These Are The 10 Most Dangerous Cities In South Dakota For 2019


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Mount Rushmore State for 2019.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Don’t freak out that we updated it for 2019.

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Do you live in one of the most dangerous cities in South Dakota?

We all watch the news and see reports on Facebook of the latest crimes that happen in our hometowns. But it can be hard to tell at a big picture level how dangerous our town actually is.

No one wants to feel unsafe, and statistically speaking, odds are that where you live is most likely relatively safe. In order to help the good people of South Dakota — and anyone looking to move to South Dakota — know just how close they are to danger, we took data from the annual FBI report and did some serious analysis.

The data shows that these ten cities are currently the most dangerous in the Mount Rushmore State for 2019:

  1. Rapid City (Photos)
  2. Mitchell (Photos)
  3. Sioux Falls (Photos)
  4. Pierre (Photos)
  5. Flandreau (Photos)
  6. Yankton (Photos)
  7. Chamberlain (Photos)
  8. Spearfish (Photos)
  9. Vermillion (Photos)
  10. Sturgis (Photos)

After analyzing 28 cities in South Dakota, why did Rapid City take the top spot?

For the answer to this question and a detailed explanation of the data and analysis we used in creating this ranking, read on.

Or learn more about the safest places in South Dakota.

If you’re looking for something more national, check out the most dangerous cities in America or the most dangerous states in America.

For more South Dakota reading, check out:

Graphing The Most Dangerous And Safest Places In South Dakota

Most Dangerous Cities In South Dakota Graph

Click To Enlarge

How we determined the most dangerous cities in South Dakota for 2019?

Every year the FBI release two crime datasets, a preliminary dataset limited to the biggest cities in the country, followed by a more detailed release at the end of the year.

For our analysis, we focused on the JUST released 2017 data, specifically the 2017 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2019.

So what criteria did we use? Have a look:

  • Violent Crimes Per Capita
  • Property Crimes Per Capita

In order to make the analysis as apples to apples as possible, we only considered cities over 2,000 in population. That left us with 28 cities in South Dakota.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 28 for the two criteria with a #1 ranking being the most dangerous for the particular criteria.

Next, we averaged the two rankings into one “Dangerous Index”.

Finally, we ranked every city on the “Dangerous Index” with the lowest index being the most dangerous in South Dakota — Rapid City.

Read on for a detailed look at the 10 most dangerous cities in South Dakota.

Rapid City, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 74,986
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 640 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,830 (1st most dangerous)
More on Rapid City:  Data | Photos

The 2nd most populated city in South Dakota, Rapid City is located just 30 minutes away from Mount Rushmore.

Rapid City’s crime problem has been slowly improving in recent years, with violent crime going down from 2015-17, and property crime dropping.

Still, Rapid City residents face about a 1 in 26.1 chance of being the victim of theft or arson.

Mitchell, SD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 15,806
Rank Last Year: 2 (No Change)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 556 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,606 (3rd most dangerous)
More on Mitchell:  Data | Photos

Located in southeastern South Dakota, Mitchell ranks relatively poorly in both categories of crime.

On top of that, both types of crime have been steadily growing more frequent, with a 43% rise in violent crime and an 18% rise in property crime occurring between 2015-17.

That left Mitchell’s residents with a 1 in 179 shot of being the victim of violence in 2017.

Sioux Falls, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 177,888
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 450 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,857 (5th most dangerous)
More on Sioux Falls:  Data | Photos

The most populated city in South Dakota, the Sioux Falls metropolitan area contains almost 30% of the total population of the state.

The crime situation in Sioux Falls has gotten increasingly worse in recent years, with violent crime going up between 2015-17.

That meant that in 2017, about 1 in 222 Sioux Falls residents were the victim of a violent crime.

Pierre, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,064
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 391 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,704 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Pierre:  Data | Photos

The second smallest state capital in America (after Montpelier, VT), Pierre has the 2nd worst rate of property crime in the state.

Though Pierre has the 7th most violent crime on this list.

Flandreau, SD

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,331
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 815 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,445 (8th most dangerous)
More on Flandreau:  Data | Photos

Tiny Flandreau, statistically, is the 1st most violent city per capita in the entire state of South Dakota.

