South Dakota is a state that has a lot to offer visitors and residents. It’s the home of Mt. Rushmore, and there are plenty of places to go for outdoor recreation. The winters can be harsh, but the landscape is beautiful. Some towns are better than others for residents. Some towns and cities are not the best for putting down roots. High crime rates, poor unemployment prospects, low wages, and underfunded schools are issues that plague some areas. Here are the 20 worst places in South Dakota to live for 2021.
20. Box Elder, South Dakota
Only in Your State has identified many cities in South Dakota that are not the kinds of places that have much to offer new residents. Box Elder is a town of just under 10,000 residents. It’s situated near Ellsworth Air Force Base. It is one of the most dangerous places in the state. The violent crime rates are high with 5 rapes, one robbery, and 37 aggravated assaults. On top of this, there were several reports of car theft, larceny-theft, dozens of burglaries, and even 2 cases of arson. This isn’t a community that anyone can feel safe in.
19. Aberdeen, South Dakota
Aberdeen is a moderate-sized town of 28,713 residents. It’s a historic settlement town that does have some amenities and redeeming qualities, but there are a few things you should know about the city before you make plans to move there. The crime rates are high and it’s a dangerous place to live. In a 12 month period, there were 86 aggravated assaults, 4 robberies, 1 murder, and 33 rapes. On top of that, there were a whopping 602 property crimes committed.
18. Spearfish, South Dakota
This is one of the most picturesque cities in the state. It’s a small community of just 11,763 residents. From the outward appearance, it’s a beautiful place to live. When you delve a little deeper into this Black Hills community, it doesn’t look so attractive. For a small town, 318 larceny thefts, 8 rapes, 14 aggravated assaults, 40 burglaries, 3 robberies, and 17 motor vehicle thefts make it a good place to stay out of.
17. Flandreau, South Dakota
Flandreau is a small hamlet of just 2,332 residents. It’s situated in the heart of the eastern part of the state. Although the scenery is lovely, what goes on in the small town is catastrophic. FBI reports show that it has a disproportionate amount of crime. Within a year there were 57 property crimes, 5 aggravated assaults, 2 rapes, 2 robberies, and 7 motor vehicle thefts. If you live in Flandreau, you’re not safe and neither are your belongings.
16. Sioux Falls, South Dakota
Sioux Falls is the largest city in the state with a population of 180,335 permanent residents. There are plenty of amenities to enjoy, along with a healthy nightlife, plenty of job opportunities, and ample housing. The problem with Sioux Falls is that it’s a very violent place to live. The year saw 555 aggravated assaults, 107 robberies, 121 rapes, and 5 murders. The property crimes were the worst though. Reports of 5,288 property crimes indicate that you’re going to constantly be worried about your things while you’re at work.
15. Yankton, South Dakota
Yankton is a lovely college town that sits along the banks of the Missouri River. It’s a lovely place to visit, but not one that you’d want to call home. The town with a population of 14,523 is plagued with the fifth-highest crime rate in South Dakota. In a year, there were 16 rapes, 1 robbery, and 58 aggravated assaults. Add to that 26 car thefts, 31 burglaries, and 322 larceny thefts.
14. Pierre, South Dakota
Pierre is the capital city with a population of only 14,050 permanent residents. One would think that a small town this size would be relatively calm, but that’s not the case for Pierre. An FBI report reveals that there were 19 car thefts, 2 arsons, 325 larceny thefts, and more. There were 51 aggravated assaults, 1 robbery, 18 rapes, and 36 residents became the victim of burglaries.
13. Winner, South Dakota
Road Snacks offers their picks for the worst places to live, starting with Winner, South Dakota. This small berg has a small population of 2,826 permanent residents. The unemployment rate is 2.9 percent, which isn’t the worst, but the median home value is the 6th worst. The average home value is only $100,700. This indicates that there aren’t many people wanting to move to this city. It’s an isolated locale and there isn’t much to do. The amenities are down to nearly zip. It’s a great place if you want to go off the grid, but there’s really no kind of entertainment, shopping, or dining venues in the town.
12. Custer, South Dakota
Custer is another tiny South Dakota town with a population of just 2,282 residents. It’s located in the middle of the Black Hills Mountains. It’s a lovely little place, but the desirability score is low. Aside from the pretty surroundings, the best thing it has going are the highly-rated public schools. What puts it on our list is the fact that the average household income is the fourth-worst in the state. Earnings are low for the locals and the crime rates are high. Robbery is one of the biggest concerns in Custer.
