopl ...
. Commonly cited as the last major armed conflict between the United States and the Lakota Sioux Nation, the massacre resulted in the deaths of at least 146 Sioux, many of them women and children.Schell, pp. 304–305. 31 U.S. soldiers were also killed in the conflict. During the 1930s, several economic and climatic conditions combined with disastrous results for South Dakota. A lack of rainfall, extremely high temperatures and inappropriate cultivation techniques produced what was known as the
Dust Bowl The Dust Bowl was a period of severe dust storm A dust storm, also called a sandstorm, is a meteorological phenomenon common in arid A region is arid when it is characterized by a severe lack of available water, to the extent o ...
in South Dakota and several other plains states. Fertile
topsoil Topsoil is the upper, outermost layer of soil Soil is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the science, scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the Chemical element, elements t ...
was blown away in massive dust storms, and several harvests were completely ruined. The experiences of the Dust Bowl, coupled with local bank
foreclosure Foreclosure is a legal process in which a lender A creditor or lender is a party (e.g., person, organization, company, or government) that has a claim on the services of a second party. It is a person or institution to whom money is owed. ...
s and the general economic effects of the
Great Depression The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression An economic depression is a sustained, long-term downturn in economic activity in one or more economies. It is a more severe economic downturn than a economic recession, recess ...
, resulted in many South Dakotans leaving the state. The population of South Dakota declined by more than 7% between 1930 and 1940. Economic stability returned with the U.S. entry into
World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literatur ...
in 1941, when demand for the state's agricultural and industrial products grew as the nation mobilized for war. In 1944, the Pick–Sloan Plan was passed as part of the
Flood Control Act of 1944 The Pick-Sloan Flood Control Act of 1944 (P.L. 78–534), enacted in the 2nd session of the 78th Congress, is U.S. legislation that authorized the construction of numerous dams and modifications to previously existing dams, as well as levees acros ...
by the U.S. Congress, resulting in the construction of six large dams on the Missouri River, four of which are at least partially in South Dakota.Schell, pp. 323–325. Flood control,
hydroelectricity Hydroelectricity, or hydroelectric power, is electricity produced from hydropower Hydropower (from el, ὕδωρ, "water"), also known as water power, is the use of falling or fast-running water Water (chemical formula H2O) is ...
, and recreational opportunities such as boating and fishing are provided by the dams and their reservoirs. In recent decades, South Dakota has been transformed from a state dominated by agriculture to one with a more diversified economy. The tourism industry has grown considerably since the mid-twentieth century, with the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is a small and isolated mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or ...

Black Hills
becoming more important as a destination. The financial service industry began to grow in the state as well, with
Citibank Citibank is the consumer division of financial services Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial sys ...

Citibank
moving its credit card operations from
New York New York most commonly refers to: * New York City, the most populous city in the United States, located in the state of New York * New York (state), a state in the northeastern United States New York may also refer to: Film and television * New ...
to
Sioux Falls Sioux Falls (; Lakota language, Lakota: ''Íŋyaŋ Okábleča Otȟúŋwahe''; "Stone Shatter City") is the List of cities in South Dakota, most populous city in the U.S. state of South Dakota and the List of United States cities by population, 13 ...
in 1981, a move that has been followed by several other financial companies. South Dakota was the first state to eliminate caps on interest rates.Hetland, Cara. ''Sioux Falls 25 years after Citibank's arrival''
Publicradio.org
Minnesota Public Radio Minnesota Public Radio (MPR), is a public radio network for the state of Minnesota. With its three services, KNOW-FM, News & Information, KSJN, YourClassical MPR and KCMP, The Current, MPR operates a 46-station regional radio network in the upper ...
. February 24, 2006. (accessed March 23, 2007)
In 2007, the site of the recently closed Homestake gold mine near
Lead Lead is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elements ...
was chosen as the location of a new underground research facility, the
Deep Underground Science and Engineering LaboratoryThe Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF), or Sanford Lab, is an underground laboratory in Lead, South Dakota, Lead, South Dakota. The deepest underground laboratory in the United States, it houses multiple experiments in areas such as dark ma ...
. Despite a growing state population and recent economic development, many rural areas have been struggling over the past 50 years with locally declining populations and the emigration of educated young adults to larger South Dakota cities, such as
Rapid City Rapid City ( lkt, link=no, Mni Lúzahaŋ Otȟúŋwahe; "Swift Water City") is the List of cities in South Dakota, second most populous city in South Dakota and the county seat of Pennington County, South Dakota, Pennington County. Named after Rap ...
or Sioux Falls, or to other states. Mechanization and consolidation of agriculture has contributed greatly to the declining number of smaller family farms and the resulting economic and demographic challenges facing rural towns. However, the state often ranks highly for its way of life, and Gallup's well-being index in 2018 named South Dakota the happiest, healthiest state in the United States.


Geography

South Dakota is in the north-central United States, and is considered a part of the
Midwest The Midwestern United States, also referred to as the Midwest or the American Midwest, is one of four Census Bureau Region, census regions of the United States Census Bureau (also known as "Region 2"). It occupies the northern central part of ...
by the U.S. Census Bureau; it is also part of the
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of flatland ''Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions'' is a satire, satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott, first publi ...
region. The culture, economy, and geography of western South Dakota have more in common with the
West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A co ...
than the Midwest.Johnson, Dirk. ''Gold Divides Dakotans as River Did'
NYtimes.com
''
The New York Times ''The New York Times'' is an American daily newspaper based in New York City with a worldwide readership. Founded in 1851, the ''Times'' has since won List of Pulitzer Prizes awarded to The New York Times, 132 Pulitzer Prizes, the most of a ...

The New York Times
''. October 9, 1988. (accessed February 14, 2008)
South Dakota has a total area of , making the state the 17th largest in the Union.
Black Elk Peak Black Elk Peak is the highest natural point in South Dakota South Dakota () is a U.S. state in the Upper Midwest region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or Ame ...
, formerly named Harney Peak, with an elevation of , is the state's highest point, while the shoreline of
Big Stone Lake Big Stone Lake ( dak, Íŋyaŋ Tháŋka Bdé) is a long, narrow freshwater Fresh water or freshwater is any naturally occurring liquid or frozen water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, trans ...
is the lowest, with an elevation of . South Dakota is bordered to the north by
North Dakota North Dakota () is a U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to th ...
; to the south by
Nebraska Nebraska () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Nebraska
; to the east by
Iowa Iowa () is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States, bordered by the Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux River to the west. It is bordered by six states: Wiscon ...

Iowa
and
Minnesota Minnesota () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Minnesota
; and to the west by
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. The List of U.S. states and territories by area, 10th largest state by area, it is also the List of U.S. states and territories b ...
and
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
. The geographical center of the U.S. is west of Castle Rock in Butte County. The North American continental
pole of inaccessibility A pole of inaccessibility with respect to a geography, geographical criterion of inaccessibility marks a location that is the most challenging to reach according to that criterion. Often it refers to the most distant point from the coastline, i ...
is between
AllenAllen, Allen's or Allens may refer to: People * Allen (surname) Allen is a Celtic surname, originating in Ireland, and common in Scotland, Wales and England. It is a variation of the surname MacAllen and may be derived from two separate sources: A ...

Allen
and Kyle, from the nearest coastline. The
Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its ...
is the largest and longest river in the state. Other major South Dakota rivers include the
Cheyenne The Cheyenne ( ) are an Indigenous people of the Great Plains Plains Indians or Indigenous peoples of the Great Plains and Canadian Prairies are the Native Americans in the United States, Native American tribe (Native American), tribes and ...
,
James James is a common English language surname and given name: * James (name), the typically masculine first name James * James (surname), various people with the last name James James or James City may also refer to: People * King James (disambiguati ...
, Big Sioux, and
White White is the lightest color Color (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the Unite ...
Rivers. Eastern South Dakota has many natural lakes, mostly created by periods of glaciation.Thompson (ed.), pp. 17–18. Additionally, dams on the Missouri River create four large reservoirs:
Lake Oahe Lake Oahe () is a large reservoir A reservoir (; from French language, French ''réservoir'' ) is most commonly an enlarged natural or artificial lake created using a dam to water storage, store water. Reservoirs can be created in a number of ...
,
Lake Sharpe Lake Sharpe is a large reservoir impounded by Big Bend Dam on the Missouri River in central South Dakota, United States. The lake has an area of and a maximum depth of . Lake Sharpe is approximately long, with a shoreline of . Lake Sharpe is the ...
,
Lake Francis Case Lake Francis Case is a large reservoir impounded by Fort Randall Dam on the Missouri River in south-central South Dakota, United States. The lake has an area of and a maximum depth of . Lake Francis Case has a length of approximately and has a sh ...
, and Lewis and Clark Lake.


Regions and geology

South Dakota can generally be divided into three regions: eastern South Dakota, western South Dakota, and the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is a small and isolated mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or ...

Black Hills
. The Missouri River serves as a boundary in terms of geographic, social, and political differences between eastern and western South Dakota. The geography of the Black Hills, long considered sacred by Native Americans, differs from its surroundings to such an extent it can be considered separate from the rest of western South Dakota. At times the Black Hills are combined with the rest of western South Dakota, and people often refer to the resulting two regions divided by the Missouri River as West River and
East River The East River is a salt water in . The waterway, which is actually not a despite its name, connects on its south end to on its north end. It separates the borough of on from on the n mainland, and also divides from Queens and , also o ...
. Eastern South Dakota generally features higher precipitation and lower topography than the western part of the state. Smaller geographic regions of this area include the
Coteau des Prairies The Coteau des Prairies is a plateau In geology Geology (from the Ancient Greek γῆ, ''gē'' ("earth") and -λoγία, ''-logia'', ("study of", "discourse")) is an Earth science concerned with the solid Earth, the rock (geology), rock ...
, the
Dissected Till Plains 400px, Continental U.S physiographic regions. Region 12e identifies the Dissected Till Plains. The Dissected Till Plains are physiographic sections of the Central Lowlands province, which in turn is part of the Interior Plains 300px, The Interior ...
, and the James River Valley. The Coteau des Prairies is a plateau bordered on the east by the
Minnesota River The Minnesota River ( dak, Mnísota Wakpá) is a tributary A tributary, or affluent, is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tribut ...

Minnesota River
Valley and on the west by the James River Basin. Further west, the James River Basin is mostly low, flat, highly eroded land, following the flow of the
James River The James River is a river in the U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with th ...
through South Dakota from north to south. The Dissected Till Plains, an area of rolling hills and fertile soil that covers much of Iowa and Nebraska, extends into the southeastern corner of South Dakota. Layers deposited during the
Pleistocene The Pleistocene ( , often referred to as the ''Ice Age'') is the geological Epoch (geology), epoch that lasted from about 2,580,000 to 11,700 years ago, spanning the earth’s most recent period of repeated glaciations. Before a change finally ...
epoch, starting around two million years ago, cover most of eastern South Dakota. These are the youngest rock and sediment layers in the state, the product of several successive periods of
glaciation A glacial period (alternatively glacial or glaciation) is an interval of time (thousands of years) within an ice age An ice age is a long period of reduction in the temperature of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the o ...

glaciation
which deposited a large amount of rocks and soil, known as
till image:Geschiebemergel.JPG, Closeup of glacial till. Note that the larger grains (pebbles and gravel) in the till are completely surrounded by the matrix of finer material (silt and sand), and this characteristic, known as ''matrix support'', is d ...

till
, over the area. The
Great Plains The Great Plains (french: Grandes Plaines), sometimes simply "the Plains", is a broad expanse of flatland ''Flatland: A Romance of Many Dimensions'' is a satire, satirical novella by the English schoolmaster Edwin Abbott Abbott, first publi ...
cover most of the western two-thirds of South Dakota. West of the
Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its ...
the landscape becomes more arid and rugged, consisting of rolling hills, plains, ravines, and steep flat-topped hills called
butte __NOTOC__ In geomorphology incised into shale at the foot of the North Caineville Plateau, Utah, within the pass carved by the Fremont River and known as the Blue Gate. GK Gilbert studied the landscapes of this area in great detail, forming ...

butte
s. In the south, east of the Black Hills, lie the South Dakota
Badlands Badlands are a type of dry terrain where softer sedimentary rocks and clay-rich soils have been extensively Erosion, eroded by wind and water."Badlands" in ''Chambers's Encyclopædia''. London: George Newnes Ltd, George Newnes, 1961, Vol. 2, p. ...

Badlands
. Erosion from the Black Hills, marine skeletons which fell to the bottom of a large shallow sea that once covered the area, and volcanic material all contribute to the geology of this area. The Black Hills are in the southwestern part of South Dakota and extend into
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. The List of U.S. states and territories by area, 10th largest state by area, it is also the List of U.S. states and territories b ...
. This range of low mountains covers , with peaks that rise from 2,000 to 4,000 feet (600 to 1,200 m) above their bases. The Black Hills are the location of
Black Elk Peak Black Elk Peak is the highest natural point in South Dakota South Dakota () is a U.S. state in the Upper Midwest region of the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US), or Ame ...
(7,242 ft or 2,207 m above sea level), the highest point in South Dakota and also the highest point in the United States east of the
Rocky Mountains The Rocky Mountains, also known as the Rockies, are a major mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or mountain belt is a group of mountain ranges with simila ...

Rocky Mountains
. Two-billion-year-old Precambrian formations, the oldest rocks in the state, form the central core of the Black Hills. Formations from the Paleozoic Era form the outer ring of the Black Hills; these were created between roughly 540 and 250 million years ago. This area features rocks such as limestone, which were deposited here when the area formed the shoreline of an ancient inland sea.


Ecology

Much of South Dakota (except for the Black Hills area) is dominated by a temperate
grassland Grasslands are areas where the vegetation Vegetation is an assemblage of species and the they provide. It is a general term, without specific reference to particular , life forms, structure, extent, or any other specific or geographic ...

grassland
biome. Although grasses and crops cover most of this region, deciduous trees such as Populus sect. Aegiros, cottonwoods, elms, and willows are common near rivers and in shelter belts. Mammals in this area include American bison, bison, deer, pronghorn, coyotes, and prairie dogs. The state bird, the common pheasant, ring-necked pheasant, has adapted well to the area after being introduced from China. Growing populations of bald eagles are spread throughout the state, especially near the
Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its ...
. Rivers and lakes of the grasslands support populations of walleye, carp, Pike (fish), pike, bass (fish), bass, and other species. The Missouri River also contains the pre-historic American paddlefish, paddlefish. Due to a higher elevation and level of precipitation, the Black Hills ecology differs significantly from that of the plains. The mountains are thickly blanketed by various types of pines, including Ponderosa pine, ponderosa and Pinus contorta, lodgepole pines, as well as spruces.Thompson (ed.), p. 31. Black Hills mammals include deer, elk, elk (wapiti), bighorn sheep, mountain goats, American marten, pine marten, and mountain lions, while the streams and lakes contain several species of trout.


Climate

South Dakota has a
continental climate Continental climates often have a significant annual variation in temperature (hot summers and cold winters). They tend to occur in the middle latitudes (40 to 55 north), within large landmasses where prevailing winds In meteorology Mete ...
with four distinct seasons, ranging from cold, dry winters to warm and semi-humid summers. During the summers, the state's average high temperature is often close to , although it cools to near at night. It is not unusual for South Dakota to have severe hot, dry spells in the summer with the temperature climbing above several times a year. Winters are cold with January high temperatures averaging below freezing and low temperatures averaging below in most of the state. The highest recorded temperature is at Usta, South Dakota, Usta on July 15, 2006 and the lowest recorded temperature is at McIntosh, South Dakota, McIntosh on February 17, 1936. Average annual precipitation (meteorology), precipitation in South Dakota ranges from Semi-arid climate, semi-arid conditions in the northwestern part of the state (around ) to semi-humid around the southeast portion of the state (around ), although a small area centered on
Lead Lead is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elements ...
in the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is a small and isolated mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or ...

Black Hills
has the highest precipitation at nearly per year. South Dakota summers bring frequent, sometimes severe, thunderstorms with high winds, thunder, and hail. The state's eastern part is often considered part of Tornado Alley, and South Dakota experiences an average of 30 tornadoes each year. Severe blizzards and ice storms often occur during winter.


National parks and monuments

South Dakota has several sites administered by the National Park Service. Two national parks have been established in the state, both in its southwestern region. Wind Cave National Park, established in 1903 in the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is a small and isolated mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or ...

Black Hills
, has an extensive cave network and is home to a large herd of American Bison, bison. Badlands National Park was established in 1978, and features an eroded, brightly colored landscape surrounded by semi-arid grasslands. Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills was established in 1925. The sculpture of four U.S. Presidents was carved into the mountainside by sculptor Gutzon Borglum. Other areas managed by the National Park Service include Jewel Cave National Monument near Custer, South Dakota, Custer, the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, which features a decommissioned nuclear missile silo and a separate missile control area several miles away, and the Missouri National Recreational River. The Crazy Horse Memorial is a large mountainside sculpture near Mount Rushmore being built using private funds. The Mammoth Site near Hot Springs, South Dakota, Hot Springs is another privately owned attraction in the Black Hills. It is a working paleontological dig and has one of the world's largest concentrations of mammoth remains.


Demographics


Population

According to the 2020 United States Census, 2020 census, the population of South Dakota was 886,667 on April 1, 2020, an 8.90% increase since the 2010 United States Census, 2010 United States census, only
North Dakota North Dakota () is a U.S. state In the , a state is a , of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a , each state holds al jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory where it shares its with the . Due to th ...
, Alaska, Vermont, and
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. The List of U.S. states and territories by area, 10th largest state by area, it is also the List of U.S. states and territories b ...
have fewer residents. As of 2020, South Dakota had an estimated population of 886,667, an increase of 72,487, or 8.90%, since the year 2010. 7.3% of South Dakota's population was reported as under 5, 24% under 18, and 14.3% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.2% of the population. As of the 2000 census, South Dakota ranked fifth-lowest in the nation in population and population density. Of the people residing in South Dakota, 65.7% were born in South Dakota, 31.4% were born in another U.S. state, 0.6% were born in Puerto Rico, U.S. Island areas, or born abroad to American parent(s), and 2.3% were born in another country. The center of population of South Dakota is in Buffalo County, South Dakota, Buffalo County, in the unincorporated county seat of Gann Valley, South Dakota, Gann Valley.


Ethnicity

According to the 2010 census, the racial composition of the population was: * 84.7% White American, White (83.8% non-Hispanic white) * 8.8% Native Americans in the United States, American Indian and Alaska Native * 1.2% African American or black * 0.9% Asian American * 0.1% from some other race * 1.8% of two or more races Ethnically, 2.7% of South Dakota's population was of Hispanic and Latino Americans, Hispanic, Latino, or Spanish origin (they may be of any race). As of 2011, 25.4% of South Dakota's population younger than age 1 were minorities, meaning they had at least one parent who was not non-Hispanic white. As of 2000, the five largest ancestry groups in South Dakota are German-American, German (40.7%), Norwegian-American, Norwegian (15.3%), Irish American, Irish (10.4%), Native American (U.S. Census), Native American (8.3%), and English-American, English (7.1%). German Americans are the largest ancestry group in most parts of the state, especially in East River (east of the Missouri River), although there are also large Scandinavian-descended populations in some counties. South Dakota has the nation's largest population of Hutterites, a communal Anabaptist group which emigrated in 1874 from Europe, primarily from German-speaking areas. Indigenous peoples of the Americas, American Indians, largely
LakotaLakota may refer to: * Lakota people, a confederation of seven related Native American tribes *Lakota language Lakota (), also referred to as Lakhota, Teton or Teton Sioux, is a Siouan language spoken by the Lakota people of the Sioux tribes. T ...
, Sioux#Linguistics, Dakota, and Nakota (Sioux), are predominant in several counties and constitute 20 percent of the population in West River. The seven large Indian reservations in the state occupy an area much diminished from their former
Great Sioux Reservation 350px, Map showing the Great Sioux Reservation and current reservations The Great Sioux Reservation was the original area encompassing what are today the various Sioux Indian reservations in South Dakota and Nebraska. The reservation was establ ...
of West River, which the federal government had once allocated to the Sioux tribes. South Dakota has the third-highest proportion of Native Americans of any state, behind Alaska and New Mexico. Five of the state's counties are wholly within the boundaries of sovereign Indian reservations. Because of the limitations of climate and land, and isolation from urban areas with more employment opportunities, living standards on many South Dakota reservations are often far below the national average; Ziebach County, South Dakota, Ziebach County ranked as the poorest county in the nation in 2009. The unemployment rate in Fort Thompson, South Dakota, Fort Thompson, on the Crow Creek Reservation, is 70%, and 21% of households lack plumbing or basic kitchen appliances. A 1995 study by the U.S. Census Bureau found 58% of homes on the
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation ( lkt, Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke), also called Pine Ridge Agency, is an Oglala Lakota The Oglala (pronounced , meaning "to scatter one's own" in Lakota language) are one of the seven subtribes of the Lakota peopl ...
did not have a telephone. The reservations' isolation also inhibits their ability to generate revenue from gaming casinos, an avenue that has proved profitable for many tribes closer to urban centers.


Languages

In 1995 the legislature passed a law to make English the "common language" of the state. Since 2019, ''"the language of the Great Sioux Nation, three dialects, Sioux language, Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota"'' is the official indigenous language. As of the 2000 census, 1.90% of the population age5 or older speak German at home, while 1.51% speak Lakota language, Lakota or Dakota language, Dakota, and 1.43% Spanish. As of 2010, 93.46% (692,504) of South Dakota residents age5 and older spoke English language, English as their primary language. 6.54% of the population spoke a language other than English. 2.06% (15,292) of the population spoke Spanish, 1.39% (10,282) spoke Sioux language, Dakota, and 1.37% (10,140) spoke German. Other languages spoken included Vietnamese language, Vietnamese (0.16%), Chinese language, Chinese (0.12%), and Russian language, Russian (0.10%).


Growth and rural flight

Over the last several decades, the population in many rural areas has declined in South Dakota, in common with other Great Plains states. The change has been characterized as "rural flight" as family farming has declined. Young people have moved to cities for other employment. This trend has continued in recent years, with 30 of South Dakota's counties losing population between the 1990 and the 2000 census.O'Driscoll, Patrick. "Sioux Falls powers South Dakota growth"
, ''USA Today'', March 12, 2001. (accessed December 16, 2008)
During that time, nine counties had a population loss of greater than 10%, with Harding County, South Dakota, Harding County, in the northwest corner of the state, losing nearly 19% of its population. Low birth rates and a lack of younger immigration has caused the median age of many of these counties to increase. In 24 counties, at least 20% of the population is over the age of 65, compared with a national rate of 12.8%. The effect of rural flight has not been spread evenly through South Dakota, however. Although most rural counties and small towns have lost population, the Sioux Falls area, the larger counties along Interstate 29 in South Dakota, Interstate 29, the Black Hills, and many Indian reservations have all gained population. As the reservations have exercised more sovereignty, some Sioux have returned to them from urban areas. Lincoln County, South Dakota, Lincoln County near Sioux Falls was the seventh fastest-growing county (by percentage) in the United States in 2010. The growth in these areas has compensated for losses in the rest of the state. South Dakota's total population continues to increase steadily, albeit at a slower rate than the national average.


Religion

The largest denominations by number of adherents in 2010 were the Roman Catholic Church with 148,883 members; the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) with 112,649 members; and the United Methodist Church (UMC) with 36,020 members. (The ELCA and UMC are specific denominations within the broader terms 'Lutheran' and 'Methodist', respectively.) The results of a 2001 survey, in which South Dakotans were asked to identify their religion, include: * Christian (86%) ** Protestant (54%) *** Lutheran (27%) *** Methodist (13%) *** Baptist (4%) *** Presbyterian (4%) *** Other Protestant (6%) ** Roman Catholic (25%) ** non-denominational, Non-denominational Christian (7%) * Unaffiliated (8%) * Other religions (3%) * Refused to answer (2%)


Economy

The current-dollar gross state product of South Dakota was $39.8 billion as of 2010, the fifth-smallest total state output in the U.S. The Per capita personal income in the United States, per capita personal income was $38,865 in 2010, ranked 25th in the U.S., and 12.5% of the population was below the poverty line in 2008. CNBC's list of "Top States for Business for 2010" has recognized South Dakota as the seventh best state in the nation. In July 2011, the state's unemployment rate was 4.7%. The service industry is the largest economic contributor in South Dakota. This sector includes the retail, finance, and health care industries.
Citibank Citibank is the consumer division of financial services Financial services are the economic services provided by the finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial sys ...

Citibank
, which was the largest bank holding company in the United States at one time, established national banking operations in South Dakota in 1981 to take advantage of favorable banking regulations. Government spending is another important segment of the state's economy, providing over ten percent of the gross state product. Ellsworth Air Force Base, near Rapid City, is the second-largest single employer in the state. Agriculture has historically been a key component of the South Dakota economy. Although other industries have expanded rapidly in recent decades, agricultural production is still very important to the state's economy, especially in rural areas. The five most valuable agricultural products in South Dakota are cattle, maize, corn (maize), soybeans, wheat, and pig, hogs. Agriculture-related industries such as meat packing and ethanol production also have a considerable economic impact on the state. South Dakota is the sixth leading ethanol-producing state in the nation. Another important sector in South Dakota's economy is tourism. Many travel to view the attractions of the state, particularly those in the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is a small and isolated mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or ...

Black Hills
region, such as historic Deadwood, South Dakota, Deadwood,
Mount Rushmore Mount Rushmore National Memorial is centered on a colossal sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore (Lakota ''Tȟuŋkášila Šákpe'', or Six Grandfathers) in the Black Hills in Keystone, South Dakota. Sculptor Gutzon Borgl ...

Mount Rushmore
, and the nearby state and national parks. One of the largest tourist events in the state is the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The five-day event drew over 739,000 attendees in 2015; significant considering the state has a total population of 850,000. In 2006, tourism provided an estimated 33,000 jobs in the state and contributed over two billion dollars to the economy of South Dakota.


Transportation

South Dakota has of highways, roads, and streets, along with of interstate highways. Two major interstates pass through South Dakota: Interstate 90 in South Dakota, Interstate 90, which runs east and west through the southern half of the state; and Interstate 29 in South Dakota, Interstate 29, running north and south in the eastern portion of the state. The I-29 corridor features generally higher rates of population and economic growth than areas in eastern South Dakota further from the interstate. Also in the state are the shorter Interstates Interstate 190 (South Dakota), 190, a spur route, spur into central Rapid City, and Interstate 229 (South Dakota), 229, a loop route, loop around southern and eastern Sioux Falls. Several major United States Numbered Highways, U.S. highways pass through the state. U.S. routes U.S. Route 12, 12, U.S. Route 14, 14, U.S. Route 16, 16, U.S. Route 18, 18 and U.S. Route 212, 212 travel east and west, while U.S. routes U.S. Route 81, 81, U.S. Route 83, 83, U.S. Route 85, 85 and U.S. Route 281, 281 run north and south. South Dakota and
Montana Montana () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Montana
are the only states sharing a land border that is not traversed by a paved road. South Dakota contains two National Scenic Byways. The Peter Norbeck Scenic Byway, Peter Norbeck National Scenic Byway is in the Black Hills, while the Native American Scenic Byway runs along the Missouri River in the north-central part of the state. Other scenic byways include the Badlands Loop Scenic Byway, the Spearfish Canyon Scenic Byway, and the Wildlife Loop Road Scenic Byway. Railroads have played an important role in South Dakota transportation since the mid-19th century. Some of railroad track were built in South Dakota during the late 19th century and early 20th century, but only are active. BNSF Railway is the largest railroad in South Dakota; the Rapid City, Pierre and Eastern Railroad (formerly the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern) is the state's other major carrier. Other state carriers include Dakota Southern Railway, Dakota and Iowa Railroad, Ellis and Eastern Company, Ellis and Eastern Railroad, Sunflour Railroad, Canadian Pacific Railway, and the Sisseton Milbank Railroad. Rail transportation in the state is mostly freight, but there are two passenger heritage railroads: the Black Hills Central Railroad, Black Hills Central and the Prairie Village, Herman and Milwaukee Railroad, Prairie Village, Herman, and Milwaukee. However, South Dakota is one of the two Geographic contiguity, contiguous states that lack Amtrak service. (South Dakota is the only contiguous state that ''never had'' Amtrak—
Wyoming Wyoming () is a U.S. state, state in the Mountain states, Mountain West subregion of the Western United States. The List of U.S. states and territories by area, 10th largest state by area, it is also the List of U.S. states and territories b ...
used to be served by the San Francisco Zephyr and the Pioneer (Amtrak), Pioneer.) South Dakota's largest commercial airports in terms of passenger traffic are the Sioux Falls Regional Airport and Rapid City Regional Airport. Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, and Allegiant Airlines, as well as commuter airlines using the brand affiliation with major airlines serve the two largest airports. Several other cities in the state also have commercial air service: Aberdeen Regional Airport, Pierre Regional Airport, and Watertown Regional Airport, some of which are subsidized by the Essential Air Service program.


Government and politics


Government

Like other U.S. states, the structure of the government of South Dakota follows the same separation of powers as the Federal government of the United States, federal government, with executive, Legislature, legislative, and Judiciary, judicial branches. The structure of the state government is laid out in the Constitution of South Dakota, the highest law in the state. The constitution may be amended by a majority vote of both houses of the legislature, or by voter initiative. The Governor of South Dakota occupies the executive branch of the state government. The current governor is Kristi Noem, a Republican. The state constitution gives the governor the power to sign into law or veto bills passed by the state legislature, to serve as commander-in-chief of the South Dakota National Guard, to appoint a cabinet, and to commute criminal sentences or to pardon those convicted of crimes. The governor serves for a four-year term, and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. The South Dakota Legislature, state legislature is made up of two bodies, the South Dakota State Senate, Senate, which has 35 members, and the South Dakota House of Representatives, House of Representatives, with 70 members. South Dakota is divided into 35 legislative districts, with voters electing two representatives and one senator per district. The legislature meets for an annual session which begins on the second Tuesday in January and lasts for 30 days; it also meets if a special session is called by the governor. The judicial branch is made up of several levels. The South Dakota Supreme Court, state supreme court, with four justices and a chief justice, is the highest court in the state. Below the supreme court are the circuit courts; 41 circuit judges serve in seven judicial circuits in the state. Below the circuit courts are the Limited jurisdiction, magistrate courts, which deal with lesser criminal and civil actions.


