South Dakota

Capital: Pierre

State abbreviation/Postal code: S.D./SD

Governor: Dennis Daugaard, R (to Jan. 2019)

Lieut. Governor: Matt Michels, R (to Jan. 2019)

Senators: John R. Thune, R (to Jan. 2023); Mike Rounds, R (to Jan. 2021)

U.S. Representatives: 1

Historical biographies of Congressional members

Atty. General: Marty Jackley, R (to Jan. 2019)

Secy. of State: Shantel Krebs, R (to Jan. 2019)

Treasurer: Rich Sattgast, R (to Jan. 2019)

Organized as territory: March 2, 1861

Entered Union (rank): Nov. 2, 1889 (40)

Present constitution adopted: 1889

Motto: Under God the people rule

State symbols:

flowerAmerican pasqueflower (1903)
grassWestern wheat grass (1970)
soilhoudek (1990)
treeblack hills spruce (1947)
birdring-necked pheasant (1943)
insecthoneybee (1978)
animalcoyote (1949)
mineral stonerose quartz (1966)
gemstonefairburn agate (1966)
colorsblue and gold (in state flag)
song“Hail! South Dakota” (1943)
fishwalleye (1982)
musical instrumentfiddle (1989)
dessertkuchen (2000)

Nicknames: Mount Rushmore State; Coyote State

Origin of name: From the Sioux tribe, meaning “allies”

10 largest cities (2010 est.): Sioux Falls, 153,888; Rapid City , 67,956; Aberdeen, 26,091; Brookings, 22,056; Watertown, 21,482; Mitchell, 15.254; Yankton, 14,454; Pierre , 13,646; Huron, 12,592; Vermillion, 10,571

Land area: 78,116 sq mi (199,729 km2))

Geographic center: In Hughes Co., 8 mi. NE of Pierre

Number of counties: 66 (64 county governments)

Largest county by population and area: Minnehaha, 169,468 (2010); Meade, 3,471 sq mi.

State parks: 12

Residents: South Dakotan

2016 resident population est.:  865,454

2010 resident census population (rank): 814,180 (46). Male: 407,381 (50.0%); Female: 406,799 (50.0%). White: 699,392 (85.9%); Black: 10,2047 (1.3%); American Indian: 71,817 (8.8%); Asian: 7,610 (0.9%); Other race: 7,477 (0.9%); Two or more races: 17,283 (2.1%); Hispanic/Latino: 22,119(2.7%). 2010 percent population 18 and over: 75.1; 65 and over: 14.3; Median age: 36.9.

See additional census data

Area codes

Tourism office

Exploration of this area began in 1743 when Louis-Joseph and François Verendrye came from France in search of a route to the Pacific.

The U.S. acquired the region as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, and it was explored by Lewis and Clark in 1804–1806. Fort Pierre, the first permanent settlement, was established in 1817.

Settlement of South Dakota did not begin in earnest until the arrival of the railroad in 1873 and the discovery of gold in the Black Hills in 1874.

Agriculture is a cultural and economic mainstay, but it no longer leads the state in employment or share of gross state product. Durable-goods manufacturing and private services have evolved as the drivers of the economy. Tourism is also a booming industry in the state, generating over a billion dollars' worth of economic activity each year.

South Dakota is the second-largest producer of sunflower seed and oil in the nation. South Dakota is also a leading producer of a variety of small grains including oats, barley, rye, flaxseed, sorghum and alfalfa.

The Black Hills are the highest mountains east of the Rockies. Mt. Rushmore, in this group, is famous for the likenesses of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, which were carved in granite by Gutzon Borglum. A memorial to Crazy Horse is also being carved in granite near Custer.

Other tourist attractions include the Badlands; the World's Only Corn Palace, in Mitchell; and the city of Deadwood, where Wild Bill Hickok was killed in 1876 and where gambling was recently legalized.

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a report that said the number of farms in South Dakota had decreased. However, the size of each farm had increased. There were less than 300 farms in South Dakota in 2012, according to the USDA, but the average farm size increased 13 acres, from 1,395 in 2011 to 1,408 in 2012.

See more on South Dakota:
Encyclopedia: South Dakota
Encyclopedia: Geography
Encyclopedia: Economy
Encyclopedia: Government
Encyclopedia: History
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Selected famous natives and residents:

See also: