10 Most Dangerous Cities In South Dakota For 2020


We used data and science to identify the most dangerous cities in the Mount Rushmore State for 2020.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in South Dakota and is updated for 2020.

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If you’ve ever read Pierre’s Capital Journal Crime and Courts page, then you know what many South Dakotans already know: this Midwest state has some pretty dangerous places, too.

Do we think it’s because the flatlanders are bored? Jobs are scarce? Low wages? Yes, all three and then some. So, it would be in your best interest to take a look below at RoadSnacks’ list of the most dangerous places in South Dakota for 2020 before you make any life changing decisions.

How’d we determine the most dangerous places in The Mount Rushmore State? We consulted the numbers. In total, we analyzed 26 cities. We looked at the FBI’s latest crime report for violent crime and property crime statistics for every place with over 2,000 residents. We discovered that South Dakota has some pretty interesting statistics when it comes to violent and property crime compared to the national average. South Dakota is winning the arson game, but losing in murder and aggravated assault. And, shockingly, the city with the most assaults and murders in the state has less than 3,000 residents.

While South Dakota was not in the top ten most dangerous states in America, it does have plenty of cities that should have made the most dangerous cities in the country’s list. Maybe these cities need more police presence? We’re not entirely sure. But one thing we do know is that you should check out South Dakota’s most dangerous places below: there may be some surprises.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in South Dakota for 2020:

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

It’s not lost on us that many of South Dakota’s cheapest places are also the state’s most dangerous–this is usually how it works. And this is definitely what is happening in South Dakota’s number one most dangerous city: rent is cheap, jobs are scarce, and crime is high.

So, where is the most dangerous place in South Dakota for 2020? That would be, Mitchell.

If you want to know where the rest of the most dangerous places in South Dakota are located, take a look at the list below; and if you don’t find what you’re looking for there, head to the bottom.

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

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In South Dakota For 2020

Mitchell, SD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 15,653
Rank Last Year: 2 (Up 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 517 (3rd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,660 (1st 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 2017-2018.

That left Mitchell’s residents with a 1 in 193 shot of being the victim of violence in 2018.

Review Of Mitchell by HomeSnacks User

Crimes arent quietly heard of here, if so mostly drugs, c*****e, m**h, marijuana, etc. Schools are great here, teachers very respectful and discipline well. Neighborhoods usually quiet and quite peaceful.

Twin Dragon Chinese, Bike Trail, Pump Track.

Rapid City, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 75,290
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 653 (2nd most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,914 (4th 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 2017-2018, and property crime dropping.

Still, Rapid City residents face about a 1 in 34.3 chance of being the victim of theft or arson.

Review Of Rapid City by HomeSnacks User

Downtown is beautiful and there are plenty of things to do in the Black Hills. The schools are nice and the city is relatively safe. The scenery is absolutely beautiful.

Love the revamped downtown, hiking trails on ‘M’ hill and Dinosaur Park. Lots of things to do with kids. And when you really want to get out, just go out to the Black Hills or Badlands.

Chamberlain, SD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,388
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 5)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 795 (1st most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,554 (7th 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 3rd most dangerous city in the state.

In 2018, residents of Chamberlain had a 1 in 125 chance of being raped, murdered or assaulted and a 1 in 39.1 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 2017-2018, instances of violent crime increased to 19 and instances of property crime went from just 13 in 2011 to 61 in 2018.

Yankton, SD

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,523
Rank Last Year: 6 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 516 (4th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,609 (6th 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 2017-2018, violent crime and property crime increased.

That left residents of Yankton with a 1 in 38.3 chance of being the victim of a property crime and a 1 in 193 chance of being the victim of violence in 2018.

Pierre, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 14,050
Rank Last Year: 4 (Down 1)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 498 (5th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,704 (5th most dangerous)
More on Pierre:  Data | Photos

The second smallest state capital in America (after Montpelier, VT), Pierre has the 5th worst rate of property crime in the state.

Though Pierre has the 5th most violent crime on this list.

Sioux Falls, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 180,335
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 436 (8th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,932 (3rd 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 2017-2018.

That meant that in 2018, about 1 in 228 Sioux Falls residents were the victim of a violent crime.

Review Of Sioux Falls by HomeSnacks User

It’s a great city to raise your family. The biggest city in South Dakota, there is plenty to do in Sioux Falls. The schools are great, there is plenty of recreation and the people are super nice.

Visit Falls Park, the bike trail, Palisades and go for a walk downtown to see all the sculptures of Sculpture Walk.

Flandreau, SD

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,332
Rank Last Year: 5 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 385 (11th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,444 (8th most dangerous)
More on Flandreau:  Data | Photos

Located in the western part of the state, South Dakota’s capital, Flandreau, is unfortunately in the top 11th for worst violent crime and 8th worst property crime rates in the state.

While violence fell between 2017-2018, property crime rose, meaning that, overall, Flandreau’s instances of crime have been increasing.

Residents of Flandreau had a 1 in 259 chance of being the victim of violence and a 1 in 40.9 chance of being the victim of a property crime in 2018.

Aberdeen, SD

Source: Public domain

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 28,713
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 431 (9th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 2,096 (11th most dangerous)
More on Aberdeen:  Data | Photos

Aberdeen has been on the rankings the past couple of years and now finds itself as the 8th most dangerous city in South Dakota. Aberdeen’s ranking for violent crime and property were 9th and 11th, respectively. Overall, like every other city in our top 10, it scored an F when it comes to crime.

Spearfish, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 11,763
Rank Last Year: 7 (Down 2)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 212 (18th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 3,187 (2nd most dangerous)
More on Spearfish:  Data | Photos

Spearfish has seen recent crime trend upwards. Violent crime has increased in 2017-2018, with most recent numbers showing an high 1 in 470 chance of being the victim of a violent crime.

Property crime is also high at 1 in 31.4 chance of being a victim.

Box Elder, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 9,761
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 3)
Violent Crimes Per 100k: 440 (7th most dangerous)
Property Crimes Per 100k: 1,792 (14th most dangerous)
More on Box Elder:  Data | Photos

Box Elder ranks relatively poorly in both categories of crime in South Dakota.

That left Box Elder’s residents with a 1 in 226 shot of being the victim of violence in 2018. Additionally, it ranked 14th for property crime.

How Is Your Town In ?

How we determined the most dangerous cities in South Dakota for 2020?

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 2018 data, specifically the 2018 Crime In The United States Report. We will update the results when data becomes available in September 2020.

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 26 cities in South Dakota.

We then ranked each city from 1 to 26 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 — Mitchell.

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

Locking It All Up In South Dakota

The latest FBI crime data shows that Mitchell ranks as the most dangerous city in South Dakota for 2020.

We want to point out again that there’s still safes places in Mitchell 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. 2,957)
  2. Sisseton (Pop. 2,395)
  3. Brandon (Pop. 10,107)

For more South Dakota reading, check out:

Where Are The Most Dangerous Cities In South Dakota?

Rank City Population Violent Crimes Per Capita Property Crimes Per Capita
1 Mitchell 15,653 517 3,660
2 Rapid City 75,290 653 2,914
3 Chamberlain 2,388 795 2,554
4 Yankton 14,523 516 2,609
5 Pierre 14,050 498 2,704
6 Sioux Falls 180,335 436 2,932
7 Flandreau 2,332 385 2,444
8 Aberdeen 28,713 431 2,096
9 Spearfish 11,763 212 3,187
10 Box Elder 9,761 440 1,792

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.

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