These Are The 10 Most Successful Cities In South Dakota

We looked at the data to determine where the best of the best are living in South Dakota.

Chris Kolmarby Chris KolmarRankings - 2 years ago

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What is success? Is it the amount of money you have in your bank account, at any given point? Is it that feeling you get after delivering a killer presentation, or even a pretty decent bar joke?

Or is it something bigger–something wholly unnamable, undefinable, immeasurable, and totally subjective?

Probably so.

But here at Zippia, we like things that we can neatly measure and then expound upon. So yes, with the Power of Math, we have determined the unarguable, totally objective 10 most successful cities in South Dakota. And here they are:

  1. Pierre
  2. Brandon
  3. Aberdeen
  4. Mitchell
  5. Sioux Falls
  6. Watertown
  7. Belle Fourche
  8. Box Elder
  9. Sturgis
  10. Yankton

If you are trying to argue already with our unarguable list, keep reading. There’s a method to this madness.

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How We Determined The Most Successful Cities In South Dakota

The first thing that comes to most capitalist minds in terms of success is–money. After all, rich people must be successful, right?

Meh. Maybe. But we think there’s a bit more that goes into it than that. So we looked at this set of criteria from the 2010-2014 American Community Survey:




1. Pierre

Pierre, South Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 13,885Median Income: $52,961
Poverty Level: 10.0%
Unemployment Rate: 2.3%

2. Brandon

Brandon, South Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 9,350Median Income: $69,792
Poverty Level: 6.7%
Unemployment Rate: 3.9%

3. Aberdeen

Aberdeen, South Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 26,979Median Income: $47,540
Poverty Level: 13.1%
Unemployment Rate: 3.0%

4. Mitchell

Mitchell, South Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 15,490Median Income: $47,622
Poverty Level: 11.7%
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%

5. Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, South Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 160,964Median Income: $52,607
Poverty Level: 10.9%
Unemployment Rate: 4.6%

6. Watertown

Watertown, South Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 21,795Median Income: $45,185
Poverty Level: 12.3%
Unemployment Rate: 3.5%

7. Belle Fourche

Belle Fourche, South Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 5,677Median Income: $41,356
Poverty Level: 14.9%
Unemployment Rate: 2.9%

8. Box Elder

Box Elder, South Dakota

Source: Flickr

Population: 8,683Median Income: $45,041
Poverty Level: 7.4%
Unemployment Rate: 4.8%

9. Sturgis

Sturgis, South Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 6,652Median Income: $37,697
Poverty Level: 15.4%
Unemployment Rate: 2.3%

10. Yankton

Yankton, South Dakota

Source: Wikipedia

Population: 14,513Median Income: $42,250
Poverty Level: 15.9%
Unemployment Rate: 3.7%

Measuring Success

If you’re still looking at this post thinking, “Surely, such superficial methods can’t possibly measure a city, or rather, the individuals that make up that city’s success!” well, you’re probably right.

But we like to measure things, and when it comes to success, we feel pretty successful in our approach. Congrats to Pierre and our winners. And for those who didn’t make the cut, well, better luck next year.

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Detailed List Of The Most Successful Cities In South Dakota

Rank City Median Income Poverty Rate Unemployment Rate
1 Pierre $52,961 10.0% 2.3%
2 Brandon $69,792 6.7% 3.9%
3 Aberdeen $47,540 13.1% 3.0%
4 Mitchell $47,622 11.7% 3.7%
5 Sioux Falls $52,607 10.9% 4.6%
6 Watertown $45,185 12.3% 3.5%
7 Belle Fourche $41,356 14.9% 2.9%
8 Box Elder $45,041 7.4% 4.8%
9 Sturgis $37,697 15.4% 2.3%
10 Yankton $42,250 15.9% 3.7%
11 Rapid City $46,392 14.3% 5.9%
12 Huron $39,927 21.1% 3.1%
13 Brookings $41,061 28.4% 4.1%
14 Spearfish $39,758 20.6% 4.5%
15 Madison $37,045 17.4% 5.0%
16 Vermillion $28,690 42.7% 9.7%

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