South Dakota

South Dakota is famous for its scenic Badlands, the Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore, Black Hills gold jewelry and the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Prairie, grassland and farmland cover 90% of the state, where herds of buffalo ranged in the thousands. Historical figures like Lewis and Clark, Wild Bill Hickok, Calamity Jane, Sitting Bull, and General George Custer are all part of South Dakota’s lively past. South Dakota covers 75,885 square miles, with a 2014 estimated population of 853,175 people – 446,157 living in rural South Dakota (USDA-ERS). Pierre, the capital, is located in the central region of the state. The state’s largest cities are Sioux Falls and Rapid City. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 85.7% of the state’s population is white, 8.9% is American Indian & Alaska Native, and 3.6% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (U.S. Census, 2014).

South Dakota Rural Healthcare Facilities

South Dakota Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 53 hospitals in South Dakota (Kaiser, 2014). The state has 38 hospitals identified as Critical Access Hospitals (Flex Team, 12/2015). There are 56 Rural Health Clinics in South Dakota (CMS, 2015), and 6 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 45 sites in the state (NACHC, 2013).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural South Dakota

Most South Dakotans have some form of health insurance coverage, although 9% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2014). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for South Dakotans in 2014 was $45,279, although rural per-capita income lagged at $43,289. The ERS reports, based on 2010-2014 ACS data, that the poverty rate in rural South Dakota is 17.5%, compared with 10.5% in urban areas of the state. 10.5% of the rural population has not completed high school, while 8.0% of the urban population lacks a high school diploma according to 2010-2014 ACS data reported by ERS. The unemployment rate in rural South Dakota is 3.7%, while the urban rate is 3.1% (USDA-ERS, 2014).

For a national comparison, please see an overview of the United States.

Data Sources
Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: Rural Health Clinic List; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; National Association of Community Health Centers: Key Health Center Data By State; U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets


South Dakota Office of Rural Health
Phone: 605.773.3361
Works to improve the delivery of health services to rural and medically underserved communities. Includes maps on SD shortage areas. Includes the South Dakota Primary Care Office. Part of the South Dakota Department of Health.
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There are more organizations related to South Dakota in the organizations section.