Most Americans have never been to South Dakota. However, as the people who live there know, South Dakota is an awesome state.
But is it all roses? Definitely not. Just like any other state, South Dakota has its trouble spots. This article aims to determine, using science, the absolute worst small towns to live in the Mount Rushmore State. Don’t shoot the messenger, this is all using data.
After analyzing more than 56 of South Dakota’s smallest cities, we came up with this list as the 10 worst small towns in South Dakota where you’d never want to live:
So what is the worst small town to call home in South Dakota for 2019? According to the most recent census data, Porcupine is the worst small town to live in South Dakota.
Of course, many of these cities would rank highly if they were in other states, since South Dakota has its stuff figured out.
Read on below to see how we crunched the numbers, or scroll to the bottom to see how your town ranked.
How do you decide if a place is lousy or not?
In order to rank the worst small towns to live in South Dakota, we had to determine what criteria people like or dislike about a place. It isn’t a stretch to assume that people like low crime, solid education, things to do and a stable economy.
So we scraped the internet for those criteria, and it spit out the answer. Like magic.
How we determined the worst small towns to live in South Dakota for 2019
We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using FBI crime data and the Census’s 2013-2017 American Community Survey, this is the criteria we used:
- Population Density (The lower the worse)
- Highest Unemployment Rates
- Low housing costs (meaning there’s no demand)
- Adjusted Median Income (Median income adjusted for the cost of living)
- Education (Number of high school dropouts)
- High Crime
We looked at cities with populations between 1,000 and 5,000 people, of which, there were a lot – 56 to be exact.
Additional note: We get the crime numbers from the FBI, which gets its crime numbers from the cities themselves. Dropout numbers are based on the adult population, not just the current graduation rates of teenagers.
This list is a scientific analysis based on real data and is completely unbiased.
Rank Last Year: 1 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $12,800 (2nd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 22.0% (4th worst)
More on Porcupine: Data
Rank Last Year: 3 (No Change)
Median Home Value: $46,400 (4th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 19.3% (6th worst)
More on Fort Thompson: Data
Rank Last Year: 5 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $37,500 (3rd worst)
Unemployment Rate: 13.0% (8th worst)
More on Rosebud: Data
Rank Last Year: 8 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $48,600 (6th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 36.4% (3rd worst)
More on Eagle Butte: Data
Rank Last Year: 9 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $83,000 (17th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 6.5% (13th worst)
More on Wagner: Data
Rank Last Year: 10 (Up 1)
Median Home Value: $50,400 (7th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 17.8% (7th worst)
More on Mission: Data
Rank Last Year: 13 (Up 2)
Median Home Value: $69,200 (10th worst)
Unemployment Rate: 1.4% (42nd worst)
More on Gregory: Data
There You Have It – The Worst Small Towns In South Dakota
If you’re analyzing teeny places in the Mount Rushmore State with the worst economic situations, where there’s high crime and there’s not a lot to do, this is an accurate list.
If you’re curious enough, here are the best small towns to live in South Dakota, according to science:
- Worthing (Pop. 1,114)
- Tea (Pop. 4,866)
- Crooks (Pop. 1,349)
For more South Dakota reading, check out:
- 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In South Dakota
- 10 Safest Places In South Dakota
- 10 Best Cities For Singles In South Dakota
- 10 Worst Places To Live In South Dakota
Detailed List Of The Worst Small Towns In South Dakota
|4||North Eagle Butte||2,106|
|21||North Sioux City||2,693|