These Are The 20 Best Small Towns In South Dakota For 2019


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

This article is an opinion based on facts and is meant as infotainment. Data updated for 2019.

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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 2019:

  1. Crooks (Homes)
  2. Tea (Homes)
  3. Dakota Dunes (Homes)
  4. Groton (Homes)
  5. Colonial Pine Hills (Homes)
  6. Fort Pierre (Photos | Homes)
  7. Volga (Photos | Homes)
  8. Britton (Homes)
  9. Dell Rapids (Photos | Homes)
  10. Hartford (Photos | Homes)

If you live in one of these small towns like Crooks, 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:

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 – 59 to be exact.

We then ranked each place in each category with scores from 1 to 59, averaged them out, and the lowest scores went to our Best Small Towns in South Dakota. Top of that list — Crooks.

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

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,349
Median Income: $87,847 (3rd Best)
Median Home Value: $170,600 (7th Best)
More on Crooks: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 4,866
Median Income: $79,978 (5th Best)
Median Home Value: $196,000 (4th Best)
More on Tea: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,950
Median Income: $98,787 (1st Best)
Median Home Value: $277,500 (2nd Best)
More on Dakota Dunes: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 1,965
Median Income: $65,750 (11th Best)
Median Home Value: $162,000 (8th Best)
More on Groton: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 2,192
Median Income: $90,833 (2nd Best)
Median Home Value: $283,500 (1st Best)
More on Colonial Pine Hills: Data | Homes For Sale

Fort Pierre, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,276
Median Income: $68,237 (10th Best)
Median Home Value: $157,600 (10th Best)
More on Fort Pierre: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Volga, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,127
Median Income: $56,773 (16th Best)
Median Home Value: $148,200 (15th Best)
More on Volga: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,687
Median Income: $59,821 (13th Best)
Median Home Value: $86,700 (39th Best)
More on Britton: Data | Homes For Sale

Dell Rapids, SD

Overall SnackAbility

7
/10

Population: 3,683
Median Income: $65,558 (12th Best)
Median Home Value: $156,800 (11th Best)
More on Dell Rapids: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Hartford, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 3,043
Median Income: $69,337 (9th Best)
Median Home Value: $174,400 (6th Best)
More on Hartford: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Beresford, SD

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 2,212
Median Income: $58,958 (14th Best)
Median Home Value: $118,300 (24th Best)
More on Beresford: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9.5
/10

Population: 1,114
Median Income: $70,469 (7th Best)
Median Home Value: $130,800 (22nd Best)
More on Worthing: Data | Homes For Sale

Elk Point, SD

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,231
Median Income: $54,531 (22nd Best)
Median Home Value: $135,900 (20th Best)
More on Elk Point: PhotosData | Homes For Sale

Gettysburg, SD

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,233
Median Income: $52,802 (24th Best)
Median Home Value: $85,800 (40th Best)
More on Gettysburg: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

9
/10

Population: 2,285
Median Income: $80,139 (4th Best)
Median Home Value: $217,400 (3rd Best)
More on Summerset: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

8.5
/10

Population: 1,481
Median Income: $38,438 (47th Best)
Median Home Value: $108,700 (29th Best)
More on Miller: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 2,464
Median Income: $56,719 (18th Best)
Median Home Value: $195,300 (5th Best)
More on North Spearfish: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,044
Median Income: $55,509 (20th Best)
Median Home Value: $159,800 (9th Best)
More on Green Valley: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

5
/10

Population: 1,509
Median Income: $46,250 (38th Best)
Median Home Value: $114,000 (26th Best)
More on Platte: Data | Homes For Sale

Overall SnackAbility

6
/10

Population: 1,221
Median Income: $69,750 (8th Best)
Median Home Value: $146,900 (17th Best)
More on Garretson: 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. Rosebud
  3. Fort Thompson

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 Crooks 1,349 $87,847.0 $170,600.0
2 Tea 4,866 $79,978.0 $196,000.0
3 Dakota Dunes 2,950 $98,787.0 $277,500.0
4 Groton 1,965 $65,750.0 $162,000.0
5 Colonial Pine Hills 2,192 $90,833.0 $283,500.0
6 Fort Pierre 2,276 $68,237.0 $157,600.0
7 Volga 2,127 $56,773.0 $148,200.0
8 Britton 1,687 $59,821.0 $86,700.0
9 Dell Rapids 3,683 $65,558.0 $156,800.0
10 Hartford 3,043 $69,337.0 $174,400.0
11 Beresford 2,212 $58,958.0 $118,300.0
12 Worthing 1,114 $70,469.0 $130,800.0
13 Elk Point 2,231 $54,531.0 $135,900.0
14 Gettysburg 1,233 $52,802.0 $85,800.0
15 Summerset 2,285 $80,139.0 $217,400.0
16 Miller 1,481 $38,438.0 $108,700.0
17 North Spearfish 2,464 $56,719.0 $195,300.0
18 Green Valley 1,044 $55,509.0 $159,800.0
19 Platte 1,509 $46,250.0 $114,000.0
20 Garretson 1,221 $69,750.0 $146,900.0
21 Clear Lake 1,307 $55,286.0 $96,400.0
22 Winner 2,854 $47,948.0 $88,800.0
23 Lennox 2,190 $49,102.0 $112,800.0
24 Baltic 1,108 $73,676.0 $150,600.0
25 De Smet 1,162 $57,500.0 $93,900.0
26 Chamberlain 2,653 $51,205.0 $139,900.0
27 Milbank 3,178 $51,178.0 $108,200.0
28 Parkston 1,645 $49,097.0 $92,600.0
29 Salem 1,394 $56,771.0 $93,400.0
30 Springfield 1,962 $41,429.0 $76,800.0
31 North Sioux City 2,693 $52,417.0 $134,000.0
32 Freeman 1,322 $48,839.0 $75,100.0
33 Hot Springs 3,519 $48,333.0 $108,100.0
34 Deadwood 1,386 $37,181.0 $147,600.0
35 Redfield 2,623 $41,938.0 $71,200.0
36 Mobridge 3,420 $43,243.0 $86,800.0
37 Blackhawk 3,000 $49,018.0 $145,000.0
38 Custer 2,124 $48,581.0 $153,700.0
39 Alcester 1,019 $43,711.0 $85,400.0
40 Whitewood 1,062 $56,250.0 $115,500.0
41 Canton 3,352 $48,929.0 $123,400.0
42 Tyndall 1,151 $49,107.0 $83,200.0
43 Lemmon 1,335 $38,688.0 $57,300.0
44 Lead 3,021 $43,730.0 $111,600.0
45 Martin 1,019 $46,538.0 $64,300.0
46 Flandreau 2,440 $43,990.0 $88,000.0
47 Webster 1,808 $31,078.0 $77,400.0
48 Hill City 1,180 $52,857.0 $155,000.0
49 Gregory 1,430 $36,761.0 $69,200.0
50 Sisseton 2,548 $38,500.0 $70,100.0
51 Clark 1,351 $37,750.0 $73,800.0
52 Wagner 1,494 $35,208.0 $83,000.0
53 Mission 1,220 $18,438.0 $50,400.0
54 Pine Ridge 3,487 $37,031.0 $10,000.0
55 Eagle Butte 1,182 $26,550.0 $48,600.0
56 North Eagle Butte 2,106 $33,438.0 $47,600.0
57 Fort Thompson 1,271 $25,125.0 $46,400.0
58 Rosebud 1,528 $34,875.0 $37,500.0
59 Porcupine 1,482 $22,206.0 $12,800.0

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.