Moving to South Dakota

South Dakota is in the Midwestern region of the United States and is home to roughly 860,000 people.
Named for the Lakota and the Dakota Sioux tribes, the state has a very strong Native American heritage. It is the 17th largest state in the nation, yet it is 5th least populated. The capital city is Pierre, but many residents reside in Sioux Falls.
Much of South Dakota is made up of prairieland, though there are also low-lying mountains, known as the Black Hills. It is here where the state’s most notable attraction lies: Mount Rushmore. It is thanks to this monument that South Dakota has been officially nicknamed “The Mount Rushmore State.”
If you are planning a trip to South Dakota, you will find no shortage of activities to enjoy.

Geography & Climate

South Dakota is a part of the Great Plains region. Most of the topography is made up of wide open prairie land. The southwest is a mountainous region. The Black Hills, a small cluster of low-lying, pine-covered mountains are in this portion of the state.
Several rivers run through South Dakota, the largest of which is the Missouri. Other rivers include the James, the Cheyenne, the Big Sioux, and the White. There are also several lakes in this state.
South Dakota has four distinct seasons. Winters are cold, springs are warm, summers are hot, and falls are cool. In the summer the temperatures average around 90°F, and in the winter, the average temperature is below 10°F.
Dangerous thunderstorms that produce high winds and hail are not uncommon during the summer months. The eastern portion of the state is considered a part of Tornado Alley. Severe ice storms and blizzards are not uncommon in winter months.

Community & Lifestyle

A rich cultural heritage can be felt throughout the state of South Dakota. A large percentage of the population is Native American, and their culture can be experienced through the state’s many museums, landmarks and festivals.
Outdoor enthusiast will find plenty of recreational opportunities. The National Park Service administers several sites in the state. Wind Cave National park in the Black Hills features an expansive cave network and is home to a large population of bison. Badlands National Park features a breathtaking landscape that includes colorful buttes surrounded by grasslands. Mount Rushmore National Park is home to the Black Hills Mountain that has four US presidents carved into it.
South Dakota has the highest amount of schools per capita in the country. South Dakota State University is the largest university. The University of South Dakota is the oldest university and is home to the only medical and law school in the state.
With such a vibrant history and breathtaking landscapes, it’s no wonder the residents of South Dakota love their state.
If you are moving to South Dakota, consider hiring professional movers to make your move easier. High-quality moving services will have excellent references. Research local moving companies and request a free quote from the best ones. Be sure to collect your moving boxes well in advance to ensure you have plenty of time to pack. Keep track everything on track and be sure nothing gets overlooked by creating a moving checklist.

Jobs & Local Economy

The unemployment rate in South Dakota is 3.3% which is lower than the national average of 4.4% (June 2017).
Though industry varies in this state, the service industry, which includes health care, finance and retail operations, is the largest contributor to the economy. Agriculture also plays a large role in the economy.
The largest employers in South Dakota include Ellsworth Air Force base, Sanford USD Medical Center and Shaw Industries.
The overall cost of living in South Dakota is lower than the national average.


Moving to South Dakota also means you get to enjoy these nearby attractions:

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Located in Mount Rushmore State Park in Keystone, South Dakota, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial draws visitors from around the globe. The famous mountainside carving features the faces of four American presidents, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln. It is truly a national treasure.

Ingalls Homestead – Laura’s Living Prairie

In De Smet lies the homestead of Laura Ingalls Wilder, the famed writer who authored the semi-autobiographical series Little House on the Prairie. Here, you’ll learn about Wilder’s life, as well as pioneer history. Activities include driving a covered wagon and attending a lesson in the one-room schoolhouse.

State stats & Taxes


Total Population


Average Household Income


Median Home Sales Price

Educational level

Bachelors Degree or higher

Some college or Associates Degree

High School or GED

Less than High School

No Schooling

Cities in South Dakota

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