12 Best Places to Live in South Dakota


South Dakota is an increasingly popular choice of living for the past few years for US citizens. It offers some great views of the famous Mount Rushmore and offers a business-friendly economy, growing employment opportunities, and civilized culture.

South Dakota provides its citizens a lifestyle that balances professional success with personal contentment which is a rare thing to find these days.

Moving to South Dakota

There are a lot of good reasons to choose South Dakota for your next home. But the most important among them is the great employment opportunities. There are a variety of high-wage and high-demand occupations in South Dakota which include mechanics, machinists, Accounting and Finance, Healthcare, field service, and technicians, and so on.

The job market is thriving and therefore, skilled individuals are very much appreciated here. South Dakota has a statewide median income of up to $60,000 per year and has one of the lowest poverty rates in the United States. Moreover, the employment ratio is way above the national average employment ratio.

Apart from the great employment opportunities, South Dakota has some amazing neighborhoods with stellar educational institutes, the lowest crime rates, and reasonably priced housing.

With stats like these, who wouldn’t want to move to South Dakota?

Best Places to Live in South Dakota

If you are planning to purchase your next home in South Dakota and are looking for affordable places to live, you are at the right place. Here’s our list of the 10 best places to live in South Dakota

1. Brookings

Brookings SD

Population: 23,292

Brookings is the fourth largest city in South Dakota and is one of the best places to live here. Brookings is rated as the second-best place to raise a family in the United States. Apart from that, the city has some of the best public schools in the country. One of such schools is Brookings School District, which provides excellent educational opportunities to its students and has surpassed the standard of schools in the neighboring cities. So, if you have school-going kids, you should definitely explore Brooking, SD.

The median home value here is about $203,900 and the median rent is $664. Both the median home value and median rent value are far below the national average which makes this city a very reasonable place to live in. The city has a large population of students so there is always something going on here.

According to the local people, Brookings has a small-town feel, the streets are clean and safe without much traffic. On top of that, the availability of all the modern facilities makes it an ideal place to choose for your next home.   

2. Pierre

Pierre SD

Population: 13,959

Pierre is the capital of South Dakota and is located on the east riverside of it. It is a very picturesque city with a historic downtown, tree-lined streets, parks, and other attractions.
Most of the houses here have a view of the beautiful Missouri River. 

Pierre serves as the major regional trading center and hence offers good employment opportunities to its residents. The median home value in Pierre, SD is about $207,600 which is quite affordable compared to the opportunities it provides. Apart from affordable housing, the overall cost of living (utilities, tax, bills) in Pierre is recorded to be the lowest of the rest of South Dakota.

According to the locals, the close proximity to the river for boating, fishing, and camping is one of the many reasons that they like living in Pierre, SD. The city also has many recreational spots including Hillsview Golf Course, South Dakota Discovery Centre, and so on.

3. Sioux Falls

Population: 167,884

 Sioux Falls is famous for its natural beauty and attracts thousands of tourists every year. People from all over the world travel here to witness the breathtaking mountain views. Sioux Falls is one of the most densely populated cities of South Dakota. It has all the facilities and hustle-bustle of a big city. 

The economy is really strong here and thus offers great employment opportunities. The median price for a home is about $157,800. On top of that, all the public schools here have A-list ratings and have maintained a great academic record over the years.

The business in the city is blooming and thus offers excellent job opportunities. Sioux Falls has a beautiful big waterfall running through it which attracts hundreds of people every day. There are so many other recreational spots as well including parks, theatres, biking trails, and aquatic centers. 

4. Spearfish

Spearfish downtown

Population: 11, 176

Spearfish is considered to be the best place to live in South Dakota. It is called the Queen of South Dakota and is a hub for tourists from all around the world. The city provides you easy access to the exotic Northern Black Hills of South Dakota. The whole Rapid City is surrounded by unmatched natural beauty and offers great outdoor activities for people of every age.

The median home price is a little high in Spearfish but it is definitely worth it. Moreover, the city provides high per capita income compared to the rest of the cities. The locals here describe the city as peaceful, quaint, and safe. It can be a perfect place to start your new family.

5. Rapid City

rapid city sd

Population: 71, 682

Rapid City lies east of the Black Hills National Forest and is known as the gateway to Mount Rushmore. It is surrounded by beautiful views and offers great outdoor activities. Rapid City is the second-largest community in South Dakota and is ranked as one of the best places to live in SD.

 Unlike most other cities, Rapid City is not mainly white-collar or blue-collar. Rather, the city has a mix of people having both white-collar and blue-collar jobs. With its exceptionally great educational and employment opportunities, Rapid City is a great place to raise a family. The popular fields of employment in Rapid City include tourism, health, and transportation. 