State taxes

As of 2005, South Dakota has the lowest per capita total state tax rate in the United States. The state does not levy personal or corporate income taxes, inheritance taxes, or taxes on personal property, intangible personal property. The state sales tax rate is 4.5 percent. Various localities have local levies so in some areas the rate is six percent. The state sales tax does not apply to sales to Indigenous peoples of the Americas, Indians on Indian reservations, but many reservations have a compact with the state. Businesses on the reservation collect the tax and the state refunds to the Indian Tribes the percentage of sales tax collections relating to the ratio of Indian population to total population in the county or area affected. Ad valorem tax, Ad valorem property taxes are local taxes and are a large source of funding for school systems, counties, municipalities and other local government units. The South Dakota Special Tax Division regulates some taxes including cigarette and alcohol-related taxes.


Federal representation

South Dakota is represented at the federal level by United States Senate, Senator John Thune, Senator Mike Rounds, and United States House of Representatives, Representative Dusty Johnson. All three are Republicans. South Dakota is one of seven states with only one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. In United States presidential elections, South Dakota is allotted three of 538 votes in the Electoral College (United States), Electoral College. As in all other states except Maine and neighboring
Nebraska Nebraska () is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper ...

Nebraska
, South Dakota's electoral votes are granted in a winner-take-all system.


Politics

South Dakota politics are generally dominated by the
Republican Party Republican Party is a name used by many political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a country's elections. It is common for the members of a political party to have similar ideas about polit ...
. Since statehood, Republicans have carried the state's electoral votes in all but five presidential elections: 1896 United States presidential election, 1896, 1912 United States presidential election, 1912 (by Theodore Roosevelt's Progressive Party (United States, 1912), Progressive Party), 1932 United States presidential election, 1932, 1936 United States presidential election, 1936 and 1964 United States presidential election, 1964. (Democratic Party (United States), Democrat George McGovern—a native South Dakotan—failed to carry his home state in 1972 United States presidential election, 1972.) Only Alaska has been carried fewer times by a Democrat. Additionally, a Democrat has not won the governorship since 1974. As of 2016, Republicans hold a 15% voter registration advantage over Democrats and hold large majorities in both the state House and the state Senate. Despite the state's general Republican and conservative leanings, Democrats have found success in various statewide elections, most notably in those involving South Dakota's congressional representatives in Washington D.C., Washington. American Indians have been becoming more active in state and county electoral politics. In the 2002 election, American Indian voting carried Tim Johnson as the Democratic candidate by a margin of 532 votes.Gwen Florio, "Indians Show Political Clout; Natives Throng Polls in 'White' S.D. County"
''The Denver Post'', January 8, 2003, accessed June 8, 2011
Until his electoral defeat in 2004, Senator Tom Daschle was the Senate minority leader (and briefly its majority leader during Democratic control of the Senate in 2001–02). Other prominent South Dakota Democrats include former presidential nominees George McGovern and Hubert Humphrey. In 2016, South Dakota voted for Republican nominee Donald Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton by a margin of 30%. In 2018 South Dakota gubernatorial election, 2018, Republican congresswoman Kristi Noem defeated Democrat Billie Sutton in the gubernatorial election by a small margin, and Republican Dusty Johnson defeated Democrat Tim Bjorkman for the state's at-large seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Contemporary political issues in South Dakota include the costs and benefits of the South Dakota Lottery, state lottery, South Dakota's relatively low rankings in education spending (particularly teacher pay—recently the State Sales Tax was increased from 4% to 4.5% to finance an increase in teacher pay), and recent legislative and electoral attempts to ban abortion in the state. A Republican-supported bill passed in March 2019 requires that all public schools display "In God We Trust" in a prominent location.


Culture

South Dakota's culture reflects the state's American Indian, rural, Western, and European roots. A number of annual events celebrating the state's ethnic and historical heritage take place around the state, such as Days of '76 in Deadwood, South Dakota, Deadwood, Czech Days in Tabor, South Dakota, Tabor, and the annual St. Patrick's Day and Cinco de Mayo festivities in Sioux Falls. The various tribes hold many annual pow wows at their reservations throughout the state, to which non-Native Americans are sometimes invited. Custer State Park holds an annual Buffalo Roundup, in which volunteers on horseback gather the park's herd of around 1,500 American bison, bison. Black Elk (Lakota) was a medicine man and heyokha, whose life spanned the transition to reservations. His accounts of the 19th-century American Indian Wars, Indian Wars and Ghost Dance movement, and his deep thoughts on personal visions and Native American religion, form the basis of the book ''Black Elk Speaks'', first published in 1932. (Among several editions, a premier annotated edition was published in 2008.) Paul Goble (writer and illustrator), Paul Goble, an award-winning children's book author and illustrator, was based in the Black Hills from 1977. Laura Ingalls Wilder, whose semi-autobiographical books are based on her experiences as a child and young adult on the frontier, is one of South Dakota's best-known writers. She drew from her life growing up on a homestead near De Smet, South Dakota, De Smet as the basis for five of her novels: ''By the Shores of Silver Lake'', ''The Long Winter (novel), The Long Winter'', ''Little Town on the Prairie'', ''These Happy Golden Years'', and ''The First Four Years (novel), The First Four Years''. These gained renewed popularity in the United States when ''Little House on the Prairie'' was adapted and produced as a television series in 1974. Wilder's daughter, Rose Wilder Lane, who became a well-known writer in her own right, was born near De Smet in 1886. South Dakota has also produced several notable artists. Harvey Dunn grew up on a homestead near Manchester, South Dakota, Manchester in the late 19th century. While Dunn worked most of his career as a commercial illustrator, his most famous works showed various scenes of frontier life; he completed these near the end of his career. Oscar Howe (Crow) was born on the Crow Creek Indian Reservation and won fame for his watercolor paintings. Howe was one of the first Native American painters to adopt techniques and style heavily influenced by the mid-20th century abstraction movement, rather than relying on traditional Native American styles. Terry Redlin, originally from Watertown, South Dakota, Watertown, was an accomplished painter of rural and wildlife scenes. Many of his works are on display at the Redlin Art Center in Watertown.


