Welcome to South Dakota

Your life in the Mount Rushmore State begins


Welcome to South Dakota

South Dakota is nicknamed The Mount Rushmore State and has a population of roughly 892,631 people, making it the 46th largest state in the county. Located in the Midwest, South Dakota is mostly filled with plains and its home to the Black Hills National Forest, the site of Mount Rushmore (hence the nickname).

South Dakota's major industries include manufacturing, agriculture, mining, and tourism. The state's number one industry is agriculture, however, due to its fertile soil. Some of the most common crops include soybeans, corn, sunflowers, and wheat. Some of the top attractions include Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse Memorial, Custer State Park, Badlands National Park, Wind Cave National Park, and Dignity.

South Dakota Self-Storage Facts

As many people continue to move to South Dakota for jobs and a more affordable cost of living, the self-storage industry has found reason to grow and expand in the state in recent years. However, South Dakota has a great deal of storage with a current inventory of 5,935,227 square feet. That's 6.97 square feet per person, much more than the national average of 5.4 square feet per capita.

Below are some statistics that provide an overview of the self-storage industry in South Dakota:


South Dakota is home to an estimated 227 self-storage facilities.


South Dakota self-storage facilities cover 5,935,227 square feet of storage space.


South Dakota storage facilities offer 6.97 square feet of storage per person, which is lower than the national average of 5.4 square feet per person.

Reasons to Move to South Dakota

Considering South Dakota as your new home? Check out our top 10 reasons to love the Mount Rushmore state.


Minimal traffic. We all hate sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the way to or from work, but in South Dakota, traffic is significantly less congested.


Great for aspiring business owners. South Dakota was named the best state for starting a business by CNN and it was also rated the number one business climate in the country for entrepreneurs.


Tax-advantaged. Moving to South Dakota means no personal income tax, inheritance tax, or property tax, meaning more of your money stays in your wallet.


Affordable. South Dakota has a cost of living 20 percent lower than the national average when it comes to housing, health, transportation, and utilities.


Great quality of life. South Dakota was named the second-best state for overall well being and happiness and also the second-best state for quality of life.


Small town life. If you're into small-town living, you'll love South Dakota for that reason. Get used to strangers saying hello to you everywhere and making small talk about just about anything.


Great universities. Moving to South Dakota means you'll be closer to great universities like Northern State University and Dakota State University.


Beautiful sunrises and sunsets. South Dakota is pretty well known for its amazing sunrises and sunsets and moving there means you can enjoy them in person with your special someone.


Great for nature lovers. South Dakota has plenty to offer nature lovers thanks to its iconic attractions and natural beauty, such as Mount Rushmore, the Missouri River, and dozens of state parks, trails, lakes and more.


Friendly people. Much like southern states in the US, South Dakota is a state filled with its share of friendly people so get used to smiling and waving no matter where you are.

Moving to South Dakota

South Dakota's population is roughly 892,631 and it's one of few states that has under a million residents. Between 2017 and 2018, South Dakota's population increased by 1.02 percent. More people are moving into South Dakota than leaving it and the reasons appear to be employment opportunities and visitors who end up coming back to live in the Mount Rushmore State.

South Dakota Economic Outlook

South Dakota's GDP for 2018 was $45.87 billion and the state has an unemployment rate of 3 percent as of September 2019. South Dakota's job growth rate for 2020 is about 1 percent, which is somewhat lower than in 2019. More than 4,500 jobs will be added in 2020. South Dakota has a cost of living score of 95, meaning it's cheaper to live there than in the US as a whole.

Below are the top five sectors by GDP of real value added

$9.86 billion
Finance, insurance, real estate, rental, and leasing
$4.97 billion
Government and government enterprises
$4.78 billion
Educational services, health care, and social assistance
$4.67 billion
$4.27 billion
Agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting

Who are South Dakota's Largest Employers?

Sanford Health
The Good Samaritan Society
Rapid City Regional Hospital
Black Hills

Places to live in South Dakota

South Dakota spans roughly 78,116 square miles and has a total of 66 counties. The three largest cities in South Dakota are Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Aberdeen.

Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls is the largest city in South Dakota with a population of 182,574 residents. As one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Sioux Falls has tons to offer when it comes to entertainment, including Wild Water West Waterpark, Butterfly House & Aquarium, Great Plains Zoo & Delbridge Museum, Falls Park, to name a few.

Cost of living
6 percent lower than the national average
Median home price
Average rent
$825 per month
Average apartment size
967 square feet

Rapid City

Rapid City is the second-largest city in South Dakota with a population of 76,007 people. The city is located east of Black Hills National Forest and there's plenty to do and see there, including Custer State Park, Dinosaur Park, Mount Rushmore National Memorial, and Reptile Gardens.

Cost of living
5 percent lower than the national average
Median home price
Average rent
$883 per month
Average apartment size
967 square feet


Aberdeen, the third-largest city in South Dakota, has a modest population of just 29,516 people. Despite its somewhat small population, Aberdeen has a few places that just might appeal to you, including Wylie Park, Dacotah Prairie Museum, Richmond Lake Recreation Area, Slackers, and Skate Away.

Cost of living
12 percent lower the national average
Median home price
Average rent
$1,446 per month
Average apartment size
967 square feet

Moving to South Dakota Resources

All South Dakota Cities