10 Best Places To Raise A Family In South Dakota For 2019


We used science and data to determine which cities in South Dakota have the best set up for children: a lot to do, good schools, and no crime.

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Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2019. This is our second time ranking the best cities for families in South Dakota.

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If you’re like the rest of us, you’re looking for the perfect place for your family. But you have a strict criteria; the city has to be safe, affordable, and stimulating. Basically, the place you move – or even visit – has to be outright perfect.

Is that attainable? Perhaps not, but we’ll get you as close as we can.

Promise.

According to the United States Census, the number of American families who move is trending downwards Why is that? Perhaps it has to do with the ‘safety net’ factor: We get comfortable where we live, and we’re afraid to try a new move. What if the schools are bad? What if it’s dangerous?

Well, we can pretty much guarantee that if you choose the cities we’re mentioning below, you won’t lose any sleep whatsoever.

So, where are the best cities for families in South Dakota? We’ve got the answers here.

If you’re thinking of making a move to South Dakota, and want a family-friendly place, we’ve got you covered. And if you already have kids, we’re surprised you made it this far into the article and hope your little ones give you a couple of more minutes of free time.

Keep on reading for a detailed methodology.

Or, check out some more reading about South Dakota and the best places for families in the country:

The 10 Best Places To Raise A Family In South Dakota For 2019

Lennox, SD

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,190
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 48
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 30.1%
More on Lennox: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Canton, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,352
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 45
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 33.6%
More on Canton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Sisseton, SD

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,548
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 38
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 21.7%
More on Sisseton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Madison, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,094
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 65
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 26.1%
More on Madison: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Madison is a city in Lake County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 6,474 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Lake County and is home to Dakota State University.

Lead, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 3,021
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 56
Closest Major City: Denver
Households with kids: 24.6%
More on Lead: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Lead is a city in Lawrence County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 3,124 at the 2010 census. Lead is located in western South Dakota, in the Black Hills near the Wyoming state line.

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 4,866
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 33
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 56.9%
More on Tea: Homes For Sale | Data

Chamberlain, SD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,653
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 60
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 31.6%
More on Chamberlain: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Brandon, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,731
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 31
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 41.7%
More on Brandon: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Brandon is a city in Minnehaha County, South Dakota, United States and is the largest suburb of Sioux Falls. Brandon is located five miles east of Sioux Falls. The population was estimated at 9,923 by the United States Census Bureau on July 1, 2016, which was up from 8,785 at the 2010 census.

Brookings, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 23,471
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 68
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 22.8%
More on Brookings: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Brookings is a city in Brookings County, South Dakota, United States. Brookings is the fourth largest city in South Dakota, with a population of 22,056 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Brookings County, and home to South Dakota State University, the largest institution of higher education in the state. Also found in Brookings are the South Dakota Art Museum, the Children’s Museum of South Dakota, the annual Brookings Summer Arts Festival, and the headquarters of a number of manufacturing companies and agricultural operations.

Winner, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,854
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: Lincoln
Households with kids: 20.2%
More on Winner: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Winner is a city in Tripp County, South Dakota, United States. The population was 2,897 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Tripp County. Winner also serves as the administrative center of neighboring Todd County, which does not have its own county seat. The nearest airport is Winner Regional Airport.

Winner was laid out in 1909, and named for the fact the town had emerged the “winner” as the county’s most successful trading point.

How do you determine which place is best for families in South Dakota anyways?

To give you the places in South Dakota which are best for families, we have to look at a handful of metrics. Of course, we want to measure the type of people who live in each city, and make some assumptions about what’s family-friendly and what isn’t.

So we researched the internet for a database that contains all that information.

How we crunched the family friendly numbers for the Mount Rushmore State

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using U.S. Census data produced for the state of South Dakota, we looked at every single city in the state. We paid particular attention to:

  • Crime (Both violent and property)
  • Quality of local schools
  • Distance to a major city without necessarily being in it
  • % of households with children
  • Family-friendly amenities nearby (museums, libraries and colleges)

We then gave each city a Family Score.

The higher the score, the better the city is for families. We also limited our results to cities with populations over 2,000 people. For South Dakota, that meant a total of 26 cities.

There You Have It – The Best Places To Raise A Family In South Dakota

If you’re looking for a breakdown of cities in South Dakota ranked by criteria that most would agree make a place a great spot for families, this is an accurate list.

Here’s a look at the best cities for singles South Dakota according to the data:

  1. Pierre
  2. Mobridge
  3. Box Elder

For more South Dakota reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In South Dakota?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Lennox, SD 2,190 41
2 Canton, SD 3,352 62
3 Sisseton, SD 2,548 45
4 Madison, SD 7,094 36
5 Lead, SD 3,021 51
6 Tea, SD 4,866 60
7 Chamberlain, SD 2,653 57
8 Brandon, SD 9,731 52
9 Brookings, SD 23,471 56
10 Winner, SD 2,854 54

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