Located in the northern portion of the Midwest, South Dakota is named after the Lakota and Dakota Sioux Native American tribes. One of the least populated states in the country, South Dakota is home to only 882,000 people, separated by two distinct halves, the residents of the West River and the residents of the East River. The eastern portion of the state houses most of the population and has the most fertile soil for farming. The western part of the state is best for ranching and tourism.

Things To Do in South Dakota

Despite its relatively low population, there is plenty for residents and tourists alike to enjoy in South Dakota. Of course, there is the well-known and highly popular Mount Rushmore area. Adventurists enjoy the many opportunities South Dakota provides for unique outdoor experiences, such as the Pinnacle Zip Tour. Other interesting attractions include the Badlands National Park, Loop Road, and Buffalo Ridge Theater. South Dakota is also home to a range of historical festivals and attractions, such as the Days of ’76 in Deadwood, and the annual Buffalo Roundup in Custer State Park. Finally, De Smet, which is the basis for the books by Laura Ingalls Wilder, is also located in South Dakota.

Education in South Dakota

South Dakota is home to 168 school districts that house only 703 schools and 120,278 students between them. It has the highest number of schools per capita in the country and has a graduation rate of 89.9%. ACT scores are above average as well. There are six public universities in the state as well, including the University of South Dakota and Augustana College.

Crime in South Dakota

As a whole, South Dakota is a safer state than most of the others in the United States. There are only about 4.13 violent crimes per 1,000 people, and property crime is much lower than the national average as well. Half of the state’s safest cities also made the list in 2018, and the city of Brandon reported zero violent crimes this year. In fact, there were only 20 total robberies reported among the safest cities this year. In addition to Brandon, other safe cities include Madison, Brookings, and Belle Fourche.

Buying a House in South Dakota

The market for homes in South Dakota is considered warm right now. Home values in the state have gone up about 5% in the past year and will rise by about another 2.7% by March 2020. The median home value in the state is $188,600, while the median list price is $223,900 (about $166 per square foot). The average home for sale in South Dakota remains listed for 97 days.