Best Places To Raise A Family In South Dakota For 2020


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.

Editor’s Note: We updated this article for 2020. This is our sixth time ranking the best cities for families in South Dakota.

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Families are important to the Treasure State, and HomeSnacks is here to tell you just how important. You can't have strong families without great infrastructure, so we set out to determine where Montana's strongest family oriented places are located. And lucky for you, this quest led us to create a list of Montana's most family friendly places for 2020.

How did we determine Montana's most family friendly places? We consulted the US Census on places in Big Sky Country with more than 2,000 residents. We looked at several factors: crime, education, family friendly activities, and the percent of households that currently have children. We ended up with 24 family friendly Montana places. We discovered that Montana is the fourth largest state in the United States, but the eighth least populated. We think that's all the more reason to have your family live in one of Montana's family friendly places: there's plenty of mountain ranges and prairies for your kids to run, and there's plenty of opportunity to make a difference.

We also determined that there are places in Montana for every type of family. There are hip mommy and daddy towns like Bozeman, cool cowboy/cowgirl towns like Hamilton, and towns like Whitefish for families that like to ski and snowboard. Speaking of family friendly amenities, in Montana, the big sky's the limit. You can have your family camping in the Kootenai National Forest just outside of Libby and swimming on the Bigfork side of Flathead Lake all in the same weekend. That's a Montana family win!

To learn more about our methodology and to see why Montana's top ten best places to raise a family are truly the best of the best, read on.

Want to know where your salary will go the furthest for your family in the great state of South Dakota? HomeSnacks suggests that you look no further than South Dakota's number one best place to raise a family, Sisseton.

We're pretty sure Sisseton's wide open spaces, safe neighborhoods, great schools, and endless, healthy activities are sure to please any family.

Want to see how your favorite South Dakota place compared, take a look below. And if you don't see it there, head to the bottom.

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 2020

Sisseton, SD

Overall SnackAbility

4
/10

Population: 2,486
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 42
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 32.4%
More on Sisseton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Madison, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 7,203
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 62
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 25.7%
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.

Canton, SD

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 3,392
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 55
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 35.0%
More on Canton: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 5,098
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 58.9%
More on Tea: Homes For Sale | Data

Lead, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 2,998
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 61
Closest Major City: Denver
Households with kids: 25.1%
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.

Vermillion, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 10,700
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 59
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 22.9%
More on Vermillion: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Vermillion is a city in and the county seat of Clay County, in the southeastern corner of the state of South Dakota, and the eleventh largest city in the state. According to the 2010 Census, the population was 10,571. The city lies atop a bluff near the Missouri River.

Brandon, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 9,867
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 49
Closest Major City: Omaha
Households with kids: 41.9%
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.

Flandreau, SD

Source: Public domain
Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,438
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 41
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 28.6%
More on Flandreau: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Brookings, SD

Overall SnackAbility

8
/10

Population: 23,863
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 51
Closest Major City: Minneapolis
Households with kids: 22.4%
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.

Hot Springs, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,515
Family Friendly Amenities Score: 45
Closest Major City: Denver
Households with kids: 17.8%
More on Hot Springs: PhotosHomes For Sale | Data

Hot Springs is a city in and the county seat of Fall River County, South Dakota, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 3,711. In addition, neighboring Oglala Lakota County contracts the duties of Auditor, Treasurer and Register of Deeds to the Fall River County authority in Hot Springs.

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 24 cities. You can download the data here.

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. Box Elder
  3. Sturgis

For more south dakota reading, check out:

Where Are The Best Places For Families In South Dakota?

Rank City Population Amenities Score
1 Sisseton, SD 2,486 50
2 Madison, SD 7,203 58
3 Canton, SD 3,392 38
4 Tea, SD 5,098 36
5 Lead, SD 2,998 64
6 Vermillion, SD 10,700 60
7 Brandon, SD 9,867 38
8 Flandreau, SD 2,438 57
9 Brookings, SD 23,863 47
10 Hot Springs, SD 3,515 42

How Is The Area In ?

About Chris Kolmar

Chris Kolmar has been in the real estate business for almost ten years now. He originally worked for Movoto Real Estate as the director of marketing before founding HomeSnacks.

He believes the key to finding the right place to live comes down to looking at the data, reading about things to do, and, most importantly, checking it out yourself before you move.

If you've been looking for a place to live in the past several years, you've probably stumbled upon his writing already.

You can find out more about him on LinkedIn or his website.