These Are The 10 Best Places To Retire In South Dakota For 2018


We analyzed over 15 places in South Dakota to identify the ones that offer the most to retirees.

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When most people think of calling it quits on a career, they immediately think of a move to Florida.

But not everyone wants to spend their golden years in Florida; some of us want to stay close to friends and family and within the great state of South Dakota.

But where exactly in South Dakota? Well, there’s only one place to go for the answer — data.

To that end, we have tried to identify the places in South Dakota that are safe, affordable, and have plenty of things to keep you busy well into retirement.

What did we find after pouring through all the data? Let’s just say we hope folks in Lead don’t mind us spreading the word.

Here are our top ten places in the Mount Rushmore State to retire for 2018:

  1. Lead (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  2. Hot Springs (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  3. Sisseton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  4. Flandreau (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  5. Mobridge (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Beresford (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  7. Madison (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  8. Canton (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Belle Fourche (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  10. Lennox (Photos | Homes For Sale)

Why did Lead take the top spot? And where are Sioux Falls and Aberdeen?

Read on to see see all the golden parachute level details. Or check out the purely worst and best places to live in South Dakota.

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How We Determined The Best Places To Retire In the Mount Rushmore State

To create our list of the best places in South Dakota to retire, we first used Census data to find all places in the Mount Rushmore State with a population of at least 5,000 that aren’t townships.

This left us with 27 places from across the state.

For these 27, we looked at the following criteria taken from the Census, the FBI’s Crime Report, National Weather Service, and OpenFlights:

  • Low cost of living as measured by rent
  • Low crime
  • Things to do (Museums, Colleges, and Libraries in town)
  • Nice weather
  • Distance to the closest international airport
  • Other retirees (High median age)

We then ranked each of these places for each criteria from one to 27, with the lowest number being the best.

Finally, we took the average rank across these criteria. The place, in this case Lead, with the lowest average rank was crowned the best of the best, a place for you to start your second careers.

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1. Lead

Lead, South Dakota

Source: Public domain’

Population: 3,050
Median Rent: $545
Distance to Closest Airport: 167 miles
Crime Per 100k: 524
More on Lead: Homes For Sale | Data

2. Hot Springs

Hot Springs, South Dakota

Population: 3,570
Median Rent: $594
Distance to Closest Airport: 154 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,372
More on Hot Springs: Homes For Sale | Data

3. Sisseton

Sisseton, South Dakota

Population: 2,682
Median Rent: $562
Distance to Closest Airport: 158 miles
Crime Per 100k: 484
More on Sisseton: Homes For Sale | Data

4. Flandreau

Flandreau, South Dakota

Source: Public domain’

Population: 2,164
Median Rent: $505
Distance to Closest Airport: 176 miles
Crime Per 100k: 3,280
More on Flandreau: Homes For Sale | Data

5. Mobridge

Mobridge, South Dakota

Population: 3,460
Median Rent: $587
Distance to Closest Airport: 191 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,734
More on Mobridge: Homes For Sale | Data

6. Beresford

Beresford, South Dakota

Population: 2,324
Median Rent: $589
Distance to Closest Airport: 191 miles
Crime Per 100k: 731
More on Beresford: Homes For Sale | Data

7. Madison

Madison, South Dakota

Source: Public domain’

Population: 7,101
Median Rent: $505
Distance to Closest Airport: 200 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,126
More on Madison: Homes For Sale | Data
Madison was laid out in 1873. The city was renamed after Madison, Wisconsin.

8. Canton

Canton, South Dakota

Population: 3,306
Median Rent: $658
Distance to Closest Airport: 192 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,028
More on Canton: Homes For Sale | Data

9. Belle Fourche

Belle Fourche, South Dakota

Population: 5,696
Median Rent: $628
Distance to Closest Airport: 177 miles
Crime Per 100k: 1,562
More on Belle Fourche: Homes For Sale | Data
Belle Fourche (French for ‘beautiful fork’) was named by French explorers coming from New France, referring to the confluence of what is now known as the Belle Fourche and Redwater Rivers and the Hay Creek. Beaver trappers worked these rivers until the mid-19th century, and Belle Fourche became a well known fur trading rendezvous point. During and after the gold rush of 1876, farmers and ranchers alike settled in the fertile valleys, growing food for the miners and their work animals. At the same time, the open plains for hundred of miles in all directions were being filled by huge herds of Texas and Kansas cattle. Towns sprang up to serve the ever-changing needs of the farmers and ranchers. In 1884, the Marquis de Mores, a French nobleman and contemporary of Theodore Roosevelt, established a stagecoach line between Medora, North Dakota, and Deadwood, South Dakota. The Belle Fourche way station included a stage barn and a saloon.

10. Lennox

Lennox, South Dakota

Population: 2,095
Median Rent: $752
Distance to Closest Airport: 206 miles
Crime Per 100k: 525
More on Lennox: Homes For Sale | Data

Maybe You’re Not Ready To Retire Yet…

So there you have it, the best place to retire in South Dakota goes to Lead.

If you’re not ready to hang up your office apparel yet, then these places might be up your alley:

  • Sioux Falls
  • Box Elder
  • Tea

For more South Dakota reading , check out:

Detailed List Of Best Places To Retire In South Dakota

City Rank Population Median Rent Distane To Airport Crimes per 100k
Lead 1 3,050 $545 167 524
Hot Springs 2 3,570 $594 154 1,372
Sisseton 3 2,682 $562 158 484
Flandreau 4 2,164 $505 176 3,280
Mobridge 5 3,460 $587 191 1,734
Beresford 6 2,324 $589 191 731
Madison 7 7,101 $505 200 1,126
Canton 8 3,306 $658 192 1,028
Belle Fourche 9 5,696 $628 177 1,562
Lennox 10 2,095 $752 206 525
Sturgis 11 6,711 $604 179 1,996
Winner 12 2,843 $662 334 949
Chamberlain 13 2,662 $514 305 3,343
Spearfish 14 11,176 $641 171 3,623
Yankton 15 14,585 $580 212 3,435
Aberdeen 16 27,783 $616 182 2,717
Brandon 17 9,674 $838 188 392
Huron 18 13,149 $569 247 2,220
Brookings 19 23,292 $675 179 1,755
Pierre 20 13,959 $579 272 5,050
Watertown 21 22,026 $659 192 3,109
Vermillion 22 10,778 $695 187 2,152
Summerset 23 2,155 $863 179 928
Mitchell 24 15,610 $654 250 4,285
Tea 25 4,628 $853 204 1,642
Box Elder 26 9,126 $946 188 2,169
Sioux Falls 27 167,884 $749 196 3,847

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