The median home price is slightly high but is reasonable compared to the facilities it provides. The city provides calmness and picture-perfect natural surroundings to its residents. The tourism industry here is thriving and is playing a great role in improving the economy here. 

If you want to move to South Dakota but do not prefer rural areas, Rapid City is definitely for you.

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6. Winner

winner sd

Population: 2,844

Winner is a small city located in south-central South Dakota. Most of the residents here rely on agriculture and farming for their living expenses. People mostly know each other and thus the unemployment ratio is very low. 

The crime rate here is also exceptionally low. The locals here enjoy peace, calmness, and natural beauty. The median house price here is about $86,00 which is much lower than in other cities. 

If you are into a small community where everyone knows each other, winner is definitely for you.

7. Tea

Team swimming pool

Population: 4,427

Tea is also a small city in Lincoln County, South Dakota. It has a suburban feel and is considered to be the best place for Millennials. It is often referred to as the suburb of Sioux Falls as it is located just a few minutes from it. 

The city has a good employment ratio, low crime rate, and beautiful neighborhoods. The median home price is around $243, 100 which is slightly higher than the rest of South Dakota. Being one of the safest places to live in South Dakota, it will surely feature higher up the rankings. 

The city has access to all the opportunities and facilities while maintaining the atmosphere of a small town. Sadly, there are not any great schools in Tea so it is more suitable for couples who do not have kids yet. Otherwise, you can choose any top-ranking school in Sioux Falls for your kids. 

8. De Smet

de smet sd

Population: 1, 162

De Smet is located in Kingsbury County in South Dakota. The city is very small and offers its residents a sparse suburban feel. Most residents here own their houses because of the less population and cheaper house prices. 

The median home price is $110, 800 which is one of the cheapest in South Dakota. It is one of the most charming and famous (because of the little house of the Prairie books) city in South Dakota. 

The public schools here are also above average and have maintained a nice reputation. There are also plenty of bars here which keep the atmosphere lively at night. 

9. Yankton

yankton sd

Population: 14,585

Yankton is located on the banks of the Missouri River and is often referred to as “River City”. The city is home to a culturally diverse community. Life in Yankton pretty much revolves around the river. It is a recreational hub and is a source of trading as well.

Hundreds of people daily visit the river which has become a source of income for many of the residents of the Yankton. The city is one of South Dakota’s most historically rich places and has many museums and historic buildings.

The educational institutes here are good as well providing their students with quality education. The city has a lot of bars which keep the nights hustling here. It is definitely a really vibrant and culturally diverse town with a median home cost of $175, 800.

10. Hot Springs

Hot Springs SD

Population: 3, 460

Hot Springs is considered one of the most exciting places to live in South Dakota. With easy access to Black Hills’ greatest attractions and soothing warm water springs, this city is a picture-perfect place to live in. 

Hot Springs has one of the lowest median home prices of just $85,400. You can afford a 4-bedroom house with a spacious backyard at a very reasonable price compared to the other cities in South Dakota. The weather here is great almost all year round. 

Hot Springs city is most commonly known as the veteran’s town. Moreover, it is exceptionally affordable and has a vibe of a small community. You will find a lot of community events and volunteer opportunities here.

11. Brandon

Population: 10,226

Brandon is a small suburb just south of Highway Route 90 with an excellent mix of town amenities and a village community feel. With 10,000 people living there Brandon offers the perfect place to raise children in South Dakota. The second best public schools (in SD) as well as great access to outdoor activities make it all worthwhile when considering raising your family here!

This is considered to be one of South Dakota’s best places to raise kids because not only do its schools rank second in state rankings for public education; 73% live in their own homes which goes a long way toward understanding why so many residents are happy and content here!

The median home price in Brandon is a mere $177,300. That’s less than the national average of over $200K!

12. Aberdeen

Population: 41,982

Aberdeen is a relatively small city in Eastern Washington, not far from both the Idaho border and Portland. It does have an airport that offers flights to Minneapolis alone (though it’s less useful than Madison’s for there are no other destinations available). The public schools here are good too–so if you’re looking for quality education without absurdly high prices then this may be your place!
Aberdeen has lots of nightlife activities as well with many bars, restaurants, and theaters around making it easy to find something fun to do on any given evening. If you want more space but don’t mind spending some time fixing up houses before living comfortably though then Aberdeen could just be what you’ve been searching for all along!

Aberdeen may just be scraping into our top ten now but being a popular spot for Millennials means that it will only get more desirable over time and with prices likely staying affordable too

If you need more information about affordable places to live in South Dakota, reach out to us at Affiliated Mortgage. We are a top-rated Home Loan Provider in Rapid City, Sioux Falls, and Fargo.

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