These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In South Dakota For 2018


We used science and data to determine which small towns in South Dakota are the best of the best.

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This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2018.

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You’ve seen these lists before: Best places to live in South Dakota, Most Beautiful Downtowns, etc., etc. But all of them focus on major cities and towns in the Mount Rushmore State and no one pays attention to the little guy.

Well, that’s all about to change as we put together a list of the best small towns in South Dakota based on numbers–not opinions or hearsay.

We’ll dive right into our methodology in the next section; but first, we thought you might just want to know which places in South Dakota ranked the based–you know, based on science.

Before we get to the top 20, here’s a look at the 10 Best Small Towns To Live in South Dakota for 2018:

  1. Tea (Homes For Sale)
  2. Crooks (Homes For Sale)
  3. Groton (Homes For Sale)
  4. Dakota Dunes (Homes For Sale)
  5. Volga (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  6. Piedmont (Homes For Sale)
  7. Colonial Pine Hills (Homes For Sale)
  8. Elk Point (Photos | Homes For Sale)
  9. Britton (Homes For Sale)
  10. Fort Pierre (Photos | Homes For Sale)

If you live in one of these small towns like Tea, chances are, you’re not surprised. After all, you know how great you have it.

But for the rest of you–keep reading and we’ll get to just why these small towns made our list.

For more reading on the Mount Rushmore State check out:

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How We Determined The Coolest Towns In South Dakota

We threw a lot of criteria at this one in order to get the best, most complete results possible. Using the most recent data from the Census’s 2012-2016 American Community Survey and the Bureau of Labor Statistics, this is the criteria we used:

  • Population Density (Higher is better)
  • Lowest Unemployment Rates
  • Housing costs (Higher is better. More demand.)
  • Adjusted Median Income (Higher is better)
  • Highly Educated Adults (Higher is better)
  • Insurance Rates (Higher is better)
  • Commute Times (Lower is better)

We looked at places with populations lower than 5,000 people and greater than 1,000, of which, there were a lot – 62 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 62, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in South Dakota. Top of that list — Tea.

Keep reading to find out more about our top 20 best small towns in South Dakota.

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1. Tea


Population: 4,628
Median Income: $75,473 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $175,200 (5th Best)
More on Tea: Data| Homes For Sale

2. Crooks


Population: 1,380
Median Income: $85,625 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $161,200 (8th Best)
More on Crooks: Data| Homes For Sale

3. Groton


Population: 1,905
Median Income: $64,816 (11th Best)
Median Home Value: $160,300 (9th Best)
More on Groton: Data| Homes For Sale

4. Dakota Dunes


Population: 2,745
Median Income: $94,583 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $247,700 (2nd Best)
More on Dakota Dunes: Data| Homes For Sale

5. Volga

Volga, SD

Population: 1,883
Median Income: $57,500 (15th Best)
Median Home Value: $151,400 (11th Best)
More on Volga: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

6. Piedmont


Population: 1,111
Median Income: $73,889 (6th Best)
Median Home Value: $171,600 (6th Best)
More on Piedmont: Data| Homes For Sale

7. Colonial Pine Hills


Population: 2,069
Median Income: $92,692 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $279,300 (1st Best)
More on Colonial Pine Hills: Data| Homes For Sale

8. Elk Point

Elk Point, SD

Population: 2,120
Median Income: $51,010 (25th Best)
Median Home Value: $131,000 (20th Best)
More on Elk Point: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

9. Britton


Population: 1,689
Median Income: $60,602 (13th Best)
Median Home Value: $79,000 (43rd Best)
More on Britton: Data| Homes For Sale

10. Fort Pierre

Fort Pierre, SD

Population: 2,278
Median Income: $60,417 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $138,400 (15th Best)
More on Fort Pierre: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

11. Hartford

Hartford, SD

Population: 2,980
Median Income: $67,031 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $166,100 (7th Best)
More on Hartford: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

12. Platte


Population: 1,531
Median Income: $50,484 (26th Best)
Median Home Value: $109,700 (26th Best)
More on Platte: Data| Homes For Sale

13. Dell Rapids

Dell Rapids, SD

Population: 3,715
Median Income: $63,818 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $149,400 (12th Best)
More on Dell Rapids: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

14. Gettysburg


Population: 1,203
Median Income: $49,402 (27th Best)
Median Home Value: $80,900 (39th Best)
More on Gettysburg: Data| Homes For Sale

15. Garretson


Population: 1,291
Median Income: $70,263 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $141,300 (14th Best)
More on Garretson: Data| Homes For Sale

