Careers, Jobs and Education Resources for: South Dakota

South Dakota

Fast Facts: South Dakota is nicknamed the “Mount Rushmore State” commemorating sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s unique creation. Centrally located Pierre is the capital; Sioux Falls is the largest city.

South Dakota Careers: As of 2008, the U.S. Census estimated South Dakota’s population at just over 804,000. Forbes recently ranked it as the 23rd “Best State for Business.”

South Dakota Career Education: South Dakota ranked a notable 13th in a 2009 K-12 “Academic Achievement” study by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

South Dakota Economy: Named after Charles Rushmore a New York lawyer, the remarkable Mt. Rushmore annually attracts over two million people.

For details and sources, click the “Career Information” tab below.



South Dakota Fast Facts:

Location, Location, Location…:  Located in the midwestern region of the U.S., South Dakota is bisected by the Missouri River, dividing the state into two distinct halves known to residents as “West Rover" and “East River.”

Cities:  Centrally located Pierre is the state capital, while Sioux Falls is the state’s largest city. (1-CB)

Behind the Name:  South Dakota is officially nicknamed the “Mount Rushmore State” in reference to the fantastic mountain sculpture created by Gutzon Borglum.

A Closer Look:  The former Indian territory was admitted to the Union on November 2, 1889. South Dakota is now famous for the breathtaking natural beauty of the Badlands, the Black Hills, and Mt. Rushmore.

Did You Know?  The carvings of America’s historic Presidents on Mount Rushmore are scaled to men who would stand 465 feet tall. [Can you name all four Presidents memorialized on Mount Rushmore? Answer:  George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln.]

South Dakota Careers and Employment:

Population:  804,194 (6.5% increase since 2000) – 50.2% Female, 49.8% Male (2008 U.S. Census Bureau).

Business Environment:  Ranked 23rd in Forbes Magazine’s “Best States for Business,” 2008.

Top Industries In terms of paid employees, according to a 2008 U.S. Census Bureau study: (1) health care and social assistance; (2) retail trade; (3) manufacturing; (4) accommodation and food services; and (5) finance and insurance services.

Taxes:  No Income Tax and Sales Tax, 4% (Federation of Tax Administrators).

Cost of Living:  90.5 in relation to the “National Average” of 100 (Federal Cost of Living Index).

Quality of Life:  Ranked 12th of 50 states by CNBC, 2009.

Weather:  Average Temperature (In °F) – Jan: 16.11; Apr: 45.02; July: 72.47; Oct: 47.57 (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

K-12:  Ranked 13th of 50 states in “Academic Achievement” by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, 2009.

South Dakota Economics:

In General:  The South Dakota economy is historically dependent upon agriculture and mining, yet diversification in recent times has resulted in service, tourism, gambling and transportation becoming important economic contributors.

Service Industry:  The finance, insurance and real estate industry is the most valuable service industry group in South Dakota, with several large financial companies operating within the state.

Agriculture:  South Dakota is among the leading beef cattle, hogs, lambs, sheep and wool producing states in the nation.

Manufacturing:  Leading manufactured products in the state are computer and computer components, with many large computer companies located within the state. Food processing is also important to South Dakota, including meat processing and packing, poultry processing, dairy processing, milling flour and livestock feed.

Did You Know?  Until the Homestake Mine in the city of Lead was closed in 2001, South Dakota was the nation’s leading producer of gold.

South Dakota Education:

Find Colleges and Universities in South Dakota, here.


Sources:  In addition to specific citations noted in this “Career Information” section, supplementary source materials include:  the U.S. Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service;;;; and

General Information
752,082 Population (as of 2000)2.2 Average Persons Per Household (as of 2000)
687,489 Population (current)$43,900 Average House Value (as of 2000)
73,318.6 Square Miles of Land$30,534 Average House Income (as of 2000)
566.1 Square Miles of Water

Business Information
24,313 Number of Businesses (as of 2003)$1,744,166,000 Total First Quarter Payroll (as of 2003)
281,402 Number of Employees (as of 2003)$7,406,287,000 Total Annual Payroll (as of 2003)

Gender (as of 2000)
Ethnicity (as of 2000)
Median Ages (as of 2000)
No employer information available.