11. Sisseton, South Dakota
Sisseton is a small town with a population of 2,468 permanent residents. While the town is just beginning to become more modern, it has its share of challenges. The public schools are average, but unemployment is sky-high at 7.1 percent. the median home value is just $87,200 which makes it the third-worst in the state, and the average household income is a low $38,679 annually. It’s hard to make a living in this small town, Wages are low when you can find a job.
10. Huron, South Dakota
Huron made the list because of its isolated location. The town is made up of 13,282 residents. The unemployment rate isn’t too bad at 1.6 percent, but it has the fifth-lowest home values in South Dakota at a mere $91,900. There isn’t much demand to live there. It’s a college town which means it’s far from peaceful or quiet. The economy of this town is in rough shape. There aren’t my places to go shopping, and Sioux Falls is quite a drive. Crime is above average and there isn’t much that would make you want to live here.
9. Canton, South Dakota
Canton has a population of 3,447 residents. It’s a small town with an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent. which is the 11th worst in the state along with a median home value of $129,300. This isn’t the worst thing about Canton though. The town is small and it is isolated. There isn’t much to do and families have a rough time making ends meet because of the low wages. The economy is bad and the crime rate puts this town among the top ten percent of the most dangerous places to live. The public schools are underfunded and there isn’t really much reason to want to live there.
8. Milbank, South Dakota
Milbank is a small town with a population of 3,166 residents. It’s not far from the Minnesota state line. The unemployment rate is 4.8 percent and homes are valued at $98,000. This is the ninth-lowest in the state. The annual income levels are low and the population of the town continues to decline with a 9 percent decrease over the past decade. More people are moving out than are moving in.
7. Belle Fourche, South Dakota
Belle Fourche is a small city with a population of 5,616 permanent residents. The median home value is $131,500, which is low, but certainly not the worst. Although it’s a beautiful town, there are plenty of reasons to avoid moving there. The unemployment rate is a shocking 7.2 percent with many of the residents living below the poverty line. The combined annual household income is a mere $46,463, which makes it tough to make ends meet. The crime rate is the 23rd highest in the state of South Dakota, it’s way out in the boonies, and the economy is shot.
6. Brookings, South Dakota
Zippia completes our list of the worst cities in South Dakota. The following cities are the worst for single women, starting with Brookings. Single ladies who live in Brookings only make $0.63 compared to the dollar that men earn for the same kind of work. The workforce statistics show that the management sector is comprised of just 38.2 percent women. The poverty rate for single women in Brookings is 17.3 percent and 4.2 percent of all single women in the city are uninsured. It’s challenging to be a single lady in Brookings. There are far better places for earning a living and finding a job that offers fair pay.
5. Watertown, South Dakota
Watertown is another city in South Dakota that is plagued with discriminatory practices in the workplace. Women in this city make up 39.8 percent of management in the workforce, and they tend to earn a pitiful $0.63 to the dollar when compared to the wages earned by men. The statistics also show that 16.5 percent of single women are living at or below the poverty line. Of these women, 5.6 percent are uninsured. With lower wages, there isn’t any spare money to pay for medical expenses. As the country is in the throes of a worldwide pandemic, it’s not a good time to be uninsured.
4. Rapid Valley, South Dakota
Rapid Valley is another town that you want to avoid if you’re a single woman. Women earn $0.73 on the dollar when their wages are compared with the salaries earned by men. To make matters even worse, 12.6 percent of all single women in this town live at or below the poverty level. When it comes to management, the workforce is made up of just 24.5 percent women, which shows clearly that women don’t usually get a job in management when there are men who are willing to take the job. Another grim statistic for Rapid Valley is the rate of uninsured single women at a whopping 8.5 percent. They can’t afford to get sick or have medical problems.
3. Tea, South Dakota
Tea is even worse than Rapid Valley for single women. Although the poverty rate is lower at 4.4 percent, the uninsured statistics show that 6.2 percent of single women do not have health coverage. What’s worse is that they earn a lot less. Single women earn just $0.62 for every dollar that a man earns. On top of that, the management workforce is populated by just 22.6 percent of females.
2. Sturgis, South Dakota
Sturgis is a South Dakota town that has problems of its own. If you’re a single woman in this city, be prepared to earn a sorry $0.51 for every dollar that a man earns for comparable work. The poverty level for women is 13.2 percent with just 43 percent in management. The number of uninsured single women in Sturgis is 15.5 percent, which means these ladies have no health coverage.
1. Vermillion, South Dakota
Vermillion, South Dakota is the worst place in the state to live if you’re a single woman. Only 36 percent of the management workforce is female. Women earn $0.68 for every dollar a man makes. The dismal stats further show that 7.9 percent of single women have no health insurance. The number of single women living in poverty is a staggering 32.8 percent.