Some of you might be asking yourself, at this very moment: is South Dakota a good place?
The answer is unequivocally yes… if you know where to locate the best places to live in South Dakota.
Lucky for you, we’re here to help you identify the best counties to live in the Mount Rushmore State based on the most recently available data from the Census. And this isn’t our first rodeo — we’ve been helping people find the best places to live in America for years.
So, the question becomes, if you wanted to relocate to the best part of South Dakota, where would you go? To answer that we looked at crime, cost of living, and demographic data for all 66 counties in the state.
After the analytic dust settled, we identified the 10 best counties to live in Mount Rushmore State for 2021.
Stanley County is the county to be when it comes to living the good life in South Dakota. And you might want to avoid Oglala Lakota County if you can — at least according to the data.
So if you’re thinking of making the move South Dakota, we’ve got you covered. Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.
The Best Counties To Live In South Dakota For 2021
Biggest Place: Fort Pierre
2. Sully County
Biggest Place: Onida
Median Income: $62,153 (11th best)
Median Home Price: $144,100.0 (19th best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.5% (4th best)
More on Sully County: Data
Biggest Place: Sioux Falls
Biggest Place: Ipswich
Median Income: $71,324 (3rd best)
Median Home Price: $118,400.0 (30th best)
Unemployment Rate: 1.5% (16th best)
More on Edmunds County: Data
5. Union County
Biggest Place: Dakota Dunes
6. Hand County
Biggest Place: Miller
Median Income: $54,155 (40th best)
Median Home Price: $128,400.0 (27th best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.0% (best)
More on Hand County: Data
Biggest Place: Alexandria
Median Income: $64,696 (8th best)
Median Home Price: $130,800.0 (25th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.3% (29th best)
More on Hanson County: Data
Biggest Place: Parker
Median Income: $59,242 (19th best)
Median Home Price: $122,400.0 (28th best)
Unemployment Rate: 2.1% (25th best)
More on Turner County: Data
9. Meade County
Biggest Place: Box Elder
10. Kingsbury County
Biggest Place: De Smet
Median Income: $61,699 (14th best)
Median Home Price: $109,900.0 (32nd best)
Unemployment Rate: 0.7% (8th best)
More on Kingsbury County: Data
How do you determine which South Dakota county is the best?
To give you the best county in South Dakota, we have to look at a handful of metrics that signal the quality of a place. To do that, we need to make some assumptions about what’s a “best county” and what isn’t. And, for reference, we are trying to make the kind of argument you’d make at a bar using facts, don’t take this analysis to court.
We paid particular attention to:
- Violent Crime Rates
- Property Crime Rates
- Median Home Values
- Median Income
- Unemployment Rates
- Adult Education Levels
- Health Insurance Coverage
- Poverty Rates
We then ranked each county in South Dakota across each of the criteria from one to 66, with one being the best.
Taking the average rank across all criteria, we created a quality of life score with the county posting the lowest overall score being the “Best County To Live In South Dakota”.
The result is some of the safest, quiet, and best counties to raise a family in the Mount Rushmore State.
Read on to see why Stanley County is the best county, while Oglala Lakota County is probably in contention for being the worst county in South Dakota.
There You Have It – The Best Counties In South Dakota To Call Home For 2018
It turns out living in South Dakota can vary from one part of the state to the next — who woulda thought?
But now you the know the really good parts and the parts to avoid and that’s why you came here to learn at the end of the day. And for that, you are welcome.
Here’s a look at the worst counties in South Dakota according to the data:
- Oglala Lakota County
- Todd County
- Buffalo County
For more South Dakota reading, check out:
- Best Places To Raise A Family In South Dakota
- Safest Places In South Dakota
- Richest Cities In South Dakota
- Best Places To Buy A House In South Dakota