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 2013 estimated population of 844,877 people – 445,104 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, 85.9% of the state’s population is white, 8.9% is American Indian & Alaska Native, and 3.4% is of Hispanic/Latino origin (2013).

South Dakota Rural Healthcare Facilities

South Dakota Rural Healthcare Facilities map

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There are 54 hospitals in South Dakota (Kaiser, 2012). The state has 38 hospitals identified by the Flex Monitoring Team as Critical Access Hospitals (November 2014). There are 59 Rural Health Clinics in South Dakota (Kaiser, 2012), and 6 Federally Qualified Health Centers provide services at 45 sites in the state (Kaiser, 2011).

Selected Social Determinants of Health for Rural South Dakota

Most South Dakotans have some form of health insurance coverage, although 9.0% of its residents lack health insurance (Kaiser, 2013). According to the USDA Economic Research Service, the average per-capita income for South Dakotans in 2013 was $46,039, although rural per-capita income lagged at $44,740. Estimates from 2013 indicate a poverty rate of 16.7% exists in rural South Dakota, compared to a 11.1% level in urban areas of the state. The ERS reports, based on 2009-2013 ACS data, that 11.0% of the rural population has not completed high school, compared to 8.2% of urban populations. The unemployment rate in rural South Dakota is 4.0%, while the urban rate is 3.6% (USDA-ERS, 2013).

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

Data Sources
U.S. Census Bureau: State & County QuickFacts; USDA Economic Research Service: State Fact Sheets; Kaiser Family Foundation State Health Facts; Flex Monitoring Team: Critical Access Hospital List


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.