While crimes here skyrocketed in 2016, apparently, local jurisdictions have made progress, as crimes went down in 2017. However, for a town of just over 2,331 people, 19 violent crimes is eye opening. Statistically, 1 in 122 residents was the victim of a rape, attack or was killed last year.

Yankton, SD

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,579
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 390 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,496 (7th most dangerous)
More on Yankton:  Data | Photos

A city on the Missouri River, Yankton has experienced an unfortunate boom in its crime rate recently.

Between 2015-17, violent crime and property crime increased.

That left residents of Yankton with a 1 in 40.1 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 255 chance of being the victim of violence in 2017.

Chamberlain, SD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,364
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 423 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,284 (11th most dangerous)
More on Chamberlain:  Data | Photos

Chamberlain may not be the worst place to live in South Dakota , but it does earn the title of the 7th most dangerous city in the state.

In 2017, residents of Chamberlain had a 1 in 236 chance of being raped, murdered or assaulted and a 1 in 43.8 chance of being the victim of theft or arson.

Chamberlain probably wouldn’t even be on this list if not for a very recent explosion in its crime rate — between 2015-17, instances of violent crime increased to 10 and instances of property crime went from just 13 in 2011 to 54 in 2017.

Spearfish, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 11,697
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 350 (12th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,240 (4th most dangerous)
More on Spearfish:  Data | Photos

A smaller city on this list, Spearfish has experienced some wild swings in crime in recent years.

While instances of violent crime fell to 41 between 2015-17, property crime now stands at 4th worst.

If they could get the same magic working for property crime as they have for violence, Spearfish may one day be the idyllic place its residents want it to be.

Vermillion, SD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 10,892
Rank Last Year: 14 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 394 (6th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,139 (12th most dangerous)
More on Vermillion:  Data | Photos

Vermillion experienced a drop in its property crime rate between 2015-17.

That’s a difference of residents having about a 1 in 15 shot of being the victim of theft or arson at the beginning to a 1 in 46.7 shot in 2017.

Violent crime, meanwhile, remained at around the same level.

Sturgis, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 6,868
Rank Last Year: 16 (Up 6)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 262 (17th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,810 (6th most dangerous)
More on Sturgis:  Data | Photos

Sturgis’s recent explosion of crime makes it the 10th most dangerous place to live in the Mount Rushmore State.

Between 2015-17, both violent and property crime rates nearly tripled, leaving residents with a 1 in 381 chance of being the victim of a violent crime and a 1 in 35.6 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2017.

If the trend continues, we can expect to see the town of Sturgis top this list in a few years’ time.

Locking It All Up In South Dakota

The latest FBI crime data shows that Rapid City ranks as the most dangerous city in South Dakota for 2019.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Rapid City and that this isn’t a comment on the people that live there. So please don’t beat us up.

If you’re curious enough, here are the safest cities in South Dakota:

  1. Lead (Pop. 2,990)
  2. Lennox (Pop. 2,364)
  3. Brandon (Pop. 10,090)

For more South Dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Most Dangerous Cities In South Dakota

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Rapid City 74,986 640 3,830
2 Mitchell 15,806 556 3,606
3 Sioux Falls 177,888 450 2,857
4 Pierre 14,064 391 3,704
5 Flandreau 2,331 815 2,445
6 Yankton 14,579 390 2,496
7 Chamberlain 2,364 423 2,284
8 Spearfish 11,697 350 3,240
9 Vermillion 10,892 394 2,139
10 Sturgis 6,868 262 2,810
11 Aberdeen 28,800 343 2,364
12 Watertown 22,283 363 1,992
13 Box Elder 9,623 332 2,016
14 Huron 13,204 371 1,598
15 Mobridge 3,587 390 1,366
16 Hot Springs 3,540 56 2,372
17 Belle Fourche 5,662 158 1,660
18 Tea 5,261 171 1,368
19 Winner 2,850 280 1,017
20 Sisseton 2,426 329 659
21 Summerset 2,499 40 1,960
22 Canton 3,437 174 960
23 Brookings 24,198 148 1,301
24 Madison 7,584 145 1,147
25 North Sioux City 2,766 36 1,626
26 Lead 2,990 66 568
27 Lennox 2,364 126 169
28 Brandon 10,090 0 257

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