Cities and towns

Sioux Falls Sioux Falls (; Lakota language, Lakota: ''Íŋyaŋ Okábleča Otȟúŋwahe''; "Stone Shatter City") is the List of cities in South Dakota, most populous city in the U.S. state of South Dakota and the List of United States cities by population, 13 ...
is the largest city in South Dakota, with a 2010 population of 153,888, and a metropolitan area population of 238,122. The city, founded in 1856, is in the southeast corner of the state. Retail, finance, and healthcare have assumed greater importance in Sioux Falls,Thompson (ed.), p. 554. where the economy was originally centered on agri-business and quarrying.
Rapid City Rapid City ( lkt, link=no, Mni Lúzahaŋ Otȟúŋwahe; "Swift Water City") is the List of cities in South Dakota, second most populous city in South Dakota and the county seat of Pennington County, South Dakota, Pennington County. Named after Rap ...
, with a 2010 population of 67,956, and a metropolitan area population of 124,766, is the second-largest city in the state. It is on the eastern edge of the Black Hills, and was founded in 1876. Rapid City's economy is largely based on tourism and defense spending, because of the proximity of many tourist attractions in the
Black Hills The Black Hills ( lkt, Ȟe Sápa; chy, Moʼȯhta-voʼhonáaeva; hid, awaxaawi shiibisha) is a small and isolated mountain range A mountain range is a series of mountains ranged in a line and connected by high ground. A mountain system or ...

Black Hills
and Ellsworth Air Force Base. The next eight largest cities in the state, in order of descending 2010 population, are Aberdeen, South Dakota, Aberdeen (26,091), Brookings, South Dakota, Brookings (22,056), Watertown, South Dakota, Watertown (21,482), Mitchell, South Dakota, Mitchell (15,254), Yankton (14,454),
Pierre Pierre is a masculine given name. It is a French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a ...
(13,646), Huron, South Dakota, Huron (12,592), and Vermillion, South Dakota, Vermillion (10,571). Pierre is the state capital, and Brookings and Vermillion are the locations of the state's two largest universities (South Dakota State University and University of South Dakota, respectively). With a population of about 14,000, Pierre is the second smallest state capital in the United States. Of the ten largest cities in the state, only Rapid City is west of the
Missouri River The Missouri River is the longest river A river is a natural flowing watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, sea, lake or another river. In some cases, a river flows into the ground and becomes dry at the end of its ...
.


Media

South Dakota's first newspaper, the ''Dakota Democrat'', began publishing in Yankton in 1858. Today, the state's largest newspaper is the Sioux Falls ''Argus Leader'', with a Sunday circulation of 63,701 and a weekday circulation of 44,334. The ''Rapid City Journal'', with a Sunday circulation of 32,638 and a weekday circulation of 27,827, is South Dakota's second largest newspaper. The next four largest newspapers in the state are the Aberdeen, South Dakota, Aberdeen ''American News'', the ''Watertown Public Opinion'', the ''Huron Plainsman'', and the ''Brookings Register''. In 1981, Tim Giago founded the ''Lakota Times'' as a newspaper for the local American Indian community on the
Pine Ridge Indian Reservation The Pine Ridge Indian Reservation ( lkt, Wazí Aháŋhaŋ Oyáŋke), also called Pine Ridge Agency, is an Oglala Lakota The Oglala (pronounced , meaning "to scatter one's own" in Lakota language) are one of the seven subtribes of the Lakota peopl ...
. The newspaper, now published in New York and known as ''Indian Country Today'', is available in every state in the country. The ''Sioux City Journal'' also covers parts of South Dakota. There are nine television stations broadcasting in South Dakota; South Dakota Public Television broadcasts from a number of locations around the state, while the other stations broadcast from Sioux Falls or Rapid City. The two largest television media markets in South Dakota are Sioux Falls-Mitchell, with a viewership of 246,020, and Rapid City, with a viewership of 91,070. The two markets rank as 114th and 177th largest in the United States, respectively. The state's first television station, KELO-TV, began airing in Sioux Falls in 1953. Among KELO's early programs was ''Captain 11'', an afternoon children's program. ''Captain 11'' ran from 1955 until 1996, making it the nation's longest continuously running children's television program. A number of South Dakotans are famous for their work in television and publishing. Former NBC Nightly News anchor and author Tom Brokaw is from Webster, South Dakota, Webster and Yankton, ''USA Today'' founder Al Neuharth was from Eureka, South Dakota, Eureka and Alpena, South Dakota, Alpena, gameshow host Bob Barker spent much of his childhood in Mission, South Dakota, Mission, and entertainment news hosts Pat O'Brien (television), Pat O'Brien and Mary Hart are from Sioux Falls.


Education

As of 2006, South Dakota has a total primary and secondary school enrollment of 136,872, with 120,278 of these students being educated in the public school system. There are 703 public schools in 168 school districts, giving South Dakota the highest number of schools per capita in the United States. The current high school graduation rate is 89.9%, and the average ACT (examination), ACT score is 21.8, slightly above the national average of 21.1. 89.8% of the adult population has earned at least a high school diploma, and 25.8% has earned a bachelor's degree or higher. South Dakota's 2008 average public school teacher salary of $36,674 was the lowest in the nation (national average was $52,308). In 2007 South Dakota passed legislation modeled after Montana's Indian Education for All Act (1999), mandating education about Native American tribal history, culture, and heritage in all the schools, from pre-school through college, in an effort to increase knowledge and appreciation about Indian culture among all residents of the state, as well as to reinforce Indian students' understanding of their own cultures' contributions. The South Dakota Board of Regents, whose members are appointed by the governor, controls the six public universities in the state. South Dakota State University (SDSU), in Brookings, South Dakota, Brookings, is the state's largest university, with an enrollment of 12,831. The University of South Dakota (USD), in Vermillion, South Dakota, Vermillion, is the state's oldest university, and has South Dakota's only University of South Dakota School of Law, law school and University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, medical school. South Dakota also has several private universities, the largest of which is Augustana University in Sioux Falls.


