10 Most Dangerous Cities In South Dakota


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. It is our fifth time ranking the most dangerous places to live in South Dakota and is updated 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.

Here are the 10 most dangerous cities in South Dakota 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)

So what is the most dangerous city in South Dakota? After analyzing 28 cities in South Dakota, Rapid City takes the top spot as the most dangerous city in South Dakota based on the most recent FBI data.

For 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

The 10 Most Dangerous Places To Live In South Dakota For 2019

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Review Of Sioux Falls by HomeSnacks User

I enjoy Sioux Falls since there’s a little bit of everything. Airport near the north end for when I go on vacation, plenty of great restaurants around, some really nice bars downtown, and I can generally find what I’m looking for here.

The amount of construction going around where I live and work

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

Flandreau residents had a 1 in 122 chance of being the victim of a rape, murder, or assault in 2017 — the highest of any city in South Dakota for the 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

Spearfish has placed 4th for property crime per capita in the state.

Residents of Spearfish faced a 1 in 4th chance of being the victim of theft or arson in 2017.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, violent crime bumped up between 2015-17, making Spearfish the 12th most violent city in South Dakota.

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 ranks as the 9th most dangerous city in South Dakota.

The sheer volume of people passing through Vermillion probably contributes to the high occurrence of violent crime within the city. There were 43 violent crimes in 2017.

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 South Dakota has seen crime within its city limits head downwards over the last few years, but it’s still a relatively dangerous place.

Chances are if you live in Sturgis, someone you know was the victim of a break-in or theft in recent years, as nearly 1 in 32.5 residents had a run in with a criminal last year.

How Is Your Town In ?

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.

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:

Where Are 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

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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