Like all states, South Dakota has certain places that are going on hard times. These South Dakota places have an above-average percentage of people living in poverty, out of work, or not making as much as they should be.
Even as the economy continues to improve, it’s worthwhile to look at the places in each state struggling to make ends meet. So we set our sites on locating the poorest places in South Dakota.
To do so, we used Saturday Night Science to analyze the newest Census data from the American Community Survey for the 39 cities in South Dakota with more than 2,000 people.
What’s the poorest city in South Dakota? According to the facts, Winner is the poorest place in South Dakota for 2023.
This isn’t a commentary on the people that live there or the vibrant culture and traditions of these places. Instead, it’s just a look at the facts.
For more South Dakota reading, check out:
- Best Places To Live In South Dakota
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- The poorest states in the US
- The poorest cities in the US
The 10 Poorest Cities In South Dakota For 2023
Rank Last Year: 7 (Up 6)
Median Income: $40,509 (lowest)
Poverty Rate: 29.0% (highest)
People In Poverty: 835
More on Winner: Crime
Winner, unfortunately, ranks as the poorest place in South Dakota thanks to combination of low pay and and a lack of jobs.
The city of 2,882 people averages the lowest median household income in South Dakota and the highest poverty rate. At the very least, the cost of living ranks in the bottom 15% of place in the state, so things like housing are relatively affordable.
Rank Last Year: 1 (Down 1)
Median Income: $40,599 (2nd lowest)
Poverty Rate: 19.8% (4th highest)
People In Poverty: 482
More on Sisseton: Crime
The second poorest city in South Dakota is Sisseton.
The city ranks as having the 4th highest incidence of poverty and 2nd lowest median household income. However, the unemployment rate ‘only’ ranks as the 6th highest in the Mount Rushmore State.
Placing as the third poorest city, Hot Springs’s median income ranks as the 4th lowest.
And that’s a sign that there’s a relatively substantial jump in the quality of the economy from second to third place on our list. The poverty rate is 20.995670995670995% and ranks near the bottom of places in the state.
But what makes up for the relatively low incomes of the city is its low cost of living. The income you do make here goes further than in most parts of the Mount Rushmore State.
Vermillion ranks as the fourth poorest place in South Dakota.
The town ranks as having the 9th lowest median household income and the 2nd highest incidence of poverty in the state.
That being said, there’s still a ton of cultural diversity in the city as it hosts many events throughout the year.
The fifth poorest city in South Dakota is Mobridge.
The city ranks as having the 8th lowest median income in the state. However, an extremely low cost of living prevents a good number of folks from living in poverty as the poverty rate only ranks as the 5th highest in South Dakota.
Still not the best news for Mobridge.
Rank Last Year: 3 (Down 3)
Median Income: $43,125 (3rd lowest)
Poverty Rate: 13.6% (15th highest)
People In Poverty: 407
More on Lead: Crime
Lead ranks as the sixth poorest place in the Mount Rushmore State.
It ranks as having the 15th highest incidence of poverty and the 9th highest unemployment rate.
Mitchell places as the seventh poorest city in South Dakota.
The city of over 15,677 ranks as having the 8th highest incidence of poverty in the state. However, it has a very low cost of living which helps to pay the bills each month.
Spearfish ranks as the eighth poorest city in South Dakota.
The big issue for the town is the unemployment rate which ranks as the 27th highest in the state.
Huron couldn’t stay out of the top ten poorest places in South Dakota; it ranks number 9.
While the median income is the 12th lowest, there are a substantial number of people that live below the poverty line. Overall, Huron ranks as having the 13th most people living in poverty of all the places we analyzed in South Dakota.
Rank Last Year: 9 (Down 1)
Median Income: $46,705 (7th lowest)
Poverty Rate: 11.8% (19th highest)
People In Poverty: 248
More on Springfield:
And rounding out the top ten poorest cities in South Dakota is Springfield.
The city of 2,108 people ranks in the bottom 20% for both median income and poverty rate in the Mount Rushmore State.
Methodology: How We Determined The Poorest Places In South Dakota for 2023
The first thing that comes to most people’s minds when they think about determining the poorest places is to simply the poverty rate. That is, the number of people living below a federally established level of income for a household of a certain size.
However, we don’t think that one statistic wholly encompasses what it means to be one of the “poorest places”. So we used Saturday Night Science to look at this set of criteria from the newly released 2017-2021 American Community Survey:
- Poverty Level
- Median Household Income
After we collected the data for all 39 places with more than 2,000 people in South Dakota, we ranked each place from 1 to 39 for each of the criteria, with 1 being the poorest.
We then averaged all the rankings for a place into a “Poor Score” with the place having the lowest overall Poor Score, Winner, crowned the “Poorest Place In South Dakota For 2023”.
This report has been updated for 2023, which is our tenth time ranking the poorest places in South Dakota.
Summary: The Poorest Cities In South Dakota For 2023
Like we said earlier, when we set out to identify the poorest places in South Dakota, we weren’t sure what we’d encounter, but it ended up being some of the best places to live in South Dakota.
When you look at the data, the cities and places mentioned above meet the criteria for being at the very bottom of the income ladder for everyone that lives there.
If you’re curious enough, here are the richest cities in South Dakota, according to data:
2nd Richest: Tea
3rd Richest: Harrisburg
For more South Dakota reading, check out:
- Richest Cities In South Dakota
- Safest Places In South Dakota
- Worst Places To Live In South Dakota
- Most Expensive Places To Live In South Dakota
Detailed List Of The Poorest Places To Live In South Dakota
|Rank||City||Population||Poverty Rate||Median Income||People In Poverty|
|26||North Sioux City||2,956||12.6%||$65,287||372|