Sports and recreation


Organized sports

Because of its low population, South Dakota does not host any major league professional sports franchises. The state has minor league and independent league teams, all of which play in Sioux Falls or Rapid City. Sioux Falls is home to four teams: the Sioux Falls Canaries (baseball), the Sioux Falls Skyforce (basketball), the Sioux Falls Stampede (Ice hockey, hockey), and the Sioux Falls Storm (indoor American football). The Canaries play in the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, American Association, and their home field is Sioux Falls Stadium. The Skyforce plays in the NBA G League and is owned by the NBA's Miami Heat. It plays at the Sanford Pentagon. The Stampede and Storm share the Denny Sanford Premier Center. The Stampede plays in the United States Hockey League, USHL, and the Storm plays in the Indoor Football League, IFL. Rapid City has a hockey team named the Rapid City Rush that plays in the ECHL. The Rush began its inaugural season in 2008 at the Rushmore Plaza Civic Center. Universities in South Dakota host a variety of sports programs. For many years, South Dakota was one of the only states in the country without an National Collegiate Athletic Association, NCAA NCAA Division I, DivisionI football or basketball team. However, several years ago SDSU decided to move their teams from NCAA Division II, DivisionII to DivisionI, a move followed by the University of South Dakota. Other universities in the state compete at the NCAA's Division II or III levels, or in the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, NAIA. Famous South Dakota athletes include Billy Mills, Mike Miller (basketball player), Mike Miller, Mark Ellis (baseball), Mark Ellis, Becky Hammon, Brock Lesnar, Chad Greenway, and Adam Vinatieri. Mills is from the town of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Pine Ridge and competed at the 1964 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo, becoming the only American to win a gold medal in the 10,000-meter event. Miller, of Mitchell, South Dakota, Mitchell, is a two-time National Basketball Association, NBA champion who played college basketball at the University of Florida, leading them to the 2000 NCAA Championship game his sophomore year, and won the 2001 NBA rookie of the year award. Ellis, of Rapid City, played for the University of Florida and four Major League Baseball, MLB teams before retiring in 2015. Hammon, of
Rapid City Rapid City ( lkt, link=no, Mni Lúzahaŋ Otȟúŋwahe; "Swift Water City") is the List of cities in South Dakota, second most populous city in South Dakota and the county seat of Pennington County, South Dakota, Pennington County. Named after Rap ...
, played for the Women's National Basketball Association, WNBA's New York Liberty and San Antonio Silver Stars before becoming an assistant coach for the NBA's San Antonio Spurs in 2014. Lesnar, of Webster, South Dakota, Webster, is a former heavy-weight champion in the UFC and WWE. Vinatieri is an National Football League, NFL placekicker who grew up in
Rapid City Rapid City ( lkt, link=no, Mni Lúzahaŋ Otȟúŋwahe; "Swift Water City") is the List of cities in South Dakota, second most populous city in South Dakota and the county seat of Pennington County, South Dakota, Pennington County. Named after Rap ...
and attended SDSU.


Recreation

Fishing and hunting are popular outdoor activities in South Dakota. Fishing contributes over $224 million to South Dakota's economy, and hunting contributes over $303 million. In 2007, over 275,000 hunting licences and 175,000 fishing licences were sold in the state; around half of the hunting licences and over two-thirds of the fishing licences were purchased by South Dakotans. Popular species of game include Common pheasant, pheasants, White tailed deer, white-tailed deer, mule deer, and turkey (bird), turkeys, as well as waterfowl such as Canada goose, Canada geese, snow geese, and mallards. Targets of anglers include walleye in the eastern glacial lakes and Missouri River reservoirs, Chinook salmon in Lake Oahe, and trout in the Black Hills. Other sports, such as cycling and running, are also popular in the state. In 1991, the state opened the George S. Mickelson Trail, a rail trail in the Black Hills. Besides being used by cyclists, the trail is also the site of a portion of the annual Mount Rushmore marathon; the marathon's entire course is at an elevation of over 4,000 feet (1,200 m). Other events in the state include the Tour de Kota, a , six-day cycling event that covers much of eastern and central South Dakota, and the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, which draws hundreds of thousands of participants from around the United States.


State symbols

Some of South Dakota's official state symbols include: :List of U.S. state birds, State bird: Common pheasant, Ring-necked pheasant :List of U.S. state flowers, State flower: Pulsatilla nuttalliana, American pasque flower :List of U.S. state trees, State tree: Black Hills spruce : List of U.S. state nicknames, State nicknames:
Mount Rushmore Mount Rushmore National Memorial is centered on a colossal sculpture carved into the granite face of Mount Rushmore (Lakota ''Tȟuŋkášila Šákpe'', or Six Grandfathers) in the Black Hills in Keystone, South Dakota. Sculptor Gutzon Borgl ...

Mount Rushmore
State (official), Coyote state and Sunlight, Sunshine state (both unofficial) : List of U.S. state mottos, State motto: "Under God, the people rule" : State slogan: "Great Faces. Great Places." :List of U.S. state minerals, rocks, stones and gemstones, State mineral: Rose quartz :List of U.S. state insects, State insect: Western honey bee, Honey bee (''Apis mellifera'') :List of U.S. state animals, State animal: Coyote :List of U.S. state fish, State fish: Walleye :List of U.S. state minerals, rocks, stones and gemstones, State gemstone: Fairburn, South Dakota, Fairburn agate :List of U.S. state songs, State song: "Hail, South Dakota!"


See also

* Index of South Dakota-related articles * Outline of South Dakota * '''' * ''''


References


Bibliography

* * *


Further reading

* Lauck, Jon K. ''Prairie Republic: The Political Culture of Dakota Territory, 1879–1889'' (University of Oklahoma Press; 2010) 281 pages * David J. Wishart, Wishart, David J. ed. ''Encyclopedia of the Great Plains'', University of Nebraska Press, 2004,
complete text online
900 pages of scholarly articles * From the publisher of South Dakota Magazine, with many photographs.


External links

*
South Dakota Department of Tourism

South Dakota State Databases

Energy Profile for South Dakota

USGS real-time, geographic, and other scientific resources of South Dakota



South Dakota State Facts from USDA

South Dakota State Historical Society Press
* * *
Dakota Pathways
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