The US state of South Dakota is located in the country’s Midwestern region. It has a population of approximately 869,666, making South Dakota the 5th least populous state in the country. With an area of 199,729 square km, it is the 17th most extensive US state. Additionally, South Dakota is the 5th least densely populated state in the country. Sioux Falls is the largest city in the state, followed by Rapid City, Abrdeen, Brookings, and Watertown.
The Five Biggest Cities in South Dakota
1. Sioux Falls
Located in the extreme eastern part of the state, Sioux Falls is South Dakota’s biggest city. It had a population of 153,888 individuals in 2010, which ranks as the 143rd most populous city in the country. Sioux Falls serves as the county seat of Minnehaha County, but also extends into Lincoln County. The city is one of the 50 fastest growing cities in the US and experienced a population growth of 22% between 2000 and 2010. The economy of Sioux Falls was initially centered on agriculture-based industries and quarrying. Today, the city has a diversified economy, which includes thriving healthcare, financial services, and retail trade industries.
2. Rapid City
South Dakota’s second biggest city, Rapid City, had a 2010 population of 67,956 in 2010. It also serves as the county seat of Pennington County. The city is located on the eastern slope of the Black Hills mountain range, near Rapid Creek, which is a tributary of the Cheyenne River. Given its proximity to the Black Hills, the city has been nicknamed the "Gateway to the Black Hills." Additionally, Rapid City is also referred to as the "City of Presidents" due to the life-size bronze statues of US presidents located in the city's downtown area. A number of tourist attractions are located near Rapid City, within the Black Hills, such as Mount Rushmore, Custer State Park, and Wind Cave National Park.
With a population of 26,091, Aberdeen is South Dakota’s third most populous city. It is also the county seat of Brown County. Aberdeen is regarded as a college town, given that Presentation College and Northern State University, two prestigious academic institutions within the state, are located in the city.
Brookings is South Dakota’s fourth-largest city, with a population of 22,056 in 2010. The city also serves as the county seat of Brookings County. The state’s largest institution for higher education, South Dakota State University, is based in Brookings, as well as the South Dakota Art Museum. Several manufacturing and agricultural corporations have headquarters in the city.
Watertown is South Dakota’s fifth most populous city, as well as the county seat of Codington County. In 2010, the city had a population of 21,482. The Redlin Art Center is located in Watertown, which contains many original works of art by Terry Redlin, one of the country’s most renowned wildlife artists.
The Capital of South Dakota
With a population of only 13,646, Pierre is the state capital of South Dakota. It is the eighth largest city in the state and serves as the county seat of Hughes County. Pierre is the country’s second least populated state capital, after Montpelier, Vermont.