16. Beresford

Beresford, SD

Population: 2,324
Median Income: $51,087 (24th Best)
Median Home Value: $111,500 (25th Best)
More on Beresford: PhotosData| Homes For Sale

17. Worthing


Population: 1,066
Median Income: $66,719 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $127,200 (22nd Best)
More on Worthing: Data| Homes For Sale

18. Miller


Population: 1,527
Median Income: $41,029 (41st Best)
Median Home Value: $91,700 (33rd Best)
More on Miller: Data| Homes For Sale

19. Summerset


Population: 2,155
Median Income: $74,063 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $201,900 (3rd Best)
More on Summerset: Data| Homes For Sale

20. Baltic


Population: 1,104
Median Income: $72,386 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $148,100 (13th Best)
More on Baltic: Data| Homes For Sale

Science Can Tackle Any Issue, Even Small Ones

We said it once and we’ll say it again — this list: it’s just science. We did the research, we crunched the numbers, and it turns out, these 20 small towns in South Dakota are the best, in which to live.

And who can argue with that?

If you’re curious, here are the worst small towns in South Dakota:

  1. Porcupine
  2. Oglala
  3. Antelope

For more South Dakota reading, check out:

Detailed List Of The Best Small Towns In South Dakota

Rank City Population Median Income Median Home Value
1 Tea 4,628 $75,473 $175,200
2 Crooks 1,380 $85,625 $161,200
3 Groton 1,905 $64,816 $160,300
4 Dakota Dunes 2,745 $94,583 $247,700
5 Volga 1,883 $57,500 $151,400
6 Piedmont 1,111 $73,889 $171,600
7 Colonial Pine Hills 2,069 $92,692 $279,300
8 Elk Point 2,120 $51,010 $131,000
9 Britton 1,689 $60,602 $79,000
10 Fort Pierre 2,278 $60,417 $138,400
11 Hartford 2,980 $67,031 $166,100
12 Platte 1,531 $50,484 $109,700
13 Dell Rapids 3,715 $63,818 $149,400
14 Gettysburg 1,203 $49,402 $80,900
15 Garretson 1,291 $70,263 $141,300
16 Beresford 2,324 $51,087 $111,500
17 Worthing 1,066 $66,719 $127,200
18 Miller 1,527 $41,029 $91,700
19 Summerset 2,155 $74,063 $201,900
20 Baltic 1,104 $72,386 $148,100
21 Milbank 3,252 $47,974 $107,100
22 Lennox 2,095 $51,509 $97,600
23 North Sioux City 2,623 $54,718 $129,400
24 Chamberlain 2,662 $52,135 $134,800
25 Clear Lake 1,306 $51,350 $93,900
26 Parker 1,112 $54,861 $127,100
27 North Spearfish 2,046 $42,244 $184,400
28 Mobridge 3,460 $44,458 $80,700
29 Parkston 1,826 $47,031 $81,100
30 Freeman 1,251 $44,946 $72,800
31 Lead 3,050 $41,735 $105,900
32 Winner 2,843 $36,838 $83,700
33 Blackhawk 2,981 $53,230 $135,100
34 Springfield 1,938 $35,729 $74,100
35 Alcester 1,000 $43,472 $89,700
36 De Smet 1,136 $46,136 $80,400
37 Redfield 2,727 $41,364 $65,400
38 Howard 1,088 $46,625 $64,700
39 Canton 3,306 $46,088 $119,600
40 Salem 1,367 $51,250 $87,700
41 Deadwood 1,287 $34,375 $138,100
42 Hot Springs 3,570 $39,073 $102,800
43 Custer 1,770 $42,550 $138,400
44 Tyndall 1,067 $39,659 $79,500
45 Lemmon 1,362 $37,946 $57,600
46 Hill City 1,358 $54,107 $152,900
47 Flandreau 2,164 $40,360 $85,600
48 Arlington 1,017 $42,404 $104,400
49 Webster 1,813 $26,667 $69,300
50 Clark 1,208 $35,625 $70,300
51 Sisseton 2,682 $35,954 $76,500
52 Gregory 1,485 $32,250 $62,300
53 Mission 1,269 $30,139 $46,200
54 Wagner 1,482 $35,096 $78,700
55 Pine Ridge 3,341 $29,881 $10,000
56 Eagle Butte 1,205 $26,607 $50,500
57 North Eagle Butte 2,138 $29,167 $44,600
58 Rosebud 1,668 $34,886 $38,800
59 Fort Thompson 1,323 $25,375 $37,500
60 Antelope 1,039 $19,821 $55,000
61 Oglala 1,552 $22,750 $21,700
62 Porcupine 1,295 $20,139 $11,100

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